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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I recently went to the doctor for a regular check up and was shocked to find out that I have high cholesterol. I exercise regularly, have no family history of heart disease, don't smoke and lead a reasonably healthy lifestyle. My numbers were 259 TC, 151 LDL, 96 HDL and 59 Triglycerides. I rarely see people whose numbers are similar to mine with a high LDL, but ALSO a high HDL and low Triglycerides. My doctor gave me 4 months to improve my numbers. I will be going back in December to get checked again. She said that if there was no improvement, I would need drugs. Based on what I have read about ratios, I don't believe that I need drugs even with my current numbers. Am I right about this? :confused:

I'd certainly never consider any statin medication for your great numbers. As they stand, you have a fantastic Tot-C to HDL ratio of 2.7 that puts you in the lowest category of risk. Anything under 3.3 is considered very low risk.

Here is what you are shooting for:

200 or less, Total Cholesterol
150 or less, Triglycerides
120 or less, LDL
40 or higher, HDL

Your total cholesterol is only higher than the 200 threshold because your HDL is so wonderfully high. Most folks probably have an HDL of 40 to 46. So... subtract the astronomically enormous amount of extra HDL from your total cholesterol... which is 50 points, and this would bring your Tot-C down to near perfect range.

In my opinion, you would be foolish to go on any medication for your number... I would give my right arm for your numbers.

Keep your Doctor at bay. You decide what to do for yourself... don't let Doctors dictate to you. I tell mine "no" all the time. He's ok with me saying no.

Best of luck and don't change a thing. :)
[QUOTE=Allison965;3231990]My goal is to be "extra healthy" for 3 months, and then if my LDL goes down, maintain the healthy diet, but give myself just a little more freedom. I love, love, love good food too much to give it all up forever!

You sound like me when I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol.

Everyone is sooooo different when it come this health issue. You may be one of the lucky people where diet and exercise work. I don't think there are many in this category, however.

So... I'm going to say to you what my Doctor said to me when I took your attitude of dealing with high cholesterol:

"What do you think you are going to do the rest of your life... eat food you really don't like... ignore parties and situations because of your cholesterol...? Do you think you are going to exercise dutifully the rest of your life...?

The answer is No! You may be able to keep up the regimine for 6 months to a year, but you will faulter... you will want a piece of pizza... you will want a BBQ burger or BBQ'd ribs... you will want Prime rib at Christmas... if you haven't been previously exercising daily, you will get tired of constant exercise. To think you can give up all the foods you like and exercise for the rest of your life is just plain not realistic.

You are way more likely to succeed in lowering your cholesterol by using a medication."

How's that for a frank talk from my Doctor...? I have to say after 16 years of dealing with high cholesterol, he is right on the money. Wayyyy difficult to eat correctly everyday... unless you are a Munk hidden away on a mountain top. Same with execise if fitness was not already your lifestyle.

Having given you my Doctor's spiel, here is some of my experiences during my 16 years of trying to control my cholesterol.

My experience with low fat diets is that my cholesterol went through the roof. I ate zero animal fat for 9 months.

The problem with low fat is you end up eating a whole lot of carbs. And carbs can really raise your triglycerides and LDL.

I have had much better luck on diets low in carbs. Fat didn't make a difference... and still doesn't. I don't eat too much red meat... I eat mostly chicken... always have. That's another reason my Doctor wanted to put me on meds... I've always eaten fresh food made at home and not too much fat.

Exercise is good for your health regardless... and may help a tad... but in my case it didn't help much. The problem is that cholesterol is made in the liver... and in my case, it appears that nearly 100% of the cholesterol in my blood is produced by my liver, so low fat doesn't help me directly with lowering my cholesterol.

I did Atkins... low carbs... which was great because I lost a lot of weight and my HDL improved 25%. But my overall cholesterol numbers were still unacceptable. But still much better than the low-fat diet I did.

Statins work fairly well, but I did not ever like the side effects. I tried three different statins for a couple years each. One of the statins I was taking was removed from the market because it was killing folks. I won't ever consider statins again as a form of treatment.

I tried a prescription Bile acid sequestrants... but you had to take about 16 pills a day at intervals. After a week of this, I knew I wouldn't continue for the rest of my life with a regimine like this, so I stopped taking them.

The latest med I started about a year ago is Niaspan... it's extended release niacin... which is just vitamin B-3. All my cholesterol numbers dropped about 50% form taking Niaspan, so now I'm a Niaspan advocate. For the first time in 16 years my cholesterol numbers are in the "normal" range.

So... my short answer is, yes, eat and exercise the best you can... but also don't deprive yourself too much... eat some of the foods you have grown to enjoy, too. But I would look further into Niaspan... to see if that would work for you, and if you can afford it or have insurance for it. You take it once a day at bedtime. And it's just vitamin B-3. Not everyone goes without side effects on Niaspan either. Some find the flushing intollerable, others like me, no issues at all. But you will never know until you try it.

Good luck. :)

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