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LDL at 357 ng/dl, young, lean athlete on Paleo 7 years

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  • LDL at 357 ng/dl, young, lean athlete on Paleo 7 years

    Hey guys this is my first post here but I've been on the Paleo diet since my teens and before this site. Maybe before Marc, no idea. I'm 25 years old.

    Anyway I suffered from a bout of acute pancreatitis recently and I got some bloodwork done when I got to my home country and my doctor found that I have very high LDL cholesterol.

    I look fairly fit, with a six pack and a low bodyfat percentage at a high weight, I've been fighting professional Muay Thai and college Judo, although I understand fitness and health are not the same thing.

    However it really irks me that I have tried to do everything right since my teens, and now I have to go on statins or suffer a heart attack by my 30's. Just so you know, I just came back from seeing my doctor so I feel some injustice about that.

    My doctor also said it is imperative I start the statins immediately or I'm at risk for another bout of pancreatitis, which is life threatening. He said I won't have a cardiac event right away but I should begin statins for the pancreatitis. I certainly don't want acute pancreatitis again since it was some of the worst pain I've gone through, however I'm not convinced that hypercholesterolemia is linked to it. My doctor says that was the definite cause of my pancreatitis though. (FYI, I had the attack in Korea while traveling and only got partial tests done, a couple months later, now, in Canada, I got my cholesterol done).

    My doctor believes I probably have familial hypercholesterolemia. I am not getting genetic testing for FH; I am in Canada and there is the issue of using the government's resources so my doctor did not refer me.

    Anyone else out there who had cholesterol levels similar to mine, or who has FH? Anyone have any advice on statin drugs and which ones have the least side effects?

    PS: I am getting the LDL subfractions tested soon.

  • #2
    I am not an expert but it is about more than LDL numbers. What are the rest of your numbers like HDL, Trigs?
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
    PS
    Don't forget to play!

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    • #3
      Chingu, you might want to check out this thread: Griff's Cholesterol Primer

      Comment


      • #4
        What is the "it" that you are referring to? Familial hypercholesterolemia is basically strictly about LDL numbers. I suppose you're referring to atherosclerosis? Certainly acute pancreatitis has a lot of relation to triglyceride levels, since high triglycerides are a known cause.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Goldie View Post
          Chingu, you might want to check out this thread: Griff's Cholesterol Primer
          Thanks. That does not seem to mention the genetic disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia. Nor does it answer any questions relating to acute pancreatitis.

          Does anyone think it is possible that I do not have FH yet have 357ng/dl LDL?

          I would like to get the genetic testing done by 23andme.

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          • #6
            You can have a scan done to check if you have narrowing/inflammation/plaque build-up. If that's clear, tell your doctor to take a hike. I have a friend who has FH and so do her 2 children. None of them are on statins.

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            • #7
              Hyperlipid

              The above blog is written by a vet in the uk. He has written in the pat about FH and statins. You may find answers there.

              Mommymd
              --mommymd

              LCHF since Oct 2011

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              • #8
                Originally posted by WaltherHa
                I am not an expert but it is about more than LDL numbers
                What is the "it" that you are referring to? Familial hypercholesterolemia is basically strictly about LDL numbers. I suppose you're referring to atherosclerosis? Certainly acute pancreatitis has a lot of relation to triglyceride levels, since high triglycerides are a known cause.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bionicsamm View Post
                  You can have a scan done to check if you have narrowing/inflammation/plaque build-up. If that's clear, tell your doctor to take a hike. I have a friend who has FH and so do her 2 children. None of them are on statins.
                  I would like to do this, however there is healthcare rationing in my country (Canada). I'll try to press my doctor on it further.

                  Note that my doctor suggested I go on statins to reduce my chances of a recurrent attack of acute pancreatitis though. So if I had healthy arteries I wouldn't exactly tell my doctor to "take a hike."

