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High Cholesterol Message Board


High Cholesterol Board Index


My labs:

12/31/09

Trigs 138 (normal)
Cholesterol 250 (High)
HDL 23 (good cholesterol... should be above 40... way low).
LDL 158 (High. Normal is 1-129.9).
LDl/HDL Ratio 6.32 High (Normal is 0-3.5)
Chol/HDL Radio 8.4 (High, Normal is 0-5).

Now, before you start posting, well, normal/high is such and such, values for lab results vary by hospital.

Follow up:

8/1/09

Trigs 89 (50 point drop), and normal.
Cholesterol 110 (Almost a 100 point drop!)
HDL 20 (still low. It seems most everyone in my family has low HDL).
LdL 83 (75 point drop, way normal).
ldl/hdl ratio 4.42 (still high as my hdl is low)
chol/hdl ratio (6.32 (still high due to hdl).

My physician said the 8.4 Cholesterol/HDL ratio was a death sentence given my family history (both grandfathers died young of heart attacks, two uncles died young of heart attacks, a 1st cousin about my age had a massive MI at this time), my sex (male), my weight ~200lbs at 5'9", and my blood pressure: 140/90, pulse around 80-90.

My new stats are above with my weight now at 165 and still losing, average BP is 114/76, pulse now around 54-60.

This is with DIET only... and yes for many Americans we see it as RADICAL... (75% of the world calls it normal because they do not have access or the means to afford the rich food, and the diseases of kings that we have).

I started an exercise, stretching, relaxation program this week and will repost on my new stats. I'm hoping to further lower my LdL and increase my HDL.

Now... as I stated earlier... My grandfathers and uncles died around 31-35. I am doing this because I am 31 with two daughters.I want to see my grandchildren.

However, I realize that for most, as we have been conditioned to believing that the American diet is normal, that a change to what we actually ate not too long ago as a species, is seen as abnormal (hence most of our diseases are referred to diseases of Kings and Queens, because they did have access to a constant supply of rich foods).

As such, I would recommend Dr. Ornish's book The Spectrum. He has several books out. If you get an earlier one it is likely to be more along the lines of my diet, as his first mission was to establish reversal of heart disease, which he did.

However (again), not everyone has heart disease. There are many biological and genetic factors (and environmental) as to how you respond to what you eat. Thus, his book talks about makings small changes to get to where you want to go. NOT going all radical gung ho.... it is all a choice. If you choose to have Ice Cream and Cake one day, you can choose to eat more healthfully the next. We as a culture assign personas to food; i.e. 'that is a 'bad' food, 'that is a 'good' food.' When in reality food is food. So if we do choose to 'splurge' one day, there is no need for guilt that we usually have from eating a 'bad' food. Its all about choice.

I post here because I hope that others may be able to make changes too. Not necessarily the same changes I have made, but small changes do have an effect. That is the point. You don't have to hit the gym for an hour. Maybe park a little farther from the store. Maybe pass up your normal Whopper for a chicken salad. Maybe switch a steak for a salmon, or maybe instead of 5 steaks a week, 3. If it adds a year to your life... a more healthful year, then it is worth considering.


Lastly, I should note... this was DIET ONLY. NO EXERCISE. Though I am now starting an exercise plan now a year later.

Also, Dr. Ornish's diet plan... more of a informed eater plan... he doesn't shun meat or fish or seafood or oils. This was discouraged in Dr. Esselstyns because oils have been shown (and published in peer reviewed journals) to decrease the elasticity of the veins (arteries too). This slowed movement allows LDL to enter the endothelium more readily, leading to more atherosclerosis. Keep in mind, all of his patients were post bypass patients, for whom they were told Medical Science could do no more. They were told to go home and wait to die. For them, oil could be deadly.

While I stick mostly do Dr. Esselstyn's diet, I do on occasion have chicken (maybe once a month or so)... I do on occasion have a cookie... or Ice Cream... its just not the norm like it was. And my lab values have remained the same.

This is something that if you do, you will have to keep your Dr. Informed of. If you are on BP meds and lose weight and your BP goes lower as a result, it may need adjusted. If you no longer require as much insulin, because there is less of you, your meds may need adjusted. And if you're eating healthier, your lipids may go down, and you may need less. If your doctor doesn't want to hear about it, I suggest you find one that is at least supportive. There are SEVERAL... over 100, peer-reviewed, published articles showing the effects of diet on diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease...

Again, something to consider. small choices.





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