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Cholesterol test results and feeling frustrated

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  • Cholesterol test results and feeling frustrated

    I'm convinced that my body hates me.

    I've been following PB for almost 3 months, and I know I'm not perfectly primal (yes I'll have a cheat day/meal once a week at most) but I've cleaned up my eating a lot. Cut out all grains, the only sugars I have come from fruit, I'm getting enough good fats (EVOO, coconut oil, avocados, etc), sleeping soundly 7-8 hours a night, exercising (CF) several days a week, keeping my carbs between 50-75g most days, getting (on average) 100g/protein a day.

    I'm 32, 5'5", have lost about 5 pounds since December, weigh about 165, have a very mild case of PCOS and I know I'm not going to drop 20 pounds with my exercise routine and I know I'm adding muscle, but I'm hardly losing inches either.

    I just got my cholesterol test results from my physical and I do have a family history of high cholesterol so mine is always just over 200, and reading on the MDA site about how people can still eat delicious food (red meats, butter, eggs, etc) and lower their cholesterol. Results were:

    220 total
    135 LDL
    (the woman at the office didn't have the HDL numbers, they are sending me a copy of all of my labs)

    I know not everyone is the same, but it's incredibly frustrating to hear how people switch and after cutting all the crap out of their diet, their periods return to normal (since going off BC in December I've had one period and that was 5 or 6 weeks ago so I'm still irregular with those), they drop weight without even trying, etc. I think it's great that so many people have such success with PB, I just wish I was one of them.

  • #2
    3 months isn't a long time to offset years of neglect and you're assuming cholesterol actually means something.


    • #3
      Congratulations on the changes you have made in your lifestyle! I think people with underlying health issues do seem to see results much more slowly (just from posts I have read on the forum). I know it can be frustrating, but don't be discouraged. Think of the long term changes a lifestyle like this will bring. Sometimes you have to tweak what you are doing - some people find giving up dairy or lowering carbs helps, personally I found I do well keeping dairy and increasing my carbs a bit more than I was doing in the beginning helped - I even eat potatoes and rice occasionally, usually on days I do weight training.


      • #4
        Total cholesterol >200 is nothing to worry about.

        Is your LDL a direct measurement or calculated? If your Triglycerides are <100, the calculated LDL is probably inaccurate. Also, it has to be taken in context with your HDL and triglyceride values, which they didn't give you yet.

        Read Griff's cholesterol primer:


        • #5
          You lost 5 lbs in 12 weeks...that's great! Don't think that "slow" is "bad". Another 12 weeks, another 5 lbs...what's not to love?

          In fact, by losing the weight slowly you are increasing the likelihood of losing fat rather than muscle.

          I will tell you from experience, it takes TIME! Listen to your body and accept that it works according to it's own clock.

          Your cholesterol is probably just fine! I would highly suggest that you find out what your triglycerides are. If they are under 100, then I wouldn't worry a bit about the "slightly elevated" total cholesterol. In the past, total cholesterol level was considered normal if it was under 240. Now they've lowered the limit to 199 (as they did with fasting blood glucose: Normal used to be under 110, now it's under 100...).

          Lower carb intake usually will bring triglycerides down.

          Keep up the good work and don't get discouraged if you don't put up "Biggest Loser" numbers every week. That's simply not reality...

          All the best,

          Robert J. Stone


          • #6
            Remember that cholesterol is:

            a) needed for hormone synthesis
            b) used in the body's healing response, and
            c) does not contribute in any way whatsoever to disease in and of itself

            The body will produce what cholesterol it needs -- elevated numbers means that it needs them. It could be that your body is just now getting the materials it needs to correct things, including hormone balance. If you're eating primal odds are that a large portion of that total cholesterol is HDL. If that LDL figure is accurate (and I doubt it, unless you got a VAP/GGE/NMR test), even that by itself doesn't mean anything unless you have elevated blood sugar which leads to glycation (reaction with glucose) of the LDL. The PB way of eating keeps blood sugar low (or corrects metabolism so that this becomes true as the body heals) so you're in the clear. How do you feel? What symptoms have improved/disappeared?

            With regards to your periods, your PCOS is probably interfering a little there. I've heard of a lot of people curing that with PB. Give your body time to heal!