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trustagain
Member
Member # 16921
Default  Posted: 11:26 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Doctor called with blood results. My cholesterol is 308 - he was going to put me a statin, but then I questioned the results since I was not fasting. I really don't want to be put on meds. He asked why I didn't fast and I told him I didn't know they were planning to take blood in the office. Usually I get a script and go to a lab.

He has given me three months to do what I can do naturally to lower the levels. If they don't reduce by at least 30% he will put me on meds.

Is it possible to lower it that much? I certainly could eat salads, no sweets, etc. for the next three months, but I know I can't do that long term, so I am not going to go crazy and give up everything. I will moderate it and give it a good try, but to only eat veggies, fruit and chicken for the rest of my life is not realistic. I don't like fish (I like seafood) so that is out.

Any other tips to get my numbers down.


WH - 48
BS (me) - 50
Son - 25
Son - 17
Dday #1 - 10/31/07
Dday #2 - 12/23/07
Dday #1,000,000 - 12/23/09 - found out EA was PA
Reconciling or at least trying. We have reconciled through the A, but he still doesn't get it when it comes to p

Posts: 4472 | Registered: Nov 2007
MissMouseMo
Member
Member # 38562
Default  Posted: 11:48 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

If you need to lose weight, that will help.

I have recently read about some good results using cinnamon extract of all things (double blind placebo trials, reputable science out of the Univ. of Shanghai and reported through the U.S. Nat'l Institutes of Health / PubMed) and I have heard anecdotal evidence for coconut oil diet supplements (and in cooking to boost the effect), as well as natural statins like niacin supplements.

Like chicken soup: can't hurt.
(Be careful with the niacin - the "niacin flush" can be uncomfortable or worse. Start slow.)


It is the gut-wrenching, down-to-your-soul honesty that helps so much. ~paraphrased from CancunCrushed
"I edit, therefore I am." -BionicGal

Posts: 369 | Registered: Feb 2013
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 11:50 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)

As unbelievable as it sounds, if you keep your carbs low (30g or less/day), your numbers should get back in line.

Posts: 11771 | Registered: Mar 2008
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

I had one crazy test result like that. I had the blood test in the afternoon, had eaten a high carb lunch with dessert, not typical for me, I avoid sweets in the afternoon. My total cholesterol is typically 200 but my ratio is usually 70/140.

Try eating sensibly for the 3 mos and see what happens. No one wants to take meds but if it reduces your risk of death, you might want to consider it...


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3687 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 12:12 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

It sounds to me like he's looking to see what lifestyle changes you can make to lower them permanently, not just for the next three months to avoid the meds.

I would certainly have the tests retaken during a fast as is recommended, but beyond that, it sounds like if you're unwilling or unable to make the changes yourself, the meds may be the route to go. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

Also, don't forget, some cholesterol issues are heredity.


AJ's MOM


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21075 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 12:25 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

If you were not fasting the it isn't a reliable result period.

Clean up your diet, lean proteins, and minimize sugars and carbs they feed the triglycerides. Also ask what your HDL (good cholesterol) level was, if this is high then it does negate the total somewhat.

Yes to answer you question, you can make your numbers be significantly different in a matter of a few weeks. On the week before your test, do not drink any alcohol, and stay away from sweets completely. If your HDL is good too then you need to ask the Dr if they are taking that into consideration, there are some PCP's out there that dont. Two other easy things to do that can bring your numbers down is to add Niacin (buy the no flush kind), and Fish Oil. These will help to bring down your LDL.

So to summarize, Protiens that are lean, and high quality are good. Carbs, sugars, and alcohol are bad. Fish Oil, and Niacin can make a big difference. Increase your activity as well that will drive up your good cholesterol.

