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  • Help With Cholesterol

    Hey it's me again. I just got home from my diabetes check up and need help figuring some things out. First of all, my hA1c was 5.5-- drug free (fantastic, yay, happy dance). However, my cholesterol was WORSE than last visit (and it was not pretty at all last visit). I've been so good the last few months. I've cut the fat off of anything that's not grass fed (well except bacon, but I think I personally eat 2 packs of Coleman uncured bacon a month), upped my consumption of all things coconut, thoroughly enjoyed avocados, and EVOO. I've figured out that sugar has a very negative impact on my hormones and sends me into manic depressive rages, so I've done almost no baking all summer (unless you count homemade ice cream & haupia baking-- both made with stevia), and I've also figured out which nightshades irritate my body. I know, not much to do with cholesterol, but WTH AM I DOING WRONG?! I feel like Primal has finally *clicked* for me, and yet my cholesterol is getting worse. I REALLY don't want to go back to eating CW, cuz that will jack up my blood sugar, and I just got that under control... as good as peanut butter & banana on hot toast sounds (pretty good to me)
    Doc was really upset and insisting I go on statins. Not angry upset, but more like "my-pet-is-sick-and-I-must-save-it!" upset.

    My results (result followed by flag range):
    CHOLESTEROL: 247 (100-199)
    TRIGLYCERIDE: 160 (48-149)-- she did say my Trigs improved
    HDL CHOLESTEROL: 37 (40-59)
    CHOLESTEROL/HDL RATIO: 6.7 (0-3.1)
    LDL: 178 (0-130)
    LD/HDL RATIO: 4.8 (0-130)
    VLDL: 32 (0-50
    VITAMIN D: 77 (32-100)

    I take daily:
    800mg magnesium citrate
    Six 2000mg Fish Oil capsules with 600mg Omega 3, 360 mg EPA & 240 mg DHA
    2 Vitamin D3 500 IU
    2 prenatal
    4 Diabet-X blood sugar supplements (containing chromium, cinnamon extract, gymnema silvestre extract, alpha lipoic acid, bilberry mirtoselect)
    --Trish (Bork)
    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
    Hey it's me again. I just got home from my diabetes check up and need help figuring some things out. First of all, my hA1c was 5.5-- drug free (fantastic, yay, happy dance). However, my cholesterol was WORSE than last visit (and it was not pretty at all last visit). I've been so good the last few months. I've cut the fat off of anything that's not grass fed (well except bacon, but I think I personally eat 2 packs of Coleman uncured bacon a month), upped my consumption of all things coconut, thoroughly enjoyed avocados, and EVOO. I've figured out that sugar has a very negative impact on my hormones and sends me into manic depressive rages, so I've done almost no baking all summer (unless you count homemade ice cream & haupia baking-- both made with stevia), and I've also figured out which nightshades irritate my body. I know, not much to do with cholesterol, but WTH AM I DOING WRONG?! I feel like Primal has finally *clicked* for me, and yet my cholesterol is getting worse. I REALLY don't want to go back to eating CW, cuz that will jack up my blood sugar, and I just got that under control... as good as peanut butter & banana on hot toast sounds (pretty good to me)
    Doc was really upset and insisting I go on statins. Not angry upset, but more like "my-pet-is-sick-and-I-must-save-it!" upset.

    My results (result followed by flag range):
    CHOLESTEROL: 247 (100-199)
    TRIGLYCERIDE: 160 (48-149)-- she did say my Trigs improved
    HDL CHOLESTEROL: 37 (40-59)
    CHOLESTEROL/HDL RATIO: 6.7 (0-3.1)
    LDL: 178 (0-130)
    LD/HDL RATIO: 4.8 (0-130)
    VLDL: 32 (0-50
    VITAMIN D: 77 (32-100)

    I take daily:
    800mg magnesium citrate
    Six 2000mg Fish Oil capsules with 600mg Omega 3, 360 mg EPA & 240 mg DHA
    2 Vitamin D3 500 IU
    2 prenatal
    4 Diabet-X blood sugar supplements (containing chromium, cinnamon extract, gymnema silvestre extract, alpha lipoic acid, bilberry mirtoselect)
    Here's a thought, maybe doctors actually do know something about health. At least as much as the average person posting here. Not saying you should abandon Primal, but by analogy, if I had an infection that wouldn't heal, I'd take the antibiotics my doctor prescribed.

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't go on statins, b/c hubby & I are TTC baby #2, so I would like to find a way to decrease cholesterol naturally while staying primal.

