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View Full Version : Not sure what to make of these levels now, afraid to see Doctor next week.


cathyn57
02-15-2014, 02:35 PM
I posted my cholesterol levels last December which prompted my primary care guy to prescribe 20 milligrams of Lipitor. (I filled script but never took it)
Levels then:
HDL: 89
LDL: 191
Trig: 109
Total: 301. Dr. made me feel like I was going to drop dead from coronary any minute. Additional info: weight normal, blood pressue low/normal. runner for 23 years. Female age 57

I was a bit more conservative with sat fats and started flush niacin. Here are my levels taken two weeks ago:
HDL: 131
LDL: 125
Trig: 76
Total: 271

So now I have to face this man and his prescription pad again. Despite his steadfast belief that I am at risk for stroke/heart attack, I really like him. I left his office thinking I would follow his advice but read such contrary information online that I never actually started the medicine. I know he will not be happy with these changes though as the report from his office has my LDL and Total level circled in red! Why do I feel like I have been brought to the Principals office?
I would love to hear anyones advice here. Does anyone think I am being foolish for not wanting to go on a statin given my stats? Diabetes runs in my family and I am afraid of that risk! Thanks to everyone who might offer their opinion, I know there are some very experienced/knowledgeable people on this board.

Dottydog
02-16-2014, 02:14 AM
Hi Cathy. Those results look pretty good to me, but I am not a doctor. I looked them up on a reputable website and they seem to be going the right way. The overall is a little high, but nothing dramatic, and the rest are really good and an improvement on your last results. Doctors are just human beings, be brave and go and see him and be honest. Let him know you have made lifestyle changes and, without Lipitor, you think the new blood test results are promising and you want to see how good you can get them without taking statins first.

tess201
02-16-2014, 05:12 AM
I agree with the previous poster that your levels are fine. It's really your decision, not the doc's, as to whether or not you will use the meds. Most docs are ultra conservative about pushing Statins and, unfortunately, usually when not needed. It's the ratio, not the overall number that is important. Many docs do not recognize this and then push the meds, which I think is a travesty!

Bottom line . . . do what you intuit is best for you, not what will make the doctor "happy"!

Tess

Titchou
02-16-2014, 06:27 AM
Your doctor should be your partner in your health care. When he gave you the original scrip, you should have talked with him about it then..what is it, what will it do, what are the side effects, can I try other alternatives first and, if so, what are they? I NEVER automatically take a scrip that I don't already know about.

If you've improved that much in 3 months, you are on the right track. I'd give it another 3 months and see where you are then.

cathyn57
02-16-2014, 10:16 AM
Your doctor should be your partner in your health care. When he gave you the original scrip, you should have talked with him about it then..what is it, what will it do, what are the side effects, can I try other alternatives first and, if so, what are they? I NEVER automatically take a scrip that I don't already know about.

If you've improved that much in 3 months, you are on the right track. I'd give it another 3 months and see where you are then.

Thanks so much for the encouragement! I do feel that my Doctor was being sincere, that my cholesterol was so high that I had to take statins or risk a catastrophic health event. I do think this may be tough to overcome if I keep him as a Doctor because I know I will not take statins. I will report back what happens at my appointment. I know he will not think things are terrific because the lab report that i got from his office had my total and LDL scores circled in red!

tess201
02-16-2014, 11:27 AM
Thanks so much for the encouragement! I do feel that my Doctor was being sincere, that my cholesterol was so high that I had to take statins or risk a catastrophic health event. I do think this may be tough to overcome if I keep him as a Doctor because I know I will not take statins. I will report back what happens at my appointment. I know he will not think things are terrific because the lab report that i got from his office had my total and LDL scores circled in red!

When I told my doc that my understanding was that the ratio was more important than the total number he laughed out loud at me, and for about 1 minute, laughing and laughing! I never saw that doctor again and am glad that I made that choice.

