Plum Creek Medical - Closer to Home ... Committed to Caring Since 1987

Cholesterol

published on 05-17-2011


--Dr. Jack D. England, D.O. FACEP, FACOEP, FAAEP


Although I spent the first 20 years of my medical career treating major trauma as a Board Certified Emergency Physician, I was always interested in preventative health. During my time in the Emergency room I treated over 1000 cardiac arrests, and was frustrated that physicians were not doing more to prevent these life threatening scenarios.  I am constantly amazed at the few options cardiologists use to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, one of the leading causes for heart attacks, and raise good cholesterol.  I see more and more patients that are discouraged because their cardiologist put them on a high dose statin without giving them any other options to improve their health.  In my practice I use a variety of alternatives to compliment or change a patient’s cholesterol naturally. Some of the commonly used treatments that I incorporate are fish oil, aspirin, niacin and TriCor.  However, I also incorporate 15-20 different alternative medical treatments to get better results.  Fish oil is now available in a prescription as it has proven to be effective at lowering cholesterol and in treating other maladies.    While fish oil may be a recent discovery by the drug companies and cardiologists, I have been prescribing fish oil to my patients for the past 20 years to combat many ailments and as a helpful tool in lowering my patients cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Let’s take a look at two of my more extreme patients, only one in several thousand people have numbers this bad.  In order to understand these cases you need to know normal cholesterol is lower than 200 mg/dL and normal triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL.  Patient #1 had cholesterol of 680 mg/dL and triglycerides of 2400 mg/dL.  Letting him know his options I began working with him on diet, medical and alternative treatments in order to address this very serious situation.  His most recent cholesterol total was 136 mg/dL and his triglycerides were 45 mg/dL.  Patient #2 had cholesterol of 738 mg/dL and triglycerides of 4890 mg/dL.  I didn’t want to treat him as he had a serious medical condition caused by high triglycerides, but he insisted.  His last total cholesterol was 132mg/dL and triglycerides were 271mg/dL.   While I combined a variety of medical treatments in helping these patients reduce their numbers, neither patient is on a high dose statin, like Lipitor or Crestor.  What patients often do not understand is Crestor, the latest and strongest statin prescribed in high dose also lowers C Reactive Protein (CRP) 37% about the same as taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C.  While Crestor will make around 2 billion extra dollars off this misconception that their drug is the only option because they tested CRP and the other companies didn’t. (High CRP increases cardiac and stroke risk similar to having high cholesterol).  So what do I do to help patients help themselves with these numbers?  It boils down to some lifestyle changes and working to get their overall habits improved.  I do this partly by reducing processed foods and increasing fruits and vegetables.  In addition I recommend using ¼ cup flax seed (Grind flax seed with a coffee grinder and mix as a drink or on cereal.  Be sure to drink plenty of water). Not only will the fiber in flax seed help you feel fuller longer, but also helps to lower cholesterol.   Aged garlic, fish oil, resveritrol, turmeric, vitamin D-3 (average 5000 units per day), decreasing trans fats which are very important, cinnamon, vitamins and minerals, ginger, mono-saturated fats (i.e. avocados, olive oil, nuts etc.)  pomegranate and cantaloupe can all be use in combination to help lower numbers.  I use CO Q10 with all patients on statins as statins lower CO Q10 levels.  I also use CO Q10 in high doses with people with a history of congestive heart failure.  Of course exercise and weight loss are very important.  I create plans for my patients that are simple and restore them from the inside out, using natural remedies in combination with conventional treatments.  By complementing conventional treatments such as prescription statins with certain supplements I am able to use less prescription medication and produce an overall better result giving my patients an overall healthier lifestyle.  To customize a plan for you please schedule an appointment as patient needs vary based on many factors.  At Plum Creek Medical we want our patients to know all their options and provide a better overall lifestyle with lasting effects that often comes from more than just popping a pill. 
  




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