      Oh, daily ratios average out around 60% fat, 25% protein, and up to 10% carbs (I try to stay in the 20g range on carbs)
      --Trish (Bork)
      TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
      http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
      FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Excellent job on your A1C!

        If I recall correctly, your target LDL, with diabetes would be actually be under 100. My last test put me at 116, and my doctor said that I would not be able to get there without statins (after dropping from 158 in 3 months). Motivated me to prove him wrong... (He says things like "you can't do that without medicine" a lot... I think he does it on purpose because he figured out it motivates me).

        At 178 LDL and 37 HDL, I do think it needs to be addressed.

        Your lowering trigs are encouraging, as I would usually expect your chloesterol to follow your trigs. Low trigs... High LDL... expect your LDL to be coming down. High trigs... Low LDL... expect your LDL to be going up.

        But, your trigs are a little on the high side considering your excellent A1C numbers.

        With those numbers and understandable desire to avoid statins, you might want to consider a coronary calcium scan. This way we are looking directly at the heart for calcified plaque, instead of indirectly trying to extrapulate the risks by looking at chloesterol numbers.

        These results may give you more guidance on balancing the statins with your TTC efforts. Clean heart... continue what you are doing, and see what happens.

        Another thing to look into would be niacin. It has been show to be very effective on raising your HDL, and helps with trigs and LDL as well. But I am clueless on the compatibility of TTC.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry I can't address the cholesterol, but are you really only taking 1000 IUs of D3?
          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

          Comment


          • #6
            You don't say what your numbers were last time or how long it has been between tests. You did say your trigs improved. That's one step in the right direction. I imagine with your A1C being 5.5 that the trigs will continue to come down. Your HDL is low - you could try some high dose niacin to bring that up.

            That being said, various cholesterol profiles are associated with heart disease more than others. Many think that cholesterol profiles are markers of metabolic derangement and/or inflammation, which are the true causes of heart disease. Treating the cholesterol numbers does nothing to treat the underlying problem. Just as taking insulin does not "cure' diabetes. It took while to get your blood sugar down to normal levels by eating primal/low carb. Perhaps it will take a little longer to get the cholesterol numbers to look better.

            In the meantime, it is highly unlikely that you are about the keel over from a heart attack. Regarding statins, there is NO EVIDENCE that taking statins lowers heart attack risk for WOMEN. Statins lower LDL, but do not raise HDL or lower trigs. I think you need to be more concerned about the trigs and HDL than the LDL and STATINS DO NOT IMPROVE those numbers. Please read this article about how/why cholesterol does not cause heart disease.

            Why Cholesterol May Not Be the Cause Of Heart Disease

            This my favorite article on the subject written by an MD. In it he makes the case that high INSULIN levels help contribute to heart disease, not just high blood sugar. So perhaps while your blood sugar is back down to normal, with your history of insulin resistance, your insulin levels may still be elevated. You might ask for a fasting insulin level as well as BS level next time you get tested. But hopefully with continued good diet this will continue to improve.

            High levels of inflammation are a culprit in this as well. A CRP test will show your general level of bodily inflammatiion. If that number is normal, you really don't have much to worry about. I would definitely ask for that to be done as well.

            Lastly, if your numbers did not improve with cutting way back on saturated animal fat, perhaps you could ease up on that limitation a bit.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
              Six 2000mg Fish Oil capsules with 600mg Omega 3, 360 mg EPA & 240 mg DHA
              Crikey, that's a lot of fish oil! You're adding 12g of PUFA daily to your diet, on top of whatever you're getting from the rest of your diet. Why are you doing this?

              FYI, fish oil is known to raise LDL in many people, though I'm not sure the cause is fully understood. Some will say it's merely an artifact of the way LDL is calculated -- that your lower triglyceride concentration results in a higher apparent (but not actual) LDL calculation.

              Anecdotally I can say that a diabetic relative of mine started taking fish oil (far, FAR less than what you're taking) and saw his LDL numbers go up beyond the 100 threshold now used for diabetics as a risk factor. Whether or not that threshold is bogus, the doctor was all gloom and doom and strongly recommended statins. The patient resisted, and the doctor agreed to try the blood test again in a couple months to allow for some "diet and lifestyle changes". He took fish oil out of the diet, ate some oatmeal, and the LDL dropped ~ 25 points at the next blood test. Sure, there could be other factors at play here, but I thought you might find that interesting. If nothing else, maybe you could follow a similar strategy to get the doctor off your back while you figure out what's going on.

