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Please help me understand my Cholesterol test results

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  • Please help me understand my Cholesterol test results

    I am really scared because I just got my cholesterol test back and it is indicating that I have very high cholesterol levels…. I know that in previous posts it turned out to be OK for others because of the ratios; so can someone more versed in this subject give me a reading on whether or not this is a good/bad test result???

    Cholesterol 252H

    Triglyverides 118

    HDL 86

    Cholesterol/HDL 2.9

    LDL (calculated) 142H

    LDL/HDL 1.7

    Not sure what to make of this…but everyone is telling me I need to take some medicine to help combat this cholesterol.

  • #2
    Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!


    • #3

      I'd wait for our resident cholestrol expert Griff to respond. In the meantime, don't take any meds

      How long have you been following the pb?


      • #4

        I've been following PB since last June. And unfortunately I already bought some kind of natural supplement at the prescription of my doc, BUT if Griff or another expert can let me know if this is absolutely an OK test result I'll see about returning it....

        TT- I just searched the forum and got lost in all the responses. I'll try reading each response one by one in the meantime during my lunch break.

        thanks guys...


        • #5

          Wow, your HDL is 86? That's insane! (In a good way.)

          I wonder if those results are typical of people following this eating style. I should get some bloodwork done, myself.


          • #6

            This is actually the reason why I started losing weight in the first place. I'm no medical professional, but I'll certainly offer my feedback.

            By accepted standards, your total cholesterol is 52 points over the high point of the healthy range and your LDL cholesterol is 12 points over. However, your triglycerides are under the high point by 182, which is good. Your HDL cholesterol is 31 points above the high point. There are studies being done to see if too much HDL cholesterol can be a bad thing, so the jury is out on that. But it's accepted that for every 1 percent increase in HDL cholesterol, risk of heart disease decreases 2 - 3 percent.

            Here's my take on it: The "H"'s next to the "bad" numbers mean that you are high on those lipids. There's no H next to the HDL number, so I assume that you haven't crossed that threshold of too much HDL. As a layman, I'm inclined to believe that your HDL is more than enough to offset the LDL. On top of this, there are a few early studies that are showing that even LDL isn't as great a risk factor as it's been made to be in the past.

            Bottom line: Get a second or even a third opinion. The medicine that is commonly prescribed for lipid correction is lifelong and is riddled with really nasty side-effects. When I was obese, my doc wanted to put me on medication for high trigs. When I saw those side-effects, I said "screw that" and started losing weight. They told me I wouldn't be able to correct it on my own, yet six months later, I had picture-perfect lipids.


            • #7

              Well, I know that (or have read) that cholesterol levels can be elevated to some degree due to stress...which I admittedly been experiencing. But, I would still appreciate anyone's input on whether or not the overall test result is something to be concerned about. I was terrified when the doc told me that this is what is reflective of someone who should be 50+ y/o!


              • #8

                Oh, and Prowler - I am really hoping Griff or another expert can confirm that the PB is working and that this is nothing to worry about. And yes, I'm not sure when the last time you had your blood work done but definitely get it checked out


                • #9

                  Well, from my limited understanding, it is dietary fat intake that directly elevates your HDL, which is often called the "good cholesterol" although I know that its a little more complicated than that.

                  So it makes sense that eating a diet that is high in natural fats would affect you this way. People on low-fat diets often struggle to raise their HDL.

                  Based on what Griff wrote in his cholesterol primer, I'd say your ratios look outstanding. It really is not the total number of cholesterol that matters, it is the ratio and with HDL like that, you are doing great.

                  Also, there is more to LDL than most people realize... not all LDL is bad. It takes a more sophisticated analysis than just a number to determine how much cholesterol those LDL are carrying.


                  • #10

                    How long have you been primal?

                    I want to share my opinion (and I am not sure if this differs from Griffs opinion)

                    You markers for heart disease that MATTER are these:

                    Trigs below 150

                    HDL above 40

                    Pinch less than half an inch of fat on your abdomen

                    While it is a leap of faith to some degree, the newest evidence points to these things putting one in a very low risk category for heart disease.

