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  • Just got my Blood Work back...Help Please

    Hello,

    I have been primal for about two months and at the urging of my family had some blood work done.

    Total Cholesterol: 383
    HDL: 64
    LDL: 288
    TRI: 155

    I assume the LDL number was backed into not specifically tested.

    My doc has suggested statins and I'm not interested in doing it. I'm also not a doctor and it seems every doc and cardiologist who sees these numbers would suggest statins.

    How do I analyze these numbers? How do I explain to my doc that I don't buy the cholesterol/heart disease connection?

    I am going to get retested in a month after I "clean up" my diet. He's also going to test for LDL specifically.

    Any feedback on this data would be helpful. I am 37. 6'2 and 225 with probably 18% body fat. I really don't think I need a pill for the rest of my life.

  • #2
    Have your doc look at your thyroid in detail, it can be a cause for elevated cholesterol. Are you doing ok on your basic other labs, Vitamin D, Iron, others? These numbers are high. Are you grain free? Trigs should come down with a lower carb primal diet. Depending on which camp you listen to, they should def. be under 100, and some say less. I would also slow up on the dairy, and get some blood glucose and insulin testing despite your physical wellbeing in terms of body fat etc. Cortisol also a big player in messing with all body systems. With your body comp and age and likely activity levels, the numbers show something is off a little, and warrant looking into a little closer... (Lots of people say super high cholesterol is ok, but I am of the opinion that it can be an indicator that all systems are not working super well together, and need some tweaking)

    Check out Chris Kresser's site for good info on all this stuff.
    Last edited by L8F; 04-16-2012, 07:52 AM.
    Started Whole30 December 31, 2011
    Integrated Leptin Reset/Jack Kruse plan Jan 13, 2012
    Starting Weight: 174.8
    CW:160.0 lbs

    Comment


    • #3
      I wouldn't panic too much if your blood pressure's ok. Did you eat lots of sugary stuff/fruit/high carb before going primal? One current line of thinking is that sugar damages artery walls, so your body ramps up cholesterol production to repair the damage (it's one of the jobs cholesterol does). So if you cut out all the sugar & fruit, & go very low carb, the cholesterol has a chance to finish its job then drops back to normal levels. That can take a while though, so it's best to leave it a few months before getting re-tested.

      My figures weren't too different to yours when I was tested 6 weeks ago (slightly lower TC & LDL but much higher trigs & lower HDL). I've completely cut out sugar & fruit, & gone VLC, so I'll know in another 6 weeks if it's worked or not (have to wait 3 months between cholesterol tests here).

      Comment


      • #4
        I've heard from many people around here that it can take some time after starting primal for cholesterol levels to stabilize, they might be very high initially. Re-evaluate your diet for inflammatory foods or anything that doesn't agree with you that you're letting slide, and you'll probably notice a difference.

        Remember that it is ultimately your choice whether you go on statins or not, they cannot force you.
        Depression Lies

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm also curious about what might be going on with me. I just got a call from my doctor where I had blood panels done last week. My numbers were as follows:

          Total Cholesterol:397 (highest ever!)
          LDL: 340 (highest ever!)
          HDL: 40
          Triglycerides: 85

          They also mentioned a high white blood cell count at 13.5 where normal is between 4 and 11.

          I'm stunned that my HDL is so low and my LDL so high...I have been sticking to the PB religiously. I haven't been able to exercise in the last 5 weeks because of a bad flare up of my old back injury. I've been basically sedentary, but my diet hasn't wavered...in fact, because of being sedentary, I've been eating much less because I just haven't been very hungry.

          Is it possible that being sedentary has caused the high LDL number? Could the stress of being in constant severe pain be enough to set my white cell count that high? Could the 5 week lack of exercise be enough for HDL to be that low? The doctor wants me to come in to discuss the numbers, and I do want to discuss the white blood cell count, but I know he's going to try to put me on a statin and I don't want that. What might I be doing wrong?

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh...and I've been doing PB since January...and I have lost over 30 lbs since then...have about 55 lbs to go until I reach my first goal!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spinman View Post
              Hello,

              I have been primal for about two months and at the urging of my family had some blood work done.

              Total Cholesterol: 383
              HDL: 64
              LDL: 288
              TRI: 155

              I assume the LDL number was backed into not specifically tested.

