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  • Worried about bloodwork results

    Six weeks ago my husband, teenage son, & I began a sort of combo of PB, Paleo, & the Perfect Health Diet. We've eliminated sugars (except some honey), all grains, & all processed foods, keeping meat, veggies, fruit, fats, some high-fat dairy (butter, whipping cream, cheddar cheese), & minimal starches (potatoes/sweet potatoes with butter at evening meal). Today I received my lipid panel report from my doctor & panicked. Here are my numbers:

    Total: 271
    HDL: 63
    Trig: 145
    LDL: 179
    Non-HDL (I don't know what this is): 208
    Glucose: 84

    By the way, I'm a 5'2", 115 lb., 49yo female who exercises 2-3 times a week. I haven't lost a great deal of weight on our new eating plan, but I've leaned up around my torso and I like the way I'm eating and feeling.

    Anyway, back to my panic attack. I've since done a search on this forum and found Griff's "Cholesterol: A Primer," which made me feel a little better--but just a little. I'm still not sure why my LDL is so high since my triglycerides are not low. And I'm not sure why my triglycerides are not lower than they are. Should I be worried about these numbers? Should I make some modifications to my diet? My doctor, of course, wants me to cut out my red meats, eggs, and saturated fats. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Six weeks is not very long. Your levels are in no way a threat to your health. Give it another three months then get retested. You should see reduced triglycerides and increased HDL (which isn't bad anyhow). Total is not very relevant. LDL is calculated by an approximation so isn't at all accurate. non-HDL is just Total - HDL
    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

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    • #3
      Yes, but what was your lipid panel typically like before you started? Also, lipid panels can change drastically in a very short space of time as well, depending on what is going on. I dropped my LDL almost 100 points in the space of 3 weeks.
      Last edited by rory535; 08-14-2013, 07:22 PM.

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      • #4
        Eat fatty fish a couple times/ week. Wait longer than 6 weeks before testing.

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        • #5
          - Six weeks too short - try a few months AFTER you stop leaning out
          - Numbers not so bad in any case but will prob get better after leaning out stops
          - Numbers probably high because you're actively leaning
          - Ignore doc, keep doing the same things (same food, same exercise)
          - If numbers don't get better then panic

          Important words "I've leaned up around my torso and I like the way I'm eating and feeling" - Don't let the doctor 'fix' this

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          • #6
            Thanks for all of your replies to my post. I'm not sure what my lipid panel was the last time I had it done, but I've never had a high cholesterol total before, so that's why I was so concerned. I'm going to ask my doctor for the previous one so that I can compare the specific categories. I like the idea of continuing to eat this way for another three months and then testing again. And I didn't realize that my leaning up would affect my results. Good to know! Thanks, everyone!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PinkyT View Post
              Thanks for all of your replies to my post. I'm not sure what my lipid panel was the last time I had it done, but I've never had a high cholesterol total before, so that's why I was so concerned. I'm going to ask my doctor for the previous one so that I can compare the specific categories. I like the idea of continuing to eat this way for another three months and then testing again. And I didn't realize that my leaning up would affect my results. Good to know! Thanks, everyone!
              Yes when losing weight (body fat), even a vegan is 'eating' a high saturated animal fat diet ( the body canabilizes body fat for energy - you're 'eating' your own human animal fat ).

              These fat stored human fat triglycerides are flowing in the blood for energy along with food fat triglycerides, so trigs and other lipids test numbers can be out of wack ( it's normal).

              That's my simple take on it anyway.

              When leaned out the trigs are normally lower if carb intake is lower. Though Chol can be higher along with HDL.

              In any case I would not panic even if they didn't return to so called 'normal'.

              I would rely on my real health - how I "look, feel and perform" ( Robb Wolf quote) rather than following a doctor that could 'guide' me back to carrying more weight, less energy and not feeling so well ( the opposite of health).

              So it doesnt make sense to panic about being healthy.

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              • #8
                I don't get it.
                I keep reading PB and such will improve cholesterol etc but there's quite some people reporting increased levels after going primal, paleo etc etc.
                Black magic specialist in bangladesh

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                • #9
                  My cholesterol improved a lot! HDL went from 50-ish to the low 90's to high 80's. Total went from the low to 200's up to a happy 280-ish to 300-ish depending on calculation. Trigs dropped into the 40's and stay there, except for last time - when I tried utilizing fruit for significant caloric intake. Oops. Not making that mistake again.

                  The higher the healthier, for the most part. I am grateful every day! Low cholesterol is associated with so many horrible impairments. Glad mine is up!
                  Crohn's, doing SCD

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                  • #10
                    PB almost always increases HDL and reduces triglycerides. This is definitely improvement. It may also increase LDL but there is considerable disagreement over the significance thereof. For me, the LDL is irrelevant so long as the others are good
                    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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by biko View Post
                      I don't get it.
                      I keep reading PB and such will improve cholesterol etc but there's quite some people reporting increased levels after going primal, paleo etc etc.
                      A simplified example of how a higher total cholesterol can be better:

                      The calculated total cholesterol increases if the HDL ("good" cholesterol) increases and all other lipids stay the same

                      Eg
                      HDL : 60 ( higher hdl numbers are better)
                      LDL : 120
                      Trig: 100
                      Total Cholesterol : 200


                      HDL: 90 ( higher hdl numbers are better)
                      LDL: 120
                      Trig: 100
                      Total Cholesterol : 230


                      The most lab results will red flag the second result of 230 and 'clear ' the first result (200).
                      But the results are the same except the 230 has more "good" cholesterol ( which is a good thing).

                      In this simple example the 230 second result is better than the 200 results - but strangely many doctors may advice eating less fat and meat or cholesterol lowering medication for this better result (230) to get it closer to the worse result of 200.

                      Yes, some doctors can guide/direct you to from a good result, to a not so good result ( higher health, to lower health)

                      If I could choose only one of the two above results, then I would choose the second one (230) - it's healthier.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by biko View Post
                        I don't get it.
                        I keep reading PB and such will improve cholesterol etc but there's quite some people reporting increased levels after going primal, paleo etc etc.
                        Yep happened to me. My LDL doubled.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by peril View Post
                          PB almost always increases HDL and reduces triglycerides. This is definitely improvement. It may also increase LDL but there is considerable disagreement over the significance thereof. For me, the LDL is irrelevant so long as the others are good
                          Ding ding!

                          So this of course indicates you have to define "better" to mean reduced risk of overall mortality. We can do that! PB/primal and congruent movement/exercise is key. Beyond that its all just tinkering.

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                          • #14
                            My cholesterol improved a LOT on PB. and I lean to the high fat lower carb side. But I didn't have another lipid panel until I had been on this WOE for over a year and weight stable. Also if you are at all hypothyroid it can contribute to a higher cholesterol panel, they say.
                            Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                            Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                            Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Silvergirl View Post
                              My cholesterol improved a LOT on PB. and I lean to the high fat lower carb side. But I didn't have another lipid panel until I had been on this WOE for over a year and weight stable. Also if you are at all hypothyroid it can contribute to a higher cholesterol panel, they say.
                              And that is why there is no one diet that fits all. You have to take your own reaction/results and tweak to fit your health needs if be. Nothing worse than folks that think because what works for them or what they've read should also apply to you.

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