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Author: Subject: Cholesterol--How high are you?

Peach Master





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  posted on 9/22/2008 at 10:59 PM
Does anyone have experience with extremely high cholesterol?

My wife routinely tests between 400-450.

How off the charts is that? Does anyone on this site come close to that high?

Docs freak out and try to get her to take meds but she does not want to (she is skeptical of the need, and tends to react badly to most meds.)

BTW—She is a life-long vegetarian who eats a relatively low fat diet, and the high count seems to run her family.

Thanks

 
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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 12:15 AM
that seems really high. before trying the statins (Rx), tell her to talk to her doctor about other options to exhaust first. My levels were no where near that high, but the doc. was reluctant to put me on statins b/c of all the side effects, at least without trying other options first. Look at fish oil, niacin and lecithin supplements.....but again, talk to the doctor first b/c these supps interact with other drugs she may be on. For example, lecithin is a blood thinner, so if she's on an aspirin regimen it could cause problems. Also, there's lots of natural foods that have natural cholesterol lowerers (is that a word?) like flax seed oil. You can do flax seed oil in fruit smoothies with lots of blueberries and strawberries, and that will help to lower cholesterol. Also, the "Smart Balance" line of foods helps. Some taste not so good, but others (like the peanut butter) taste great and are full of flax seed, omega 3 and fish oils. Just saying there are lots of options to exhaust before going on statins.... but yeah, that sounds incredibly high.

 

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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 12:18 AM
You say she's vegetarian. Does she eat a lot of nuts, like peanuts and cashews? Although they're "cholesterol free", nuts have lots of fat and will increase cholesterol even if they claim not to have cholesterol. I'm no doc or anything, but that's what I've read. You can't eat a pound of "cholesterol free" peanuts every day and expect your cholesterol to go down.

 

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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 05:45 AM
200 is usually when doctors start looking for ways to lower it either thru diet, exercise, supplements or meds. Mine was usually around 200, but this past spring it jumped to 280 with my LDL (bad cholesterol) being 184 and my HDL (good) at 47. The doctor put me on a generic of Zocor. In six weeks it came down to 185 , LDL 105 and HDL 35. While the HDL dropped its ratio to LDL went up. That's a key. From what I've read if your LDL to HDL ratio is 3 to 1 or better even if your overall cholesterol is high you might be alright. In my case it went from 4 to 1 to 3 to 1.
I'm about 25 lbs over my ideal weight at this time so when I bring that down hopefully I may get off of this medicine. I've read where statins affect your memory and I've had to fumble for things I know used to be at my fingertips. I'm also 55 so maybe I'm just in denial.

[Edited on 9/23/2008 by michaelsio]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 06:36 AM
just got mine from the beg of the month

Total 261
Trig. 198
HDL 53
LDL 168


Of course I got tested right after Labor Day and several BBQ's



[Edited on 9/23/2008 by lonomon]

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 07:22 AM
WOW ..That is the highest I have ever heard.... She should be taking very serious precautions at this point... I wish her the best.. she really should consider taking some sort of medication to get those numbers down at least in the low 200's.. which is still not acceptable...but it will help.. There are also some natural vitamins that may help... but again those numbers are critically high.. anyone in the health care on here might what to give some better advice ?????

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 08:55 AM
My own personal experience, FWIW.......got tested at a health fair at the mall, 214.
Found a doctor, checked 209. I was put on statins, primarily due to family history. Got me down to 179 after a year, went to niacin after that, been in the 180's since.

 
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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 11:06 AM
My cholesterol was in the 230's. The doc first tried me out on fish oil caps, and lose weight (which I did a little). Still in the 230's. He then put me on a statin med and it really made me dizzy, weak and lathargic. Off of the statin and on to Zetia. Bingo. No side effects and now I'm in the 180's. Downside > $$$. But that may be my healh care plan benefits. Better than a heart attack or stroke at 54, though.
 

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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 11:12 AM
Before meds, the highest was around 325. The last physical which was a few weeks ago it came down to 125. I guess fun size Reese cups do run your numbers up. I use to eat a lot of em, and quit totally about 3 months ago.

 

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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 11:20 AM
quote:
Does anyone have experience with extremely high cholesterol?

My wife routinely tests between 400-450.

How off the charts is that? Does anyone on this site come close to that high?

Docs freak out and try to get her to take meds but she does not want to (she is skeptical of the need, and tends to react badly to most meds.)

BTW—She is a life-long vegetarian who eats a relatively low fat diet, and the high count seems to run her family.

Thanks

too many carbohydrates will send your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, through the roof! leading to type 2 diabetes.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 11:32 AM
quote:
just got mine from the beg of the month

Total 261
Trig. 198
HDL 53
LDL 168


Of course I got tested right after Labor Day and several BBQ's



[Edited on 9/23/2008 by lonomon]
Yeah, I tried telling the doctor that I just had a big steak dinner the day before. She didn't buy it.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 02:56 PM
I too would exhaust EVERY conceivable option before taking statin drugs. I had the misfortune of being put on them for about a year and a half and the side effects were bad. Also they deplete you of CO-Q 10 which is essential to heart health.

Also cholesterol is necessary for the body, like oil for a car, and everybody's vary. This business of putting a certain cap on it for all folks just doesn't work. The main thing is you don't want it to oxidize and stick to the arteries. That's where the trouble comes in.

I take Omega -3 supplements & CO-Q 10 now along with psyillium husks and Benecol (online from Amazon)which is a carmel-like "candy" which is quite effective for some people.

Also try to lower the intake of grains and sugars as much as possible. I've learned from some research that cholesterol is a symptom of insulin resistance and not the problem in itself. I take cinnamon to keep my blood sugar levels right.

