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-   -   Why does my body hate me? (http://www.healthboards.com/boards/high-cholesterol/426018-why-does-my-body-hate-me.html)

Pivly 09-06-2006 06:12 AM

Why does my body hate me?
 
34 years old, 5'11", 170 lbs, exercise daily, in shape, make all my own food, eat healthy (whole grains, vegatables/fruits, lean protein, fish, etc). Don't drink alcohol, no caffeine, practically no sugar (no soda), don't smoke. I have always lived this way. I never get sick.

Total 294
Tri 140
HDL 34
LDL 231

What?! That's totally insane.

In the last few years I started having major problems with anxiety (GAD type stuff) so I have been to the doctor more often and that is why I'm just now seeing these test results. I'm not sure what my cholesterol was before I started having anxiety problems.

I haven't seen the doc yet to discuss this but I'm assuming drugs are in my future. I hate drugs. I rarely even take an anspirin and I'm extremely sensitive to everything. The thought of putting those nasty muscle destroying, mind numbing medications in me really bothers me. I'm into building muscle not destroying it and I'm a computer programmer so my mind is my most important asset.

I'm just discouraged.

cook82 09-06-2006 09:26 AM

Re: Why does my body hate me?
 
I have suffered from GAD all my life and can tell you when the condition is active my cholesterol numbers go off the hook!

In order to get your numbers under control, it is imperative that you get that condition under control first.

There is research out there that indicates that there is a correlation between high cholesterol and anxiety disorders. Check the internet - you will find some interesting research articles.

Your TC/HDL is 8.6 which is quite high. If getting the GAD under control does not result in a significant improvement, I would not let this go too long especially if there is a history of heart disease in your family.

You might benefit from taking niacin as it will raise your HDL 34 which is really too low.

Just a thought. Good luck.

Were these numbers taken fasting??????

Pivly 09-06-2006 11:07 AM

Re: Why does my body hate me?
 
Yes, fasting for 12 hours. There is a history of heart problems in my family. Mother has had at least one heart attack. Generally they are overweight and diabetic though which thankfully I am neither. Depression runs on that side of the family too.

Thanks for the information. I did see some mention of anxiety/stress causing higher cholesterol numbers but I wasn't sure how much of an effect that can have. Something about fight or flight and pumping out the cholesterol to keep things going. I'll have to do some research (although I don't like doing that because it increases my anxiety :rolleyes:).

Part of the problem with the anxiety is that it gets worse when I have to see the doctor. Often my tests are skewed because of the emense stress. I have had blood pressure over 170/95 at the start of a visit and 130/75 at the end. I'm not sure if it's ever going to be possible to test my cholesterol when I am in a calm state.

I should probably look at the anxiety forum. Have you done anything that helps your anxiety? I have tried antidepressants but they had very bad and often opposite effects of what they were suppose to. I'm currently on a light Depakote dose which helps but not as much as I would like.

Lenin 09-08-2006 07:15 AM

Re: Why does my body hate me?
 
Pivly,

Your heart attack risk is very high with a HORRIBLE TC/HDL ratio and a mother who suffered an early heart attack and a family with a lot of diabetes.

Your alternative might be between drugs, no matter HOW much you hate them, or an early death.
You can try an almost fat-free diet with ZERO animal fats...pick up one of Dean Ornish's books on treating heart disease without drugs. It's a tough diet, but it often works to get cholesterol numbers into line.

Why not have a stress test if your insurance company will pay for it? (Sometimes they want you to be >50 or have frank symptoms.)

No, anxiety won't mess up your cholesterol readings like they will BP readings.

Pivly 09-09-2006 08:46 AM

Re: Why does my body hate me?
 
Yep, doctor suggested I start on Zetia. Also doesn't believe anxiety can increase cholesterol. I still think it does. Cholesterol is important for a number of body processes closely related to the stress system and anxiety could easily over-stimulate these. If you have ever had a panic attack you know exactly the physical mechanisms that get activated and how strong it is. When a doctor has never even considered the possibility of a connection because of the studies that have been done then I have to take their advice with a grain of salt. They can't know everything about everything. I work in a complex field myself so I know even the experts are sometimes very wrong. Personally I'm open to both explainations including that high cholesterol may cause anxiety instead of the other way around.

I'm not sure if a stress test would tell me much. Although there could be a problem, I'm still pretty young and in shape. I have had an EKG done once when I had an episode and went to the emergency room (it was normal). Although I don't think it could hurt, you are right in that my insurance isn't going to pay for it at my young age. I think even if there is a problem it would be minor and is something I can turn around with the things I'm going to have to do anyway to lower my cholesterol.

