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  • Is it what I eat or just my gene?

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    Old 09-11-2006, 08:57 AM   #1
    tinbin
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    Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Hi all,

    I have recently been diagnosed as having both High BP and High cholesterol (HDL around 80 & LDL around 200). Luckily, it was later found out that my high BP may be just white coat hypertension.

    For my high cholesterol, I asked my doctor whether it was caused by my unhealthy lifestyle as I was living really unheathily for the past 2 years, e.g.,10-15 pieces of Oreo per day or 100-200g of chips or 2 butter egg tarts in addition to the normal meals and I don't really exercise. But my doctor told me that it's unlikely that someone can get such high cholesterol just eating unheathily and put me on 10mg Crestor.

    I am 38 years old. My families don't have any history of heart attack, stroke or diabete except my grandfather who had a stroke when he was in his seventies. I had my cholesterol checked about ten years ago and the total number was 189 (I don't know the number of HDL & LDL). I just wonder is there any chance that my high cholesterol level can be lowered by changing my lifestyle or drugs are really necessary?

    Last edited by tinbin; 09-11-2006 at 09:01 AM.

     
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    Old 09-11-2006, 10:00 AM   #2
    Pivly
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    White coat high cholesterol?

    Hmmm, I would be interested to hear from other people who had abnormally high blood pressure at the doctor (due to anxiety/stress, whatever) but otherwise normal blood pressure when calm.

     
    Old 09-11-2006, 07:28 PM   #3
    tinbin
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Thanks for your response. But if you read my post carefully, I never said that my high cholesterol level is caused by white coat.

    I am asking whether my high cholesterol level is caused by my unhealthy lifestyle for the past 2 years. And and it be lowered by just changing my lifestyle.

    I would be very grateful if anyone can give me some advices.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pivly
    White coat high cholesterol?

    Hmmm, I would be interested to hear from other people who had abnormally high blood pressure at the doctor (due to anxiety/stress, whatever) but otherwise normal blood pressure when calm.

     
    Old 09-11-2006, 08:48 PM   #4
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    tinbin, you said that about ten years ago your total cholesterol was 189. This would tend to support the idae that your high readings now are due to lifestyle. If you had genetic issues they probably would have consistently shown over the years. I'd sure try diet and exercise first.

     
    Old 09-11-2006, 10:42 PM   #5
    tinbin
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Thanks, mmvic. That is what I thought as well. But my doctor said that my last cholesterol test was too old to be vaild.

    He told me that he will put me on 10mg Crestor for 3 months first to lower my cholesterol level because my LDL was way too high. After that, he will take me off Crestor and see whether my cholesterol level will go through the roof again with me changing my diet and doing exercise at the time.

    I already started taking Crestor for about 4 weeks. But after going through this board and now knowing the serious side effects of Crestor, I am scared to continue with the drug. I wonder can I minimize the possibility of any side effects by taking the pill every 2 days instead of every day.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mmvic
    tinbin, you said that about ten years ago your total cholesterol was 189. This would tend to support the idae that your high readings now are due to lifestyle. If you had genetic issues they probably would have consistently shown over the years. I'd sure try diet and exercise first.

     
    Old 09-11-2006, 11:09 PM   #6
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    I, too, think there is a high probability that your cholesterol problem is just a lifestyle problem. If your total cholesterol was 280, you have a TC/HDL ratio of 3.5. That's good. I agree that it would be desirable to get your TC down, but with a ratio that good, I wouldn't see it as any emergency situation if it were me. I would have told my doctor I wanted to try lifestyle changes first. (In fact, I did just that three years ago when my ratio was 4.0 and she wanted me to start on a statin. I eventually did start on niacin instead, but my diet had been pretty good to start, so I didn't have a whole lot of room for improvement.)

    Last edited by Uff-Da!; 09-11-2006 at 11:10 PM.

     
    Old 09-12-2006, 03:53 AM   #7
    Pivly
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinbin
    Thanks for your response. But if you read my post carefully, I never said that my high cholesterol level is caused by white coat.
    Sorry, normal people usually don't "get" me.

