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Personal Responsibility In Lowering Your High Cholesterol

Aug 17, 2007
Fast food is considered a staple in many American diets today. Prepackaged items at the grocery store may be easy to prepare, but the labels suggest unhealthy levels of fat and calories. Sodium content is also a major concern. Many people fail to eat well-balanced meals. In a hurry, many people simply forage in the refrigerator for a quick bite, or grab something on the go.

Forget about trying to eat the recommended daily allowance from all the food groups. Therefore, it should be no surprise cholesterol levels are rising accordingly. When a doctor mentions the need to lower cholesterol levels, a patient will generally react in one of three different ways. He/she will adopt a "tomorrow" attitude, decide to die happy, or take personal responsibility toward making the appropriate changes.

Probably the most common reaction to high cholesterol is unbelief as to the serious repercussions. Many individuals believe the problem is no big deal. Tending to put off until tomorrow what should be dealt with today, could lead to disaster. For example, a 57-year-old man's cholesterol levels are too high. However, he has lost a few extra pounds. Also, he walks a lot and gets plenty of exercise. In fact, he probably looks and feels better than he has in past years. Surely his cholesterol numbers will go down, and he will not have to worry about them anymore. Unfortunately, the man made a fatal error in judgment; he will never see 58.

Uneducated regarding the increased potential for life-threatening heart disease, individuals also tend to take a prescription and resume eating ice cream for dessert, fast food, and other high fat meals. Unfortunately, medicine is not a cure all. Unless individuals make the conscience choice to implement permanent changes in lifestyle, and begin making healthier choices, the medicine will not work as intended. Therefore, patients are still susceptible to cardiovascular disease.

People fail to realize high cholesterol and high blood pressure both contribute to heart attacks and strokes. Although the word is out regarding high blood pressure, motivating individuals to take the problem seriously, high cholesterol has not yet been elevated to the same level of concern. Health professionals are attempting to change patients' perceptions regarding fatty deposits blocking blood flow.

Sadly, many people are too lazy, or unwilling to change, even when life hangs in the balance. Self-denial is not in their vocabulary. Rather than taking the health problem seriously and facing the truth, individuals choose to believe debilitating/deadly heart attacks and strokes will happen to the other guy. Personally, he/she will dodge the proverbial bullet.

However, fatalism is by far the worst attitude possible, when confronted with the serious health issues associated with high cholesterol. Nevertheless, a surprising number of people are essentially playing Russian roulette with life. Sadly, Americans are a fat society, literally and figuratively. From a young age, individuals are taught to look after number one, to go after wants, and not to let anything/anyone stand in the way. Unfortunately, the same skewed philosophy often translates into poor health habits.

For example, most people know to snack on fruits and vegetables, instead of a piece of chocolate cake. However, the cake tastes so much better, and the excuses start to fly. Dying prematurely seems like a remote possibility, and surely one piece of cake will not make the matter worse. Besides, if death comes early, at least the person will not have to sacrifice, and he/she will die happy. How sad!

By far, the best attitude is the responsible approach. Wise individuals will take the necessary steps to reduce cholesterol levels. Unless cholesterol levels are dangerously high, requiring immediate attention, doctors will suggest lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, and stressors. Proactive people will embrace a healthier lifestyle by eating more fruits, vegetables, and other high fiber foods. In addition, a regular exercise routine becomes a permanent part of every day activities. While getting buff at the local gym may not be a personal choice, a daily walk is a good start to getting the cardiovascular system in good shape.

However, if the patient responsibly complies, and cholesterol levels are still high, a doctor may then suggest medication. However, a responsible person understands the medicine only aids the necessary changes. Medication is not a ticket to observe unhealthy habits. Controlling high cholesterol is an individual choice.

In summary, more Americans are being diagnosed with high cholesterol. Like hypertension, an elevated cholesterol level can become a silent killer. However, patients often choose to put treatment off until tomorrow, or live in a perpetual state of denial, until cardiovascular disease rules the day. Thankfully, wise people know controlling high cholesterol is a personal choice. Enlightened, a lifestyle change is a small price to pay for the opportunity to live a long and healthy life.
About the Author
Erol Orderland writes about aging and disease from his home in the Netherlands. Visit High Cholesterol for more information and Lower Cholesterol Levels for related news
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