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  • Good news, bad news! What to do?

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    Old 11-02-2007, 12:37 PM   #1
    tbdbitlfan
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    Good news, bad news! What to do?

    8 weeks ago I had my cholesterol checked. Here are my numbers:
    Total: 268 Triglycerides: 154
    HDL: 69 VLDL: 31
    LDL: 168
    Dr. wanted me to go on meds., I said no I would try to get it down on my own. Got new results today as follows:
    Total: 218 Triglycerides: 208
    HDL: 48 VLDL: 42
    LDL: 128
    Much better for the most part, but what happened to my Triglycerides???

     
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    Old 11-02-2007, 03:42 PM   #2
    Guy1_USA
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    My guess is too many carbs. Cut out the carbs and your TG's should improve.

    IMHO, I would go back to the way you were eating as you had a much better ratio of 3.88 on that diet. Now your HDL is way down causing your ratio to rise to 4.33, which is not nearly as good.

    Best of luck.

     
    Old 11-02-2007, 06:08 PM   #3
    Red60
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    I'm with VentureMan betting on the carbs. Did you start eating more healthy whole wheat grains? Fruit juices?

    The sad truth is your risk is most likely worse than it was before. I'll bet if you had a lipoprotien test that broke the LDL down into the sub groups you would find that the small dense ldl actually increased. They are believed to be the most dangerous of the LDLs.

    Can you tell us what dietary changes you made.

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 05:45 AM   #4
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Thanks so much for your imput. You both think my numbers are worse? My dr. said my numbers looked much better. On my printout of my report. My HDL is in the normal range of 40-59. I guess I am confused by what you are saying. This is how I changed my diet. I now eat oats every morning with a banana. I put cinn. on my oats. For lunch I usually have turkey on one slice of whole grain bread, heartwise orange juice, and some kind of fruit or occasionally low fat yogert. Dinner is usually chicken, or fish. One night a week maybe chopped sirlion, baked potato with spray no fat butter. I have had no pasta since I started this new diet. Oh, I also have a skim milk, sugar free latte most days. I guess I really have no idea what to do. I thought I was doing so much better when I got my report because my total Choles. was down. Now I don't know what to do!! Wasn't 268 way to high for my total cholesterol??

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Having High HDL tends to be better than low LDL. Your HDL dropped a ton... and I'm pretty sure it's because you have cut out fat from your diet. Fat is good are raising HDL.

    HDL carries the LDL to the liver for processing. LDL that does not get carried back is the stuff that has a greater chance of clogging your arteries.

    So in short, the more HDL, the better. The ratio is a much more important indicator in determining risk. You Ratio went way up... and so did your risk.

    Personally... I would have just cut out the bad carbs from your diet... like potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta... and replace them with fresh veggies and salads.

    and by all means... start using butter again.

    The funny thing about cholesterol is that it can be high in anyone regardless of weight and size and diet and exercise. it's funny stuff.

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 09:08 AM   #6
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    So what you are saying is that just because my total cholesterol was high did not mean anything? When it was 268 my dr. wanted to put me on meds. With this set of blood results he was happy and told me to keep doing what I am doing! I already have fibromyalsia so I don't need the extra muscle pain that I have heard about statins! All this is very confusing to me. What about the high trigs? Should I worry about them? Maybe I should just forget about it and go back to how I was eating and enjoy life more!!! I am 53 yrs. old and this diet thing is killing me!! I don't eat much bread, or pasta. I do eat a baked potato a couple times a week. When I fix rice I use brown rice....although I don't care for it!! I will take your advise about the salad and veggies, although I have been eating more of both. Any other tips you can give me would be appreciated. I am to be retested in 6 mo. should I wait that long? My mother had high cholesterol and so does my dad, maybe I am just prone to have it too. Thanks for the help.

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 02:57 PM   #7
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Quote:
    So what you are saying is that just because my total cholesterol was high did not mean anything?
    Not exactly. It depends on the make up or pattern of your cholesterol. Seems like there are a number of different ways to assess risk. Some believe the ratio of TC/HDL and TG/HDL are good indicators. Some believe that elevated TC in itself is a risk. It seems that most doctors focus on the LDL levels.

    The most current thinking is that the size of the different lipoproteins is actually of great importance. There are actually two types of cholesterol that are very damaging. Small Dense LDL and Lp (a). You could have LDL of 115 and be at high risk if a large part of the LDL were of these types. You could also have LDL of 170 and have a very low risk if your LDL where of the large fluffy variety.

    HDL size is also important. Some hdl is protective but not all. Some people have very good total hdl numbers but a small percentage is of protective type. So they may be living with a false sence of security.

    The common cholesterol test do not give you this information but there are tests available that will provide you with this and in most cases they are covered by insurance.

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 03:09 PM   #8
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Quote:
    All this is very confusing to me. What about the high trigs? Should I worry about them?
    High TG can go hand in hand with the Small Dense LDL. So if the TG are elevated it could be a sign the sd-LDL are also high. But again the only way to know is to get the proper test. Personally I think you should try to get them below 70using a combination of diet, fishoil and possibly niacin.

    There is also a type of TG that is more damaging than the other types. VLDL-3 is considered the most dangerous TG so just having a low TG number may not be enough.

    My last test TGs were 69 and my VLDL-3 (small remnant) level was 12 any thing above 10 is considered high.

