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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I am new here. I think my username, if you go by my current mood, should be ScaredWife.

My husband just got his test results back. They were done non-fasting because it's hard to get him to the doctor to get appropriate checks, so they did it when he was in for the flu. I doubt I'll have trouble getting him to go back now!

He is 31 years old and in good physical shape overall. Probably 10-20 pounds heavier than the ideal, built stocky and does mechanic work so he's physically active at work. He has type 2 diabetes that is currently being controlled by diet (though not sure what the doctor will decide now). He is an alcoholic who has been sober for 2 years now, and when he first quit, he was diagnosed with diabetes and his triglycerides were over 1100. 2000 mg of Niacin a day plus drastically changing his diet (South Beach) cut it way back, but he has only been taking 500 mg of Niacin for the past few months because he wouldn't take time to get into the doctor and we weren't sure if the high dosage, unmonitored, was safe. All of his other test results came back fine including his glucose and A1C except...

His cholesterol levels are as follows:

Total - 100
LDL - 34
HDL - 17
Triglycerides - 244

So you see where the huge concern comes in. We got the results via mail today and called, the doctor said to take 1500 mg of niacin per day and up his cardio exercise, and come back in to see him in person in 1-2 weeks. He seems a lot more casual about it than I currently feel.

Why is his total cholesterol so low and is that dangerous? Using the formula I've found here, it would be even lower than this! What else can we do to lower his triglycerides and raise his HDL? Basically, what does all of this mean and should I be as terrified as I currently am?

Any help, encouragement and explanation greatly appreciated.
Those numbers are a bit low. But if he is feeling OK, there is probably nothing to worry about. Some people just have naturally low serum cholesterol. Those triglycerides are a bit high probably because of the diabetes. Excess blood glucose finds its way to the liver, where it is converted into triglycerides. If he improves his control, the tri's should come down. But it is really not a big deal. ;)
Thank you so much for your kind and reassuring reply. I saw the numbers and panicked because they're all so low (except for the triglycerides which are way too high). He has come a long way, when he was first diagnosed at the end of '05, his triglycerides were 1644 (!!!). He has worked very hard to get them lower. He has been avoiding the doctor for the past 2 years though I have nagged and begged, and I think this has scared him into being diligent about it now.

I have been ignorant about cholesterol numbers until these results, and dug out his old labs. All of the numbers that are low this time were in the same low ballpark a few years ago. So I worry that he has a chronic condition of some sort that his doctor should have been on top of before. You read on the internet and everything about cholesterol that is too low says stuff about liver damage/disease or cancer - not to mention the depression, etc. It's very scary and very hard.

His doctor advised him, through a MA and over the phone, to up his niacin to 1500 mg a day. Our naturopath contradicted that and said niacin is the worst thing he can do if his overall cholesterol is already bottomed out like this, and that he needs to do fish oil. We are both confused. Anyone have any experience with either or both, and which sounds safer? Or with low cholesterol / high triglycerides in general?

We are going back to the doctor on Monday morning to get a more thorough answer and hopefully a liver screen before doing anything but I would dearly like as much input and personal experience as possible.

Thank you again!

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