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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Originally posted by lexi'smom:
My doc. called and told me my overall cholesterol is 303 my bad cholesterol is 220. He said I must go on meds.

Contrary to what your doctor may have implied and what most medical authorities claim, your total cholesterol and LDL (so called "bad" cholesterol) numbers above don't tell you much with regards to heart disease risk. Did your doctor tell you if your LDL was pattern A (not harmful) or pattern B (harmful)? Not likely since LDL gradients are rarely measured. The more important numbers for assessing heart disease risk are your HDL (the so called "good" cholesterol) and your triglycerides, but since no effective medication exists for altering these numbers, they are rarely addressed.

Did your doctor provide you with the HDL and triglyceride numbers? If so, could you post them? If not, you need to get them and/or the lab report. What is desirable from a risk standpoint is a high HDL level and a low triglyceride level with a triglyceride/HDL ratio of less than 2.0 indicating a very low risk of heart disease. A ratio of 5.0 indicates moderate risk. The higher the ratio, the higher the risk.

I have an extremely healthy, low fat diet and exercise constantly.

There is more to having a healthy diet than just keeping your fat intake low. A diet low in fat but high in refined carbohydrates can actually make your cholesterol numbers worse. And some fats like those found in fish (Omega 3 essential fatty acids) can improve your lipid numbers. Even the stearic acid (saturated fat) found in beef can improve your HDL levels.

Nothing brings these numbers down.

Can you be more specific when you say "nothing"? What have you tried? Have you tried cutting out the sugars and starches in your diet and increasing your protein and healthy fat intake? For many people, this type of diet can have a significant positive effect on cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

I don't want to start on medication for the rest of my life.

Nor would I. Especially since they don't fix the root cause of the problem, but just treat the symptom.

What about seeing a cardiologist to see if I have build up in my heart and if not -- so be it.

That is not likely necessary unless you have other risk factors like smoking, diabetes, obesity, and/or uncontrolled high bloodpressure.

Help, I'm confused.

Join the crowd. Our government and various health organizations and the media have contributed to this confusion. When a modern highly processed food product such as pop tarts get an endorsement for being "Heart Healthy", yet natural saturated fat, a substance that humans have been consuming for thousands of years without ill effects, gets blamed for everthing from breast cancer to heart disease (modern diseases), something is wrong.

Do a little research on the net and you might become enlightened regarding cholesterol and heart disease issues. Just use any good search engine such as and search for cholesterol myths for starters. Another good source of info is right here on Healthboards on the High Cholesterol forum. Just read through some of these posts.


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