If your cholesterol is high, your doctor may, along with other healthy lifestyle changes, recommend a medication to help get your cholesterol down to healthier levels. But did you know that only half of us actually take our cholesterol medications as prescribed?
One of the biggest reasons so many people don't take their cholesterol medication as prescribed is that high cholesterol is a silent condition – it has no noticeable symptoms.
It's easy to lose your motivation when you cannot see or feel your medication making a difference. But it is important to manage your cholesterol levels because effective treatment saves lives. It all starts with making healthy lifestyle choices, taking time for exercise, and remembering to take your medication every day.
How do I improve my cholesterol health?
You can improve your cholesterol levels through these healthy habits:
- know your levels
- shop smart in the grocery store
- stop smoking
- get physical
- stay on your medication
How do I monitor my cholesterol levels?
Ask your doctor for regular blood tests to measure your cholesterol levels, and talk to your doctor about how well you are doing. This will help track your progress towards reaching your treatment goals. It will also help motivate you to take your medication.
Why should I stay on my medication?
Because you cannot feel your cholesterol medication is lowering your cholesterol, it is important to understand how it is helping and to track your progress. Your medication is helping to lower your cholesterol to healthier levels.
You know that high cholesterol can lead to serious complications, such as strokes, heart attacks, circulation problems, and heart disease. Remind yourself that if you stop your medication, you will no longer be protected from these serious health problems.
Many people stop their medication because they can't feel it working. But there are other reasons why people may not take their cholesterol medication, such as forgetting to take it, or other factors. Below you will find useful tips to help you make changes and stick to them. Once you start to see results you'll be motivated to keep it up!
Tips for remembering to take your medication
Here are some tips that have helped other people remember to take their medication every day:
- Use a pill organizer that has a "drawer" for each day of the week.
- Place a reminder sticker near something you do every day, such as brushing your teeth or shaving (but don't store medications in the bathroom – the humidity may damage the tablets).
- Set a reminder on your smart phone, cell phone, or an alarm clock.
- If you're taking multiple medications, ask your pharmacist whether the pharmacy provides a service where they repackage your medication into blister packs.
- Write a note in your personal diary or on a calendar.
- Put the vial of medication near the activity you will be doing when it's time to take your medication, such as near the bed, coffee pot, etc.
Talk to your pharmacist about your medication. They can explain more about medications and their benefits.
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