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Treatments for Lipid Disorders

The treatment and management of lipid disorders involves lifestyle changes (weight loss, exercise, and diet) and, when necessary, medication. The primary goal is usually to lower LDL cholesterol levels. The target level will depend on your overall risk for heart disease. Treatment also may also include reducing triglyceride levels or raising HDL ("good") cholesterol levels.

Treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changes
Medications
Alternative and complementary therapies

Currently, there are no surgical options for the treatment of lipid disorders. High doses of omega-3 fatty acids (fish or fish oil supplements) may lower triglyceride levels. For very high levels of LDL cholesterol that do not respond to lifestyle changes and medications, apheresis (plasmapheresis or plasma exchange) may be used to lower the LDL cholesterol levels.

References:

American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200000 .

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ .

Pejic RN, Lee DT. Hypertriglyceridemia. JABFM. 2006;19:310-316.



Last reviewed May 2007 by Mark A. Best, MD, MPH, MBA

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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