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    Old 07-16-2005, 12:23 AM   #1
    Lilolill
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    Alternative treatment?

    Ok, I have established my cholesterol reading to be HDL 67, LDL 282, TC 367.
    I am 32 and have known about this for 16 years now. It is a hereditory thing.
    I have been on Lipitor before, which was ok and did bring my TC down to 250 which was great, however I havent taken anything for about a year now. I have decided to be responsible for myself again now, especially as i am getting older but I dont particularly want to take a pharmaceutical drug for the rest of my life.
    My question is, has anybody with familial cholesterol ever successfully tried and tested any natural way of controlling our bodies making too much cholesterol? I could go to a naturopath or chinese herbalist but dont want to waste my time and money if it isnt going to work as my GP reckons.
    I would be grateful for any advice groovers!

     
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    Old 07-16-2005, 01:59 AM   #2
    wyod501
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    You have a level of cholesterol that is very unhealthy. Most who have the familial hypercholesterolemia levels of 300+ have a tremendously difficult time of ever getting them to a more healthy level without medications. You are also at an age where you need to look at options very seriously. I am as anti-statin as anybody who will post here, but it is possible that you may want to revisit that option.

    I have settled on a diabetic 1800 calorie diet to keep my levels somewhat controlled. Unlike you, I have yet to find a prescription medication that I can tolerate. After trying all but one or two of the statins with classic side effects (my story with lipitor is a nightmare...), I have been very unwilling to try anything new.

    Whatever you do, make sure to take steps to insure that your hdl levels are a high as you possibly can get them. This is protective of heart health.

    Play around with diets and supplements that will work for you. There is a lot of hit and miss with this. I tried the low carb gig for a while and it really worked well, except that I was having a lot of hypoglycemic episodes, which is a very unsettling experience. Not something that you want to have happen when teaching--scared the daylights out of some of my students.

    A lot of the posters here can give you detailed advice on what they believe in or what works for them. The best advice I can give is to find what works for you.

    Good luck

    D.

    Last edited by wyod501; 07-16-2005 at 02:00 AM.

     
    Old 07-16-2005, 06:34 AM   #3
    Lenin
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Lil,

    What have you tried dietwise in the year since you stoped the cholesterol meds? No sense rehashing all the tried and true aphorism for good cardiac eating?

    How is your weight? Where is it distributed? Do you have any indications of a high glucose or a lot of diabetes in your family? What were your measured triglycerides?

    I think the naturopaths and Chinese herbalists would be a colossal waste of time and money...along with acupunturists, reflexologists, chiropractors...and on and on.

    What is your exercise level over an extended period of time?

    You will never get GOOD levels of blood lipids uunless you take drugs or change your parents but you CAN probably get BETTER numbers than you have now. There are also some non-statin drugs, including niacin, that can help also...but, alas,that also means a lifetime of drugs.

    Goodness, My rough calculation working backwards showed you have an excellent triglyceride level of 90...I hope I did that right (it's early). It seems very anomalous with the rest of your numbers. I'm not sure if that's good or bad or might indicate that your test was flawed? Let me muse on that awhile!

    Further testing to determine your Lp(a) homocysteine and heart specific C-reactive protein might be wise to give you more markers to judge the progress towards your objective, which is of course lowering your risk of coronary and vascular disease.

    Last edited by Lenin; 07-16-2005 at 06:53 AM.

     
    Old 07-16-2005, 06:47 AM   #4
    HubbleRules
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lilolill
    Ok, I have established my cholesterol reading to be HDL 67, LDL 282, TC 367.
    I am 32 and have known about this for 16 years now. It is a hereditory thing.
    I have been on Lipitor before, which was ok and did bring my TC down to 250 which was great, however I havent taken anything for about a year now. I have decided to be responsible for myself again now, especially as i am getting older but I dont particularly want to take a pharmaceutical drug for the rest of my life.
    My question is, has anybody with familial cholesterol ever successfully tried and tested any natural way of controlling our bodies making too much cholesterol? I could go to a naturopath or chinese herbalist but dont want to waste my time and money if it isnt going to work as my GP reckons.
    I would be grateful for any advice groovers!

    Liolill,

    I just started a statin-alternative - it's called Policosanol. I've been on it about 6 weeks so far (it usually takes 8-12 weeks to reach maximum effectiveness). Everyone on my Mom's side of the family (except my Mom, oddly enough - but all my cousins and uncles), and my older brother, have high cholesterol. Not sure about my younger brother - I don't think he's seen a doctor in 10 years!!!

    My TC has dropped from 264 to 225 (15% reduction) so far. Of course I've also boosted my exercise level, and have cut back even further on simple carbs (sugar, white bread, white rice).

    If you do try Policosanol, it is important that you get one that is made from Sugar Cane (not from bees wax or rice - these do not lower cholesterol). THe brand I use is 'Policosanol 10' from RxVitamins. You can order over the net.