              My doc has suggested statins and I'm not interested in doing it. I'm also not a doctor and it seems every doc and cardiologist who sees these numbers would suggest statins.

              How do I analyze these numbers? How do I explain to my doc that I don't buy the cholesterol/heart disease connection?

              I am going to get retested in a month after I "clean up" my diet. He's also going to test for LDL specifically.

              Any feedback on this data would be helpful. I am 37. 6'2 and 225 with probably 18% body fat. I really don't think I need a pill for the rest of my life.
              alone this doesnt tell you much but that you are healing a lot of oxidative stress. Additionally you are either eating a lot of Fructose ( fruit ) or you have a deeper metabolic imbalance.
              Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

              Predator not Prey
              Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

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              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by drh7900 View Post
                I'm also curious about what might be going on with me. I just got a call from my doctor where I had blood panels done last week. My numbers were as follows:

                Total Cholesterol:397 (highest ever!)
                LDL: 340 (highest ever!)
                HDL: 40
                Triglycerides: 85

                They also mentioned a high white blood cell count at 13.5 where normal is between 4 and 11.

                I'm stunned that my HDL is so low and my LDL so high...I have been sticking to the PB religiously. I haven't been able to exercise in the last 5 weeks because of a bad flare up of my old back injury. I've been basically sedentary, but my diet hasn't wavered...in fact, because of being sedentary, I've been eating much less because I just haven't been very hungry.

                Is it possible that being sedentary has caused the high LDL number? Could the stress of being in constant severe pain be enough to set my white cell count that high? Could the 5 week lack of exercise be enough for HDL to be that low? The doctor wants me to come in to discuss the numbers, and I do want to discuss the white blood cell count, but I know he's going to try to put me on a statin and I don't want that. What might I be doing wrong?
                OK you my freind need more labwork. here is what you should understand from this reading.

                HDL SUCKS ASS. IF you are eating Paleo it shoudl be higher, that it is not indicates some othe system out of whack , i suspect all your hormones suck.

                LDL indicates that you are not making hormones as well.

                The white cell count indicates some infection invader is being fought. ( auto immune? )

                Your trigs are meh OK, but just looking at what you have provided i would say that your liver is compromised. something is not right here.

                my suggestions for followup lab are.


                1
                Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential CPT Code: 85025
                Metabolic Panel (14), Comprehensive CPT Code: 80053
                Osmolality,serum CPT Code: 83930
                Osmolality, Body Fluid CPT Code: 84999
                Urinalysis, Complete With Microscopic Examination CPT Code: 81001

                2
                Hepatic Function Panel (7) CPT Code: 80076
                C-Reactive Protein (CRP), High Sensitivity (Cardiac Risk Assessment) CPT Code: 86141
                Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy CPT Code: 82306
                Insulin, Free and Total, Serum CPT Code: 83525; 83527
                C-Peptide, Serum CPT Code: 84681
                Hemoglobin (Hb) A1c CPT Code: 83036

                3
                ....

                4
                Homocyst(e)ine, Plasma CPT Code: 83090
                Lipoprotein Subfractionation Profile CPT Code: 83701; 84478

                5
                Cortisol CPT Code: 82533
                Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) Sulfate CPT Code: 82627
                Estradiol CPT Code: 82670
                Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) CPT Code: 84305
                Pregnenolone, Mass Spectrometry CPT Code: 84140
                Progesterone CPT Code: 84144 if you are female
                Testosterone, Free (Direct), Serum With Total Testosterone CPT Code: 84402; 84403

                6 - optional
                Thyroxine (T4) CPT Code: 84436
                Triiodothyronine (T3) CPT Code: 84480
                Reverse T3 CPT Code: 84482
                Thyroxine-binding Globulin (TBG), Serum CPT Code: 84442
                Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibodies CPT Code: 86376
                Thyroid Antithyroglobulin Antibody CPT Code: 86800
                Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                Predator not Prey
                Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

                CW 315 | SW 506
                Current Jeans 46 | Starting Jeans 66


                Contact me: quelsen@gmail.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks, quelson. I'll take that with me to my follow up with my doctor and see what he thinks. Could any medications be influencing these numbers? Because of the flare-up, I've been mostly bed-ridden and having to take morphine, cyclobenzaprine and meloxicam. I hate having to take these medications every day, but I'm truly in severe pain. I was medication free for several months prior to the flare-up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well that explains that :-)

                    those drugs block the metabolism of LDL. of course yours is going to be high.........