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 03:28 PM   #9
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Red60-- I appriciate all your info, although a lot of it is hard to understand. At this point I am thinking maybe I was better off not even knowing my numbers cause now I have no idea what to do. I was happy with my new results except for my tg level. My dr. says things look better and to re-test in 6 mo. When you had all those extra tests did you just know about them and ask your dr. to run them or was that called for by your dr.? My responses on here lead me to think I could still be in big trouble. Maybe I should just leave it all up to God and worry about something else!!

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 04:10 PM   #10
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Hi Tb, The same thing that happened to you happened to me. My doctor told me to lower my cholesterol and come back in 4 months. I did and all numbers SEEMED to be going in the right direction but total cholesterol still was not low enough so he told me to work on it for 2 more months. I continued to eat everything I should and also took up riding the exercise bike 6 mornings a week. I go back after two months and my total cholesterol is down but only because my HDL plummeted and not only that but my triglycerides went way up. And my ratio went way up. I was much better off beforehand even though the total cholesterol was over 200. My doctor said don't worry about it, your total is under 200, that's all that counts. I can't agree with my doctor now that my HDL is 1 point from "unfavorable" and my triglycerides have gone up. LDL is still too high. The only reason I was able to get under 200 is because my good cholesterol went down. I can't offer you any advice because I am in the same boat but I can sympathize with you. It sounds like part of your problem is genetics (same here). Like others have said increasing your carbs will raise your triglycerides. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't!

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 05:24 PM   #11
    tbdbitlfan
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Blue..well, at least you made me feel a little better about my situation! Don't you think Drs. would be up on all this and know when things were not right? Seems like they are all stuck on just getting the tc count down and don't worry about the other numbers. I will try to cut out more carbs although I really don't eat that many now! I am not a huge salad eater, two or three a week is about all I can take, but I will work on eating at least one a day!! What are you plans next?

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 06:31 PM   #12
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tbdbitlfan View Post
    Don't you think Drs. would be up on all this and know when things were not right? Seems like they are all stuck on just getting the tc count down and don't worry about the other numbers.
    Yes you would think that doctors would be up on this. The sad truth is that they are not. In fact from what I've read most cardio specialist are not up to date when it comes to cholesterol and the proper ways to treat the different possible patterns.


    Quote:
    When you had all those extra tests did you just know about them and ask your dr. to run them or was that called for by your dr.?
    My doctor uses the VAP test. But not for the reasons you might expect. He likes it because you can get an accurate LDL reading without fasting. My doctor is young and his education is recent. He didn't have clue how to use the extra information that the test provided. You should have seen the look on his face when I explained the test results to him and told him the best methods to treat some of the different patterns. He really seemed to be interested in what I was saying. He even asked for the addresses of the web sites that I had made reference to and wrote them down. A fair amout of what I told him came straight off the VAP Testing Labs Site so you would think since he uses their test he would have at least looked it over.

    A lot of the information that I trust comes from Dr. William Davis. I would love to post a link to his site but the rules will not allow. If you happen to run accross his many articles take some time a look them over. I'll give you the short version of his basic approach.

    Eliminate all transfats and hydrogenated fats, limit heated fats as much as possible.

    He would recommend low carb with NO Wheat.

    Make up the missing calories with good fats. Nuts, avacado olive oil, ect.......

    limit the animal fats and saturated fats < 7% of total calories.

    Supplement with fish oil 4-6 grams per day

    Make sure your vitamin D3 levels are near the upper limits

    If you have small dense LDL, Lp (a) or low HDL - Treat with Niacin

    Exercise 4-6 times per week

    If all the above fails to reduce LDL to acceptable levels then treat with the lowest possible statin dose. He finds this to only be neccessary with about 5% of his pacients.

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 06:56 PM   #13
    tbdbitlfan
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    No Wheat?? I have always been told to stay away from white bread! Now I always buy 12 grain bread. I sure am getting more confused by the minute! lol I think maybe Venture is right...go back to my original diet except add more fruits and veggies and virtually cut out all the carbs I can. I may try that until I go back in 6 mo. and see what my numbers are then.

     
    Old 11-06-2007, 03:49 PM   #14
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tbdbitlfan View Post
    Blue..well, at least you made me feel a little better about my situation! Don't you think Drs. would be up on all this and know when things were not right? Seems like they are all stuck on just getting the tc count down and don't worry about the other numbers. I will try to cut out more carbs although I really don't eat that many now! I am not a huge salad eater, two or three a week is about all I can take, but I will work on eating at least one a day!! What are you plans next?
    TB, I am just going to continue this diet, I guess. Hard to do with Thanksgiving coming up, though!! I planned on going back to 1% milk instead of skim but I really want as little fat in me as possible. I wish my doctor had been more helpful. He used to tell me not to worry that my cholesterol was over 200 because my ratio was good and now he tells me just be glad it it under 200 (even though the ratio is no longer good). I'm so confused. Another thing that has a lot to do with cholesterol in women is menopause, estrogen helps to keep it down and when you lose that protection, up it goes.

     
    Old 11-06-2007, 06:09 PM   #15
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    Re: Good news, bad news! What to do?

    Milk is the area you should not be concerned with. Low fat milk is high in sugar. And in less you are drinking a half gallon a day of milk... I'd stick with whole meilk... it's only 3%.

    Animal fat actually raises your HDL... so I would be sooooo against dropping it altogether.

    I did a vegan diet for about a year... and my cholesterol went through the roof... raised it a bunch. I attribute this to the replacement of fat with carbs.

    Carbs just raise triglycerides and LDL... and lack of animal fat just lowers HDL.

    Something to think about.

     
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