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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Although you are young, your numbers combined with your other risk factors are alarming (especially the low HDL; your recent triglycerides aren't too bad but that old 300+ number sure was). You may not have diabetes and HBP now, but you are on your way.

To suggest that someone with your family history should add fats is dangerous, unless the fats are moderate amounts of monounsaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil. It is true that reducing carbs will help, but only if they are the "white" carbs like sugar and white flour. Eating "good carbs" like whole grain foods, fruits, and veggies is fine. Reduce the animal products in your diet and get as close as possible to a plant based diet. (The extreme ones like Ornish and McDougall are hard to stick to long-term unless you have other motivations for not eating animal products, but they have been proven to reverse heart disease and my opinion is that the closer we can get to eating that way the better. Even if you can only follow their plan a day or two (or a few meals) a week, you will be better off, in my opinion.

Exercise is also important. Lose those 20 lbs. Get a handle on the weight gain as soon as possible...unchecked, you are likely to continue to gain as you get older.

That said, simvastatin is a good statin med to start with at the dosage your doctor has suggested. You'll have to decide for yourself whether you want to start medication at your age, but if you've made an honest attempt at diet and exercise and there has been no significant change, with your family history, especially if there is also heart disease, you may want to consider it. Given your age, you might want to put it off another 3 to 6 mos and really give a stonger diet/exercise/weight loss plan a try.

You might also want to discuss niacin (the B vitamin) with your doctor; it can help the HDL which the statins usually don't do much for. But it does have side effects that some people cannot tolerate.

I'm providing this input as someone who had a doctor who didn't think that numbers somewhat lower than yours - I've never had a total TC reading above 240 in my life, but did have low HDL and high triglycerides - were anything to be concerned about as I was "young" and female. He was wrong; I had to have a stent placed due to a 99% blockage at age 53. Stress, family history, overweight, lack of exercise, and low HDL were my primary risk factors.

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