My Cholesterol Level is Too High! - Comments Page 4

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Posted by:

Tom
21 Jan 2010

Echoing Ailene, sprinkle cinnamon on a good breakfast cereal will make a major difference.
No; that does not mean eat cinnamon buns :)

Posted by:

Becky
21 Jan 2010

Hi,
I've been battling my high triglycerides and cholesterol for over 20 years. When I take statins I have problems. I now take 4 grams of a prescription fish oil..Lovasa and Niaspan (not bad once your body adjusts).
On Nov 2 I committed to walking 30 minutes a day for 30 days...a reasonable goal. I made plans with friends to join me. With this commitment to others in place, I now have walked daily since I started Nov. 2, the longest I've ever kept to anything active.
I do think the markers for inflamation are important. Mine are good, even though my numbers are bad. Best of luck. I will look forward to hearing of your progress. Maybe I will come back and tell you how MY numbers look now that I am walking! Becky

Posted by:

Steve L
21 Jan 2010

Bob,
Great that you're willing to go without big pharma. A few things you might want to consider: 1. Thyroid dysfunction can cause a rise in cholesterol values, total and LDL. You might want to get your TSH, T3, and T4 blood levels looked at, especially if thyroid disease runs in the family. 2. Psyllium husks (take with lots of water) have a huuuuge positive effect on the cholesterol as it sort of scrubs the stuff from your gut before it hits the liver. Good stuff, and cheap too. 3. Have your vitamin D3 levels checked, they should be no lower than 60. Supplementation is cheap. The literature is quite plain about D3 and its support of the immune system, skeletomuscular system, and general health. Lastly, the literature is also quite positive about L-Arginine, an amino acid that helps to clear the vascular system of stuff like cholesterol. Really opens up the arteries etc. Of course, please talk with your doc, but do some homework beforehand so you can speak intelligently, and argue effectively if necessary!
All the Best,
Steve L.

Posted by:

Loren Svor
21 Jan 2010

My cholesterol has always (last thirty years--I'm 60)been high at around 265. I went in for a physical two years ago and almost gave my doctor a heart attack with a reading of 335. The nuclear stress test was fine and he sent me for a carbon scoring CT scan which he said would reveal any arterial lockage. When I scored a 1 (nearly perfect), he was surprised but did not recommend a statin. One year later I'm down to 270 again (with no major changes in anything--go figure), but more importantly my ratio of low to high density is less than 4.3, and no one in the Framingham study has ever had a heart attack with that ratio. A couple of things, though--I don't believe there is any science linking cholesterol and strokes and the linkage with cholesterol and heart disease is murky at best (there is no demonstrated linkage between heart disease and dietary cholesterol, though, when I last checked). You have a family history, which I don't, so I guess it doesn't hurt to be careful. Good luck.

Posted by:

Denise S
21 Jan 2010

Hi Bob,

You mentioned your not obese. But are you a little overweight, even just 10 to 20 pounds? This is a really important question.
Success comes from proper nutrition ingested in small meals every 3 hours.
I've personally witnessed blood cholesterol improve tremendously, with many of my clients, who reduced their excess body weight by as little as 10 pounds when fueling their body with 1. proper nutrition and 2. small low-gycemic meals several times a day.
I'd be happy to discuss this further with you. Email me - let's talk.

Posted by:

Marilyn
21 Jan 2010

Does this mean you will be removing the "Buy Bob a Snickers" link?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sigh... I'm officially old. The Snickers link has been appropriately updated. :-)

Posted by:

richard
21 Jan 2010

Bob;
There are several good replies to your cholesterol write up. I wish you the best in your efforts to reduce your numbers via none pharmaceutical means.
Obviously when you write "My diet is pretty healthy" can't be true otherwise you wouldn't be in the situation you find yourself.
As others have written, get your inflammation markers checked such as C Reactive Protein.
Insulin is a strong promoter of inflammation, have that checked as well. Fasting (12hr) should be Bob;
There are several good replies to your cholesterol write up. I wish you the best in your efforts to reduce your numbers via none pharmaceutical means.
Obviously when you write "My diet is pretty healthy" can't be true otherwise you wouldn't be in the situation you find yourself.
As others have written, get your inflammation markers checked such as C Reactive Protein.
Insulin is a strong promoter of inflammation, have that checked as well. Fasting (12hr) should be Triglycerides are an indicator of circulating fat.
By minimizing sugars and foods that convert to sugars quickly such as grain carbohydrates, you'll find that your triglycerides and inflammation markers will come down and so will your cholesterol.
Keep us informed of your progress

