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Thread: MOAR cholesterol...but how to raise it?!? page

  1. #1
    lemontwisst's Avatar
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    MOAR cholesterol...but how to raise it?!?

    Primal Fuel
    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. #2
    Whiskey Bar's Avatar
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    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.

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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 at 01:10 AM.

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    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    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.

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    WeldingHank's Avatar
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    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.

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    lemontwisst's Avatar
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    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.

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    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

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    lemontwisst's Avatar
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    I have them checked several times a yr and with daily supplementation I keep my levels around 80.

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    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    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.

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    lemontwisst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Forager View Post
    Do you take enzymes?
    I don't.

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    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    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.

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