    I'm curious though why you stopped the Lipitor. If it worked for you, and you had no side-effects, why not continue with it? I am NOT a statin advocate generally, but there are segments of the population for whom the drug is highly recommended - and I think you fit into that category.

    Regards,

    HubbleRules

    Last edited by HubbleRules; 07-16-2005 at 06:50 AM.

     
    Old 07-16-2005, 06:51 AM   #5
    Stumper
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Lilo,


    I am on vytorin and have been getting excellent results with the smallest dosage of 10/20. I then even cut that in half and am still getting "good numbers"! Originally I had cholesterol edging 275. 10/20 Vytorin took it to 120!
    So good in fact that my wife who was on Lipitor with good numbers wants to go on the Vytorin and the doc agreed to it !, because she is diabetic and he would like to see the LDL a little lower and did not want to increae the Lipitor dose.
    Plus, to me at least, Vytorin for SOME REASON eliminates or curb my desire for sweets. Why? I don't know.


    Give it a try. It blocks the cholesterol from the food we eat right in the small intestine which is very different from other Cholesterol meds in that respect. Then it uses Zocor as a second whammy to help.

     
    Old 07-16-2005, 06:55 AM   #6
    Stumper
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Quote:
    Hubbles--I am NOT a statin advocate generally, but there are segments of the population for whom the drug is highly recommended - and I think you fit into that category.
    Good Lord !! There IS hope!

     
    Old 07-16-2005, 11:00 AM   #7
    DisManIs2Cool
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stumper
    Good Lord !! There IS hope!

    Stumper,

    I've been reading the posts on this site for some time, and I feel that Hubble and Arizona and Heart-44 and Uff-Da! are very objective and fair in their stand on statins. They have mentioned numerous times that they think statins are good for a subset of the population, but that they feel that on balance, these drugs are grossly over-prescribed. I agree with them 1000%.

    I fail to see why you always try to paint them as 'fanatics', and try to get everyone to think they are whackos. I guess if you say it often enough, you feel it is true. THis is a classic example of 'proof by repeated assertion".

    DisManIs2Cool

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 06:46 AM   #8
    Lenin
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Same kind of proof you get from those who repeat endlessly that statins are deady drugs used to treat a condition that has no consequences (high choleserol.)
    This too gets repeated endlessly.

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 07:47 AM   #9
    DisManIs2Cool
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lenin
    Same kind of proof you get from those who repeat endlessly that statins are deady drugs used to treat a condition that has no consequences (high choleserol.)
    This too gets repeated endlessly.
    Lenin,

    With all due respect... I haven't seen any posts that call statins 'deadly'. I also haven't seen any that say high-cholesterol has no consequences.

    I see lots of posts that say there is more to CHD than just high-cholesterol. That makes sense to me.

    I also see lots of posts that say statins are good for those who can tolerate them, but that for those who can't, they cause more harm than good. They do say that statins side effects are under-reported, but they do not claim that high cholesterol is meaningless or that statins are deadly.

    I really haven't seen these extreme positions...

    DisManIs2Cool

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 08:03 AM   #10
    babydog
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stumper
    Lilo,


    I am on vytorin and have been getting excellent results with the smallest dosage of 10/20. I then even cut that in half and am still getting "good numbers"! Originally I had cholesterol edging 275. 10/20 Vytorin took it to 120!
    So good in fact that my wife who was on Lipitor with good numbers wants to go on the Vytorin and the doc agreed to it !, because she is diabetic and he would like to see the LDL a little lower and did not want to increae the Lipitor dose.
    Plus, to me at least, Vytorin for SOME REASON eliminates or curb my desire for sweets. Why? I don't know.


    Give it a try. It blocks the cholesterol from the food we eat right in the small intestine which is very different from other Cholesterol meds in that respect. Then it uses Zocor as a second whammy to help.
    Hello Stumper,

    Your comment about Vytorin curbing your craving for sweets is interesting. It suggests that high cholesterol is somehow linked to hypoglycemia (perhaps for those with high LDL) while we know that there is a relationship between high trigs and diabetes which is the opposite of hypoglycemia.

    This may lend an important clue as to what the natural answer to cholesterol control is. It may explain why some individuals on an atkins type diet actually lower their cholesterol levels, the opposite of what we might believe would happen.

    Just a thought.

     
    Old 07-19-2005, 02:05 AM   #11
    Lilolill
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Thank you for all your replies.

    Lenin, I am always on a low fat diet with the odd exception. My 3 meals a day on an average daily level are good as my trigs of 88 show. I also go to the gym 3-4 times per week and have done for the last year. My weight is 56 kg and height 5'6'' so i am a perfect weight.

    Hubble - I stopped Lipitor at first out of laziness about being botheres to go back and get another prescription. As we all must agree, when you dont feel or see our condition, sometimes it is hard to remember it is there, especially as I have known about this since I was 16, at first you are scared, then you think "I am too young to worry about this now'etc. Now having read individuals muscle wastage, forgetfulness and so on, there is no way I want to take something that although fixes one problem, it causes a whole host of others, i am too young for that.

