No announcement yet.

Bad News? My doctor thinks so...

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Bad News? My doctor thinks so...

    I know this issue has come up before but I think it's important to keep hearing people's opinions about this:
    I have seen my family Dr. for a physical yesterday. This is about 5 months after starting a PB diet.
    I'm 51, male, 5'11.5'', 158 lbs. My blood pressure was nice and low (105/70), and I feel great.
    My cholesterol, on the other hand is a different story:

    Total cholesterol: 341
    HDL: 113
    LDL: 201 (!)
    Triglycerides: 46
    Total/HDL Ratio: 3.02

    A test for LDL breakdown of small, medium, large, was not available, but my doctor thinks that I should cut back my meat intake by 50%.

    Prior to this test, my last lipids were very "normal" (on a mostly vegetarian diet). My total Cholest was around 180. My numbers have almost doubled since on the PB diet.
    I have to admit that this is a little scary...
    Anybody with same experience? Insights?

  • #2

    I just had the same experience: been primal for about 6 mos now, with my only indulgences being cottage cheese and dark chocolate every so often. I just had a blood panel done out of curiosity as to how things have changed since I dropped all the non-veg carbs and upped my meat and egg intake significantly (a half dozen a day). My chol numbers doubled since my pre-primal days. I, too, was going to post to see if I get any input as to what's happening. Myself, I am 5'7", 139 lbs, BF% less than 10%. I know Mark's post from earlier this week discussed not focussing on the numbers, but an increase like this makes me wonder...

    I'm curious to see what others have to say...



    • #3
      What are you eating in the way of fruits and vegetables?
      My homeschooling mom, doula blog:


      • #4
        I'm eating a lot of vegs and fruit. As much as I can, really. But I also sin with dairy, having never experienced a negative reaction to it. I use heavy cream in my coffee every morning, and also Greek yogurt, some cheddar cheese.
        I know for fact that High LDL is a concern mostly when other factors are existing, such as diabetes, hypertension, smoking, cardio history, etc. I have non of these, but, on the other hand, I don't want to wait till I do...


        • #5
          Read the section in Good Calories, Bad Calories on cholesterol. Your doctor is wrong about cutting back on meat, that's the conventional wisdom approach which is - surprisingly, I know - wrong. You're eating more fat, your cholesterol is of course going to increase across the board. This in itself is not a bad thing.

          edit: seriously, read that chapter. High LDL is only a problem if you have low HDL, and to be even more specific it's actually VLDL that's the problem.
          The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist


          • #6
            Every now and again, for the past 25 years, my liver enzymes are "elevated." Not by much...

            My doctor made me go for a pelvic sonogram, and I was also screened for HIV and Hepatitis C, following conventional protocol. I don't drink all, and do not take any medications.

            All was/is normal.

            The doctor explained that the "numbers" are just an average for the population, and not to be concerned on any elevations, as long as all else is fine with the testing.

            I will continue reading this thread..would love to see more input on this topic.


            • #7
              Maybe cut back on RED meat (beef, pork, etc)? My chiro says red meat can cause some health issues, including digestion trouble. He's very supportive of natural medicine and practices internal medicine, too. I trust his opinion. I told him I was doing Primal Blueprint & he was on board, but encouraged me to eat more chicken & fish than red meat, which is fine cuz we're only having red meat once or twice a week, and chicken & fish the rest. In the PB book, it encouraged lean meats, so maybe that might help?
              --Trish (Bork)
              TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
              FOOD PORN BLOG!


              • #8
                There is absolutely nothing wrong with grass fed red meat. In fact, it is vital for your health! Cutting back on meat to lower cholesterol is CW at its worst.


                • #9
                  Isn't there some thought somewhere that the several months on a lower-carb, higher-fat diet, cholesterol will go up because your body hasn't figured out that it doesn't need to make as much because you're getting more from diet? I bet Griff knows about this...

                  Dr. Bork Bork, I'm pretty sure most studies done on "red meat" tend to lump processed meats in with red meat. Studies of hunters show that consumption of lots of red meat from game does not have the same health effects as consumption of red meat from factory farms or consumption of processed meats (hot dogs, cured sausage, etc.). Definitely DON'T replace red meat with chicken and white fish because chicken and white fish have a pretty terrible fat ratio. If you have a personally-documented difficulty digesting red meat, then by all means cut back, but try other meats first, like lamb or bison to make sure it's not just a beef thing. I think the recommendation of lean meats is a suggestion for people who eat mostly conventional meat.


                  • #10
                    I'm surprised he ignored the fact that your HDL is freaking awesome!! And, when your HDL is high it will automatically make your total cholesterol higher but it isn't a bad thing.

                    For more info on better ideas on how to measure cholesterol, I recommend Griff's Cholesterol Primer (you can find it by searching the forum).

                    Also, There's a couple of good books out on cholesterol....

                    The Great Cholesterol Con
                    And The Cholesterol Myths

                    Good to read for peace of mind, and maybe drop one off with the doctor.
                    sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


                    • #11

                      DO NOTHING (except perhaps find another doctor) because your numbers are sensational! Your HDL is off the charts, and that's the only reason the total (meaningless) number is 'high.' Your trigs are low.

                      When I had a VAP test that showed my LDL was 100% Pattern A (the good kind), my doctor commented that when patients have high HDL and low trigs (you!), the LDL is almost always excuslively Pattern A.

                      If you have any doubts at all, ask your doctor to run a test of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) which is supposed to be much more predictive of potential cardiac issues than cholesterol.

                      But your cholesterol is exellent!


                      • #12
                        Before this turns into discussion about red meat, the issue at hand is the possible long-term danger of very high cholesterol levels experienced by many who go primal. It's not easy to disregard your doctor, and all that you hear and read about the issue in the mainstream medical media.
                        I'd love to read someone here who knows about the small-medium-large LDL, what are acceptable levels of each, and how may one find a lab that would test for it?
                        Also: does anybody here lives with super high cholesterol numbers for a few years and doing fine?


                        • #13
                          Thank you, emmie! This is the kind of to-the-point response I was looking for.


                          • #14

                            I've lived with cholesterol 300 and over virtually my whole life. I'm not sure if it's been my ENTIRE life, because my first blood draw was at 8 years old, and it was a total of 289. I've lived with cholesterol over 400 since I was in my early twenties. (I'm 41 now)

                            my triglycerides are low, my blood pressure is good, my HDL is good. My family all has this type of elevated number, and pretty much without exception lives to old age. In fact, in Gary Taubes book, he mentioned that the ONLY genetic marker for living into your 90s and beyond is having high HDL.

                            Read the very end of his new book, it has a ton of good info on this issue.
                            ***if you fall down seven times, get up eight.***


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Fleshetarian View Post
                              Also: does anybody here lives with super high cholesterol numbers for a few years and doing fine?
                              Y'know how the doctors worry about your cholesterol if it's over 200? When I was younger (well pre-PB), I didn't want to tell Mom that mine was almost 200 because she was already on my case about my diet. When I broke down and told her, she told me not to worry about it unless it gets over 300. Apparently most of our family is like that, and nobody ever dies from heart problems. Every freakin' thing else will break, but never the heart.
                              Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

                              If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

                              Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly