The most common hyperlipidemia treatment is modifications to a patient's diet and exercise habits with the goal of reducing weight and limiting the amount of lipids in the blood. There are additional treatments that can be pursued in addition to this primary treatment. Other options vary, depending on the patient, the cause of the hyperlipidemia, and the severity of the condition. The patient will need to make permanent lifestyle changes to manage the condition and will have to pursue regular follow up visits with a doctor to monitor progress.
Hyperlipidemia is a condition characterized by abnormally high levels of lipids in the blood. It is also known as hyperlipoproteinemia. Common causes include pregnancy, diabetes, alcoholism, kidney failure, thyroid conditions, and certain medications. Many patients do not develop symptoms at first and may not be aware of the rise in lipid levels until they begin to develop complications, like cardiovascular disease. This condition can be diagnosed with a blood test to check serum lipid levels.
Dieting and exercising to reduce weight, as well as limit lipid intake, is an important hyperlipidemia treatment. In addition, it is important to address the underlying cause of the disease. If the cause is not known, a doctor will conduct diagnostic tests for the purpose of identifying the cause so that it can be treated. Treatments can include adjustments to existing regimens designed to manage chronic conditions, such as changing the approach to diabetes treatment, along with new treatments for conditions that have just been diagnosed.
Patient cooperation is critical for hyperlipidemia treatment. The patient can work with a doctor and nutritionist to develop permanent lifestyle changes that will be achievable. If the patient is provided with a restricted plan that is difficult to follow, it may be challenging to lower lipid levels. Recognizing that patients can have trouble making radical changes, a doctor may work with a patient on gradually making changes and integrating them into the patient's lifestyle in a way that will be easy to maintain.
There are also medications available for hyperlipidemia treatment. Even when patients make changes, they may not be able to bring down lipid levels quickly enough. Statins are a commonly used class of drug for hyperlipidemia treatment and there are other prescription medications available, as well to help patients eliminate lipids in their blood and reduce the absorption of lipids to keep levels down. Periodic blood tests can be used to see how well the patient is responding to treatment.