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High Cholesterol Message Board


High Cholesterol Board Index


[QUOTE=breadfan]Hello all!
I am 31 years old, 5'9" and 185 pounds. My doctor just told me that I have high cholesterol and it runs in my family. Here are my numbers:

LDL-159
HDL-36
Trig-316
Total 258

My doctor started me on Lipitor even though I didn't want to use any drugs. How bad are my numbers? Any help would be great.[/QUOTE]A total cholesterol of 258 wouldn't be that big of a deal except for your low HDL level and high triglyceride level.

Let us look at the ratios and recommendations to see where you stand.

Total Cholesterol/HDL = 258/36 = 7.2. Desirable is <4.0
LDL/HDL = 159/36 = 4.4* Desirable <3.0 (See note * on LDL)
Triglycerides/HDL = 316/36 = 8.8 Desirable <3.0

From the above you can see that all of your lipid ratios are out of whack because of your low HDL and high triglycerides.

To get that HDL up and those triglycerides down, you will likely need to shift your diet around. A high carbohydrate diet, especially one that is high in refined carbohydrates (sugars and white wheat flour products) tends to result in the numbers like you have posted. A diet higher in protein and natural fats and lower in carbohydrates in most cases will result in a favorable shift in your lipid ratios by raising HDL levels and lowering triglycerides.

Can I presume that you like to eat bread from the user ID that you have chosen? If so, you might have to cut back on that and at least eat more healthy higher fiber/lower starch types of bread and much less of the white flour type of bread. Is it also possible that your family eats similar to you which may explain why the whole family has elevated cholesterol levels?

Low HDL and high triglycerides is often associated with Type II diabetes / impaired glucose tolerance / Metabolic Syndrome X (all are related by insulin resistance and high fasting insulin levels). Was your bloodsugar (glucose) checked during that blood draw and if so, what was the number? Does Type II diabetes run in your family?

* Note, your LDL is likely higher than 159 since the number on your lab report was calculated from the following formula: LDL = TC - HDL - Tri/5. The "Tri/5" is used to estimate your VLDL or Very Low Density Lipoprotein and your Total Cholesterol is the sum of the HDL, the LDL, and VLDL. The problem with this equation is that it only works somewhat accurately when triglycerides are in the normal range of ~100 to ~200. Triglyceride levels higher than that tend to result in an overestimation of VLDL which results in a lower calculated LDL. And most labs won't even list your LDL # if your triglycerides are >400 since the equation is so innaccurate at those levels. My guess is that your LDL would be closer to 180 if it was actually measured and it would likely be the more harmful LDL pattern B (small dense easily oxidized form) because of your high triglycerides.





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