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Hyperlipoproteinemia: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is the Hyperlipoproteinemia? How is the Hyperlipoproteinemia treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the Hyperlipoproteinemia?

Hyperlipoproteinemia, also known as hyperlipidemia basically refers to high levels of cholesterol in the blood. In this condition the lipids and the lipoproteins in the blood are all elevated. If the condition goes unchecked it can cause both kidney disease and heart disease. The disease occurs due to the inability of the triglycerides and cholesterol and other lipids and lipoproteins to break down. Hyperlipoproteinemia can be of two types depending upon the underlying cause: Primary and secondary hyperlipoproteinemia. Primary hyperlipoproteinemia is mainly caused due to genetic reasons. It happens due to mutation in the lipoproteins. Secondary hyperlipoproteinemia is caused due to some other health condition like diabetes, hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, use of oral contraceptives and steroids and several other lifestyle issues. Hyperlipoproteinemia causes the lipid capsules to increase their concentration in the blood which deposit on the inner walls of the blood vessels. Symptoms of hyperlipoproteinemia are abdominal pain, pancreatitis, xanthomas- the yellow crusty lipid deposits on the skin, enlarged spleen, cardiac arrest and stroke. The condition is diagnosed by carrying out a blood test to measure the levels of thyroid, proteins, glucose etc. Treatment of hyperlipoproteinemia mainly involves medication and changes in lifestyle. The disease cannot be treated completely and the condition usually remains throughout the life. Medications for hyperlipoproteinemia are required for life long along with healthy living.

How is the Hyperlipoproteinemia treatment done?

Treatment is a must for hyperlipoprotenemia once symptoms are evident. Although the symptoms do not occur as soon as the cholesterol levels go up but are visible after a very long time. Excess cholesterol and triglycerides in blood causes the blood vessels to become narrow thereby blocking proper blood flow. This causes a build-up of pressure in the blood vessels. It can result in blood clot formation also, thereby causing heart attack and can also cause stroke if the pressure affects the brain. Diagnosis is done by a lipoprotein panel blood test that shows the level of LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol, the HDL or the good cholesterol, the triglycerides and total cholesterol. Treatment for hyperlipoproteinemia mainly involves lifestyle changes and a few important medications. Statins are drugs that are used to stop the liver from making cholesterol. So, the medications prescribed are atorvastatin, lovastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin. PCSK9 inhibitor is another kind of medication that is used for reducing the level of LDL. The lifestyle changes that must be made when diagnosed with hyperlipoproteinemia are following a strict low fat diet that should include lots of vegetables, fibre, whole grains, legumes, fish and nuts and oil that have monounsaturated fats. Foods rich in carbohydrate, fast foods and oily foods must be avoided. Weight must be kept under check. For that regular exercise is a must. One must give up smoking if that had been an important part of the lifestyle.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any person, who is diagnosed with high cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, will be eligible for the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If someone is not diagnosed with high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, he/she will not be eligible for the treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects of these medications are normally uncommon but may occur sometimes like joint pain and backache, headache, stomach ache, gas and bloating of stomach, upset stomach, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, nausea, diarrhoea, insomnia and weakness.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Hyperlipoproteinemia does not have a single phase of treatment and the patient cannot expect to get rid of the condition for his/her entire life. so, along with medication the treatment also includes maintenance of healthy lifestyle like giving up smoking and alcohol consumption, exercising regularly and eating healthy.

How long does it take to recover?

The condition stays for the entire life and cannot be treated completely. the symptoms can be managed and the cholesterol level in the blood can be kept under/ /c/ontrol with the help of medications and a healthy lifestyle.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of treating hyperlipoproteinemia in India may range from Rs. 500 to Rs. 2,000 or more irrespective of gender or age.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No, the results of the treatment cannot be considered permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternatives of treatment is only maintaining healthy lifestyle and avoiding foods that are rich in saturated fats or unhealthy cholesterol or foods that might increase the stress level like vegetable oils, packaged and processed foods, too much sugar and sweetened foods and drinks, trans fats, conventional dairy foods like cheese, butter, margarine or full cream milk or cream, too much caffeine and alcohol. Instead of having these foods one should consider having healthy foods like omega-3 fatty acids present in fish, olive oil, garlic and onion, apple cider vinegar, red yeast rice, plenty of fruits and vegetables which are rich in fibre. Yogasanas are also very helpful in treating hyperlipoproteinemia.

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Written By
Diploma in Cardiology
General Physician
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