Making Sense of Lab Tests - High Triglyceride Quandary

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I had a rather comprehensive set of tests done on myself on 1/16 to assess what, if any, progress has been made to improve my numbers:
September 2011:
Waist circumference: 30
TC: 161
HDL: 60
Trig: 154
LDL: 60
Risk Ratio: 2.7

Waist circumference: 27 (I lost about 10 pounds, all I need to lose, really)
TC: 228
HDL: 83 --- this is a really nice improvement, on diet alone. There's be LITTLE exercise
Trig: 164 -- Up 10 points. Analysis below:
LDL: 112 -- frankly, no idea if this is the large, "fluffy" kind or not. But high Trigs would not bode well...
Risk Ratio: 2.7 -- same ratio
Hba1c: 5.8 ---- that is not actually good! That is BAD. Encroaching risk...
Vit D: 33.8 -- almost to 30, which is the low threshold

My C-Reactive Protein was way low, 0.81, as was my fasting glucose (73, good enough), DHEAs were great, HDL was a great jump. Imagine what really good quality exercise is going to do!

What discouragement! Triglycerides are tied to high sugar intake, and I don't think of myself as doing that. Of course, my big brother (VERY trim and fit and energetic) says that his own high trigs are a "mystery to remain unsolved" by him, and big sis agreed, and she has the same trim, healthy, feels good profile. Sooooo.... what could have exacerbated the trig figure? And what can I do about it?

First of all, I feel way better now than 3 months ago. My body is just all round better. Skin issues, urinary tract incessant irritation issues, waking through the night and unable to sleep issues... POOF! Gone. Gone after years of no resolution. Gone with just a drop of grains. So, I'm sticking with what I've DROPPED.

The question is, what am I not doing well enough yet? And what happened in the last 3 months that wasn't so great?

1) Well, I spent 18 days straight on strong, strong antibiotics from end of November into December. That's pretty recent, and antibiotics WILL affect blood sugars. HbA1c being a measure of the last 2 months might have been spiked by all that hell I went through.

- Even though quitting grain carbs was easy as pie for me, I think my little bod CANNOT handle even 3 ounces of wine several times a week.

- I eat more fruit than veggies.

- I walked two and a half miles briskly to that test, and had green tea that morning. Was kind of dehydrated when I got there and had a really hard time providing for the urinalysis. I read today that very recent exercise can shoot the trigs up, and you need to be properly hydrated for the test, AND no coffee allowed. The green tea probably didn't help, either.

- OH, plus, the night before, my pre-fast meal was 3/4 pound of brussels sprouts cooked together with 4 slices of bacon, fat and all. And all the pre-trig test articles that tell you how to prepare before say, DON'T do that, Knucklehead. I mean, even Mark Sisson would say lay off the bacon more.

- I was so terrified of rupturing my tendons and muscles from Cipro that I didn't exercise after my 4 mile run on Thanksgiving morning. I only did walks, and a bit of lifting and calesthenics and office walks in the last 3 weeks as I've felt my way back. The 10 minutes a day thing I did do.

HOW I'M GOING TO MAKE IT ALL GOOD, or at least really give it a great go of it!
-- I'm going to dump the last third of a bottle that I have and go ALCOHOL-FREE until my doctor's visit in JUNE. Won't be the end of the world not to drink something that makes me tired and cranky anyway.

-- FLIP THE FRUIT TO VEG RATIO. I need to be eating a LOT more veggies and frankly fewer fruits. I've been so thrilled with the meats (particularly bacon), that I haven't been paying attention to veg. I like them, but I've been crowding them a bit with my rejoicing over reintroducing meat more. In an attempt to excite Savannah about the dinner table, I have too many pretty fruits emphasized. I've actually been eating a LOT of fruit with her. I'll bump the veg up. I am going to COUNT the veg servings, learn what a "serving" of each VEG is from the Spark People tools, and shoot for 9 PER DAY to crowd out the sugar carbs of excess fruit. Big a$s salad every day at lunch. THIS I will count until I understand what I need to do with veg.

- Back off so much pork--I loves me my bacon, but I'll focus on sensible helpings of beef and chicken, and especially...

-- BUMP UP the fish so I can get the OMEGA-3 emphasized. I like fish very much. Savannah only likes mild fish. So, she can eat the mild fish while I eat the mackerel or whatever. I got canned salmon I can do on those salads.