              I'd be a little concerned about the lowish HDL and highish triglycerides, as they lead to some less than desirable ratios. I'm certain I've read studies about the connection between insulin levels, insulin resistance, and HDL metabolism, but I can't remember the details; you might want to research this. In your case, your diabetes combined with a ketogenic diet could be a double-whammy that causes problems with HDL.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                Sorry I can't address the cholesterol, but are you really only taking 1000 IUs of D3?
                No, sorry, dropped a 0 there. That 500 should be 5000. I take 10k a day

                Originally posted by Barb View Post
                You don't say what your numbers were last time or how long it has been between tests.
                Last panel here:
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30878.html

                Originally posted by The Big L View Post
                Crikey, that's a lot of fish oil! You're adding 12g of PUFA daily to your diet, on top of whatever you're getting from the rest of your diet. Why are you doing this?
                I was under the impression that fish oil would lower my cholesterol. I was taking such a large dose out of desperation to lower it.
                --Trish (Bork)
                TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok, I went back and looked at your previous results. Here's the before/after:

                  TC: 254/247
                  HDL: 49/37
                  LDL: 167/178
                  TRIG: 191/160
                  VLDL: 38/32

                  Your total cholesterol decreased very slightly (one might say insignificantly). HDL decreased substantially (not so great), triglycerides decreased a good amount (great!...and a predictable outcome of taking fish oil), LDL increased slightly (fish oil perhaps?), and VLDL went down a bit (no idea of the significance of this).

                  Overall I think it's positive that your triglycerides decreased, an unfortunate thing that your HDL decreased, and I feel indifferent about the change in your TC and LDL numbers. I don't know the details of your medical history, but I'd certainly give your body some time to heal itself before panicking and making a bunch of new changes. The only thing I'd change right now is to stop taking 12g of fish oil a day. Sometimes more is not better!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Big L View Post
                    The only thing I'd change right now is to stop taking 12g of fish oil a day. Sometimes more is not better!
                    can you suggest a dose?
                    a 2:1 ratio of omega 3 to 6 should be lowering LDL, shouldn't it?
                    --Trish (Bork)
                    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think Robb Wolf suggests around 3g per day if you have a good clean diet with grass fed beef and fish. I'll look up the exact data tonight for you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We just eat conventional meat, and our budget is already pretty stretched. I wish we could afford grass fed!

                        Also just finished reading this article and was wondering what you all thought:
                        Low Carb Paleo, and LDL is Soaring
                        Answer Day: What Causes High LDL on Low-Carb Paleo? | Perfect Health Diet

                        copper deficiency is suggested, and I noticed I'm not getting any in the supplements I take. There will be a good dose once I switch over to my new brand of prenatal vitamins, but it's something to think about, right?
                        --Trish (Bork)
                        TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                        http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                        FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The problem with too much fish oil is that it may be omega 3, but it is still a polyunsaturated fatty acid. These PUFA's are very unstable and easily oxidized. Oxidized fats of any kind are inflammatory and BAD for you. Studies have shown that supplementing for a year or less has a good effect (and probably not as high a dose as you are taking), but longer than that has the opposite effect - more heart attacks and strokes. See this article for explanation:

                          http://chriskresser.com/when-it-come...-is-not-better

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I suspect that your cholesterol problem cannot be treated by diet. A moderately high LDL is one thing, but when that's coupled with an HDL as low as yours, it's usually a genetic issue. Keep in mind that most of our cholesterol is manufactured by the body and dietary adjustments have limited effect.

                            I would, however, not take statins because they are bad news--except for a small segment of the male population. According to Dr. Michael Eades, studies show that they have little effect on women, nor are there any studies that document heart risks due to cholesterol for women.

                            In your situation, I would continue to do more research on this. You might check out the blog of Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who is very pro Paleo/Primal and against statins.

                            One more thing--I abandoned coconut oil some time ago because it actually elevated my LDL by 40 points in a 4-month period. I now stick to EVOO.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Iím not advocating statins per se (I would do everything possible not to take them). My point is that you may want to visit a cardiologist or other specialist and get their thoughts, and listen to them. You should give someone who is highly trained in these areas as much (or more) credibility as any anonymous forum poster. Additionally, I understand that statins may not work for women, but if that were the last resort, why not try them? If they work, great. If not, you donít have to continue to take them. Again, I donít like statins or their side-effects, but for some people, they seem to be a life saver/extender.

                              Comment

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