Originally posted by aberlecj: |
In July I had my company physical and along with that had fasting blood work done. My cholesterol level was high at 238 and my triglycerites were at 509.
Your cholesterol is not technically defined as "high" at 238 mg/dl (high cholesterol is >240 mg/dl). You are in the range known as "borderline high" (200-240 mg/dl). If you have no other heart disease risk factors (smoking, overweight, diabetes, family history of heart disease, etc.), then your doctor may have been a little premature in prescribing a cholesterol lowering medication, especially if he didn't prescribe a modified diet and exercise plan first with a followup check in 3-6 months. You didn't put any other risk factors in your post, so I'm just throwing this out there as info. And more important that your total cholesterol level is your HDL level and less so, your LDL level.
But your triglycerides are very high, like 3 times what is considered high. Your triglyceride levels are all but in rare cases directly related to your diet and lifestyle. Diets high in carbohydrate (not fats, but things like sweets, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.) and little exercise are a prescription for high triglyceride levels, especially those with genetic tendancies to overproduce insulin and insulin resistance.
| It was suggested I start medication to lower my cholesterol. |
Like I said above, the first thing that should have been tried is diet and exercise. Cholesterol lowering medications present their own risks - see the High Cholesterol Forum here for many of the problems that people experience on these drugs.
| I have been taking this medication for one month and last friday had fasting blood work done to track my progress. Was pleasantly surprised that my cholesterol went down to 191, however, my triglycerites only dropped 4 points coming in at 505. |
Which medication was prescribed? One of the statins (Lipitor, Zocor, etc.)? If so, these have little effect on triglyceride levels. These medications limit the production of cholesterol in your liver, which is where the bulk of your cholesterol comes from. The bulk of the triglycerides in your bloodstream are also produced in your liver, but through a different mechanism than cholesterol production and statin drugs have little to no effect on this. Incidentally, triglycerides are produced from excess glucose in your bloodstream (a direct result of excess carbohydrate consumption, insulin resistance, and possibly the early stages of Type II diabetes). These triglycerides are the fats that get stuffed into your fat cells.
| Should I be real concerned at this level? Is there something I could mention to my doctor to try? HELP!!! |
I would be concerned with triglycerides that high. Optimum levels are <100 mg/dl. Triglycerides over 200 mg/dl are suggestive of insulin resistance which can lead to Type II diabetes if not corrected. High triglycerides alone are an independent risk factor for heart disease, while high total cholesterol is not.
Did you have your fasting blood glucose level measured? Was it above 110 mg/dl? If so, then this indicates insulin resistance (often identifed as Impaired Glucose Tolerance) and your doctor should follow up with more testing regarding this. If your fasting blood glucose level was >125 mg/dl, that puts you in the classification of Diabetes (a followup test is usually done to confirm). Fasting insulin levels can also be easily checked and provide an indication of insulin resistance. These are the areas I would focus on rather than cholesterol lowering medications.
Please post back with your HDL and LDL levels from your blood report. Also indentify any other risk factors you may have and what your diet and exercise regimen consists of (be honest because we can't help you if we don't know the whole story).