The fact that you weren't fasting, and he still wanted to act on it is a bit concerning to me. Where I come from that is considered a throw away lab, and we do a redraw. Also go to your normal lab for the draw, not the office. The office like to draw them nowadays because they can bill insurance for it.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8738 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
hallelujah
Member
Member # 32283
Default  Posted: 12:37 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

I had a heart attack and bypass surgery at age 37. Scared me. I went on a vegetarian, low fat diet and exercise at least three times a week. I am on the lowest possible dose of statin. With my most recent cholesterol test, the doctor was extremely pleased. There is only a small percentage of effect that you can make with natural strategies as most cholesterol is produced by your liver rather than taken in by diet, but to me, it was serious enough that I was willing to do whatever it took. I followed Dr. Dean Ornish's program very seriously at first, though recently I have not been as religious about it. You need to find what works for you.

Posts: 107 | Registered: May 2011
trustagain
Member
Member # 16921
Default  Posted: 12:50 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Thank you for the replies.

I already eat everything that is low in fat. Low fat cottage cheese, yogurt, salad dressing, sour cream, etc. I don't put cheese on sandwiches - low salt, low fat meats on sandwiches, mustard - no mayo. I try and stay away from fast foods (cheat once in a blue moon).

I could stand to lose 10-20 pounds so that may be one of the problems.

I hate exercising, but I think if I really put effort into it, that may help as well.

How do giving up carbs help? I know the only way to lose weight for me is to give up carbs - I lose weight doing that, but I eat meat, cheese, eggs, butter, blue cheese dressing, etc. All these foods I love so it isn't hard to do it, but to me that is a lot of fat.


WH - 48
BS (me) - 50
Son - 25
Son - 17
Dday #1 - 10/31/07
Dday #2 - 12/23/07
Dday #1,000,000 - 12/23/09 - found out EA was PA
Reconciling or at least trying. We have reconciled through the A, but he still doesn't get it when it comes to p

Posts: 4472 | Registered: Nov 2007
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 1:05 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Check these out for more info on carbs:
http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20100802/low-carb-diets-improve-cholesterol-long-term

http://www.atkins.com/Science/Articles---Library/Cardiovascular-Health/Why-Doing-Atkins-Can-Lower-Your-Cholesterol.aspx

http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/9412

I can personally attest to lowering carbs having a significant impact on cholesterol. At the beginning of the year, my Dr. put me on Lipitor. Well, I really didn't like the diabetes association with that, so I only took it for the first month and went low carb (I had some weight to lose, too). I recently had my tests re-done and the results came with a note from the Dr. saying that all of my results were VERY good. Blood sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and everything else are great!

[This message edited by ThoughtIKnewYa at 1:11 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 11771 | Registered: Mar 2008
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 1:21 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Watch out for those low fat items like salad dressing. They often contain a lot of sugar to make them taste better.

As far as exercise, try to increase your walking. Take a walk at lunch and/or after dinner. Even that small change can make a difference.

I have very low HDL (the good kind) although my overall numbers look good. The only things that have helped are NiaSpan (prescription strength niacin), Fish oil pills, and exercise.


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17695 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

You have to watch the "Low Fat" trap. Carbs feed your cholestserol levels. Many many things that are low fat have increased sugars and carbs.
It's ok to eat good proteins, this includes limited amounts of red meats, and eggs. Many americans have been suckered into the belief of the "Low Fat" miracle of the 90's. But what we have really truly found is a good balance of things, and eliminating "High Fructose Corn Syrup" from your diet is much more effective than anything when it comes to dietary changes impacting our cholesterol levels.

Like I said if you were my patient and that level came back on a NonFasting Lab we would throw it out, and start over. Alcohol is a big driver of Triglycerides too. Don't forget that tidbit. I did on some labs a few years ago, and my Tri's were significantly elevated. Redid them 6 months later, with no other changes, just no booze 48 hours before and they were back down to their low normal range.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8738 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Also, when you have time, watch this (Fathead):
http://www.hulu.com/watch/196879

It explains how carbs raise cholesterol and a host of other things.


Posts: 11771 | Registered: Mar 2008
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

eliminating "High Fructose Corn Syrup" from your diet is much more effective than anything when it comes to dietary changes impacting our cholesterol levels.
That stuff is poison! And it's in almost everything that's processed!

