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Thread: Bloodwork back, total cholesterol is high, I am freaking out a little bit

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  1. #1
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    Bloodwork back, total cholesterol is high, I am freaking out a little bit

    So I recently got some bloodwork done, I have been tired. (I struggle with insomnia, partly because I have a daughter with a seizure disorder, but that story is for another time.)

    I was curious to see what my cholesterol level was going to be. It was high.

    Total cholesterol: 251
    Triglycerides: 70
    HDL cholesterol: 109
    VLDL: 14
    LDL: 128

    My ratios seem good, but that total cholesterol number sticks out like a sore thumb, it's freaking me out a bit. I have been eating primal since Thanksgiving time, I exercise 5x/week, my carbs are under 75 grams/day. I fluctuate between 80/20 and 90/10. I love the way I feel, so happy I don't have to feel hungry to be "healthy" and "fit". The primal way of eating seems like a good fit for me, until I got these results. Can anyone relate to this and what should I do? The doctor didn't mention anything, but he can be flakey sometimes, lol. Any input would be appreciated, thank you.

  2. #2
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    I've read that in the 70's, the healthy level was 280 (I can't verify that, I just remember reading it somewhere) and there was a lot less heart disease then than there is now. My mom recently had bloodwork done and her total was around 200, and her doc told her that that was too high, and that it should be under 170. It seems like they just keep lowering the standards, but heart disease rates continue to rise. So, I wouldn't put too much faith in those standards. As long as your ratios are good, you're probably perfectly fine.

  3. #3
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    Those numbers are fairly excellent. Keep up the good work!

    To set your mind at ease:

    5 reasons not to worry about your cholesterol numbers


    The Straight Dope on Cholesterol: 10 Things You Need to Know – Part 1 | Mark's Daily Apple

    Your total cholesterol number may very well be the most useless piece of information ever gained from a blood test. It baffles me that any doc would rely on it. This info has been out for many years now. Even traditional docs can't be that far behind. Ahhhhh statins, how we love thee.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 01-31-2013 at 10:53 AM.

  4. #4
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    Neckhammer, thank you for that article!!!!!!!

  5. #5
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    No Problem

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14emom View Post
    My ratios seem good, but that total cholesterol number sticks out like a sore thumb, it's freaking me out a bit.
    Why?

    I believe lowest risk of all-cause mortality is a total cholesterol in the 200-240 range. Below 180 starts becoming a health risk.

    Your total cholesterol number isn't correct, anyway. Your trigs are too low, so your LDL cholesterol isn't calculated correctly. It's not a direct LDL measurement, it's almost certainly an estimate based on the Friedewald formula for LDL calculation. As you can see, when trigs are low, the number is wildly inaccurate. This guy's calculation (posted above) was off by over 45 points!

    In short, you do not know your total cholesterol. Your LDL is a calculation, likely off by about 20-30%, which will skew your totals horribly. It's all wrong.

    Get a direct LDL measurement, an LDL particle test and a C-reactive protein test. Add this info to your HDL and trig numbers and you'll have a better feel for your health.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    Why?
    Your total cholesterol number isn't correct, anyway. Your trigs are too low, so your LDL cholesterol isn't calculated correctly.

    In short, you do not know your total cholesterol. Your LDL is a calculation, likely off by about 20-30%, which will skew your totals horribly. It's all wrong.

    Get a direct LDL measurement, an LDL particle test and a C-reactive protein test. Add this info to your HDL and trig numbers and you'll have a better feel for your health.
    I am so confused by what you said....

    So....your total cholesterol wrong is because your LDL was wrong, because your LDL was based off a calculation from total cholesterol? Circular thinking much?

    I'm pretty sure total cholesterol was measured correctly, whereas LDL was just wrong due to the calculation error.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakura_girl View Post
    I am so confused by what you said....

    So....your total cholesterol wrong is because your LDL was wrong, because your LDL was based off a calculation from total cholesterol? Circular thinking much?

    I'm pretty sure total cholesterol was measured correctly, whereas LDL was just wrong due to the calculation error.
    It's not circular. What I'm saying is when trigs are low (<100), the Friedewald equation is usually off on calculating LDL by around 20%. I'm assuming if you're giving a direct LDL measurement, you'll be about 20% lower. I'm simply taking 80% of her LDL number and plugging it back into the equation. It's not perfect, but it's probably more accurate than what it is now.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    Why?

    I believe lowest risk of all-cause mortality is a total cholesterol in the 200-240 range. Below 180 starts becoming a health risk.

    Your total cholesterol number isn't correct, anyway. Your trigs are too low, so your LDL cholesterol isn't calculated correctly. It's not a direct LDL measurement, it's almost certainly an estimate based on the Friedewald formula for LDL calculation. As you can see, when trigs are low, the number is wildly inaccurate. This guy's calculation (posted above) was off by over 45 points!

    In short, you do not know your total cholesterol. Your LDL is a calculation, likely off by about 20-30%, which will skew your totals horribly. It's all wrong.

    Get a direct LDL measurement, an LDL particle test and a C-reactive protein test. Add this info to your HDL and trig numbers and you'll have a better feel for your health.
    What rubbish. The TC is a direct measurement. It is only the LDL that is calculated by an approximation. You really shouldn't display your ignorance so confidently
    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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