Posted by:

Jim
21 Jan 2010

Bob,
I want to echo Becky's recommendations. I have been treated for hyperlipodemia(high cholesterol) since 1971. I have taken every statin that came on the market. They all gave me problems.
20 years ago I switched to red yeast rice and my hdl came down from 450 to 200. A year ago, my endocrinologist put me on Lovasa and Slo-Niacin (a non-prescriptive for Niaspan). I take 1500 mg of Slo-Niacin daily and 4 Lovasa capsules daily with my red yeast rice.
My latest tests showed my hdl at 155 and my tri-glycerides at 225. That's the lowest on record even with Lipitor, Crestor, Xetia, or any of the other prescriptions that I attempted to use.
Excercise is a must, so start that walking.
Jim

Posted by:

B. Brooke, RPh
21 Jan 2010

I agree with Marc Rubin's comments. If your problems are hereditary, you are on a healthy diet now and exercising, I’ve found that you'll probably need Statins. Don’t be afraid of them…I’ve been on them for 9 years. There are different ones your doctor can use if you have a problem with a particular one.

Also, there is some research now that shows lowering LDL below 70 (the lower the better) with Stains will help reduce the plaque in some people with coronary artery disease. Keep in mind that high doses of Omega-3 can increase LDL. Most of all, remember that everyone is different and what works for one may not work for you. There is a lot of false information out there. Your doctor is your best source of advice because he knows your health information. There are heart scans (~$150) that can show how much blockage you have in the coronary arteries.

Most of all, don't wait too long to get it down. You don't want to have a heart attack!!!!

Posted by:

Jim
21 Jan 2010

Well. if you have picked the right parents, you can have no problems with cholesterol. I have indulged in eating a great deal of red meat all my life, to say nothing of butter, eggs (an average of eight to ten every week) and many other foods said to be bad for you. I did go up to 265 for a few years, but got down to 190 and my cholesterol level varied not a whit. I realize this is not typical but it has worked for me. I have never had a blood pressure problem. I do have other health concerns, but nothing major. At the age of 76, neither my Wife nor I have any prescriptions. As I said, it is a matter of parental selection.
Jim

Posted by:

Kathy
21 Jan 2010

Several years ago, my cholesterol suddenly went up (my HDL had always been high and hadn't changed, but my LDL and triglycerides just spiked). My doc put me on a new plan and I've stuck with it, to very good effect. I do take red yeast rice and haven't had any adverse effects. I've stopped eating red meat and eat lean fish and fowl, along with vegetarian dishes. Ostrich, by the way, tastes a lot like beef. Lots of good carbs (fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains) and avoid white carbs. Among my supplements, I take fish oil. And I wear a pedometer and walk at least 10,000 steps a day. It seems to be working--my numbers went and have stayed down.

Posted by:

FredK
21 Jan 2010

I'm a similar age and had the same issue diagnosed a few years back. Option 1 changed diet (reduced fats mostly) and more exercise, result no change. Option 2 medication, result small decrease. Option 3 yet to be tried is the same idea as mentioned by M. Free lower sugar and carb intake. I have just seen a documentary "Fathead" which has suggested the same thing but was mostly a rebuttle of "Supersize me". Hope all goes well. I have read that possibly up to 70% of cholesterol can be produced by your own body.

Posted by:

Jane
21 Jan 2010

When the weather permits outdoor walking, I use the Exerstrider walking poles to get a full body workout without a machine.Walking in the parks, there are always other walkers who speak and smile,making the walk interesting. The fresh air is worth the time outside.
Kudos to you for the sensible way you are staying healthy!

Posted by:

Terry
21 Jan 2010

I'll bet your major problem is too much time on the computer. I'll also bet your readings bounce all over the place. That you got a lot of advice is predictable every body thinks that their plan works. I read that your brain's major component is cholesterol. I believe that most of your cholesterol is manufactured by your body not coming from the food you eat. The trick is to get your body to keep things in balance. The Dr.s have suddenly discovered this problem and their advice is based on intuitive reasoning. That kind of advice will be soon countered by another study and you will be confused even more than you were before you visited the Doctor.

Best of luck there are no easy answers to a very complicated process.

Posted by:

Ruth Ellen
21 Jan 2010

I lowered mine using diet and excercise. I eat almost no red meat - maybe a couple of times a year. I don't miss it much at all. The only dairy I eat is non-fat (but I was brought up on skim milk so that's not a hardship).

