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Old 06-05-2006, 07:23 AM   #1
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Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

Recently had bloodwork done and my total cholesterol was 118 and HDL 31. I know the HDL is low and should be above 40-50. I have been trying to work on that. But, my LDL has gone down progressively over the years. In 2001 it was 183 - in 2003 it was 155, in 2005 it was 144, now it is 118. I have lost about 60 lbs during this time period. Can watching the way I eat bring my cholesterol down that much?? I do not take any cholesterol lowering meds. I read that anything under 160 is just as bad as having high cholesterol. Is this true? I have been using flaxseed, eating healthy heart oatmeal every morning for breakfast, and ocasional cinnamon on my apples. Thanks.

 
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

A cholesterol level of 118 is quite low. And you say it has been dropping progressively over the years? Hmm, if it was me I'd be a little concerned about that. I don't know if you're in any kind of danger with such a low level. What does your doctor have to say?
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:35 AM   #3
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

jj9500,

Unplanned weight loss and low cholesterol should always be checked out by a doctor, particularly if you are a Senior Citizen.
.

 
Old 06-07-2006, 06:23 AM   #4
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

jj,

I wouldn't worry about the remarkable lowering you've been able to achieve. Although the HDL is low, I doubt that it is of much concern with so litttle other blood fats.

As far as "under 160 is as bad as high cholesterol." No that is not true. A number so low only looks out of the ordinary in comparison to the wretchedly high levels accepted as "normal" by overfed societies.

A few causes of low-low cholesterol should be though about: anorexia, starvation, and end stage organ disease, like dying of cancer. These will cause low levels of cholesterol primarily because of a dying liver.

 
Old 06-07-2006, 07:13 AM   #5
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

Lenin -
I certainly do not have anorexia for I am a 220 lbs age 42. Last year I had many tests done for a constant burning in my stomach that has gone away since I stopped taking my Protonix (PPI med for GERD). At that time during a catscan of the abdomen they found leisons on my liver - had an MRI done because of it and it turned out to be begnin hemangiomas - GI doc said nothing to worry about and a non issue. I have REALLY been watching what I am eating - trying to keep my GERD under control and lose some weight. Alot of oatmeal, fruits and vegetables tons of water and hardly any red meat and exercising more. I'm just wondering if this lifestyle change has brought my numbers down this low? My doc that ordered the test is on vacation so I am waiting to hear back from her on this. I called and her nurse gave me the numbers. I had the tests done due to a family history of coronary artery disease (mom and grandpa) just to play things safe and be preventative. Doc ordered cholesterol tests, homocystine test (which came out normal the nurse said), and a C Reactive Protein tests (which the nurse said came back higher than normal and the doc would call me to discuss all test results when she returned from vacation). Don't know much about the C Reactive Protein test and what a higher than normal reading indicates.... so I guess I will jsut wait to see what she says. In the meantime, I guess I should lay off the foods that lower my cholesterol.... Thanks.

 
Old 06-08-2006, 06:35 PM   #6
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
jj,

I wouldn't worry about the remarkable lowering you've been able to achieve. Although the HDL is low, I doubt that it is of much concern with so litttle other blood fats.
Well, I certainly HOPE there's nothing to worry about. However, with a TC of only 118 (a number which has been falling rather dramatically), it appears to me to be more worrisome than remarkable. Of course, that's just my opinion. You'll have to admit that it is rather unusual to see numbers drop so precipitously low with no drug intervention.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:33 PM   #7
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

To increase HDL, you might consider including more eggs in your diet. Though they also increase LDL, yours are so low that it wouldn't be a problem. They provide a lot of good nutrition for relatively few calories, an ideal combination for someone with a lipid profile like yours who is trying to lose weight. If I had a lipid profile like you, I'd be eating three eggs a day. (Can you tell that I like eggs? LOL!)

A glass or two of red wine a day would also increase HDL, but since that wouldn't be providing as much in the way of added nutrients, it would probably be a poorer expenditure of your alloted calories.

 
Old 06-08-2006, 08:40 PM   #8
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uff-Da!
To increase HDL, you might consider including more eggs in your diet. Though they also increase LDL, yours are so low that it wouldn't be a problem.
Yeah, everything is low... very low, especially the TC (118). I just don't get it. That number (118) seems so abnormal. Maybe it's a problem, and maybe it's not. But if it was me, I'd certainly want to find out just why that number is suddenly so low. I'm not so sure that I'd feel all that comfortable with a TC of only 118.
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:27 AM   #9
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

JJ,

All things considered, my best guess is the test was a fluke and should be redone. Even in light of the 155>144, the 118 seems way out of the ordinary.
These lab errors aren't uncommon.
Get a retest when your doctor comes back.

Getting that hemangioma Dx is good news isn't it? My friend had a tennis-ball sized legion on his liver and his GP was recommending HOSPICE. Liver specialist found a large hemangioma when he was cut open (for something else.)

Last edited by Lenin; 06-10-2006 at 06:29 AM.

 
Old 06-12-2006, 06:01 AM   #10
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

I am in the same situation, I had some Kidney problems, I have a habit of dehydrating myself in the winter, the Dr. had me drink 8 glass' of water a day, not easy in the winter, my cholesterol is now 101 and the numbers aren't perfect. I eat no cholesterol at all no red meat, eggs anything. I was told was starving myself even being overweight. I was told to eat 3-6 eggs per week, and red meat 2-3 times per week, and fish 2-3 per week. This is the second time this has happened since my attact 5 years ago.
Good luck nice to compare experiences.

 
Old 06-13-2006, 02:19 PM   #11
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Re: Is LOW cholesterol a problem?

Sometimes there has been a linkage between dropping cholesterol and cancer...but...there can be many reasons.

I once had a cholesterol near 300, then I had an MI, changed the diet to low fat, and bottomed out around a TC of 94 mg/dL (something like 51 LDL, 44 HDL). Since then (2002), it has gone up to the 130-150 range. That is only because I exercise > 1 hr per day. The end result is that the LDL and HDL do rise/fall together, in approximately the same ratio provided I keep my diet ~constant.

If you have changed your diet recently, its probably nothing to worry about. If you haven't changed much in your lifestyle, certainly get yourself checked out further.

Best of luck

 
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