Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

MOAR cholesterol...but how to raise it?!?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • MOAR cholesterol...but how to raise it?!?

    And, along with that, how to help my body get better at making and using other hormones so I can get back to feeling human again.

    I just got back from the doctor's office where I got my latest blood test results. I wasn't shocked that my ferritin is still low (12ug/L, normal range 13-375 - I almost choked when she said it wasn't *that* bad) and that my TSH is still high. What I was surprised at is how much lower my cholesterol is this time over the last time I had it checked, though I'm just going from memory:

    (Reference ranges in brackets)
    Total: 3.11 mmol/L (3.8-5.2) | 120mg/dL (147-200)
    Trigs: 0.45 mmol/L (0.6-2.3) | 40mg/dL (53-201)
    HDL: 1.87mmol/L (>=0.91) | 72mg/dL (>=35)
    LDL: 1.04mmol/L (2.00-3.40) | 40mg/dL (77-132)

    Ratios:
    Total/HDL = 1.66
    Trig/HDL = 0.55
    LDL/HDL = 0.55

    My doc genuinely seemed unconcerned about these numbers, but I can't help but feel like lower isn't necessarily better. I've been working with my naturopath for adrenal fatigue issues and, without that handy cholesterol around, I know my body can't make all kinds of important things like cortisol, DHEA, progesterone, pregnenolone, etc, etc. I've read more than once that low cholesterol and adrenal fatigue tend to go hand in hand.

    So, folks - any suggestions or recommendations on how I can bring my cholesterol UP? Due to absorption issues, I can't eat scads of fat; it makes me wicked nauseous and ends up coming out the far end, and you've all said it before - the fat you eat doesn't contribute to your cholesterol counts anyhow.

    Thoughts? Thanks!

  • #2
    Your doc isn't concerned because he doesn't know your situation. The key to your hypocholesterolemia is your malabsorption, which you barely mention in passing. You don't think that causes low cholesterol? Your low ferritin is probably due to hypothyroidism, malabsorption and/or other GI issues.

    Originally posted by lemontwisst View Post
    My doc genuinely seemed unconcerned about these numbers
    Fecal fat excretion is a symptom of fat malabsorption. You're probably also borderline anemic and can't absorb fat-soluble vitamins well. A good GI can chase this down and trace it to your pancreas, IBD, CD, etc. and particularly bile acid malabsorption, given how low your LDL is vis--vis HDL and your steatorrhea. Your issue is probably gastrointestinal. Trying to tinker with hormones without addressing this underlying issue is like putting the cart before the horse.

    Originally posted by lemontwisst View Post
    Due to absorption issues, I can't eat scads of fat; it makes me wicked nauseous and ends up coming out the far end.
    Because of your low LDL, those ratios are not meaningful. They matter somewhat when your have normal or high cholesterol, but not when you have hypocholesterolemia.

    Originally posted by lemontwisst View Post
    Ratios: Total/HDL = 1.66; Trig/HDL = 0.55; LDL/HDL = 0.55
    Last edited by Whiskey Bar; 03-22-2014, 01:10 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Whiskey, it sounds like your pancreas is not functioning properly. I would see a gastroenterologist. Malabsorption of fat is not something to be taken lightly. In the short term taking enzymes every time you eat something with fat might help. But I'd make an appointment ASAP.
      Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

      Comment


      • #4
        in for some info. Had mine checked in august, total was 136 with an HDL of 69, and trigs were 36!

        But I don't have the fat absorbtion issues.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm well aware of my malabsorption issues - I had gastric bypass surgery nearly 11 years ago. I certainly do think it can cause low cholesterol, I simply hadn't put two and two together.
          So yes, I am anemic (though managing it fairly well) and I supplement fat soluble vitamins because I don't absorb them well although other than D I've always had normal serum levels.
          I agree, trying to correct other hormonal imbalances without addressing the low cholesterol first doesn't make sense, hence the thread.
          Since I can't easily reverse my bariatric surgery, I'm stuck with finding solutions that work with it. My doc is aware of my situation, but obviously not familiar enough with it to be of much help. I suppose the first course of action is to try and find a GI specialist who's knowledgeable about bariatric patients.

          Comment


          • #6
            not cholesterol, but have you had your d levels checked? it's a vital hormonal precursor and supplementing may help balance some of your other issues.
            As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

            Ernest Hemingway

            Comment


            • #7
              I have them checked several times a yr and with daily supplementation I keep my levels around 80.

              Comment


              • #8
                Do you take enzymes?
                Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
                  Do you take enzymes?
                  I don't.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It may be worth trying. My son has a medical condition where most people with it can not digest fats, my son is fortunately an exception, but those whose pancreas doesn't function take enzymes every time they eat foods with fats. The enzymes they use need a prescription but it may be worth trying OTC.
                    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I second getting the stomach, intestinal, and gallbladder issues in line. Also agreed that you can't fix your cholesterol levels if you can't digest your fats!

                      Lemon, have you considered having your gallbladder looked at? Bile is crucially important for digesting fats and if you don't have it, you can't and won't digest fats properly. I'd recommend that you tell a medical professional you trust about this right away and get their advice. I suppose it is technically possible to have fat malabsorption going on with a normal gallbladder, but it seems highly unlikely. My ex-gf struggled with high fat ANYTHING for years and eventually did so much damage to her gallbladder by ignoring it that she had to have it removed!

                      Also, if your fats are primarily coming attached to animal protein you will need plenty of stomach acid to separate the fat from the proteins. Consider things like digestif bitters held under the tongue a few minutes before eating and betaine HCL for this.

                      For digesting in general, you need lots of enzymes. If fat is your main issue, the various lipase ensomes are going to be your best freinds here. Google pulls up a lot of supplements specifically designed to raise levels of lipase enzymes: https://www.google.com/search?q=lipa...zymes&tbm=shop

                      Although, since fats often come alongside protein in nature, you may want a more broad-spectrum enzyme supplement,something like this: http://www.enzymedica.com/store/Digest-Gold
                      "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        UF, thanks for the suggestion. I did some reading today and they make sense for my situation, so I'll add those in and see what comes of it.

                        Drum - I have had my gallbladder checked before; a bout of pancreatitis that landed me in the ER overnight led to tests to determine if I had stones or not. An ultrasound showed I had sludgy buildup in the gallbladder, enough to cause a backup in the duct that then caused the pancreatitis. A few attacks is all it amounted to and after resolving the stressful situation I was in at the time it hasn't been an issue since.
                        However, due to my altered anatomy, my gallbladder likely still functions normally, but all the food I eat bypasses the majority of the stomach and the duodenum, where the digestion/absorption of fats happens. I'm guessing I also have little stomach acid as what's left of my active stomach is the size of a grown man's thumb, give or take. I'm thinking about all I can do is try to figure out how to maximize nutrient absorption in the parts of my small intestine that are doing the work.
                        The universe works in wonderful ways - while out for dinner celebrating a good turn of events for the in-laws, it came up that I may have an opportunity to get in to see a highly regarded gastroenterologist without having to go through the usual channel of convincing my GP and having her send a referral that may or may not be taken up. Fingers crossed!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, sounds like digestif bitters, HCL, and enzymes may be a real boon for you then. Go for 'em and at least see how you feel.

                          Hope you have luck with the doc too! Don't let 'em sell you on any drugs or surgeries without doing your own research first though, no matter HOW much you respect them.

                          Cheers for the good news!
                          "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X