I truly believe that if I was somehow able to remove the anxiety that my cholesterol would drop dramatically. If you look at my family history there is a common thread: Anxiety, depression, heart disease. I think it's all interrelated and I'm willing to bet that the heart disease is caused by the mental problems.

I know I need to lower my cholesterol because of my risks. I'm going to do whatever it takes, including drugs if needed but there are so many factors at play here and there is a possibility that drugs may fix a problem in one place while creating more in others. I'm torn on taking the Zetia. I might try an all natural approach and see what happens. I mean the Zetia mostly only works on what you eat anyway, that isn't going to fix a hereditary problem where my body is pumping out too much cholesterol. This anxiety is not going away though so I'm not sure what I can possibly do there but I still believe that combined with diet that is the key.

Lenin 09-11-2006 07:35 AM

Re: Why does my body hate me?
 
Pivly,

Whatever route you choose, or however you deal with or don't deal with your anxiety, that combination of an LDL of 231 and an HDL of 34 in the presence of a family history of heart disease and diabetes warrants a nuclear stress test to determine any blockages regardless of your age.

If presented in that light by your doctor to your insurance company, I doubt that any insurance company could say no...the risk of a future lawsuit, should something untoward happen, is too great for them.

Pivly 09-11-2006 09:01 AM

Re: Why does my body hate me?
 
I will have to look into it. My doctor hasn't mentioned a stress test but I will ask. He may be planning on it after we see how my cholesterol does. I seriously doubt they will be able to get a good nuclear test on me because they will never get a "calm" reading. Just going in for the test will be enough to skyrocket my heartrate way above even my jogging heartrate due to my anxiety issues. I may be able to do a regular stress test though. Heck, they could probably hook me up right away and get a perfect "highly stressed" reading.

Interestingly, although there is a history of heart disease there is no history of high cholesterol in my family. My grandfather, thin, in shape, diabetic, had a heart attack in his 50's but had normal cholesterol the whole time. I'm still wondering if stress/anxiety disorders are what really cause heart disease, not cholesterol. Although this is probably even more reason for me to have heart tests done. I'm freaked out enough as it is though.

cook82 09-12-2006 03:17 AM

Re: Why does my body hate me?
 
[QUOTE=Pivly]I will have to look into it. My doctor hasn't mentioned a stress test but I will ask. He may be planning on it after we see how my cholesterol does. I seriously doubt they will be able to get a good nuclear test on me because they will never get a "calm" reading. Just going in for the test will be enough to skyrocket my heartrate way above even my jogging heartrate due to my anxiety issues. I may be able to do a regular stress test though. Heck, they could probably hook me up right away and get a perfect "highly stressed" reading.

Interestingly, although there is a history of heart disease there is no history of high cholesterol in my family. My grandfather, thin, in shape, diabetic, had a heart attack in his 50's but had normal cholesterol the whole time. I'm still wondering if stress/anxiety disorders are what really cause heart disease, not cholesterol. Although this is probably even more reason for me to have heart tests done. I'm freaked out enough as it is though.[/QUOTE]

Although your grandfather had normal cholesterol levels, it is possible that he displayed the same breakdown pattern you have between LDL and HDL which in all likely is genetic. That is a high LDL coupled with a low HDL. This is why it is dangerous for people with a normal total cholesterol to not be lulled into a false sense of security. Statistics I have read indicate that half of all heart attack victims actually have a TOTAL cholesterol within normal limits. In fact, if he was diabetic, odds are he had not only a low HDL but high triglycerides as well since diabetics often exhibit that pattern. That would have put him in the high risk category.

I have 20 years of cholesterol tests in a binder at home. I can tell you that when my panic disorder was active, the numbers definitely reflected it. While I agree with Lenin that your treatment has to be more than just treatment for anxiety, the numbers I have indicate that panic definitely skews the numbers. When I look at my tests I have to conclude that it is just too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence.

I feel for you going for a stress test being that you have panic attacks. I coped a panic attack just before my stress test. BP was 170/95. They gave me a pill to calm me down so I could take the test. Then I was fine. Happily the stress test turned out negative. Hope yours does too.:wave:

Bunnylady 09-19-2006 07:16 PM

Re: Why does my body hate me?
 
I would not take a Statin- been there done that, Lipitor and Crestor- they almost killed me- I found a wonderful book [[COLOR="Red"]removed[/COLOR]] that suggests the following supplements equal 20 mg of Lipitor

81 mg of buffered aspirin
100-150 mg of CoQ10 (which statins deplete by the way)
400 mg L Carnitine
a vit B complex with Folic acid
Omega 3 Fish oil- around 400 mg average

cinnamon capsules will bring down hi tri's so I have [[COLOR="Red"]removed[/COLOR]] added to the mix- Garlic oil is another good one

then watch your diet


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