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Old 05-16-2010, 06:16 AM   #1
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I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

My doctor is really upset with me. I turn 60 this week and she wants me to start a statin. She's been after me for years. I have genetic high cholesterol. Bloodwork showed total chol. 289 (down from 309 last year), HDL 41, LDL 200, triglycerides 241. I have had high cholesterol my whole life. I have been a vegetarian (not had one bite of red meat) for over 30 years, I eat no fried food, plenty of fruits and veggies, etc. I am overweight, but not obese (5'5", 150). Even as a younger person, at 110 lbs, my cholesterol was usually close to the 300 level. I hate to even take anything when I have an ache or pain and take no prescription drugs whatsoever. I have tried all kinds of natural remedies. My dad had 3 heart incidents in his life...the first a bypass in the late 60's when they were a new procedure. He was in his late 40's and went on 30 years before needing another bypass. He got 12 years out of that one and died in '06 at 83. All his siblings and his parents died of heart issues. What do you think I should do? His own heart doctor did not have him on statins, didn't particularly think they were necessary. I am the kind of person who hates to control my body with drugs. Any ideas?

 
Old 05-16-2010, 07:15 AM   #2
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

Exactly what kind of "natural remedies" did you try?

I also had genetically high cholesterol, although not as high as your numbers, and had great success with natural remedies. I'm now at "below average risk" according to lab parameters with a ratio of 2.68.

 
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper360 View Post
... Bloodwork showed total chol. 289 (down from 309 last year), HDL 41, LDL 200, triglycerides 241. ... I have been a vegetarian (not had one bite of red meat) for over 30 years ... Any ideas?
Congratulations on adhering to a healthier diet. Do you know approximately how many calories you eat daily, and how many meals?

Even the finest vegetarian diet can cause unhealthy levels of Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Glucose, if the diet causes more calories to be consumed than the body can effectively handle.
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

 
Old 05-17-2010, 05:13 AM   #4
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

So you are willing to have the issues your father did just because he lived to 83? Your problem appears to be genetic. There is very little diet-wise that can be done to control that. If you are willing to live with the spectre of a bypass, etc hanging over you, that is certainly your choice. I wouldn't....knowing what all my father went thru from his first heart attack at 40 to his passing at 58. No thanks.

 
Old 05-17-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

As a vegetarian, be careful with the cheese and other full fat dairy products, as the saturated fat can raise LDL levels. And strictly avoid hydrogenated oils whose trans-fats raise LDL and lower HDL.

Also, choose fibrous carbohydrates over sugars and refined carbohydrates, since the latter can worsen triglyceride levels and decrease LDL particle size (smaller LDL particles tend to be more dangerous and are typically associated with high triglycerides).

Increasing exercise can increase protective HDL levels.

Losing body fat can improve all of your cholesterol numbers.

However, with your family genetic history, there is still the possibility that the cleanest diet and athletic exercise levels may not be able to bring your heart disease risk to low risk, although they are likely to still help to some degree.

Last edited by tjlhb; 05-17-2010 at 04:15 PM.

 
Old 05-17-2010, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

I'm going to be in the minority here but I agree that you can try natural methods before using the drugs. My Dad was put on Lipitor and had a bad reaction to it that could have killed him. He treated his high cholesterol with Red Yeast Rice, instead, with amazing results. Also- exercise. Exercise stimulates the liver to process cholesterol out of your body. My Dad didn't exercise, however, he just used the Red Yeast Rice with good success. He did not have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, however, so I don't know if it will work for you or not.

 
Old 06-05-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

I began taking statins back in 2001. Choles. was 274 and triglycerides 313. I too have a very strong genetic link to heart issues. My father had his heart attack and 5 bypasses at 42 and passed away after the second set of bypasses at the age of 54. He passed away in 1987. In late 2006 early 2007 I started complaining to my Dr. about something not being right. My numbers were continuing to go up even though I was eating well. The Dr's continued to raise my dosage levels with little effect on the numbers.

I began having chest pain, squeezing and pressure in my throat, and a ton of other symptoms. All other numbers were coming back in the normal ranges. Liver fine, thyroid fine (even though I have a whole list of thyroid symptoms), except lipids which continued to be elevated. After a year of testing; nuclear stress test, heart cath, endoscopy, allergy testing, doing away with every supplement and vitamin, I pushed to see if it could all be due to my lovastatin. It was the only thing I was still taking. All the problems went away.

Since my heart cath came back with 0% blockage, my Endo and I came up with a new plan. She tells me fiber is the #1 thing to bring down my ldl levels. Currently she has me taking Nature Made Cholestoff and ground psyllium. Between the two we anticipate the numbers will come back down into a more normal range. Internal medicine Dr. stated my lipid numbers scare her. I am not near as concerned about them, as I once was.

I refuse to go back on a statin because I was experiencing all the side effects of a rare statin complication - rhabdomyloysis.

 
Old 06-07-2010, 06:30 AM   #8
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

It took me around a year, or so, of dieting to get my Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels (and my blood pressure) down to healthier levels, without having to use medication. I also went from 180 pounds to 130 pounds. I am 5'9".

My wife feels that I am too skinny, but she realizes that she is married to someone with Heart Failure and Persistant Atrial Fibrillation, so she "forgives" my skin-and-bones, in order to have a living, healthier hubby.

My Cholesterol levels, for 2003, were:
  • Total: 249
  • LDL: 145
  • HDL: 46
  • Triglyclerides: 286


My latest Cholesterol levels are:
  • Total: 156
  • LDL: 86
  • HDL: 58
  • Triglyclerides: 60

A healthy diet, IMHO, is the answer to many health problems and the solution for better health. It sure knocked the heck out of my Cholesterol WITHOUT MEDICATION!
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

 
Old 06-07-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

Machaon-

What type of diet do you adhere to? Can you describe it?

 
Old 06-07-2010, 10:03 AM   #10
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

I eat 6-7 small calorie, high fiber, low glycemic meals per day, for a total of about 1500 calories per day. The current calorie balance is approximately 53% carbs, 32% protein and 15% mostly good fats.

My menu has been a moving target, over the past five years, because I have constantly changed it, experimenting to see what works for my blood pressure, labs and health, and what doesn't.
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

 
Old 07-17-2010, 10:10 AM   #11
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Re: I don't want to take drugs for high cholesterol

Just how much of an improvement could one expect just by dropping say....10 pounds. I think that is doable by just about anyone.

 
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