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Old 04-13-2005, 05:48 AM   #1
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Total cholesterol too low?

I have read that total cholesterol under 180 could be unhealthy.
My cousin is 38 and on 5 mg. Crestor and now her total cholesterol is 140, HDL-47 LDL-78. I don't know what her count was before the Crestor, but I was wondering if she really needed the Crestor in the first place.
I accidentally found her blood tests and looked at them, and I don't know if I want to ask her what her count was before the medication.
I did tell her that there are lawsuits pending because of Crestor and when she told her doctor she didn't want to take it, the doctor said "who are you going to listen to, your cousin or me."
My cousin does not want to take Crestor, but she is afraid to stand up to the doctor.
As I have posted before, I lowered mine from total-300 to total-172 on plant sterols and Policosinal, so I told my cousin now I don't have high cholesterol any longer without drugs, so go tell your doctor that!
Anyway, any comments regarding low total cholesterol would be appreciated!
Thanks!

 
Old 04-13-2005, 12:09 PM   #2
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

I researched my question more thoroughly and found that optimal total cholesterol levels should be around 200. Low total cholesterol levels like 140 may increase the risk of stroke.

I answered my own question, but thought I would post the info for
everyone.

If there are any other risks for low cholesterol levels that anyone has knowledge of, please post them.

Thanks so much!

 
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Old 04-13-2005, 03:20 PM   #3
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacal5
I researched my question more thoroughly and found that optimal total cholesterol levels should be around 200. Low total cholesterol levels like 140 may increase the risk of stroke.
!
It is always helpful to post the source of your research so others may also look it up.

Here is an interesting report on the subject:

Quote:
Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Do Not Increase Risk of Stroke

New York (MedscapeWire) Oct 4 — People with high cholesterol who are receiving lipid-lowering drugs are not at an increased risk of stroke, according to a new study presented at the American Neurological Association's 126th annual meeting in Chicago.

While many people take statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs to decrease their risks of heart attack and stroke, there has been some concern that lowering one's cholesterol too much may actually increase the risk of one particularly lethal form of stroke.

It's known that low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). ICH accounts for only 10%-15% of all strokes, but it causes death in 40%-50% of those who have one.

Until now, no one has shown whether lowering one's cholesterol levels with medication would increase the risk of a brain hemorrhage. "What we found was the exact opposite: Patients [who were on cholesterol-lowering drugs], in fact, had less risk of having the ICH," says lead researcher Daniel Woo, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio.

Woo and colleagues studied the medication history of 190 patients with ICH and compared them with 370 control subjects who did not have this type of stroke.

"Whatever causes a patient to have low cholesterol is probably what gives him the increased risk of hemorrhage," says Woo. "The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs does not give you the increased risk of ICH that someone with normal or low cholesterol has."

Ralph Sacco, MD, a spokesperson for the American Stroke Association, says that the findings are encouraging in that they offer additional support for the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

"There is a small perceived fear in the past that lipid-lowering drugs may increase the risk of a brain hemorrhage," says Sacco, associate chairman of neurology at Columbia University in New York City. "But this study provides reassurance that these drugs are safe and do not raise the risk of any kind of stroke."
Another:

Quote:
Beneficial in Stroke Prevention too?
Recent evidence suggests that HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors may reduce stroke risk despite the lack of a clear association between serum cholesterol levels and stroke.[1] This discrepancy is as yet unexplained. A 31% risk reduction in nonfatal strokes was seen in patients treated with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors compared with patients not receiving this treatment, in a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.[16] Pravastatin reduced fatal and nonfatal strokes by 20 to 30% compared with placebo in 2 clinical trials.[12,13] However, no treatment effect was seen with regard to fatal strokes. This may be because of differences in the pathophysiology of these 2 types of stroke.[1]

Last edited by pcovers; 04-13-2005 at 03:33 PM.

 
Old 04-13-2005, 04:04 PM   #4
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Thanks for the interesting articles, and I will remember to post what I read next time. I read the information below on a few web-sites, but this
one explained it best, in my opinion:



Low Cholesterol Linked to Stroke Risk

High cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for stroke. But new research suggests that low levels of cholesterol in the blood may also increase stroke risk. The study linking low cholesterol to increased stroke risk was presented recently at the 24th American Heart Association Conference on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation which was discussed in last week’s newsletter. About 80% of all strokes are ischemic, and 20% are hemorrhagic.

The researchers compared the cholesterol levels of the stroke patients to 3,700 other people in the Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound who had not had a stroke. They found that as an individual's cholesterol level rose above 230 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL), their risk of ischemic stroke increased. For example, a person with a cholesterol level of 280 mg/dL had twice the risk of ischemic stroke as a person with 230 mg/dL.

