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  • Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

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    Old 09-02-2007, 04:10 PM   #1
    Barbara_Ann
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    Thyroid & LDL Cholesterol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    I'm not having any success in lowering my LDL cholesterol through diet. It stays around 143.

    I don't really understand cholesterol that well. My total is 222 presently with 69 for my HDL.

    How "bad" is this? Doc put me on Zocor 10mg this last visit because it isn't coming down but, I'm so sick of taking "more" drugs. I also think I'm experiencing some muscle aches and pains from this stuff.

    Crazy thing is, June of last year when I was first diagnosed hypoT my LDL was 126. I was not eating well at all because I was too tired to cook and opted for the easy way - ahem ..... a lot of Maria Callender's to be exact. LDL went up sooooooooooo, I went to South Beach and have been on it for several months but LDL is remaining the same. South Beach didn't raise the cholesterol but, it's not getting it down either.

    I'm just interested in others experience with cholesterol levels after diagnosed with thyroid condition. Also, anyone that can educate me some on cholestrol in any respect please jump in as well. Can stress cause high LDL?

    I've read some articles on internet that this whole cholesterol issue is exaggerated and that cholesterol does not cause heart attacks.



    My sister and a friend's totals are around 240 and their doctor's haven't put them on medication. Why me??? Both of my grandmother's lived into their late late 90's, did not really pay attention to diet, and NEVER even knew they had cholesterol.

    Last edited by Barbara_Ann; 09-02-2007 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Spelling

     
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    Old 09-02-2007, 09:43 PM   #2
    midwest1
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholesterol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    My numbers are comparable to yours, and my doctor is not concerned about them. Of course, he's a holistic guy... unsold on statins, so that makes a big difference. My former "regular" doctor wanted me on them, but I refused. All of the reading I've done on it leads me to conclude that I'd much rather risk the LDL than the drugs.

    For your comparison, my total is 216, LDL 126, HDL 57, triglycerides 167. Your HDL is even better than mine; I'm positively envious of your LDL/HDL ratio. I've read what you have read... that LDL isn't at all what we should worry about. The worry should be over low HDL, high triglycerides, and arterial inflammation as measured by the CRP test that extremely few MDs ever bother to order. Why should they? The labs that do CRP tests don't send MDs on Carribean vacations for sending business their way like Big Pharma does for prescribing statins.
    (Sorry for the soapbox rant.)

    Here's the deal: "Optimal" levels for cholesterol in people without heart disease are ~
    Total 200 or less;
    LDL 100 or less [Just a short time ago, 130 or less was considered "optimal". Guess they weren't selling enough statins, so the rules had to change.];
    HDL 60 or higher.
    Less than optimal, but still considered safe levels are ~
    Total less than 240;
    LDL less than 160;
    HDL greater than 40 for men or 50 for women.
    Triglycerides should be less than 150. (I've had success lowering trigs through vigorous exercise and lowering sugar intake. They still aren't ideal, but neither is my exercise regimen )

    A few doctors consider ratios more important than the absolute numbers in determining risk. An optimal Total/HDL ratio is about 3.3:1 and an optimal LDL/HDL ratio is about 1.7:1. Your total/HDL is optimal, and your LDL/HDL ratio is much better than optimal. My ratios are also good, so I'm not worried, and you aren't going to find me taking a statin any time soon.

    All that said, my DH takes two statins. Nine years ago, he had two heart attacks and a quintuple bypass. He's afraid not to take the statins, and frankly, I'd be afraid for him not to as well. Since his cardiologist added Zetia to his Lipitor last spring, he has had some issues with unexplainedly sore bicep muscles. I constantly worry about what the stuff is doing to his liver. But hey... whatcha gonna do?