                    Wiki

                    Meloxicam inhibits cyclooxygenase (COX), the enzyme responsible for converting arachidonic acid into prostaglandin H2—the first step in the synthesis of prostaglandins, which are mediators of inflammation.
                    Arachidonic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid present in the phospholipids (especially phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylinositides) of membranes of the body's cells, and is abundant in the brain, muscles, liver.



                    sigh..... i am so sorry for your pain. and even though I am just a lay person I wont suggest you drop the pain meds

                    However I woudl recommend you become buddies with the ice maker and get into 45f water building up to 2 hours daily and my reason is to lower your LDL by forcing your cell walls to rebuild using what is in your blood stream. it will also reduce or remove your pain so that is a great benefit.

                    as long as you are on that cocktail your cholestorol will be shit. not certain if you need to mediate it or not but for gods sake dont let them put you on a statin for something they are causing in the first place.
                    Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                    Predator not Prey
                    Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

                    CW 315 | SW 506
                    Current Jeans 46 | Starting Jeans 66


                    Contact me: quelsen@gmail.com

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                    • #11
                      Well, you're both insulin resistant with a tri:HDL ratio above 2.0, but these results mean nothing unless we have baseline numbers. Your triglycerides could have been 250+ before and if that were the case I would think you were going in the right direction.

                      drh, the fact that you're bed-ridden could help explain the low HDL and having low HDL almost always leads to a TG:HDL ratio over 2.0. Exercise can be as simple as getting 10k steps/day in someone who does nothing, if you're not even getting that I wouldn't be surprised with an HDL of 40. There have been studies showing that the TG:HDL ratio is pretty accurate at indicating insulin resistance. What this should tell you is that carbs are important (Too many elevates TG) and eating fat and being physically active is important (They both increase HDL). IMO, insulin resistance needs to be tackled from both the diet and physical activity side. I think most people over-complicate things and Mark has done a pretty good job of describing the physical activity requirements that are best for us:

                      Walk alot
                      Lift heavy things

                      That's it, not overly complicated. Walking a lot keeps liver glycogen down so you are less likely to convert extra carbs to fat and lifting heavy things empties the most insulin resistant, high threshold fibers of their glycogen, which improves insulin sensitivity in a way different from walking. This is where I see people get stuck losing weight. You were dealt a genetic hand, and if you were dealt with the genetic hand that gives you a large percentage of high threshold muscle fibers, you better not ignore them if you want to improve your health or prevent it from sliding in to the gutter as you age. Even worse, the chronic cardio most physicians recommend will actually cause a person of this genotype to get worse wrt glycemic control, essentially speeding up the aging process in that respect.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dave Mayo View Post
                        Well, you're both insulin resistant with a tri:HDL ratio above 2.0, but these results mean nothing unless we have baseline numbers. Your triglycerides could have been 250+ before and if that were the case I would think you were going in the right direction.

                        drh, the fact that you're bed-ridden could help explain the low HDL and having low HDL almost always leads to a TG:HDL ratio over 2.0. Exercise can be as simple as getting 10k steps/day in someone who does nothing, if you're not even getting that I wouldn't be surprised with an HDL of 40. There have been studies showing that the TG:HDL ratio is pretty accurate at indicating insulin resistance. What this should tell you is that carbs are important (Too many elevates TG) and eating fat and being physically active is important (They both increase HDL). IMO, insulin resistance needs to be tackled from both the diet and physical activity side. I think most people over-complicate things and Mark has done a pretty good job of describing the physical activity requirements that are best for us:

                        Walk alot
                        Lift heavy things

                        That's it, not overly complicated. Walking a lot keeps liver glycogen down so you are less likely to convert extra carbs to fat and lifting heavy things empties the most insulin resistant, high threshold fibers of their glycogen, which improves insulin sensitivity in a way different from walking. This is where I see people get stuck losing weight. You were dealt a genetic hand, and if you were dealt with the genetic hand that gives you a large percentage of high threshold muscle fibers, you better not ignore them if you want to improve your health or prevent it from sliding in to the gutter as you age. Even worse, the chronic cardio most physicians recommend will actually cause a person of this genotype to get worse wrt glycemic control, essentially speeding up the aging process in that respect.
                        totally agree ... assuming you are not taking pharmaceuticals that mess with you
                        Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                        Predator not Prey
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                        • #13
                          Well, both sets of comments from Dave Mayo and quelsen have made me feel a little better. I don't really know if it counts as a baseline since it's a year ago...but it'll have to do...just shy of a year ago, my triglycerides were 133 and my HDL was 30. So that puts my TRI:HDL ratio back then at 4.43. So that means HDL has gone up and triglycerides have taken a deep dive at my current 85/40 or 2.125 ratio (cut it in half! I'd call that progress). I'd be willing to bet if I had my blood drawn 6 weeks ago, we'd be seeing much different numbers.