But the researchers also found that as cholesterol dropped, the risk of -hemorrhagic stroke increased significantly. A person with a cholesterol level below 180 mg/dL had twice the risk of that type of stroke compared with someone at 230 mg/dL.

About 10% of the population have cholesterol levels below 180 mg/dL. It is not clear if the cholesterol is indeed the cause of the stroke, or related to some other cardiovascular factor that is responsible. High cholesterol levels probably increase blockages.

The theory with low cholesterol is that it is necessary to maintain integrity of the vessel wall. Low levels of cholesterol might lead to "leaky vessels." The Japanese have typically low cholesterol levels and a higher than average rate of hemorrhagic stroke.


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Old 04-13-2005, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Geez, no wonder the public is totally confused, I'm beggining to think even the researchers are confused..

 
Old 04-14-2005, 07:58 AM   #6
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ
Geez, no wonder the public is totally confused, I'm beggining to think even the researchers are confused..
I think the confusion is cleared up in the following quote:

"Whatever causes a patient to have low cholesterol is probably what gives him the increased risk of hemorrhage," says Woo. "The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs does not give you the increased risk of ICH that someone with normal or low cholesterol has."

They propose it is not the statin or the low cholesterol, it is related to the individual that has naturally low cholesterol.

 
Old 04-14-2005, 08:55 AM   #7
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Ok, got it. In other words, folks who have naturally low cholesterol are at risk. I was really tired last nite, so my brain was on hold....

From what U said, anyone who gets low numbers from taking drugs doesn't have that risk. Oh well, let's see what the next study says, as they change their minds every 6 months. I like being informed, but sometimes I think the media tells us too much, and some folks get scared and confused. Like anything, we all have to do our homework. Thanx again...

 
Old 04-14-2005, 01:22 PM   #8
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Let me throw a thought in sideways. Lipoproteins in general have a certain "gluiness" that is useful in cell wall repair and the like. Unfortunaltely the gluinesss leads to conditions like plaque where too much glue gums up the works.

Perhaps the lack of enough of this gluiness predisposes to arterial wall bursting inappropriately. A blood blister on your lip, a bloody nose...or an intercranial hemorrhage.
Cholesterol obviosly serves many useful purposes and I am sure there is a practical limit below which one cannot go safely. Somewhere between zero and 140 presumably.

 
Old 04-14-2005, 08:15 PM   #9
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ
Oh well, let's see what the next study says, as they change their minds every 6 months.
JJ,

I couldn't agree more - medical guidance changes so radically over time, it's hard to know who to believe. Who would have guessed 20 years ago that today they'd be saying Chocolate and Butter are good? Just one tiny example of a huge about face from the 'so called' experts.

And so many drugs are being recalled nowadays, you don't know which are safe to take, and which will eventually be proven to harm you more than help you...


By the way, how are your side-effects from statins doing nowadays? I am about 90% recovered. I have to believe the COQ10 did a lot to help my muscle pain and weakness. I'm now able to jog a lot further and faster than I could a year ago... I have to remember to jog over to the video store and get a copy of "The way we were".....

HubbleRules

 
Old 04-14-2005, 08:47 PM   #10
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Hubble, it is amazing how many times U turn on tv and see another drug being recalled, it is downright scary. I very seldom take a pain pill, but if I do, it is Tylenol. My last dr. got really ticked at me cause I wouldn't go back on a statin, and he told me.."If U knew what was in Tylenol, U wouldn't take it." Like I told him, at least when I take it, it doesn't cause me to have more pains and aches. Needless to say, we didn't hit it off too well...

My side effects seem to be alot better, but I still don't have the get up and get I use to have, but hey, I am 5 yrs. older too. Ya think that might be half the problem?? Compared to what some other folks have experienced, I consider my few aches and pains a mere nuisance, and hope U continue to have good results also.

BTW, we rented Taxi tonight, it was pretty good. Next week The Fockers come to the video store, so I definitely want to see that, as I loved Meet the Parents. Now that the weather has finally turned to spring, U best jog over and pick up that movie. How is your wife doing these days, as I know U said she was having a lil depression? Hope this finds U and the family all well, and your enjoying the decent weather. Take good care, and TTYL...

 
Old 04-14-2005, 09:26 PM   #11
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ
How is your wife doing these days, as I know U said she was having a lil depression?

JJ,

My wife is doing a little better - thanks for asking. She's still on Prozac (which I hate) - but she seems a little less depressed. I think she may be burning-out at work - we've been talking about her leaving work for a while ... She's a nurse... We've also been cutting back a little on running the kids from activity to activity - we both agree it's too much... So, instead of doing 2 sports, they're only doing one (soccer)...

