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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I don't know much about Lipitor or Pravachol, but just want to express my surprise that your doctor would start you on one of those medications if your total cholesterol was only 229 without trying lifestyle modifications first. What were the other numbers, for LDL, HDL and triglycerides? The ratios tell one more about whether or not there is a real problem. Do you have other risk factors?

My doctor started making noises about putting me on a cholesterol-lowering drug in 2001, when my total cholesterol was 275, but I resisted. In 2003, I had it down to 247 with only modest dietary changes (I'll admit I didn't try too hard) and no exercise. My doctor was still talking Lipitor. At that point I chose to get more serious about dietary changes and to start an OTC niacin therapy instead with Enduracin, a sustained-release niacin. With just 500 mg Enduracin (one-third the typical prescribed amount), my TC in June was down to 202, LDL to 115, HDL to 70, and trigs to 83. Though those are pretty good numbers, because of family history my doctor wanted them even better, so I've since increased the Enduracin to 750 mg. (half the typical dose). And it is costing me less than five dollars a month. I know that there are contraindications and some people should not be on Niacin therapy, but it never ceases to amaze me that most doctors automatically think everyone has to start with the expensive prescriptions.

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