I'm very concerned that the same professional that I'm entrusting my well being with is possibly attempting to derail my health with his "traditionally" based beliefs and practices and is ignoring factors that would indicate that there is possibly something incorrect in the interpretation of the data from tests administered during a "routine" medical checkup.
I took a blood test, part of which was the standard Lipid Panel, which shows:
Component Your Value Standard Range Units CHOLESTEROL 220 <=199 mg/dL HDL 71 40 - 59 mg/dL TRIGLYCERIDES 46 <=149 mg/dL LDL Cholesterol 140 <=99 mg/dL
National Cholesterol Education Panel Classifications:
Moderate Risk: 200-239; High Risk: >/=240
HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL):
Low: <40; High: >/=60
Triglyceride (mg/dL; fasting):
Borderline High: 150-199; High: 200-499; Very High: >/=500
LDL Cholesterol (mg/dL):
Near or above optimal: 100-129; Borderline High: 130-159;
High: 160-189; Very High: >/=190
OMG! I'm showing Very High on the NCEPC. Especially the LDL, with 140 I should be a walking heart attack in waiting, eh?
To which my dr. prescribed more exercise and looking at a Mediterranean inspired diet while cutting out/down meat consumption, etc.
Given my current state of health I was dubious, and after some hunting around (and most of you would probably already know this) have found that not all cholesterol is created equal and can't easily be classified as "good" or "bad" as current popular medical beliefs would imply. So, not knowing the exact name of the test at the time of my request, I asked for an LDL specific test to analyze the breakdown of the LDL assuming my dr. had some idea of what I was talking about (and you see HDL and Triglyceride levels? Shouldn't this come to some interest to the dr?).
Went in for this 2nd test and I guess he apparently he assumed I was requesting a Lipid Panel retest. Low and behold the results were similar, since I didn't change much except taking off an additional 5#s in the 4 weeks between. To this he noted:
Funny, for the better part of the last year I've been exercising rigorously at least 6 days a week, virtually eliminating all processed foods, including empty sugar (still have to have my beer and wine occasionally) and have taken off over 10% body fat. Prior to this (even when I weighed in excess of 240#s, now 184#) I had never had a "dangerous" cholesterol reading. So this must be proof that living Paleo has to be big fat lie .Again, the biggest bang for your buck at this point will come from exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.
Now I have found the test I was referring...and have requested this from the same Dr and he replies:Particle Size Test for LDL Cholesterol
So it's clear that he's deeply invested in the status quo and plans on remaining and would suspect most traditional doctors (like those found on your general insurance plans) are in the majority.Checking for specific cholesterol particle sizes is an unproven method of risk calculation, and would not change anything that you are doing, so I think of little value.
I'm certainly not comfortable with this situation, but not sure if there's really anything I can do about it. I don't want to be in an adversarial relationship with him, but I also want to be able to put some trust in him for medical advise going forward. Not sure if I can... can I expect to find a better health care provider? How do you go about interviewing for such things? My insurance plan simply provides a list of of in plan doctors in my area that are accepting new patients and I choose one based on ? pretty empty information really. Bio data really provides little to none. Do I simply take his concerns with a grain of salt? What should happen if I really do run into an issue... ?
Current interests - Starting Strength (reading it very slowly)
ND's are certified medical professionals?
Sorry, I must reiterate, what I'd like is a health care professional in the UnitedHealthCare insurance program who acts as a primary care physician, not a private health consultant. UH would not cover the expense of a private ND.
It's usually possible to call a doctor's office and speak at least to a nurse. You may well be able to find out what you need to know by simply asking, "I am doing well with the paleo diet, and I am looking for a doctor who is OK with this. What is your/this doctor's policy about that?"
Alternately, if you like your current doctor for other reasons, you can simply say, "Ok, thank you--I am exercising a lot and eating as healthy as I can." And let it go at that. You may not be able to get the alternate cholesterol test, but do you really need it? If not, and if you like your doctor otherwise, I'd just let it go.
You should read this about cholesterol if you haven't already:
Your LDL is almost certainly calculated, and since your triglycerides are very low, the standard formula is a bad estimation.
If you put your numbers in here:
LDL Cholesterol Calculator
Then according to the Iranian formula that is applicable for low triglyceride values, you end up with 106 for LDL, which isn't bad at all.
HDL is best to be as high as possible, 71 is a fabulous value.
Then if you plug your numbers into the various ratios, you get wonderful results there too. Certainly you might want a doctor who is better informed, but you can calculate all this yourself and see exactly how you're doing.