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My family is convinced I am going to have a heart attack!

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  • My family is convinced I am going to have a heart attack!

    I am so sorry to be another person posting their numbers again, but I have a big giant headache from trying to figure out my lab results. My family is freaking out right now and they are convinced I am on death's door due to my primal eating choices and they are truly driving me crazy. My doctor is insisting I go on statins if my numbers do not improve in four months .I have read and re-read then read some more on the cholesterol stickies to see if my numbers are in the right range on a primal diet but unfortunately numbers and calculations are not my friends. I would appreciate any input that tells me I am on the right/wrong track with my primal diet. I have been primal for approximately six months.

    I am a 47 year old female that is hypothyroid (on Synthroid) and always told I have fantastic blood pressure. I exercise and take fish oil supplements. Wish I had a "before" test with numbers but I do not.
    I should mention that I do eat the occasional piece of fruit and dabble with dairy but I am willing to throw those out to get my numbers right.

    Cholesterol total = 251
    HDL cholesterol = 83
    Triglycerides = 44
    LDL Cholesterol = 159
    Chol/HDLC Ratio = 3.0
    Non-HDL Cholesterol = 168

  • #2
    New Study: Women With Higher Cholesterol Live Longer | AnthonyColpo

    Ask your doctor to show you the data that proves that statins provide protection for women that have had not already had a heart attack. It doesn't exist.

    I would not even consider changing a thing about my diet with your numbers.
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )


    • #3
      Originally posted by Infraredhead View Post
      I should mention that I do eat the occasional piece of fruit and dabble with dairy but I am willing to throw those out to get my numbers right.
      lol, what?? Fruit and dairy are good for you as long as your diet doesn't consist of huge amounts of them.


      • #4
        Infraredhead, my last blood test was virtually the same as yours--a jump in total cholesterol of @ 50. Your HDL is actually better than mine. He didn't turn a hair, just told me that the LDL was a calculated figure ( as in: ignore it). When I asked if there was anything I should do he suggested maybe some oat bran on my fruit or yogurt.

        This is the guy who tried for three years to give me a statin just because I'm diabetic. I just said no thanks. He let it go.

        I wouldn't panic.


        • #5
          Those are fantastic numbers. You don't need to change a thing
          Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

          Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


          • #6
            Sometimes you're just stuck with crappy genetics (like me). My last cholesterol results were very similar to yours, and my doctor is panicking that I'm going to die of heart disease because of all the meat I eat. I eat 4-6 oz of meat per day. That's what the government recommends, right?
            Another thing you might want to look at is thyroid, cuz that can affect your cholesterol too. If your thyroid is out of whack, everything is out of whack.
            --Trish (Bork)
            FOOD PORN BLOG!


            • #7
              First, "My family is convinced I am going to have a heart attack!"...
              Did you post your results and a write up of the rash your Doc gave you on a family billboard for everyone to read and assess and tell you how they felt about it?
              Stop doing that. Family discussions about these things are rarely rational.

              When your doctor is being pushy, and you are not SURE how you feel about the numbers yourself yet... Look him/her straight in the eye and say firmly "I'll get back to you on that."
              Then when you get back to him/her you simply tell them "No, I do not wish to take a statin", if they push you tell them calmly that it is NOT their decision to make weather or not you take a prophylactic medication that can have serious side effects.