I've been trying the RelaxationResponse method that CarrieLynn posted a few weeks back - and I feel better after I do it. I notice my stress level is markedly reduced... I'm trying to get my wife to do it also...

Regards,

HubbleRules

 
Old 04-15-2005, 07:52 AM   #12
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Hubble, glad to hear she is doing better, and U are also with the tapes. I agree with U about the running around, it can get to U after awhile. Hubby always worked nights, so most of the time I had to work, come home and do dinner, then scoot one of the kids off to something. My dr. told me I was getting burnt out also, and tried me on some pill, but it made me even more nuts, so I tossed em down the toilet. I know, I'm bad, but pills and I just don't get along.

Hope U, the wife and kids have a nice weekend, and hopefully a relaxing one. Life is way too short to be running around like a race car...

Go rent a movie, sit back, and be good to yourselves....

 
Old 04-15-2005, 09:32 AM   #13
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacal5
The theory with low cholesterol is that it is necessary to maintain integrity of the vessel wall. Low levels of cholesterol might lead to "leaky vessels." The Japanese have typically low cholesterol levels and a higher than average rate of hemorrhagic stroke.
The prerequisite to death is birth. We all must die of something, so if coronary heart disease does not lead to our death, then something else will get us.

The Japanese do typically have low total lipid levels....

Guess which society is the longest-living in the world?

Correlation there--perhaps?

It might all be a matter of perspective. Normal to high cholesterol and I netted coronary heart disease and a heart attack by/at age 35. Living to 70 sounds awful good compared to the alternative I almost achieved. Sign me up for low cholesterol

 
Old 04-15-2005, 05:27 PM   #14
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

This topic has me really intrigued- I am familiar with the frequency of hemmorhagic stroke in the Japanese (and how those rates have started declining with the integration of more Western culture/foods).

I know the majority of you folks here are trying to lower your numbers, and from reading so many posts I've learned a lot of things to help my husband lower his (we hope so anyway). What I wonder about are the statistics of low cholesterol in younger people. For example, I'm in my mid 20s and my cholesterol usually reads below 120, is this indicative of an absorption problem? My diet is not low fat either. Do you think this is something I should concern myself with? Thanks

 
Old 04-16-2005, 03:19 AM   #15
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Re: Total cholesterol too low?

Here is another article on low cholesterol from Dr. Weil's web-site, in response to a reader who asked if cholesterol levels could be too low The reader's total cholesterol was 90. I wasn't able to copy and paste the question, but here is the response:


You raise an interesting question. Back in 1994, the American Heart Association Task Force on Cholesterol Issues put out a statement entitled "Very Low Cholesterol and Cholesterol Lowering" which noted that there is an increase in deaths from trauma, cancer, hemorrhagic stroke and respiratory and infectious diseases among those with total cholesterol levels less than 160 mg/dl. However, a substantial portion of those deaths seemed to be due to poor health unrelated to low cholesterol.

Since then, several studies have found a connection between low cholesterol and depression and anxiety. For example, results of a study in the Netherlands published in 2000 showed that middle-aged men with low cholesterol are more likely than other men to have symptoms of severe depression. An earlier study at Duke University Medical Center found that healthy young women with cholesterol levels below 160 mg/dl were more likely to score high on measures of depression and anxiety than women with normal or high cholesterol (the normal range is 180 to 200 mg/dl). None of the women were being treated for depression or anxiety.

One of the Duke researchers, psychologist Edward Suarez says that some evidence suggests that having low cholesterol alters the way brain cells
function and that brain cells with low levels of cholesterol may have fewer than normal receptors for the mood-elevating neurotransmitter serotonin which could lead to depression by preventing the cells from receiving and using this vital brain chemical.

Two more recent studies from the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry in Germany linked low cholesterol with an increased risk of suicide, depression, impulsivity and aggression. Here, researchers speculated that a decreased consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3s may be a risk factor and that increasing intake of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids might lower the risk. By the way, large trials of the statin drugs used to reduce cholesterol showed no increase in suicide among those participating.

These are all intriguing findings, but if you're not feeling depressed or anxious, there's probably no need to worry that your low cholesterol levels will lead you in that direction, and no other evidence that low cholesterol levels are unhealthy. However, as a precaution, you might want to increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from sardines, salmon or other oily fish.

Dr. Andrew Weil

Last edited by jacal5; 04-16-2005 at 03:21 AM. Reason: to delete a word

 
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