                  Did your friend do genetic testing for FH? Have any idea what her numbers were like? Are you saying she got a heart scan done and looked fine?
                  Last edited by chingu; 07-18-2012, 09:01 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Pancreatitis is very serious and horribly painful - so I understand your hesitance to ignore your doctor. My one concern would be that my understanding is that statins increase the risk of pancreatitis, not decrease it.

                    I think statins have shown benefit in FH. However, I would also suggest the coronary artery scan and doing anything you can to keep your inflammation low.
                    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                    • #11
                      I would like to make an update to this thread about how my doctor is wrong for saying I need to go on statins immediately to prevent another attack of acute pancreatitis.

                      Issues in Hyperlipidemic Pancreatitis : Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology The research here shows that cholesterol has no relation to acute pancreatitis. I always had this feeling because I had researched acute pancreatitis thoroughly and had seen no case related to high cholesterol levels (only hypertriglyceridemia) but this research says so outright and has been cited almost 400 times.

                      Take your doctor's advice with a grain of salt and always research for yourself.

                      Now I'm going to further investigate the atherosclerotic issue, which I was less worried about because it is a longer time horizon issue. Still, I'm left wondering why I had that nearly fatal attack of pancreatitis.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do you have any of these risk factors?

                        Acute pancreatitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
                        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                        http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am also somewhat curious about my doctor's insistence that I have genetic familial hypercholesterolemia because I know my mother has decent cholesterol levels, and I haven't spoken to or seen my father but his doctor was more worried about diabetes than heart disease, many years ago.

                          The mutation on the LDLRAP1 is autosomal recessive so it could be possible that neither of them had it, but almost all cases of familial hypercholesterolemia are the result of autosomal dominant allele making it very likely I do not have it. The Canadian medical system makes it hard to get this kind of testing done, so I'm going to go with 23andme at some point.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jammies View Post
                            Do you have any of these risk factors?

                            Acute pancreatitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
                            I didn't read the link, but I don't drink alcohol, have never had gallstones (that I know of) and I highly doubt my triglycerides were elevated extremely high. The bouts of acute pancreatitis all happened on days where I did intermittent fasting and broke the fast with an enormous meal though, and I did not get my triglycerides checked when I was hospitalized. According to my recent test they are much too low to get pancreatitis from though. I have none of the symptoms of hyperparathyroidism. The rest of the causes are extremely rare.

                            There is no figuring out how you got your pancreatitis with the state of medical science around it today, for about 10-20% of cases. 10-20% of cases are just labelled idiopathic and that's it. Usually people don't experience another bout. I haven't had abdominal pain since the three cases I had in the span of two weeks, several months ago.

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                            • #15
                              My total cholesterol is 327, with my LDL at 231. I have been diagnosed with FH, but my case is a little unusual, as I was adopted and do not know my bio family's medical history. My cholesterol was first tested when I was 6 years old, and my total was nearly 400. I was given the FH diagnosis based on having such high levels at a young age. This was in the early 90's, so I was put on a low-fat diet. My total cholesterol went down into the high-200's until I went on Paleo last year, and then it shot back up (which may have been due to diet, or simply getting older, I was told).

                              The results of my most recent lipid panel showed that my LDL particles are large and "fluffy", which is a good thing. My C-reactive protein results showed average, meaning I am not presenting with inflammation. So, for now I am waiting it out, and seeing if dietary/exercise tweaks will help lower my LDL enough for me to feel safe. I'm also working on modifying my diet to cut down on saturated fats, which I have read may process in the body differently for those with FH.

                              I did go on statins last year for 1 month. I can't remember which one, because it was a generic, and I don't remember the name. After 30 days, I had my bloodwork done again, and I had only a tiny drop in my numbers. did not have side effects, but it was a low dose, and one of the "weaker" statins. My cardiologist prescribed a new, stronger statin, but I never took it. I really am nervous about neurological side effects. I have an appointment next month to re-check my numbers, and have the statin debate again.

                              There is so little research on FH, it makes this all so difficult. Although I do believe that high cholesterol is not a big issue for most bodies, it is still unclear to me on how it differs in those with FH.

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