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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Whatever they call it at your health care provider, I'm talking about the advanced cholesterol testing where they calculate particle sizes and types and measure ominous substances like ApoB and Lpa. On various websites they have nicknames for Lpa like "the widow maker" and "heart attack cholesterol". THAT'S a lovely thing for a patient to read!

Why did I have to go and ask for this test? Arrrgh, now I'm driving myself absolutely NUTS waiting for the results. I'm not at all sure my cholesterol warrants this testing (TC: 142, LDL: 91, HDL: 36, TG: 73......of course it's the HDL there that's the concern, especially since I'm a pre-menopausal woman, but I think it's a result of a very low fat vegan diet...and further aggravated by malnutrition due to a recent stomach ailment).

I went to a cardiologist because I was noticing more and more skipped heartbeats, and I expected to get a holter monitor and echocardiogram (did get the latter, which was normal) All my Dr. wants to talk about is CAD, and it seems like it's going to be one test after another (even though I have no risk factors, other than the low HDL). At the time, I thought to myself, well, if I'm going to go through all this testing (next up is stress echo, and who knows where we go from there), let's see if there's a reason for it, and I asked for the VAP, which I had recently read about.

(btw, she has not found anything abnormal yet...all this concern on her part is based on my symptoms, namely, indigestion that gets worse when I exercise)

Didn't realize I'd have to wait forever for the results *sigh*. If I'm lucky, they might be in by next Friday....maybe. With all this time to think, words like "small particle trait" and "pattern B" (is that the bad one?) keep swirling around my head. I feel like I'm waiting for the results of a biopsy or something. I guess my question is, is this test anywhere near as damning as I've built it up in my head to be? If it's bad, how bleak is the picture? Can these traits be reversed?

One thing the nurse said when she was doing the blood draw sticks in my head - she said "and this test never needs to be repeated" - so I left with the impression that whatever it revealed, you were stuck with that for life.
But that seems odd, because presumably they're going to treat whatever abnormalities they may find, such as elevated Lpa? How would they know if the treatment was working?

My other question is, if this test is so valuable, why don't they give it routinely? I had to ask for mine, and I don't know anyone else who's had one. If my doctor thought enough of my CAD risk to give me nitroglycerin pills (which alarmed me), why wouldn't she order a VAP test?

Sorry for rambling - I'm nervous and trying to make sense of all this. Thanks in advance for your input!

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