    The thing that most disappointed me about my thyroid treatment is that it had absolutely zero effect on my LDL. That was surprising. Glad I'm not that worried about it anyway. lol

     
    Old 09-03-2007, 06:55 AM   #3
    Barbara_Ann
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    Thanks Midwest1, I was hoping you'd be one of the first to respond on this issue because I recalled you discussing it before. Like you, thyroid treatment is "not" affecting my LDL one way or another. I'm on levothyroxine and believe you're on armour. That is as confusing to me as the weight loss issue. It seems that treatment would have some impact on both but it doesn't seem to. Of course we are still trying to get me to my optimal dosage on the thyroid medication. However, it still is my understanding that a thyroid condition can affect cholesterol levels. Is that correct?

    Also, what about stress? Do you or anyone else know how much of an impact it has on LDL cholesterol. I work in a very very stressful enviornment. I'll be getting out of it in 14 months (retiring) but meanwhile I'm having to endure.

    The hidden damage these statins can do to the liver and other areas is what really concerns me. I stopped taking the Zocor as of yesterday.

    What is your or anyone else's opinion of CoQ10 in relation to cholesterol or keeping the arteries clear?

    BTW do you do the aspirin a day therapy? I take a baby aspirin.

    Last edited by Barbara_Ann; 09-03-2007 at 07:15 AM.

     
    Old 09-03-2007, 10:19 AM   #4
    midwest1
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Barbara_Ann View Post
    Of course we are still trying to get me to my optimal dosage on the thyroid medication. However, it still is my understanding that a thyroid condition can affect cholesterol levels. Is that correct?
    There is some hope for you that your cholesterol will come down once you're treatment is optimal. However, mine has been optimal for some time, and it didn't come down one iota. I have seen accounts here from people whose did improve with thyroid treatment, however.
    Hypothyroidism is the second-leading cause of elevated LDL following poor diet. So the answer to your second question is a resounding yes.

    I'm certainly no expert on any of this, but I doubt stress affects LDL. It might play a role in artery inflammation, though. You might want to look into that possibility.

    The CO-Q10 facts have worried me in my DH's situation. Statins are known to deplete it, so I asked DH's cardio about supplementing it. He did not recommend it, but didn't go into all the scientific reasons for his position; I feel sure he's one MD who reads all the latest research instead of going by what he learned in med school, so I have confidence in him, but I can't help but have my doubts. The cardio does strongly recommend fish oil - which DH refuses to take.

    Because of my high-normal cholesterol, I asked my MD about the advisability of an aspirin regimen for myself. He isn't an advocate of it and favors fish oil for heart health. So... there you go. Fish oil does have a blood-thinning, anti-clotting effect and it also calms inflammation... like aspirin, but presumably with other benefits as well. I've found a brand and a method of taking fish oil that I can tolerate, so that's what I'm doing.

    I urge you not to stop your Zocor based on my lay opinions of all this. No cholesterol guru am I. I am only one person feeling the same doubt as you about the long-term risks of statins. Look how long it took for the "experts" to figure out that estrogen replacement was killing women. Can't ignore the fact that these products are so profitable that unscrupulous companies will hide the dangers to protect their pocketbooks ... and the FDA is so impotent that they can't (or won't) stop it.

    I used to frequent the High Cholesterol board here. At that time, it was full of knowledgeable folks with cholesterol issues, sharing the methods they use for keeping it at bay. You might want to visit there to see what they're saying about it.

     
    Old 09-03-2007, 08:25 PM   #5
    Barbara_Ann
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    I'm not stopping the Zocor based on your info alone. Truthfully, I'm leary of these statins and just don't feel that my totals necessarily warrant medication.

    I had to pick up my levothyroxine prescription today and while at the pharmacy I asked the pharmacist about cholesterol. He said "when I got out of school they recommended it be 250 and under and now they've changed it to below 200". When I told him what my LDL/HDL totals were he basically agreed with what you said. I also asked his opinion about these statins and he said very reluctantly........they can cause liver problems.