                    6 months ago I would have told you to go on a statin ( I am a nurse, what do you expect)

                    But I have yet to treat a cardiac patient with high HDL and low triglycerides. All of my patients who come in with chest pain and find they have occlusion of one or more major coronary arteries have low HDL and high triglycerides....some, many have normal or only slightly elevated total cholesterol.

                    You HDL is what I would put in the category of exceptional and your Trigs will likely go down if you have not been primal for a significant period of time....but they are still pretty good.

                    I think your results are just have to remember that a high LDL is not the end all be all of cardiac markers.

                    Save your liver and say no to statins.

                    I just want to repeat, on of the biggest indicators for development of heart disease is visceral fat, a good indicator of how much visceral fat you have is how much fat you carry around the abdomen. Keeping your body fat percentage low is one of the best things you can do to lower cardiac risk, period.

                    Griff, feel free to set me straight if need be.


                    • #11

                      Hmmm thanks Prowler! Yes, it'd be great to see a couple of more confirmations come through...

                      Stop_hammertime: thank you for your response. I feel a little better about the results and actually I went to see a naturopathic and what I was provided was Choleast?? I believe it is red rice yeast. I told them that I did not want to take this for the time being but ultimately ended up purchasing it. It's tough too because insurance doesn't consider supplements as medicine so this is all out of pocket.

                      This is part of the reason why I do not like going to the doctor's office. Sometimes I get conflicting info - CW vs. Paleo/PB, etc.

                      So does this mean I'm ok? Before I bought the supps I asked if diet and exercise would do the trick and unfortunately the answer was no... I actually have been dialing back on the saturated fats and upping the protein in hopes of moving past the last 5-10 pounds....

                      Oh and sorry to jump back and forth but I have been following the PB since last June

                      I hope PB pulls through on this one!!!


                      • #12

                        Thanks to Griff's primer on cholesterol here are the stats using the Iranian equation:

                        Total/HDL: 252/86 or 2.93 (ideal = 5 or below)

                        Trig/HDL: 118/86 or 1.37 (ideal = 2 or below)

                        LDL/HDL: 142/86 or 1.65 (ideal = 4.3 or below)

                        Anyone know what I can do to get a better Trig/HDL ratio?

                        Also, what would you do? Should I return the Choleast I bought??? Based on these ratios it doesn't seem I need them at all..?


                        • #13

                          CJ, you've already figured this out. You don't have anything to worry about. Chuck the supplement or take it back for a refund. You don't need it. And your Trig/HDL ratio is amazingly good - all your ratios are. You're healthy like the proverbial horse.

                          I can't stick around to talk about specifics like I normally would, but don't worry - you're doing great!

                          *runs back to his Big-Ass Exam which is eating his brain*

                          Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                          Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

                          Ditch the scale!:

                          My Success Story:


                          • #14

                            Griff it seems you've become MDA's guru on this subject

                            Thank you for your primer. It really SHOULD be a sticky!! And yes, since the place I go to is a small shop I really hope they'll take back the supplement.

                            This makes me wonder what kind of doctor Mark sees to avoid these types of confusion.

                            Good luck on your exam! Seeing your primer alone - I'm not worried. You've probably got it all down


                            • #15

                     is a pretty concise post to peruse as well. CJ4400, "what sort of doctor" would a Primal person visit? Hmmm, good question. I've got myself educated enough on this angle of things that I just have no use at this time for a doctor! I suppose if I develop some injury, illness or disease, I'd find myself researching down whatever road that'd lead me.

                              I know my blood panel results' meaning and the impact Primal Nutrition has on them, this is all good to have firmly held, firmly KNOWN so as not to be swayed by popular opinion to Statinate myself (or take up other CW "cures", like a low fat diet!). I'd like to think I'll finish out my remaining 40/50 years (I'm 41 now) with no more doctor visits. Don't know if that is possible, or realistic, but at this point, barring injury etc, I can see never visiting a doctor or dentist again.

                              My most recent doctor's visits had me explaining my NMR panel to my health care pros to vacuous gazes.