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Question:

Are there programs in Houston to lower cholesterol naturally (that follow up with blood tests to see if they are working)?

My cholesterol is 268! I have a family history of heart disease. My father died of a heart attack at age 42, my mother at 63, and I am 68! I exercise daily, am on the slender side, eat carefully. I tried Lipitor (my brother’s a retired cardiovascular surgeon & recommended it) for a while but had muscle cramps that made it hard to walk after many years on it ok, so my GP took me off it. Are there any programs to naturally lower cholesterol in Houston, that follow up with blood tests to see if they are working? I would like to try natural means of getting it down, but then maybe this is just too much of a risk and I should try a non-statin? My GP is silent. Maybe he doesn’t know?

Submitted by Judy from Houston on 07/16/2014

Answer:
by George Younis, MD

Hi Judy,
Your profile sounds fairly high-risk with high cholesterol and family history. I don’t know of any such formal program in Houston for reducing your cholesterol “naturally”. Though you didn’t mention the LDL/HDL breakdown — assuming your cholesterol is that high for genetic reasons, dietary changes alone, though important, are not likely to reduce your risk as much as one would like. I would suggest alternative statins which may be less likely to cause muscle cramps as the next most reasonable step (pitavastatin, pravastatin) rather than going directly to a non-statin or a non-medication solution.