    I'm gonna continue to work with diet. Maybe that and the higher dosage of hormone will help some. If it stays the same or goes down that will be good. If it goes up considerably I'll get back on it. I just hate all this medication. I take a horde of vitamins and then medications - it drives me nuts trying to keep up with it all.

    I did the Fish Oil religiously to no avail as far as my cholesterol was concerned. My mom seemed to have success with it. I need to get back on it I suppose for overall heart health.

    Thanks for your input.

     
    Old 09-03-2007, 09:14 PM   #6
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    From a dietary angle ... Have you tried using oats and other sources of fiber to try clearing more LDL from your system? Some people find daily intake of psyllium husks (as in Metamucil) to be helpful. And switching to a cholesterol-controlling spread such as Smart Balance might shave a few points off the total. Any of these would be much safer than statins.

    Well... good health and long life to us all, eh?

     
    Old 09-04-2007, 05:29 PM   #7
    Barbara_Ann
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    You know, I forgot all about the "oats"........duh lol

    I used to eat them all the time but it seems like I read some where that they can affect the absorption of synthroid/levothyroxine. Lordy, I can't process or remember all this info lol

    Surely, if I didn't eat them until 4 hours after taking the medication it would be ok ??????

    I usually wake up between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. and take my pill at that time.

    I'll get back on the oats and see how that works.

    Life was much less complicated when I was sewing MY oats Midwest1 , rather then eating them.

    Last edited by Barbara_Ann; 09-04-2007 at 05:30 PM.

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 12:40 PM   #8
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    Bringing this back to the top because I had an eye-opening discovery this morning, and I want to put it on the record. I was wrong about thyroid treatment having no effect on my LDL. It has, in fact, had a significant effect which I didn't realize until I compared the tests.

    To see the pattern, take a look at my cholesterol levels to date, if you're interested:

    (Total chol should be less than 200; LDL less than 130.)
    Date------ Total ------ LDL------ HDL

    8/02 ------ 236------ 147 ------- 62
    1/03 ------ 239 ------ 149 ------ 64
    2/03 ------ 232 ------ 143 ------ 69

    The above levels were taken by the quack who refused to run a basic TSH screening when I asked him to, but who insisted I take Lipitor based on these borderline results. I refused the statin, wanting to try diet and exercise before resorting to drugs. The latter two tests were done after an intense attempt at exercise and improved diet. In all that time, after increasing the exercise duration and intensity, I'd lost only 4 pounds, and you can see it made no difference in the total or LDL cholesterol. This was the reason I originally believed my thyroid wasn't working well. I knew that all that lifestyle improvement should've been more benefit to me, and that's why I asked for the thyroid screening. Idiot doctor.

    The first test below was done at the onset of thyroid treatment, the others since then:

    Date------ Total ------ LDL------ HDL

    10/03 ----- 231 ------- 148 ----- 51
    3/06 ------ 212 ------- 115 ----- 62
    6/07 ------ 216 ------- 126 ----- 57

    As you can see, the difference between the onset of treatment and now is dramatic... and without futilely killing myself with exercise or statins!
    There's hope for you yet, Barbara Ann.

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 01:08 PM   #9
    georgie04
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    Thanks so much for posting this Midwest - this is something I have been struggling with too. Even though I have always had a healthy diet, which I have improved on - my cholesterol numbers won't budge.

    So it's good to know there is hope!!!!

     
    Old 10-15-2007, 05:38 AM   #10
    Barbara_Ann
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    Re: Thyroid & LDL Cholestrol ~ unsucessful in getting it down

    Good grief ! I just now found this last reply from you on this cholesterol issue Midwest1.

    I'm bumping it so others can see it again also (and for those who missed it first time around).

    Very encouraging numbers, thanks for posting them.

    BTW - I've been doing the high fiber and oatmeal religiously since I first started this thread. Hopefully, that and this higher dosage has made some difference in mine as well.

    Last edited by Barbara_Ann; 10-15-2007 at 05:42 AM.

     
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