The GW Center for Integrative Medicine excels in the treatment of elevated blood lipids (called “hyperlipidemia” or “hypercholesterolemia”) and other cardiovascular risk factors. Having too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the top five risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The others are smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. The role that high blood lipids play in damaging the body’s vascular system is complex and related to a person’s level of inflammation, oxidative stress, and autoimmune dysfunction.
At the Center for Integrative Medicine, our clinical team addresses all of these factors when creating a customized treatment plan for our cardiovascular health patients. We utilize a scientifically validated lipid-lowering diet, exercise, and nutraceutical supplements (nutrients, herbs, vitamins) to decrease total LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), increase HDL (the “good” cholesterol), lower triglycerides, and optimize the type and size of each fraction of the blood lipids. We work collaboratively with specialists and are trained in the use of pharmaceutical drugs in conjunction with natural therapies.
Patients can expect extensive nutritional counseling, specific exercise recommendations, and potentially the use of supplements like niacin, garlic, red yeast rice, fiber, plant sterols, etc. We are successful because we look at the whole picture, treating a patient’s elevated lipids in conjunction with inflammation and any mind-body components of disease. Our goal is to educate patients with high cholesterol and blood lipids about healthy nutrition, exercise, and supplements that are grounded in science and are more than just fads. Our patients understand their lab results because of the time we take to counsel them and they learn how lifestyle affects their risk for cardiovascular disease.
We’ve found that a combination of treatments (diet, exercise, and nutraceutical supplements) can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 50%, increase LDL particle size, decrease total LDL particles, lower triglycerides and VLDL, and increase HDL.1 Our integrative team utilizes conventional lab testing to monitor our patients’ results with the ultimate goal of decreasing all of their cardiovascular risk factors and instilling healthy changes that will last a lifetime.