Some people are going to find this hard to believe, but I KNOW I was taught the wrong things about healthy diet because the diet that had the most devastating and lasting impact on my body??... A low-fat vegetarian diet!! Yep! I gained weight, felt like crap, and developed PCOS and some autoimmune stuff, too! That was back in my 20s and I've toyed with low-carb off and on since my early thirties, but I ALWAYS feel better when I'm low carb. I'm at the point where low carb is more automatic for me now. I don't have to think about it too much because I KNOW how that stuff makes me feel. The Fathead movie really highlights the 'whys' of all of that, though. It makes it very easy to understand.


Posts: 11771 | Registered: Mar 2008
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 4:34 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Hmmmm. I read that "no flush" niacin hasn't proven to be effective. I'd love to hear conflicting information: my fwh needs to take it but flushes horribly...


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3687 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
trustagain
Member
Member # 16921
Default  Posted: 5:15 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

Also, when you have time, watch this (Fathead):
http://www.hulu.com/watch/196879

I just finished watching this - very interesting. I am going to try and cut down on the carbs and exercise a bit more. By cutting out carbs, do I really need to give up all fruit? I know they are carbs, but they seem so natural.

High Cholesterol may just be my future - heart disease is in my family, but I really want to control it as best I can without meds. If meds are in my future then I will have to live with that.

I also ran out and got vitamins. I have never taken them, but I figured they won't hurt.


WH - 48
BS (me) - 50
Son - 25
Son - 17
Dday #1 - 10/31/07
Dday #2 - 12/23/07
Dday #1,000,000 - 12/23/09 - found out EA was PA
Reconciling or at least trying. We have reconciled through the A, but he still doesn't get it when it comes to p

Posts: 4472 | Registered: Nov 2007
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 5:43 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

I read that "no flush" niacin hasn't proven to be effective

I don't know about the no-flush niacin. Niaspan is prescription and I think is also time released (not sure about that part). It does cause flushing which can be awful. But I have found that I have built up a tolerance to the flushing. For me there is no rhyme or reason to when I flush or even the time frame after I take the pills. I have tried all of the recommendations to reduce flushing put out by the drug company and none of them made any difference. When I flush I have grin and bear it and wait it out. I am also on the highest does that is typically prescribed.

I can attest that for me it has helped. HDL is supposed to be above 40 and ideally above 60. Mine was 17. It stayed stuck at 17 until I started taking Niaspan. I hated it at first because of the flushing but now I just keep telling myself that it is helping so just grin and bear it. My level is still low but the combo of Niaspan and fish oil has raised my level to 26. I also try to exercise and I am sure if I did cardio for an hour every day then it would help. But I do not have the time or inclination to do an hour of exercise a day.


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17695 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 5:50 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)

I also ran out and got vitamins. I have never taken them, but I figured they won't hurt.
They will if you take them on an empty stomach, so be sure to eat first.

As far as fruit is concerned, some of it is better than others. If you're interested in trying to give low carb a go, go to the Atkins website and have a look at all (and there's a LOT) of their info on how it works... I think it's called the science behind Atkins? Anyway, take a look at that. A lot of people get confused and think Atkins is only the first, strictest stage of the diet, but really you start out strict and add carbs back in until you reach a comfortable level.

Fruit is something I try not to do too much because it raises my blood sugar and makes me feel yucky. I eat a boatload of veggies, though.


Posts: 11771 | Registered: Mar 2008
Junebug0525
Member
Member # 29142
Default  Posted: 12:10 AM, December 5th (Thursday)

My cholesterol used to be around 220. At the time I was around 28 or so, I think and weighed roughly 120lbs. I began the Paleo diet in July of 2011. Since then (I've fallen off the wagon a couple times around the holidays since my mother can't seem to understand the whole "Don't send cookies" bit) my cholesterol is around 178, good chol is up, bad is down, and my blood pressure went from around 135/?? to 117/75ish. I know that you don't want to do just meat and veggies, but if you get a couple Paleo cookbooks, you'll see that there are SOOOOO many options, including breads (made with almond or coconut flour). Over time your tastes will change and you will find yourself craving the healthy stuff rather than the sugar/carb filled crap that is sold in stores.