    I have been researching increased cholesterol due to anxiety. My response was mearly tongue in cheek but your case is interesting to me because my BP did something similar and my cholesterol was unusually high.

     
    Old 09-12-2006, 07:50 AM   #8
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinbin
    Hi all,

    I have recently been diagnosed as having both High BP and High cholesterol (HDL around 80 & LDL around 200). Luckily, it was later found out that my high BP may be just white coat hypertension.

    For my high cholesterol, I asked my doctor whether it was caused by my unhealthy lifestyle as I was living really unheathily for the past 2 years, e.g.,10-15 pieces of Oreo per day or 100-200g of chips or 2 butter egg tarts in addition to the normal meals and I don't really exercise. But my doctor told me that it's unlikely that someone can get such high cholesterol just eating unheathily and put me on 10mg Crestor.

    I am 38 years old. My families don't have any history of heart attack, stroke or diabete except my grandfather who had a stroke when he was in his seventies. I had my cholesterol checked about ten years ago and the total number was 189 (I don't know the number of HDL & LDL). I just wonder is there any chance that my high cholesterol level can be lowered by changing my lifestyle or drugs are really necessary?
    If your doctor is telling you your numbers have nothing to do with your diet he's crazy and you should get somebody else. I had numbers very similar to yours. I was able to drop my LDL from 200 to 140 in 90 days by adopting a very low fat diet (10grams a day). Try it for 3 months and retest. What do you have to lose?? You may still need to go on Crestor but maybe you will be able to keep the dose to its lowest. Your high HDL is a big plus. Expect that your HDL will drop a bit with this diet. You can keep it up there by exercising, adding a glass of wine a day and perhaps a niacin supplement although I would check with the doc on the last one. I take 1000mg under a doctor's supervision. My numbers are currently HDL 80 and LDL 128 (formerly 200). Good luck!

     
    Old 09-12-2006, 11:00 AM   #9
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    First, I think I might have got my cholesterol numbers a little wrong. My total cholesterol level may be 270 with HDL around 70 and LDL around 200. I have to check with my doctor next time I see him to make sure. I am quite sure about the LDL level. It is the HDL level that I am not quite sure whether it is 70 or 80. Sorry.

    Anyway, I am feeling much better after reading all the supports and advices. Thank you.

    I was very scared that I might have to be on statin for life. But now I know that there is still a chance that my cholesterol level can be lowered with a healthier lifestyle.

    As I have said in my previous posts, I was living really unhealthy for the past 2 years and gain more than 15 pounds during that period. After I discovered I have high cholesterol level at the end of July, I started jogging 30 or 40 minutes a time and 4 to 5 days a week. I also started to eat more healthily. (No more cream biscuits, chocolates and tarts!!). Now, I lost 15 pounds.

    My plan is to take the 10mg Crestor every other day until my next appointment with my doctor, which is about mid-Oct. The I will stop taking Crestor and see how does my cholesterol level go. Or should I just stop taking it now? I could use some more suggestions

     
    Old 09-12-2006, 12:19 PM   #10
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Even with a HDL of 70, your ratio is still under 4. I don't see why your doctor would prescribe crestor at this point.

     
    Old 09-12-2006, 12:57 PM   #11
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Try a different doctor. It doesn't really make sense for him to just put you on medicine and expect the medicine to do all the work. Even if you have to be on medicine, you still have to be put on a low fat diet and exercise or it's not going to go down very much. What about niacin instead of the stains? Also, it is normal for cholesterol to be higher as we reach a certain age like 70.

    Was this cholesterol reading done on at least a 12 hour fast? What did you eat the day before? How stressed out were you? All this has a barring on your test results.
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    Old 09-12-2006, 01:35 PM   #12
    tinbin
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    He did ask me to cut down the fat in my diet and exercise more. His opinion is that my cholesterol level is off the chart, so I have to get the level back to normal fast with the help of Crestor first and will take me off Crestor after 3 months. Anyway, he suspects that my high cholesterol level is genetic.

