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High Cholesterol = HELP!

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  • High Cholesterol = HELP!

    Hi PBers:

    I'm new to the forum, but I'm hoping you can help me.

    I went Primal in mid-January of this year. I'm very strict (no alcohol, fruit, limited nuts, etc.) and I aim for 100% compliance. At the same time I went Primal, I also lost my menstrual cycle. I haven't had my period since December 2009. (Sorry, gentlemen, if this is TMI, but it may be relevant.) I haven't lost a lot of weight or body fat, if any, so I know that's not the reason for my disrupted cycle.

    Last week, I went to my doctor to discuss the amenorrhea and its potential causes. I had bloodwork done, and today my pcp called me to report that my total cholesterol is 432, my LDL is 326, and HDL is 106. (For a reference point: in June 2008, my total cholesterol was 181; LDL was 103; HDL was 67.) I didn't have the foresight at the time to ask about my triglyceride levels.

    I have an in-office appointment this Friday to discuss my results with my pcp. Before the appointment, though, I was wondering if anyone could shed any light on why my cholesterol levels have drastically (!)increased since going Primal. If you have had a similar issue, know of research I could read, or have some other insight, I would greatly appreciate it if you would share! I'm a bit nervous about all of this.

    Many thanks,

  • #2
    Yes, I would like to know as well since my cardiologist does not agree with my eating this way.


    • #3
      What's your LDL pattern size? Find out your trig levels, too - any advice is meaningless without that (although a backtracked Friedewald equation says your trigs are 0, which can't be right, because everyone has a few trigs floating around in their bloodstream). As for research, go armed with this:

      As far as the ratios we *can* calculate - that is, the ones that don't require your trigs - they look pretty good to me:

      Total/HDL = 4.1 where 4.4 or below is optimal for a woman
      LDL/HDL = 3.1 where 4.4 or below is optimal for a woman

      And I'd bet that your triglycerides are tiny, which means the Friedewald equation is incorrect. I'll bet money that LDL was calculated, not measured. Demand a VAP test with LDL particle size as part of the measurement.

      Good luck!
      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:


      • #4

        That's a good post that explains a little more. And keep in mind, cholesterol has not been proven to be a cause/determinant of heart disease.


        • #5
          @Griff: Thanks for the prompt, scientific reply! I am reading your cholesterol primer right now - and taking notes!

          Many thanks!


          • #6
            I'm curious, is there a level of total cholesterol that is considered too high? If cholesterol is a waxy alcohol is there "enough room" in your veins/arteries for very high levels cholesterol - whether good or bad?

            Hmm... does that question even make sense?


            • #7
              I've been reading that Swedish doctor's book about fat and cholesterol being good for you.

              One thing he mentioned is that LDL (the so-called "bad" cholesterol) helps the body resist infection. He also said that high levels mean the body thinks it needs to have that much, for instance, if it's fighting infection.

              So, I hope your very high levels on the report turn out to be because your triglycerides are too low for their standard way of measuring to work right. However, it might not hurt to consider whether you could be fighting an infection (gums? teeth?) which you're not aware of.

              And the other thing never to forget is that labs are not perfect. They often make mistakes. So maybe get it done again at a different lab?

              Good luck ...


              • #8
                I would just get tested a second time, to make sure the numbers are right, like piano-doctor-lady suggested.