Oh, and fat is actually NOT bad for you. The low-fat stuff is. It's got a lot of added crap to it to make it taste good. Go the full fat route and cut down on the carbs. Sugars especially. Sweet potatoes, veggies, etc are fine for carb intake. Knock out the breads.

The Paleo Solution is a good book to help you understand how food interacts with your body and why things are bad for it, and Everyday Paleo is a GREAT cookbook for starting out. Sarah Fragoso has made several follow-ups, including an Italian version.

[This message edited by Junebug0525 at 12:15 AM, December 5th (Thursday)]


Me: BS
Him: WXH DDay-11/22/2009~ D~ 10/25/10
OWhore: Co-worker (7 years younger)
"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." AND THEY DID!!!

Posts: 1141 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: Maryland
brooke4
Member
Member # 13581
Default  Posted: 3:07 AM, December 5th (Thursday)


There is a lot of new research pointing to sugar/refined carbs as being a much bigger factor in heart disease than saturated fat. It's definitely worth doing some reading.

If you have a good doctor, it's worth asking him to not only re-run the test when you're fasting, but if that comes back high, to do some further testing. It's very simple for them to run a couple of scans - heart calcification and carotid artery - to see whether cholesterol is actually building up, or whether you just have high blood levels. There is also more detailed blood testing that they can do that looks at the shape and size of the cholesterol particles--my understanding is that certain types are problematic and certain types aren't.

For what it's worth, two of my doctors (both women in their late 40s) have told me that they don't have their cholesterol checked at all.

That said, I have found my levels have gone from ok to excellent on the 5-2 diet plan, and that's without really paying any attention to what I eat on the non-fasting days. There's an interesting BBC show about it:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xvdbtt_eat-fast-live-longer-hd_shortfilms


Me: BS, 40, Him: WS 41
Married: 15 years
3 children
D-Day: 10/2005

Posts: 1509 | Registered: Feb 2007
itainteasy
Member
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, December 5th (Thursday)

I had very high triglycerides. I started alternating between oatmeal (with no sugar, and made with skim milk), and cheerios (also, no sugar, skim milk) for breakfast. I reduced my triglycerides by 200 pts.

My total cholesterol is still high, but not high enough that my doctor wants to start me on medication for it. (we're talking 20 pts over the "high" limit)

I work as phlebotomist for a doctor's office and when my patients ask me what they are allowed to have during a fast I tell them "water." No coffee, tea, energy drinks, gatorade, sodas, even the sugar free kinds. NONE.

I also recommend if a cholesterol check is ordered, they stay away from chocolate and alcohol for a week. Those pump the trigs up high.

I don't understand why they even drew your blood, if you weren't fasting. Whether my office can bill insurance or not for the draws, if the patient isn't fasting for fast recommended testing, they don't get drawn. Patient care comes before money in my book. If they didn't ask you if you were fasting, that's strike two. I ask people if they are fasting before EVERY draw I perform, whether fasting is indicated or not. I work 7am-330 pm, and while it's not common for people to fast after 1200--I still ask. The performing lab's system likes to know if the samples are fast or non, so I give them the info.

I'm sorry you have to go through a redraw. Your doctor's staff should have known better.


Posts: 3423 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
trustagain
Member
Member # 16921
Default  Posted: 9:27 AM, December 5th (Thursday)

Today is the first day of the "new" me. I read a lot last night and I thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

At first I told myself that I was going to start after the holidays. That would give me two months before my next blood test, but then I thought why not start now and just know that I will fall off the wagon now and then.

So last night I hard boiled some eggs, made some tuna and packed my lunch for today. I brought eggs (had those for breakfast), salad and tuna I will have for lunch, brought some pickles to snack on and some cottage cheese. Took out chicken for dinner.