Titchou
02-16-2014, 12:38 PM
Well, I wouldn't ever say never to take the statins. There are ways to do that when needed and have fewer side effects. A friend took hers every other day and never has any problems. And her cholesterol was almost 400. So, there's no hard fast rules about how to make it work. But in 3 months, you've knocked yours down quite a bit. And yes, you are at risk. But if you can do that in 3 months, a recheck every 3 -6 months would be in order. If you hit a plateau and just can't move it, then maybe have the conversation about how much statin do you really need to take and maybe try the lowest dose every other day and see if that will do it. There are options and you need to find what they are.

cathyn57
02-16-2014, 07:48 PM
Well, I wouldn't ever say never to take the statins. There are ways to do that when needed and have fewer side effects. A friend took hers every other day and never has any problems. And her cholesterol was almost 400. So, there's no hard fast rules about how to make it work. But in 3 months, you've knocked yours down quite a bit. And yes, you are at risk. But if you can do that in 3 months, a recheck every 3 -6 months would be in order. If you hit a plateau and just can't move it, then maybe have the conversation about how much statin do you really need to take and maybe try the lowest dose every other day and see if that will do it. There are options and you need to find what they are.
Hi Titchou,
Thank you for your reply. What I don't understand is why I am at risk. I went to one of those online cholesterol ratio calculators and put in all my levels. All were considered ideal with the LDL slighly elevated and the Total Cholesterol as at risk because it was too high! I understand that HDL can never be too high but yet when added together, I am at risk for too high cholesterol.
My concern with taking statins is their contribution to diabetes risk. I had gestational diabetes and have a family history and am therefore at risk for this. I don't know why I am supposed to be at risk from high cholesterol.

Titchou
02-17-2014, 01:18 PM
Well, you've already stated why - your LD and total are over their assigned values. It only takes on being over on one for them to say "at risk." The question is - how much risk? A low risk? Or a high one. With total over 300, I personally would consider that pretty high risk. In the 250-300 range, I'd say moderate to high and down around 200-225 I'd say low. So how much risk do you want to run? That's up to you.

cathyn57
02-17-2014, 03:44 PM
Well, you've already stated why - your LD and total are over their assigned values. It only takes on being over on one for them to say "at risk." The question is - how much risk? A low risk? Or a high one. With total over 300, I personally would consider that pretty high risk. In the 250-300 range, I'd say moderate to high and down around 200-225 I'd say low. So how much risk do you want to run? That's up to you.

It almost seems like I should reduce my HDl to get my numbers in sych though. It went up 42 points while my LDL went down 66 points. If my LDL did not increase from 89 to 125, my total would be 229! I have no cardio risk otherwise, low blood pressure and active,weight normal, etc.

Titchou
02-17-2014, 04:06 PM
Still at 229, you'd be low risk. Just try getting your LDL down and you should continue to see improvement. There is no law that you have to take a scrip your doctor wants to give you. I've turned plenty of them down in the past. I think when he's seen what you've done, he'll be more willing to go along with continuing to try this method....as long as things improve. But if you can't move the LDL, you'll need to make a decision at some point.

cathyn57
02-17-2014, 04:31 PM
Still at 229, you'd be low risk. Just try getting your LDL down and you should continue to see improvement. There is no law that you have to take a scrip your doctor wants to give you. I've turned plenty of them down in the past. I think when he's seen what you've done, he'll be more willing to go along with continuing to try this method....as long as things improve. But if you can't move the LDL, you'll need to make a decision at some point.
Thank you Titchou, I will talk to him and continue. I could be a bit better on the diet although it is vastly improved (had my levels done the week after I came back from vacation!)

rudiraven
02-19-2014, 03:23 PM
Your numbers are fine, IMHO. I've done a lot of research on this issue. Some studies have found that statins are mostly beneficial for middle aged men with heart disease. Do some research on you own. Dr. Graveline, aka Space Doc, has some very good info on statins. You're on the right track. Don't let your doctor bully you. It's your body, your health, and doctors aren't gods. They don't know everything....just what the pharma reps tell them sometimes. Our bodies need cholesterol. Take care and relax. Stress is worse for your heart than high cholesterol :-)

MACKIE5
02-20-2014, 10:10 AM
Hmm, I too am a little concerned about seeing my doctor next week. I always have a high cholesterol and mine went up twenty points this year but I was at a pizza party the night before, even though it was before fasting time. My total chol is 293; LDL 171; HDL 108; TRYGLYCERIDES 70 CHOL/HDLC RATIO IS 2.7.
My doctor is not high on statins and last year my total was 273 so I realize I have to eat a little better but so do not want to go on statins. The doctor said that some people naturally have a family hystory of high cholesterol

movielover40
02-20-2014, 10:52 AM
Your HDL is great....

I don't see a big problem..

MACKIE5
02-20-2014, 11:05 AM
Yep, my HDL levels are always over 100. I figure given my age of 67 it is pretty good. One thing I wonder about is the CRP level. Mine is 1.6 and I know that is low so I just wonder how much significant concern I should have about my total cholesterol

rudiraven
02-20-2014, 03:10 PM
None whatsoever! You're absolutely fine, IMHO. Total numbers mean nothing :-)