                          My problem with exercise of any kind right now is that my back injury involves a couple of discs that send pain shooting down my left leg...I can barely walk at all right now. I was up to 60 side by side squats (30 on each side) in the PBF squat progression before the flare up. I was walking regularly, usually 40-75 min per day 4-6 days per week. I was doing a sprint workout once a week (on a Gazelle "eliptical"), and I was feeling really good. Then out of nowhere this flare-up hit and I was rendered almost completely sedentary. I have been able to get some elevated pushups in here and there and trying to do stretching to make the leg pain go away, but the sad truth is the only time I'm not in severe pain is when I'm laying down. Otherwise I try to do almost anything and I end up laying on the couch or in bed in tears and moaning and groaning like the world is coming to an end.

                          I don't eat many carbs and most of the carbs I do eat are good carbs (veggies and some [but not a lot of] fruit). I do have some (a single serving) 90% cacao dark chocolate most days, but my carb levels are definitely in the "effortless fat loss" range of Mark's carbohydrate curve.

                          During my time of being sedentary, I've continued to drop weight (although I'm starting to fear that some of it is muscle loss after such an extended period of not exercising).

                          Hopefully the flare-up will end soon and everything will start to look better :-/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by L8F View Post
                            Have your doc look at your thyroid in detail, it can be a cause for elevated cholesterol. Are you doing ok on your basic other labs, Vitamin D, Iron, others? These numbers are high. Are you grain free? Trigs should come down with a lower carb primal diet. Depending on which camp you listen to, they should def. be under 100, and some say less. I would also slow up on the dairy, and get some blood glucose and insulin testing despite your physical wellbeing in terms of body fat etc. Cortisol also a big player in messing with all body systems. With your body comp and age and likely activity levels, the numbers show something is off a little, and warrant looking into a little closer... (Lots of people say super high cholesterol is ok, but I am of the opinion that it can be an indicator that all systems are not working super well together, and need some tweaking)

                            Check out Chris Kresser's site for good info on all this stuff.
                            My doctor said that the rest of my blood work was perfect. He mentioned the thyroid specifically and said it was fine. I have not been eating much dairy since going primal 2 months ago but I did eat a sh*t load of cheese two days prior to my test. I was watching my sister's kids and she had nothing else in the house so I literally crushed a pound of mozzarella and some american cheese and probably some cheddar. Could this have thrown my test out of whack? I don't typically eat much dairy at all.

                            One more bit of info. I found results from two tests that I had done 4 years ago and they are as follows:

                            2008
                            Total: 223
                            LDL: 141
                            HDL: 61

                            2007
                            Total: 239
                            HDL: 78
                            LDL: 151

                            I don't have the triglyceride numbers from back then. The LDL's have clearly exploded though.

                            I am going to retest in a month without changing anything to my diet. I'm also going to fast for a more prolonged period leading up to the test.

                            Thanks for the advice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "my doctor said"

                              when i asked my doctor to order the tests he did with this caveat.

                              "I cant interpret them for you , i have no idea how they correlate"

                              were I you i would ask for a copy of your entire history with every doc that has ever had labs drawn on you.

                              What i found was they flat out missed obvious shit.

                              I had the same doctor for 30 years. when i got my history i found that my glucose was exactly the same for 15 years.... 89 how does that make sense?

                              it doesnt....

                              i also found that TSH was the only test he ordered to determine if my thyroid was working.... that number doesnt tell you shit in a vaccuum. never any t4 or t3..... ineptitude in doctors in encouraged. dont ever trust them
                              Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                              Predator not Prey
                              Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

                              CW 315 | SW 506
                              Current Jeans 46 | Starting Jeans 66


                              Contact me: quelsen@gmail.com

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