In need of serious help - cholesterol is out of control
Iíve been primal with dairy for about a year now. Iíve lost about 8 pts off of my BF% (about 16% now at 5-11, 185) and have lost around 15 lbs total. Unfortunately, I had very high cholesterol prior to the diet and it is something that still is a problem:
Diet: I eat a pretty clear Paleo diet Ė bulletproof coffee for breakfast maybe some nuts later; lunch either chicken and rice or sandwich meat with no bread; dinners usually meat of some sort. I do eat a good amount of veggies, usually sautťed; desert berries and heavy cream; I do snack on 85% chocolate and mixed nuts pretty regularly;
Sleep: decent, but not always great. I sometimes travel for work, but most nights get about 7 hours
Exercise: not good lately. I walk every day, but havenít done my usual weight lifting routines or burpee/push up workouts as much as I should.
Every day; Niacin (about 1-2g a day); coQ10; magnesium (morning and night); d3 10K a day during the winter; vitamin C (about 1g a day)
Sometimes, but not every day: General Vitamin B supplement, Copper, Kelp
Back in October I had it tested and it was:
After the first test, I upped the level of fish oil I was taking, took more Niacin, added copper as a sometimes supplement and started taking higher doses of Vitamin D as my level was borderline low in that test.
I just had it tested last week:
While I know my diet, etc. isnít perfectly optimal and while I donít think cholesterol tests are the end-all-be-all of healthy, those numbers are bad by all measures.
Iím in need of some help. While I love this diet and do think it is the right thing Ė I may have to dump it. Maybe Iím too damaged metabolically for it to work. Maybe I react poorly to something Iím doing. Maybe (even though I think they are poison) I will need to take statins to try to lower the LDL.
Any help will be appreciated.. Iím freaked out right now and concerned.
Go dairy free. I've seen this improve drastically with the removal of dairy in certain individuals.
No statins. They're just liver poison.
Are you aware that there is no actual causation between lower cholesterol and the onset of cardiac disease, and that those people who take statins have the same actual onset of cardiac disease?
It is quite likely genetic. I'd have them check inflammation markers.
Don't jump into statins just yet.
Based on the brief description of your usual meals, your O-6/O-3 ratios may be way out of whack. Try eliminating nuts from your diet completely, eating more lean cuts of red meat (beef, lamb, etc) than chicken, and eating more fatty, cold-water fish.
You may want to decrease your saturated fat intake just a bit. Use butter to cook your veggies, but don't put it in your coffee. Eat more leafy greens and bright-colored veggies. Keep eating berries, but the cream may be causing you problems - try ditching it for a while. It's not that this diet won't help you, it's that you're not following it the best way for your particular set of issues.
Walk more. You said you walk every day - how long? An hour or more? Add sprints once every couple weeks.
Hope something helps. I'd be a bit worried too. But statins and grains are not the solution.
Stop with heavy cream and bulletproof coffee. Eat more veggies.
Our numbers are virtually the same, other than my TRIs are in the 70s. Right now I'm cutting out all dairy and increasing carbs (potatoes, rice, etc.) as well as upping my veggies and supplementing more. Another thing someone mentioned to watch out for is overtraining as LDL could indicate you're simply working out too hard and your body is trying to repair itself. I don't have new numbers yet, but I'd at least try taking the butter/cheese/cream intake way down and make sure you're getting enough rest and adequate paleo/primal carbs (too low carb usually leads to higher cholesterol - whether that's bad or not it seems the jury is still out).
cut the dairy, eat some starch. absolutely nobody here is an expert, knows your situation, or is qualified to give real advice. that being said, there's mine!
I'd be concerned that your HDL has actually gone down and your TRIs are still so high. I see you're taking Vit D. Have you had your levels checked?
Thanks Everyone, I'm putting together my plan of action and it appears to look a lot like Jack Kronk's plan of action for his cholesterol:
"Basic changes: added 5000mcg K2-MK4, 200mg chelated Mg, 200mcg yeast selenium, added a milk thistle and dandelion supp that includes 75mg of turmeric, no coconut oil, big reduction in tuber starch, virtually eliminated cream/butter/ghee/cheese (so a major reduction in sat fats from dairy). added bananas back in about a month ago, more dark chocolate 85%, switched cooking oils to mac nut oil and avocado oil, huge reduction in egg consumption (from about 12-18 per week to more like 4-6 per week). Also began walking and/or jogging mostly fasted 3-4 times per week.
I am of the belief that the huge reduction in dairy sat fats combined with more activity from fast walking/jogging has had the most profound impact. I think my caloric intake from sat fat was too much for ONLY weight lifting. I think the added supps might come in second place."
Hack Jack Kronk's Latest Lab Results: Part 3 - Nov 19, 2011 - PaleoHacks.com
- eliminate dairy. I might cook with a bit of butter now and then, but I'm dropping the high amounts of heavy cream and the little milk I drink
- dropping the mixed nut snacks
- more salads and veggies for lunch. I've had a habit of eating a grilled chicken quarter with a small amount of rice. I'm going to swap that to mixed salads with olive oil
- more exercise and more sun - I'm hoping to get my bike out this weekend to tool around in the sun. Unfortunately, I have a sprained ankle (my ankles have been bothering me, and when I originally did Paleo with very little dairy I don't remember them bothering me much at all -- it might be inflammation from the dairy, but I have to see). I hope this will help clear the trigs and raise my hdl over time. Also I didn't do a vit D test this time, but that should help my vit. D.
- I might experiment with coconut milk/coconut oil still as a substitute for the dairy (he seemed to cut that out, but I might still need it?)
Things that worry me:
- I'm supplementing Vit. D, eating tons of saturated fat and my HDL is lower this time than before.
- I'm probably eating between 50-150 grams of carbs a day (not particularly low carb, but not high carb by any means), yet my Triglicerides have gone up
- My previous Thyroid panels (yes, I know they can be inconclusive) were OK, but I worry I may have a thyroid issue affecting the cholesterol
- Not sure of the testosterone levels, but I'm assuming the exercise will help that somewhat.
- Longer term, I am worried about plaque build-up (strokes run in my family) so I am worried about overall inflammation, sugar spikes, etc. The dairy may be a good part of the inflammation problem, but I do think that my Omega 3/Omega 6's are way out of balance and that with this diet I'm just starting to correct them. My last doctor didn't even think about doing these tests (wouldn't consider them when I asked and has been very aggressive in telling me my diet is wrong), but as part of another bit of work I need to find a Paleo/Low Carb friendly doctor who can help me navigate some of these issues.
- Getting a low carb friendly/Paleo friendly doctor (If anyone knows of a doctor that would work within a 100 or so miles of Chicago, please let me know!)
Him, and I believe it was Travis Culp's thread on there. Travis was another one that dairy was a huge issue for if you wanna search his stuff out.
Originally Posted by ChicagoPaleo