Anyway, go to Mercola.com and learn EVERYTHING about this that you can. He is a EXCELLENT source of info and that's where I got my best advice. Good luck !!!!

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 03:44 PM
Forgot about the fish oil....it really helps. Niacin in the morning, fish oil at night.
Some good info on this thread, thanks.

 
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Peach Master



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  posted on 9/23/2008 at 09:56 PM
Many many thanks for all the thoughtful responses.

Y’all a great bunch!

So I take it nobody who responded has seen numbers in the 400’s.

We’re relatively aware of the alternative methods for lowering cholesterol, because I’ve effective used most of them myself (lower sugar intake; aerobic exercise; fish oil; olive oil; cinnamon; niacin; psylium; oats and other fiber).

And yes, I read some Doc Mercola.

On the questions about my wife’s diet: I won’t claim its perfect, but the main source of fat for her is maybe a cup of whole milk yogurt each day and some olive oil or canola oil I use when cooking veggies. Her main foods are white rice, lentils, beans, an lots of veggies. She eats very few sweets, bread, or pasta. She does eat some nuts here and there but not an excessive amount.

So her high levels are almost certainly hereditary (though probably I should push more brown rice on her instead of white rice).

The big question for us is whether she should take the meds.

My inclination is to get her to try some of the alternative methods and see how far that gets her.


 

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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 10:31 AM
kitchenboy - 400 is WAY high cholesterol level! I'm a vegetarian, also, and have had my cholesterol run high (around 230). Based on your post, wife is not vegan - milk products (like yogurt) should be low-fat. Instead of white rice, try brown (the oil in whole brown rice lowers cholesterol). Red Yeast Rice - helps lower cholesterol (you can get supplements - for info check http://www.medicinenet.com/red_yeast_rice_and_cholesterol/page6.htm ) Don't know if your wife avoids eggs or fish but if she doesn't she should increase intake of these (this is based on a recommendation I received from my Dr - increase protein intake. I always thought eggs should be avoided but was told to have one daily so I boil up a dozen eggs at a time and keep them in fridge and have a hard boiled egg in AM with my V8). Good Luck!

 

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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 10:41 AM
Docs freak out and try to get her to take meds but she does not want to (she is skeptical of the need, and tends to react badly to most meds.)

======================================================

400 is way too high to mess around with. Docs generally don't freak out unless there is a life threatening situation. I would try the natural remedies and do what the docs say. Try different meds until she finds the right one for her.

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 10:46 AM
I was considering taken Niacin but was concerned about side effects. Anyone experience unpleasantness with it? Does the time release variety actually aleviate "Niacin Flush" ? I think I have it in the kitchen cabinet unopened ... 500 mg Inositol Hexanicotinate or something like that

 

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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 11:22 AM
For me, it turns out high cholesterol was a symptom of hypo (underactive) thyroid. Once I started the meds, cholesterol went down and several other symptoms disappeared. The most common indication of thyroid is fatigue, which was not so much and issue. But I also had dry-skin, weight gain, even some slurred speech (which stone cold sober I might add) which all went away.

 

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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 12:00 PM
quote:
I was considering taken Niacin but was concerned about side effects. Anyone experience unpleasantness with it? Does the time release variety actually aleviate "Niacin Flush" ? I think I have it in the kitchen cabinet unopened ... 500 mg Inositol Hexanicotinate or something like that


Doesn't affect me in any way, never has. But I was talking with a client yesterday, he just started (260). Had the "flush" reaction. It's available in "no flush" format, a little more expensive.

The "flush" reaction, as I understand it, is a reddening of the skin. Blushing. Some report minor itching. No deal at all. If you have this reaction, go to "no flush." Available at GNC, similar places.

Oh....my client reported taking 1000 mg tablets. My doc recommends 500mg. Could have made a difference. I read a report once about over-use of vitamins. Concluded that Americans have the most expensive urine in the world.

 
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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 12:07 PM
170..

i eat a lot of oatmeal (every day) and salmon ( at least once a week)

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 12:32 PM
around 158...but that's after being on Lipitor for about 6 years.....when I finally decided to start Lipitor it was around 368....no problems with taking the Lipitor....
 

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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 02:13 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, the Niacin I have is non flush. The doctor wanted me to take lipitor for a 230 reading. I was hoping to find another way to lower that number. Your input much appreciated

quote:


Doesn't affect me in any way, never has. But I was talking with a client yesterday, he just started (260). Had the "flush" reaction. It's available in "no flush" format, a little more expensive.

The "flush" reaction, as I understand it, is a reddening of the skin. Blushing. Some report minor itching. No deal at all. If you have this reaction, go to "no flush." Available at GNC, similar places.

Oh....my client reported taking 1000 mg tablets. My doc recommends 500mg. Could have made a difference. I read a report once about over-use of vitamins. Concluded that Americans have the most expensive urine in the world.


[Edited on 9/24/2008 by drobyn]

 

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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 02:36 PM
Veggie oils are not good from what I can understand. I only use 100% extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.

And I too am a victim of an hereditary high cholesterol problem. Didn't mention that initially. My cholesterol is now 267 but I don't worry about that. Tryglicerides are 68 and I really am more concerned with that number than the cholesterol. Also the ratio between bad and good is more important than total cholesterol I do believe.

The bottom line is I have no blockage and I feel GREAT !!!

 

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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 05:40 PM
I had all my tests done a couple weeks ago because it had been since 2006 when I tested everything. The results came in todays mail.

I'm 152

Trig. 68
HDL. 66
LDL. 72

I also eat oatmeal and Salmon plus flax meal and flax oil.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2008 at 07:30 PM
Wow, Sue. You're the yin to Kitchenboy's wife yang. Those numbers are phenomenal.

 

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