I love no carb foods with the exception of my sweet tooth - that will be the tough one especially since I started my Christmas cookies over the weekend and they are sitting there all pretty and begging to be eaten. So I made a pack with myself, until December 26th if I am really really craving a sweet I will eat one cookie. I think if in my mind I know I will allow myself that then I will be good. Actually that is how I quit smoking. I cut down gradually - I allowed myself 10 cigs a day - then 5, then 3, then 1. By the time I got to 1 cig a day I planned carefully when I wanted it. Then one day I forgot to even have my one and that was the end of that. So I am going to do the same with sweets. Everything else I eat will be low/no carb.

Then on December 26th, I will cut the sweets out all together. If my results don't show a significant change then I know it is just my blood and there is not much I can do about it.


WH - 48
BS (me) - 50
Son - 25
Son - 17
Dday #1 - 10/31/07
Dday #2 - 12/23/07
Dday #1,000,000 - 12/23/09 - found out EA was PA
Reconciling or at least trying. We have reconciled through the A, but he still doesn't get it when it comes to p

Posts: 4472 | Registered: Nov 2007
purplejacket4
Member
Member # 34262
Default  Posted: 7:35 PM, December 5th (Thursday)

I'm sorry. I missed this post earlier. Did you get the numbers for your LDL, HDL and triglycerides?

We don't care about total cholesterol anymore. We just use it now in calculations. [total cholesterol - HDL - triglyceride/5 = LDL]

You want triglycerides of under 150.
You want LDL (bad cholesterol) under 130 (unless you already have a medical problem then we want it under 100)
We want HDL (good cholesterol) over 40 in a woman; 50 in a male.

Generally a fasting versus non fasting LDL and HDL aren't that different but the triglycerides can be off by up to 30%.


Me: BS 45
Her: fWS 48 (same sex partner)
Together: 18 years now (both MDs)
OW: meh so what 40s PhD
DD1: 10/30/11EA; DD2: 11/10/11 Had ONS; TT until 12/26/11; broke NC 6/12; NC again 7/12; R-ish

Posts: 2256 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: Great Southwest
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 7:48 PM, December 5th (Thursday)

Awesome!!

Atkins offers some meal replacements and snack bars that really help H with cravings- and they're not bad!


Posts: 11771 | Registered: Mar 2008
Grace and Flowers
Member
Member # 34431
Default  Posted: 11:58 PM, December 5th (Thursday)

A few years ago my total cholesterol was 315. My "good" cholesterol numbers were great and my "bad" cholesterol numbers were not terrible....it was the total number that was the real issue.

I went and took a two month free "heart healthy" course at a local hospital. It focused on eating better and exercising more. Which I did. They really promoted getting enough of something called "plant stanols" in the diet. At the time, someone made a smoothie with plant stanols, and you got enough of it in one smoothie a day. They stopped selling those....I have to believe it's because pharmaceutical companies didn't like it.

Anyways, in the two months, I only lost two pounds, but I was in better shape...went down two sizes, felt better. Most importantly, with just eating better (NOT dieting!) and exercise, my total cholesterol went down below 200.

I now take an OTC product called "Cholest-Off" which has plant stanols. My dr did have me try statins back then, but the muscle aches just killed me, and I won't go on them again.

So, try not to stress about the minutae of "dieting"....just eat better...lots of fruits and vegs, and get some exercise in.

I know everyone is different, but I was really shocked that it worked so well for me.

And, just for statistical info, I was in my mid-forties at the time...now enjoying fabulous 50!


I'm Happy, not Sad!

Posts: 1177 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: US
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 2:03 PM, December 6th (Friday)

Please know that a little of the bad stuff won't hurt you. To be absolute can make It very difficult. Also use caution with eggs they are one thing that can drive up LDLs.

Did you ever find out your HDL?

Have you added fish oil and Niacin?


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8738 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
Topic Posts: 25