Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

How Should I Lower My Cholesterol?

Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013 06:18 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I am 65 years old and, during my yearly physical, my doctor discovered my total cholesterol is 234. What do I need to do to lower the bad cholesterol and triglycerides?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Both are independent risk factors for atherosclerosis, so lowering both makes sense most of the time. A high-fiber diet, containing lots of soluble fiber, will lower the cholesterol by at least 10 percent.
Some people prefer to take one tablespoon of Metamucil — or another fiber supplement — three times daily to lower cholesterol, as well as improve bowel health. Fish oil supplements will also lower triglycerides very effectively. The combination will be a very effective one for mild cholesterol management, and HDL readings will improve with regular aerobic exercise. Of course, management of diabetes or thyroid disorder is mandatory if you want a good lipid profile.
Many women have a cholesterol level like yours, with an HDL of 80 or more, so a total of 234 is not necessarily a problem. As a general rule, your total cholesterol should be under 200, your HDL at 60 or more, and your LDL under 100.

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