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Cholesterol: A Patient Conversation Essay

Hello Mr. Brown, My name is Jane and I am your PA today otherwise known as a Physician’s Assistant. The doctor had ordered some test for you and I am going to go over your results and explain to you what each of them mean. If you have any questions please feel free to stop me at any time. First we will start off with your Triglyceride level and it was 145 mg/dl. Your Triglycerides is fat in the blood and they are used to provide energy to your body and they are the main form of fat in your body (WebMD, 2014). Your levels are considered desirable meaning they are not very high, however we would like to see them a little lower. The second test that was given was to check your cholesterol and your levels were 210 mg/dl and that is considered borderline high. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver and other cells. Mr. Brown if your Cholesterol is too high and it is it can cause heart problems (WebMD, 2014). The last set of test was to check your LDL and HDL levels. LDL or Low density lipoproteins is known as bad cholesterol because it can cause plaque buildup on the walls of arteries and the more LDL you have in your blood then the great the risk of heart disease.

Your LDL levels were 160 mg/dl and that is considered high, a more normal range should be below 130 mg/dl. HDL or High density lipoproteins are known as good cholesterol and it helps the body get rid of LDL. Your HDL levels were 33 mg/dl and that is considered to be poor. If your HDL levels are low then your risk for heart disease goes up (WebMD, 2014). Mr. Brown there are many factors that play a role for having high cholesterol and some of those you can control and others you can’t. For example, the ones you can’t control are your genetics or family history. The ones that are within your control are inactivity, obesity, and an un-healthy diet. There are many treatments for reducing your high cholesterol like changing your diet or medication. I would like to suggest that you change your lifestyle before you are put on regular medication to control your cholesterol. I know this is something that is of no interest to you because you stated you didn’t want to change your lifestyle, however, even if you are prescribed medications you will still have to make a change to the way you are currently living.

Let me tell you the side effects of the medication used to treat high cholesterol. I just want to let you know that tolerance of medications vary from person to person. “The common side effects are muscle pains, stomach pain, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea” (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Mr. Brown I am sure you are wondering if the benefits of lowering your cholesterol outweighs the risk of taking medication and yes they do. Statins are known as a group of drugs that inhibits the synthesis of cholesterol and promotes the production of LDL and decreases the levels of HDL. These pills may cause a small increase in weight gain and blood sugar which can also increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, however, they will also prevent you from having a heart attack and stroke so in the long run you would be better off to make simple lifestyle changes and take medication. If you choose not to take medication to help control your cholesterol then there are some other options we can look at. To start off you could change your diet because many foods such as eggs, beef, pork, and cheese will raise your cholesterol. You could try to maintain your weight by exercising more, don’t miss annual physicals with your physician, and quit smoking (Health Media Ventures, 2014).

Mr. Brown I can reassure you that we can help you get your cholesterol under control. There are many things as I have said that can be done to help lower your cholesterol and help keep it lowered. I know this is a lot to take in at once but I’m not only here as your PA but also as a friend. If you would like additional information then I can send papers home with you so you can get a better understanding of what is going on and how you can control it. There are many options out there for you but you have to take the first step towards making this change. All I can do is be here for you and share my knowledge with you. I don’t want you to think that I am trying to drastically change your life style or make you do so. There are simple things that can be done to help lower your cholesterol and prevent you from someday having a heart attack. So here are some things I recommend you to do in order to lower your cholesterol eat more soluble fiber and that is found in foods like beans, fruits, oatmeal, and vegetables. Eat less fat and fewer foods like meats and dairy products, exercise at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week, and lose weight.

Mr. Brown if I were you I would try these simple changes to begin with and if doesn’t seem like those changes are working then we can try medications to help lower your cholesterol, but like I said before you will still have to interpret exercise and eating healthy into your daily diet. I know it will be hard at first but with the help of family, friends, and health care providers I know you can do this. I want to be honest with you Mr. Brown, it is important that you make these necessary lifestyle changes in order to live a longer healthier life. I’m not sure if you have a wife, children, or grandchildren but wouldn’t they be worth it to make these few changes in your life? The fact is if you don’t make these necessary changes then you don’t have any other options and you are putting yourself at risk for a heart attack or possibly a stroke, then your wife will be left without a husband, your children without a father, and grandchildren without a papaw. So Mr. Brown you need to ask your self is it worth it?


WebMD. (2014). Cholesterol Basics: Types, Risk Factors, Levels, and Treatment. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/guide/cholesterol-basicsWebMD. (2014). Triglycerides and Lowering Triglyceride Levels. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/lowering-triglyceride-levelsMayo Clinic. (2014). High cholesterol Treatments and drugs – Diseases and Conditions – Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/basics/treatment/con-20020865 Health Media Ventures. (2014). Causes of High Cholesterol – Health.com. Retrieved from http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306953,00.html

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