My doc is freaking out about my cholesterol!
She wants me on statins. I read through griff's post (Cholesterol Primer) and I think I'm actually closer to ok than she thinks, but I need input on what to do about these levels.
I've been Primal roughly a month and a half. My cholesterol's been high since college, but it used to be my trigs driving it up (I can't remember the numbr, only that it was high.) About 2 year ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyriodism, which has a symptom of high cholesterol. At that point, my total and LDL were minorly high.
Calculated (Friedwald) LDL: 211
Iranian LDL: 183
It seems my LDL is high regardless.
See if you can make her a deal: You'll try to get the numbers down with diet for 90 days, then you'll talk.
I'm no expert on the particular numbers, but statins really seem like they're just a "cheat" to get the numbers down. I don't know of any evidence that they improve anyone's health or reduce the risk of anything in particular.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes!
I just had mine checked last week, and my numbers are pretty similar. I'm planning on getting NMR or VAP to determine to actual LDL number and, more importantly, the size of the LDL particles. Here's a link I just found on Google searching for 'LDL particle size':
From what I've read here and on other blogs, low-carbers typically have large LDL particles which are benign at worst. This drives up the calculated LDL score, but it's not actually a bad thing.
I think there's two ways to handle this. It's well within your rights to ask for a chance to try lifestyle changes first. Most doctors that I know would agree to this. Just make the appointment for 90 days.
If your doc refuses (in Ontario that's an ethical no-no) take the script, smile, nod and make an appointment for 90 days. Lots of folks don't fill their perscriptions.
Would switching doctors be an option? Lying to your doctor doesn't seem like the basis of a good relationship...
Eh. I'm not taking the meds. That's a given. If she asks, I'll tell her I didn't take them. If it's not down in 3 mos, I'm going to try and really bear down on why the numbers are high.
Statins are actually addressed in part of the Primal Blueprint book, in the event you hadn't had a chance to read that, you may want to? In the end, they're semi-effective at best, and only in a very small subset of those on them. I agree tho, no reason to be on a med just cuz your doctor thinks you should be-- this country is obsessed with medical interventions for the smallest things, now doctors are subscribing to that mentality... no reason you should too!
Have you had any personal history of heart disease or early heart disease in your family? I'm assuming from your avatar that you are a woman, which makes help a statin could give less certain. How old you are also matters.
How do your thyroid numbers, TSH, FT4, FT3 look? Maybe a thyroid med increase is in order and would help the cholesterol levels.
I second the suggestions of a VAP test and mentioning that statins have no effect on the mortality of women. And you might want to ask her if she's read Good Calories, Bad Calories or any of the other literature out there that's against the lipid hypothesis. I asked my doctor, he said that he had "some nutrition book at his bedside table, unread for months" but he still refused to pull the statins for now.
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