    The local university did a radio announcement saying that it wanted volunteers for a cholesterol lowering study with a chinese herbalist. I rang this morning and volunteered but unfortunatly with LDL of over 7 i didnt come into theie 3.5-5.5 range. I was so gutted as right now I am not doing anything without knowing which way to turn.

    Hubble, I will try your Policosanol and Stumper I will look into Vytorin.

    Thanks again folks!

    Lisax

     
    Old 07-19-2005, 03:33 AM   #12
    buckshot111
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Lilolill

    I was diagnosed with high chol. a couple of years ago, and after a change in diet had little effect I was put on Zocor, but experienced flushing. I told the doc. about the flushing and the potential side effects I had read about, and said I wanted to try Policosanol which he had no problem with. I had another check after 4 months on Pol. but the numbers had not changed significantly (I was watching the diet and I increased exercise as well BTW).

    I then started red yeast rice and tests since indicate that the numbers have changed significantly, but not as low as they should be (Oz numbers in brackets):

    Initial Test:
    TC 297 (7.7)
    HDL 42 (1.1)
    LDL 228 (5.9)

    After taking policosanol:
    TC 282 (7.3)
    HDL 54 (1.4)
    LDL 212 (5.5)

    After taking RYR for 6 weeks:
    TC 228 (5.9)
    HDL 54 (1.4)
    LDL 147 (3.8)

    The Red Yeast Rice involves 1200mg/day (2 x 600mg capsules), and 200mg/day of CoQ10 (2 x 100mg softgels). RYR is a statin, but I've had no noticable negative effects from it. I also buy both these supplements from the U.S., as they are either not availabe in Oz or are too expensive.

    Hope this gives you some guidance.

     
    Old 07-20-2005, 02:49 AM   #13
    Lilolill
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Cheers Buckshot, will look into it.

     
    Old 07-23-2005, 03:53 PM   #14
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    I had TC of 285 and tried for 3 months to bring it down myself by strict diet and exercise. Only salads, oatmeal, fruits, veggies, occasional chicken and fish. I walked 30 minutes a day and did 30 minutes daily of floor exercises. The test came back with a TC of 260. I went on 10 mg Lipitor for 6 months with no side affects and the TC was 190 but the Doc wants me lower so for the past 6 months I have taken 20mg. I have my check-up next month for the new results. This all started when my period stopped and my hormones went wacky I guess. I do not and will not take HRT. If I did several people told me that I may not have not have had the high readings.

     
    Old 07-23-2005, 05:11 PM   #15
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    Re: Alternative treatment?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vavip
    I had TC of 285 and tried for 3 months to bring it down myself by strict diet and exercise. Only salads, oatmeal, fruits, veggies, occasional chicken and fish. I walked 30 minutes a day and did 30 minutes daily of floor exercises. The test came back with a TC of 260. I went on 10 mg Lipitor for 6 months with no side affects and the TC was 190 but the Doc wants me lower so for the past 6 months I have taken 20mg. I have my check-up next month for the new results. This all started when my period stopped and my hormones went wacky I guess. I do not and will not take HRT. If I did several people told me that I may not have not have had the high readings.
    Why does your dr. want your TC below what it is already? Do U have other numbers U could post, like your LDL, HDL and Trigs.? Unless U have some serious medical issues that need your cholesterol very low, I think your dr. is asking way too much of a drop..... Also, 3 months is not a decent length of time to give diet and exercise a try, it usually takes at least 6-9 months too see any affect, and U were making some progress within the 3 months. JMHO, but think U should have been given more time.

    As far as the HRT my numbers also jumped when I went off of them, so I am still giving it some thought of maybe going on a very low dose again to see if it helps, as I had lousy experiences with statins and will not go back on them. Like yourself and many others on this site, I am trying to control my numbers with diet and exercise. Over the last year I have had some fairly good reports and some not so good reports, but all I can do is try.

    Besides changing your diet and doing alot of exercise before, did U take any supplements for your cholesterol? Many on here use Niacin, some even with statins and have had very good results, but U also would have to be monitored with that too. I'm sure folks will jump in and give you some ideas of what supplements to try. Hopefully U won't have any side effects from the Lipitor and even will beable to lower the dose, or take it only a few days a week. When they put me on Lipitor my TC went from 266 to 167 within 4 weeks, but I had nasty side effects from it, so they tried Baycol. Needless to say that really started some nasty medical problems, mostly GI, plus pains and aches I couldn't believe, so I stopped. They tried me on it only 3 days a week, but I still couldn't handle it.

    I wish I had a computer at that time and knew what I know now, as I would have never even gone on the stuff, and certainly would have known going from 266 to 167 in 4 weeks was WAY too much, too fast.

    Good luck......

     
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