Rick Harrison is the co-owner of The Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas and the star of the hit television show, Pawn Stars. Besides having an eye to spot fake merchandise, Harrison is eyeing a healthier lifestyle after a diagnosis of very high triglycerides three years ago.
VHTG is when a high amount of fat is detected in the blood. “It may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls, according to WebMD. Very high triglycerides can put people at more risk for heart attack, strokes and heart disease. Exercising, eating better and taking medication is important to stay on top of high triglycerides.
Harrison said it was a life changing-moment when he received the news. "The doctor calls me up and says everything is great, but, you have high triglycerides," said Harrison. " 'You need to take this prescription for them.' I’m thinking you’ve seen my show, you’ve seen how cheap I am. I'll just go to the health food store and get some fish oil, I’ll be cool.”
The health store would to take a backseat upon further research.
Harrison found out that many over the counter fish products could increase bad cholesterol, and might lower triglycerides. He was put on the drug VASCEPA which started working for him. The pharmaceutical company Amarin makes it affordable for people, when they sign up with a Vascepa Savings card, costing nine dollars for refills. Harrison is now a spokesperson for the prescription medication and wants to "work with companies that give back."
“That’s what I really like about this company. People go to the doctor, and get a prescription, and they don’t take it because it’s too damn expensive.”
Some advice for going to the doctors—go in prepared, he advised. When you go to the doctor discuss your family’s history starting writing all the questions you have down before the appointment.
“If your doctor doesn’t want to sit there and listen to all your questions, and your family history—go find another doctor," he added. "Being healthy is part of the happiness of life. If you’re a healthy person, you’re a happy person, and that’s sort of why I’m out there talking today.”
Today Harrison carries his He-Man lunch box to work, to avoid refined foods and sugars, and is taken charge of his health.
“I realized that I needed to start taking better care of myself,” said Harrison, who lost 20 pounds, and goes hiking with his kids. “You can have a soda every once in awhile, but don’t drink a gallon of it a day. I’m just promoting a better lifestyle.”
Watch the rest of Rick's interivew with Beliefnet by clicking here.