- SLEEP PROJECT GOOD--DO EVEN BETTER: I will continue respecting sleep and do an even better job on that. A biggie is that I MUST fix the way I spend evenings after I put Sav to bed. I have to budget computer time, unless it's very directed to recording my health progress. No more surfing or vegging. Sleep instead. Or just get the laundry done and do audiobooks while doing relaxing chores.

- EXERCISE: Do more of both of these: long walks, weight-lifting. Sprints are something I also will take on, but only every 10 days. I need to burn trigs and keep pushing that HDL up. HDL cleans the blood of baddies, so I'll enlist it as my friend.

- SUPPLEMENT OMEGA-3 AND VIT D3: I had stopped taking both of these weeks before the test because I wanted to understand what my body would do. Omega 3 will help.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    HMMMM.... of course, if I look at the variations he cites in the MDA article, they are extreme... Dec2Dec might have a point. I lost weight and 3 inches of visceral fat, feeling really good, all these probs went away in just a couple months. Betcha I need to just be eating clean longer. Give it time. The a1c, having never been measured before, might have been high for much of my life and now I'm fortunate to be catching it at last.
    3321 days ago
    Hi Dec2Dec, I read that article before my results, immediately after the results, hoping to find comfort, and now again on your advice... and no comfort there. My problem is that my triglycerides are WAY above what's OK, way above what he or any of the commenters reported as their results. My ratio of TC/HD is bad by the article's standards. And in other articles on MDA, and anywhere, really, the 5.8 a1c is pretty obviously bad and must be brought down. That's pre-diabetes, or an anemia problem. Something not good. So, unfortunately for me, I have reason to stand up and take notice. However, I can point to factors that I can control and test. But I am still concerned about the triglycerides and the bad averaged blood sugar number. I have a dead parent who succumbed to both of these... at 61. I agree about cholesterol probably being a straw man, but trigs and blood sugar... danger. emoticon

    But if I use the ratios in this primer referenced in the article... that high HDL of mine (83!) does help...

    3321 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/23/2012 5:02:30 PM
    You might want to check out this article from Mark's Daily Apple:

    3321 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5707126
    Very comprehensive information. I am thinking about where I am on some of the areas. Thanks for sharing with us! emoticon
    3325 days ago
    As I'm sure you've been told or found out on your own, the widely accepted cut-off for diabetes is a Hba1c of 7, so whereas 5.8 isn't GREAT, it's not really in the danger zone yet. You're closely approaching pre-diabetic levels but please don't stress too much about it (because stress raises your blood glucose). Congrats on the weight improvements, as well as the HDL improvement.
    3325 days ago
    Thank you, Maraude. I've developed a suspicion of conventional wisdom, but my own doc has NOT let me down with being a kind and respectful listener, with sound advice, always. I'll give him a yell. Thanks for the reassurance about other possibilities: that a big picture might add up to OK, or add up to some action steps that I can live with. I'm terrified of ending up like my dad, who always talked about his "high triglycerides"... and died at 61 a diabetic, alcoholic, congestive heart failured chain-smoking, Full-Sugar-Pepsi-guzzling... wreck. I don't smoke, pretty light drinker, hate soda pop... I'm just so scared. High Trigs? WHY????
    3325 days ago
  • no profile photo GARBLEDEEGOOK
    I would have a doctor review these; nothing like med school training and experience for them to see the big picture. I know mine told me that vit D's level of 30 is not agreed upon by the medical community as it is. The rest cannot be looked at individually; the whole panel should be reviewed along with your habits with the doc. I have numbers out of the normal range which are okay because of the big picture.
    3325 days ago
    LOL! Sedgey, you are right. I was angry about the result, and wanted to take action, but it's kind of melodramatic to punish the grape. A friend, by phone, told me to put the innocent bottle back. in. the. fridge. I'll just keep my other bottles unopened for my experiment, and see what I learn through June. 400mg... Thank you for sharing a snapshot of what you're doing. You have broccoli at breakfast--I've been failing on the veg/breakfast front. I'll add broccoli. We always have a TON in the house.
    3326 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8937156
    I eat too much fruit too, but I do eat plenty of veggies. I have broccoli (and bacon/sausage, eggs + other veg) for breakfast every morning in a fry up. I bet taking fish oil supplements and getting your omega-3 and omega-6 ratio in line will help. I take 4000mg of fish oil daily to help with my arthritis.

    Sounds like you have a plan although I'd be inclined to finish off that bottle rather than pouring it out. :D
    3326 days ago
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