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  • 29 year old with high cholesterol/trig

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    Old 05-30-2003, 01:25 PM   #1
    dbmalkin
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    Post 29 year old with high cholesterol/trig

    Brand new to these boards. I have inherited high cholesterol.. lucky me! I've known about my situation for many years, but only began to really worry after seeing a dermatologist for xanthoma (fatty deposits under my eyes).. she freaked out, and told me to run, not walk to a cardiologist. My numbers then were:
    Total: 276
    LDL: 176
    HDL: 60
    Trig: 192

    I went to a cardiologist who tested me for C-Reactive Protein, homocysteine..all was normal, as was my EKG. No family history of early heart disease, I am a normal weight, etc. He mentioned medication, but I want to think about having children in the next couple of years, and no one can give me a straight answer about the safety of going on and off statin medications.

    I worked my butt off to change diet and excercise, and after 3 months, my numbers were:
    Total: 219
    LDL: 145
    HDL: 62
    Trig: 58 (the biggest difference!)

    I was so excited.. the last three months I have still been very good. Well, maybe not quite as consistent at the gym, and I went on my honeymoon.. which meant a bit of a break from my diet. But it's been a lifestyle change, and I feel healthier than ever. I have gained exactly 3 pounds since that last visit, and here were my numbers as of today:

    Total: 252
    LDL: 151
    HDL: 59
    Trig: 211 (how did this happen?)

    The doctor said there can be some normal change in Triglycerides daily.. but that my numbers are still too high, and that we can give it more time, but he thinks I will need to go on medication. I am a 29 year old woman, and my goal was to hold off as long as possible, at least until I'm done having children.

    Opinions? I'm going back in another 3 months for a final test.. but I just don't love the thought of being on medication for the rest of my life, when I'm still so young!

    Thank you..

    [This message has been edited by dbmalkin (edited 05-30-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by dbmalkin (edited 05-30-2003).]

     
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    Old 05-30-2003, 03:17 PM   #2
    phja
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    i dont know what you should do but cholesterol meds are very bad to take in pregnancy... category x.

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 03:19 PM   #3
    dbmalkin
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    Thanks! I would NEVER take statins during pregnancy, or even when trying to conceive.. but I'm wondering if I could go on for a year or so, and then go off a few months before trying..? Any opinions?

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 04:15 PM   #4
    ARIZONA73
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    I don't feel that you need to be on any medications, especially at your age. Your c-reactive protein and homocysteine are normal, and you have no family history of heart disease. Furthermore, you have already proven that through diet and exercise you have been able to improve your numbers considerably. I actually think they were quite good. But since then, you have apparently not been paying as close attention to your diet, as you have stated. Your triglycerides have most likely become elevated due to an increased intake of carbohydrates. This increase in triglycerides also explains why your total cholesterol level has also risen. You need to cut back on your carbohydrate intake, primarily refined carbohydrates, but also limit starches in the form of potatoes, bread, and pasta. Try to keep away from junk foods such as candies, cookies, chips, cakes, pies, and other processed foods. Many of them are notorious for their trans fat content as well, and those fats are by far the worst. You would probably also benefit by increasing your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids by eating more fish and/or supplementing your diet with fish oils. But above all, you absolutely must cut back on carbohydrates.
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    Old 05-30-2003, 05:18 PM   #5
    wass24
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    Try taking fish oils before every meal. GNC sells a good type that is cleaned of any metals that can some times appear in the fish oil. I also had very high trig. and they came under check very quickly. See my last post about my results and put any ideas past your doctor to see if he reccomends them.

    Guggillips and soy isoflavans also seem to work well as does red rice yeast, but the latter does the same as prescribed medication, it is just at a much reduced level.

    One last suggestion. Cut butter and margerine spreads out of your diet. Stop and shop sells a spread that is FDA proven to help lower cholesteral. You should use that instead of any other spreads. Also use olive oil when cooking.

    Best of luck

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 05:55 PM   #6
    dbmalkin
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    Thanks for all the advice! I do think some major carb control is in order.. I've done very well with cutting saturated & trans fatty fats out of my diet. I've been avoiding partially hydrogenated oil like the plague!! I use smart balance or benecol instead of butter.. use olive oil to cook.. drink soy milk, and other low/skim milk dairy products. But breads, pasta, etc.. not so good. My best test results were right before my wedding, when I was really focusing on keeping any extra weight off. Though I'm still eating quite well.. I obviously need to kick it up a notch. And I need to get to the gym 3 or 4 time a week rather than 2.

     
    Old 06-02-2003, 05:23 AM   #7
    zip2play
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    dbmalkin,

    The net change to the last set of numbers (especially TC) is due exclusively to the increased triglycerides, they are divided by 5 and added in as cholesterol.

    Triglycerides can fluctuate WILDLY and seem caused more by recent carbs than anything else (as you seem to know very well) and therefore make sure the day before a test to go low carb or at least low sugar and don't eat ANYTHING the day of the test.
    A low carb diet like Atkins will keet them consistently low.

