Discussions that mention lovastatin

Heart Disorders board


Wow, I agree with you completely about seeing another cardiologist. This guy was no help at all, and talk about a crummy bedside manner! What a jerk. There are plenty of cardiologists out there who will explain test results to you and be able to reassure you, like the one I saw. Your cardiologist made it sound like you are a time bomb waiting to go off. So don't go back to him again. Your second cholesterol results were indeed much better, BUT, as you already stated, an HDL of 27 is too low. Your goal is to get it over 40. Your LDL goal should be under 100. That's great that your triglycerides are good.

Here is what happened with me - I had gained nearly 40 pounds, mainly from increasing age, nearing menopause, and eating lots of fatty foods and candy, and slacking off on the exercise. I'd always been skinny my whole life, and suddenly I got on the scale one day and it read 172! I could not believe it. My doctor ran my yearly blood panel, and my total cholesterol was 272! My LDL was 150, my HDL was 46. My triglycerides were OK. This scared me. So I went on a low fat diet and exercised every day on an exercise bike for 20 minutes. In six weeks I had my blood rechecked and my total cholesterol was down to 219. 53 points in six weeks - so unless its genetic, you CAN get it down. I'm proof. They wanted to put me on Lovastatin, but I wanted to see if I could do it with diet and exercise alone. It isn't easy, but it can be done. Fear is what motivated me - I didn't want a heart attack or stroke. I also lost 37 lbs. in the last nine months, so my cholesterol is probably down even more by now.

Since your HDL is low, how is your diet? Do you eat fish at least twice a week (those omega-3 fatty acids really help to boost HDL) and lots of veggies and fruits? Particularly citrus? Those will also boost your HDL. Do you eat only whole grain breads, cereal and pasta? How about yogurt? Oatmeal? And keep your egg consumption down to no more than two eggs per week. No processed meats like bologna, sausage or bacon. I don't often eat red meat. If you want a burger, eat turkey burgers - they're GOOD! Eat soy protein. I drink only soy milk and eat only soy cheese. Of course, it goes without saying you shouldn't eat fast food or fried foods. Just these changes (plus reading labels and staying away from saturated and trans fats) has made all the difference in my cholesterol readings. I keep my bad fat consumption under 30 gms. a day. Are you overweight? If so, losing even 10 lbs. can make a bigger difference than you realize. And of course, daily exercise is necessary on most, or all days of the week.

If your cholesterol problem is genetic, you may indeed have to start a cholesterol lowering drug. Some people cannot (due to their genes) get their cholesterol lower than a certain level even with the proper diet and exercise. You'll know if you're one of these people when you have your bloodwork done again, after eating correctly and exercising (no excuses!) Every doctor is different, but most seem to draw the line of introducing drugs when a person's total cholesterol is about 250. So yours is really not that bad. Sounds like you mainly just need to boost that HDL, which most people can easily do with the diet I outlined above. Good luck!

Randi