              That's it.
              Sometimes you have to be firm with the docs.
              “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
              ~Friedrich Nietzsche
              And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


              • #8
                I'll second the thyroid point, MIL had hers burnt out (RAI) 30 years ago and has always had a higher cholesterol level and now doctor has put her on Statins, we are trying to get her to adjust diet, she is very healthy, eats lots of fruit and veg, so we are just trying to get her to drop out some of the processed carbs & vegetable oils.
                I don't have any links, but I did read somewhere a while back about a connection between Hypo & high Cholesterol, this was in the research period for my partner who was Hyperthyroid.
                Recently looking at the overall cholesterol thing also read that higher cholesterol for women is not a good indicator of heart disease risk and it is the type of LDL particle that is more crucial than the actual level.
                LDL-C is the standard measure, LDL-P measures the actual number of particles and this gives the particle size, the highest risk is actually those with a low overall LDL-C, but a high LDL-P indicating very small LDL particles.
                Can't give you any more than that as I am still in the process of investigating appropriate testing etc.
                Last edited by Omni; 06-24-2012, 03:50 PM.
                "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"


                • #9
                  Your cholesterol levels look fantastic. All three of your cholesterol ratios are in the 'safe' zone (post 2 of the cholesterol primer).

                  There's actually an inverse relationship between heart attacks and cholesterol for women (i.e. the lower TC is, the higher the risk of heart attack).
                  Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                  Griff's cholesterol primer
                  5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                  Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                  TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                  bloodorchid is always right


                  • #10
                    Thank you everyone. I always ask for a hard copy of all of my lab results so I can scan and keep on my computer. Well my big mouth older sister saw my lab results on my bar and of course told the whole family that my total cholesterol was way too high and so was my LDL. Maybe this will teach me to quit piling up papers where everyone can see

                    I really appreciate you taking a look at my numbers. I was getting a giant headache trying to figure out if they were ok. I had Graves Disease for many years and had to have my thyroid removed because it was getting to the point where I couldn't even wear my work lanyard around my neck because my gland had become so enlarged. So out it went two years ago and I just about have my thyroid numbers in the normal range. Then my doc runs a cholesterol check and all hell broke loose again! OK, I will ignore his statin threat and keep on truckin. I seriously feel a thousand times better though after starting paleo.


                    • #11
                      Your numbers rock.

                      As some helpful data points, I'm 41 and female, and the last time I was checked in...August?...I was about the following:

                      Total cholesterol: 360+
                      HDL: 121
                      LDL: 232
                      Tris: 37

                      My previous doctor told me that my cholesterol was too high, my LDL was too high, and **my HDL was too high** and my **tris were too low.** The doc wanted me retested in three months and put on meds.

                      I changed doctors.

                      Oh, and I'm not dead yet.
                      F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                      **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                      **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**


                      • #12
                        Some thoughts:

                        I would read through some of the vast cholesterol info and figure your numbers for yourself, so that you know what you are talking about in response to any family concerns. Saying 'they're fine' is not nearly so convincing (or empowering) as really blasting them with what the different numbers MEAN. It is worth the effort, and really not so difficult if you sit down and think, instead of trying to absorb the info instantly. There are even some videos on the net, that can explain it visually. (I always retain information better if I have a picture to go with it!)

                        Also, remember that the 'average' for cholesterol used to be 220, and was arbitrarily lowered. The fact that some scale of numbers says you are high(or low), does not necessarily indicate that much about your health.

                        And, retest(after a while) and compare. Even the same blood sample can give different results, and both be considered correct due to normal variations. It would be reckless to make any change based on one cholesterol test.


                        • #13
                          Thanks. I will check out the videos. I read and re-read then took notes on Griff's explanation and just could not wrap my head around it. Visuals would definitely help.


                          • #14
                            I agree with most of the comments here, you are doing fine and you don’t have to change a thing. However, you have to keep track on your condition and remember do not attempt to do self medication. My dad had a similar situation. He listens to what the doctor says but sometimes he does his own research. But things did not go his way. I hope you won’t do the same.


                            • #15
                              LDL is a calculated number. There are two equations used to calculate it, and the standard one, the Friedewald, is not very accurate when triglycerides are low like yours are. In that case, the Iranian equation is a better one to use. By that calculation, your LDL is 121 instead of 156. That would put you in the optimal range for LDL. LDL can also be measured directly, but that has to be specifically asked for.

                              LDL calculator:
                              LDL Cholesterol Calculator