    I once snuck in 2 stiff Manhattans instead of lunch for an afternoon appointment.

    My triglycerides went to 900!!!!!!

    [This message has been edited by zip2play (edited 06-02-2003).]

     
    Old 06-02-2003, 08:00 AM   #8
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    Great advice on the Triglycerides.. I had no idea that eating carbs even the day before could affect your numbers. I fasted the normal 12 hours, but can't even remember what I ate the few days before my test. Low in fat.. I'm sure, but probably not carbs & sugar. My one question is.. why doesn't my doctor seem to know any of this? I asked him why the numbers could have gone up so much (Tri's).. and he said they *can* fluctuate a bit, but offered no information on sugars, carbs, etc. It's like it's easier for them to tell me just to go on medication!! Ugh..

    Thanks again for the information!

     
    Old 06-17-2003, 04:25 PM   #9
    sgale
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    im 20 and have the same problem, i just used to eat too many sweets. what i did every morning i ate oatmeal, didnt eat sweets anymore (only once in a while) and took the fish oil (carlson is supposed to be the best). and my cholesterol and tliglycerides lowered drastically.

     
    Old 06-19-2003, 10:41 AM   #10
    Chaos247
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    Your HDL (the good cholesterol) is a great number though. (Ideal is greater than 39). All my numbers are bad. I have a new post as well to my story..its titled Should I be on meds yet? Anybody that has some input please post to me..I am so frustrated.

     
    Old 07-03-2003, 10:41 AM   #11
    dbmalkin
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    So.. I went to a lipid specialist a week ago. He was very thorough.. and basically said because of my lack of risk factors/family history.. I do not need to go on medication!! (This is a good thing!)

    He did retest me that day.. my new numbers are:

    Total: 267
    HDL: 69
    LDL: 175
    Tri: 175

    Triglycerides are down a bit (he suspected change of birth control pill and/or few pounds gained (3).. could have made a difference in that last test.
    My HDL's are better then they have ever been But what's up with those darn LDL's??? They've gone from 151 - 175 in a matter of weeks with little/no change in diet or exercise. Makes no sense!

    He did say that I could go on Statins for cosmetic reasons (I have xanthalasma under my eyes).. but I would like to wait until I'm all done having children. When he did my risk assement.. my chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years is less than 1%.

    Of course he said to keep up with diet and exercise.. and to consider fish oil supplements. Any suggestions??

    [This message has been edited by dbmalkin (edited 07-03-2003).]

     
    Old 07-03-2003, 04:41 PM   #12
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by dbmalkin:
    They've gone from 151 - 175 in a matter of weeks with little/no change in diet or exercise. Makes no sense!
    If you tested yourself every day for a week, you would see that these differences make perfect sense. This demonstrates one of my pet peeves about people getting all crazed over a change in their numbers when comparing some numbers from the past to now.

    It is possible to have 220 total today and be tested three days later and show a number of 190. Or have an LDL of 160 today and have that same number be 130 in a couple of days. If people realized how much fluctuation can occur both as a part of the body process as well as the lab process, more would realize that making a decision based on a single test would be crazy.

    I have two home testing devises that take blood from a pin *****. These are made by two different companies and are clearly not the same devises in different clothes. They take different test strips and have a completely different look, size, time for results, etc. However, the one thing that they have in common is that they both read very close to each other. Within 10 points consistently.

    I have done my own experiments where I use both devises to get two sets of numbers for my total. I have done this for a week. In that one-week period they both charted the ups and down similarly. They both confirmed the nature of just how much these numbers can fluctuate. All tests were done in the morning after fasting all night.

    My point is, any given reading can be different than what it would have been yesterday or what it might be tomorrow. I have no reasonable answer for this; other than to preach that you cannot make a decision based on a comparison of two sets of numbers made months apart, unless these differences are quite considerable.



     
    Old 07-30-2003, 04:31 PM   #13
    cindeerella29
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    ARIZONA....Hey there, how can carbs increase your triglycerides?

     
    Old 07-30-2003, 07:34 PM   #14
    ARIZONA73
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    Elevated triglycerides are largely a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism. The more sugars, white flour, and starches you consume, the higher your triglycerides are likely to be. People who are very athletic will burn carbohydrates quite quickly, so it is not much of a problem for them. But for most of us, it can be a real troublemaker. Carbohydrates convert to sugar. When there is an excess of sugar, insulin levels also rise. When too much insulin is circulating in our bloodstream, triglycerides jump dramactically and our cholesterol ratios worsen, with HDL falling and LDL rising. This is precisely why you see so many overweight people today. Fat doesn't make them fat, but triglycerides will. It deposits itself as fat.
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    Old 07-30-2003, 08:37 PM   #15
    dbmalkin
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    Okay.. I think I get it.. but my triglycerides are pretty high, and I am not overweight at all... Also, my HDL's are consistently good. Could there be something else going on?

     
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