    I didn't eat anything for more than 12 hours before the test and I was quite nervous during the test. Actually I started excercising and cut down on fat a week before the test.

    I am planning to take the 10mg Crestor every other day until mid-Oct. Do you think I should stop taking it now? How long does it take to see any results with just low fat diet and exercise?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magpiezoe
    Try a different doctor. It doesn't really make sense for him to just put you on medicine and expect the medicine to do all the work. Even if you have to be on medicine, you still have to be put on a low fat diet and exercise or it's not going to go down very much. What about niacin instead of the stains? Also, it is normal for cholesterol to be higher as we reach a certain age like 70.

    Was this cholesterol reading done on at least a 12 hour fast? What did you eat the day before? How stressed out were you? All this has a barring on your test results.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elsie3205
    Even with a HDL of 70, your ratio is still under 4. I don't see why your doctor would prescribe crestor at this point.

    Last edited by tinbin; 09-12-2006 at 01:41 PM.

     
    Old 09-12-2006, 11:38 PM   #13
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Hi all,

    I called my doctor to re-check my cholesterol numbers. It turned out that they are MUCH worse than what I remembered!! (Guess the Crestor is starting to show its side effects!! ) HDL is 62, LDL is 214 and the total cholesterol level is 291. Well, the HDL and LDL doesn't add up to 291 (that is why I thought my total cholesterol is only around 280), but the nurse told me that the total cholesterol level is not calculated by just adding HDL & LDL together.

    Sorry for posting the wrong info. Do the new numbers change any of your advices? Please help.

    Whatever, I guess I am screwed for sure!!

    Last edited by tinbin; 09-13-2006 at 01:01 AM.

     
    Old 09-13-2006, 04:26 AM   #14
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    I have similar numbers. Mine are actually a little higher although your HDL is much better than mine.

    Personally although my doctor wants me on medication right away I'm not going to do it until I at least try changes to my exercise routine and diet. I just want to see what happens with those changes.

    I'm also going to have my next test done at a lab that specializes in blood/cholesterol tests. My previous test was done with one of those tests done right in the doctor's office and I'm not convinced of the realiablity of those.

    For some reason I was more anxious than usual when I went for the cholesterol test, probably because it was early in the morning and I'm really unstable in the morning. My blood pressure goes all crazy at the doctors like it sounds yours did. I'm going to try to stay more calm next time, maybe go in the afternoon instead of morning. I'm also going to fast for more like 16 hours or so.

    Last edited by Pivly; 09-13-2006 at 04:27 AM.

     
    Old 09-13-2006, 05:33 AM   #15
    tinbin
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    Re: Is it what I eat or just my gene?

    Thanks Pivly. I am still not sure what I should do. This cholesterol thing is totally new to me!! But I am so glad that I found this board and so many people gave me valuable advices. Thank you.

    Should I continue taking Crestor? What should I do to naturally lower my total cholesterol level and at the same time keep or raise my HDL level? So many questions......

    I've learnt that an average man's HDL ranging from 40 to 50 mg/dL and the goal is to keep the TC to HDL ratio below 5:1 (the optimum ratio is 3.5:1). My HDL is 61 and TC to HDL ratio is 4.7:1. It at least makes me feel a little better.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pivly
    I have similar numbers. Mine are actually a little higher although your HDL is much better than mine.

    Personally although my doctor wants me on medication right away I'm not going to do it until I at least try changes to my exercise routine and diet. I just want to see what happens with those changes.

    I'm also going to have my next test done at a lab that specializes in blood/cholesterol tests. My previous test was done with one of those tests done right in the doctor's office and I'm not convinced of the realiablity of those.

    For some reason I was more anxious than usual when I went for the cholesterol test, probably because it was early in the morning and I'm really unstable in the morning. My blood pressure goes all crazy at the doctors like it sounds yours did. I'm going to try to stay more calm next time, maybe go in the afternoon instead of morning. I'm also going to fast for more like 16 hours or so.

    Last edited by tinbin; 09-13-2006 at 05:36 AM.

     
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