Regarding the carbs: it's the simpler carbs that are a problem. Dump the white bread, white rice and the insides of potatoes. Whole grains and legumes are good for you. There's lots of soluble fiber in beans, and they help you get protein if you need it. If you're going to try using barley, make sure it's whole grain.

And the best thing: the fat in chocolate is not implicated in raising cholesterol, so you can eat dark chocolate.

Good luck.

Posted by:

Rejean Levesque
21 Jan 2010

Whatever you do, try to avoid the statins. I have been diagnosed with polymyositis (my immune system is attacking my muscles) tha was most probably due to taking statins. I recommend you check out http://www.spacedoc.net/ to get more info on statins, their side effects and also on cholesterol, its production and importance. Inflammation is the main culprit in heart attacks, not cholesterol which is essential to life.
I think you are on the right path to good health. All the best.
Rejean

Posted by:

paula
21 Jan 2010

Check out two very good natural health sources, Dr.Mercola and Mike Adams at Natural Health News. Statins are not good for the body, can cause muscle damage and extreme irritability. Best of luck to you!

Posted by:

Bill Rubin
21 Jan 2010

I think you have more-or-less the right solution (with some refinements I'll mention below). But your definition of the problem is all wrong. The problem isn't high cholesterol. The problem is unhealthy lifestyle. High cholesterol is just the first "symptom" you happened to trip over. There are plenty of other "diseases of affluence" you just haven't focused on yet. Even if you don't succeed in lowering your cholesterol, the healthy lifestyle is still the Right Thing to do. So I say, forget about the cholesterol, and just adopt a healthy lifestyle for the 97 other ways it will keep you healthier. The effect of diet on the various diseases of affluence is documented in Colin Campbell's "The China Study", which I highly recommend to you.

Some refinements to your proposed program:

1. Trash the "natural supplements". Just "eat food, not too much, mostly plants", as Michael Pollan says. If you haven't already, read his "Omnivore's Dilemma" or later books. Paraphrasing Pollan, "If your great grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it." I think this applies to anything on the pill isle of a "health food" store.

2. Jack LaLanne is dead wrong. When you start to eat better (less sugar, less salt, less fat) food will taste better. After you've done that for a while, if you accidentally eat something sugary/salty, you'll find it will knock you over, and you'll naturally avoid doing it again. But you gotta get good, fresh, quality food. Don't eat vegetables that have been beaten to death, or otherwise abused. Just don't eat them. People who say they "don't like vegetables" probably ate only those vegetable-like-substances.

3. In addition to your aerobic exercises, it's also important to get regular load-bearing, muscle-building exercise.

I've been avoiding eating red meat for the last 30 of my 66 years. In the last 3 years, I've cut WAY down on poultry, fish, and milk products, after I heard a talk at DCC by Campbell. I think of myself as a "90 percent vegan", though I occasionally have eggs.

If I had high cholesterol, I'd seriously consider NOT taking any of these lifetime drugs. Doctors are great at fixing acute problems, but their track record with chronic conditions is mixed. I'd take their advice with a big grain of salt. (That's the only salt you should deliberately take!)

I admire your resolve to change your lifestyle. Good luck!

Bill Rubin

Posted by:

Paul Brooker
21 Jan 2010

My doctor checked my cholesterol level regularly and it was always 'normal' and better than his given that I had been a lot fat diet person for years but not when I was a kid. Then I had a heart attack.
If you've got even a modest level of cardiac history in your family take it seriously. Get to know the symptoms of heart attacks - my only ones were weakness and nausea. Then act fast - you've got a couple of hours to avoid permanent heart muscle damage.
Diet-wise the medical world is generally not knowldegeable so you need to do better than they suggest. Keep well clear of saturated and transfats. Ensure that you include mono unsaturated fats (olive oil) as well as omega 3 and 6. For fish avoid the bigger species because of mercury content - It's cumulative and not heart friendly. Oat bran is a palatable soluble fibre. The closer your diet gets to that of a primate the better.
And avoid long-term intake of anti inflammatory drugs.
Good luck.

Posted by:

Pete F.
21 Jan 2010

Bob:

I commend you for trying to avoid the statin drugs. I have already tried 3 of them in the lowest dosage and experienced strong muscle aches in my legs with all of them (lipitor, zocor and crestor). I am now trying niacin (the non-flush type) at 1500 mg per day which has worked quite well for 3 friends of mine. I have experienced no side effects from the Niacin and will report back on the results.

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