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GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 574
7/11/13 2:52 P

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/11/13 11:53 A

Interesting article GD. I used to take Lovastatin for years, and was on it when my cholesterol was 200 for about 5 years. Then I started low carb, and lost 140 lbs, and started exercising. My cholesterol dropped almost 100 points, but they told me it was because of the Lovastatin. I guess it takes 5 years to be effective. A year ago, they took me off the pill completely, and my HDL has dropped back to 29, from 37, so I am worried that they will put me back on it.

Several people have suggested I try CoQ10, and L-carnitine, but I have to clear that with my cardiologist. Do you think they are more helpful, or address cholesterol issues better? I really would love to have a cholesterol up near 150, with an HDL over 50, instead of having both low. I read in Gary Taubes book, that saturated fat raises HDL, and when I started higher fat meat, and butter, my HDL did jump to 37, from 24, but I don't think I should need to eat 65% fat to keep my HDL up. I have no problem removing a food that causes cravings, but having to eat any food sounds like a poor way of solving a problem.

The doctors solution always seems to be a statin. Much cheaper than Lipitor, so they prescribe them to everyone.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/11/13 11:38 A

The OP doesn't have those available to her though.

I have triglycerides of 74, and an HDL of 29. I do want to point out that I was diagnosed with CHF at 27 years old,12 years ago. My triglycerides were over 200 back then.

The only number I have left to worry about is low HDL. My C-reactive proteins are in range, and have never been high. I have no plaque, and not a lot of inflammation. I do understand that inflammation is what causes cholesterol to stick to the arterial walls, so I started asking my doctor, who was a bit surprised. I would recommend that people get as much information as possible, and if something is on it, like creatinine, they should ask why it was tested. If your doctor was interested, and thought it worthy of testing, you should be interested too, and understand why it is important.

We watch the news, and we hear about total cholesterol, so we all know ours, but I can't imagine a doctor sitting there with a chart that said " Russell has a 104 cholesterol ", and nothing else. How would they make a decision? cardiac enzyme levels, as well as vitamin/ mineral levels, like your electolytes are also important. Most of us, know just a few of these, and worry about those few numbers, which is why we are lost when the doctor starts talking about them.

The doctors know that we are generally clueless, so they give us a goal, like getting below 200 mg/dl, or 150 for me. They are vague on how to do that though. Many people are following the advice given, but seeing little to no success. Yet they still don't question why?
If it isn't working, look for another solution. Doing 6 more months of the same, and expecting different results is not the answer.

GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 574
7/11/13 10:55 A

Having high cholesterol is not a cause for concern.

Elderly people with high cholesterol have the greatest longevity. High cholesterol has been shown to have a protective effect against infections. There is absolutely no correlation between cholesterol and coronary heart disease or overall health. Your doctor should be looking at the ratio of triglycerides to HDL and levels of C-reactive protein as these is a better indicator of being at risk for CHD.

Edited by: GDBEAR65 at: 7/11/2013 (10:58)
WANNATHIN Posts: 380
7/11/13 10:21 A

Thanks, Russell. Unfortunately to get a full lipogram here is quite costly and I can't afford it right now (or ever before). But maybe after I get the total down below 5.0, I'll save up and get the full test done. ├Łou're right, I need to be aware of all my numbers.

Well done on all you've achieved!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/11/13 10:16 A

I had to convert mg/dL to mmol/L. My cholesterol has dropped down to 104, which was 2.69 mmol/dL.

When I started I was in the 190's, and the conversion chart I used put 5.0 mmol/L = 193 mg/dL, and 6.3 mmol/L = 243 md/dL.

It took me a year to drop from the 190's to 150, and 2 more years to get to 101, then 6 months ago I jumped to 125, with a 37 HDL which is low, and is an issue. My recent test dropped back down to 104, but HDL also dropped to 29.

While my total is low, my HDL is too, which bothers my cardiologist more than my total cholesterol pleases her. I also seem to be optimal on my total cholesterol/HDL ratio. The optimal ratio is 3.5:1, I am at 3.59:1

I switched to low carb 4 years ago, and have lost 140 lbs, so not sure whether it is the diet, the weight loss, or the exercise it allows me to do. Now I just need to get my HDL above 40.

Pay attention to all the numbers. HDL,LDL ( mine is 51 ), and triglycerides ( in the 70's ). Any one of these being off track can cause health problems.

WANNATHIN Posts: 380
7/11/13 10:08 A

Thanks, Jenna! I'm following my own eating plan, but have cut out everything and anything that could be "bad" for my cholesterol. I'm also on over the counter cholesterol meds, so hopefully it helps.

My husband keeps saying that it takes time, months even for cholesterol levels to come down. I want to test again at the end of July to see if there's been even a slight improvement, so you saying that your mom's results were so much better in 6 weeks gives me lots of hope!

JENNA3 SparkPoints: (71,794)
Fitness Minutes: (42,185)
Posts: 2,702
7/11/13 9:47 A

My mom experienced issues with cholesterol. She joined Jenny Craig and started walking every morning. After six weeks her numbers were back in line and she kept it up.

You can skip the Jenny Craig and just make your meal plans here on Spark. My recommendation is to plan your meals a week in advance so you know what you're eating, when you're eating it, and how many calories it is. Plus, the spark meal planner gives you a grocery list if you use foods listed here or recipes on


WANNATHIN Posts: 380
7/11/13 7:11 A

My latest cholesterol test result was 6.3mmol/L and the healthy range is below 5.0mmol/L.

Has anybody been in a similar position and tried to reduce their score to below 5? If so, did you succeed? What did you do? How long did it take?


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