Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Health & Fitness => Topic started by: Regulator on January 20, 2010, 01:44:37 pm

Title: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Regulator on January 20, 2010, 01:44:37 pm
I got a bit of a kicking at the doctor’s this morning. :(

They’re generally pleased with the attempt to give up smoking (they’ve altered the NRT prescription to deal with the morning ‘coffee and a fag’ problem. My heart and blood pressure are fine.  My liver function levels are still out of whack and the one indicator is still too high (50% above what is should be) – but coming down.  :thumbsup:

However, I got my cholesterol test level back… 8.1!  :o This puts me in the Very (Dangerously) High group.  :-\

I have to see the doctor on Monday.  I know he’ll nag me about my weight but I’m back at WeightWatchers so that should please him (from both the weight and diet aspects).  My alcohol intake is also low.

It’s almost sure I’ll be put on some sort of medication.  The most likely is statins but they can be contraindicated in those with liver disease, so it may be a combination of statins and ezetimibe or ezetimibe on it own (or with fibrates).

What is really worrying though is that I may have to cut down my caffeine intake.  There is apparently a link between high caffeine intake and raised cholesterol levels.  That would be shit…  :sick:

There is one possible glimmer of hope.  I had my cholesterol checked a year ago and it was OKish (about 6).  It may be that the current liver problems have affected the level.  However, the downside is that the current liver problems could also have been caused by a high cholesterol level.

Bah!

At least they'll encourage me to cycle more.  Exercise is good for lowering your cholesterol levels apparently.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 20, 2010, 01:51:41 pm
Bad news that.

So, to take asprin on not?

Hope you can get it down; no eggs, red meat or dairy for you.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Regulator on January 20, 2010, 01:53:54 pm
Bad news that.

So, to take asprin on not?

Hope you can get it down; no eggs, red meat or dairy for you.

Apparently the eggs thing no longer applies.  Eggs is good for you again!  :thumbsup:

Other than cheese, my dairy intake is limited to semi-skimmed milk in tea and on cereals really.

I'll miss the red meat though...  :(
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Andrew Br on January 20, 2010, 01:54:32 pm
A good few years ago, I also had high cholesterol levels pointed out in a routine medical.
It was a surprise to me because I ate a reasonablely healthy diet, didn't drink a lot of caffeine and I exercised a lot.
Over the next few months, I lost a couple of kg, mainly through dieting and I started eating porridge in the morning (changed from muesli but that was because it was autumn, not as a deliberate cholesterol reducing measure).
Off to the GP for a follow-up test and my overall cholesterol levels had gone up but the ratio of LDL to HDL had changed and my GP was pleased with the results.
I'm assuming that your doc took all this into account Reg ?

Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on January 20, 2010, 02:27:53 pm
Oh dear! I suspect that diet won't bring your cholesterol down much cos your body's making most of it. (8 is high.)
Hope it's under control soon.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: border-rider on January 20, 2010, 02:34:48 pm
I know that caffeine liberates a load of fatty acids into the blood, which is why it's good to have some before exercise cos you can use them as fuel, and they're not hanging around otherwise being fat

Maybe you need to only have coffee  before a bit of exercise, Reg.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: rafletcher on January 20, 2010, 02:38:36 pm
Oh dear! I suspect that diet won't bring your cholesterol down much cos your bady's making most of it. (8 is high.)
Hope it's under control soon.

Indeed, I was told many (um, 20+) years ago that diet was a poor way of regulating / reducing cholesterol - unless I lived like an ancient Briton on nuts and seeds.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Wowbagger on January 20, 2010, 02:40:25 pm
I know some people replace milk on cereal with fruit juice. My daughter makes porridge with apple juice.

I once tried orange juice on corn flakes, but that was entirely accidental. I picked up the wrong jug in a post-alcoholic haze. It wasn't as good as milk. I also made the mistake of pouring chocolate sauce on mange-tout peas, but that was not alcohol-induced - just poor eyesight & colour recognition.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Mrs Pingu on January 20, 2010, 02:45:37 pm
Maybe you need to only have coffee  before a bit of exercise, Reg.
Coffee then a fag shag?  :D

Is porridge not proported to be helpful in lowering cholesterol?
Me, I have my muesli soaked in apple juice, yum!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: ScumOfTheRoad on January 20, 2010, 02:51:00 pm
Talking about porridge with fruit juice - lovely blonde lady was handing out free samples of Moma breakfasts at Waterloo. It is porridge combined with low fat yogurt, apple juice and fruit pieces. I bought one for my second breakfast this morning - nothing to do with wanting to speak to the lovely lady again, oh no.

Seriously, they do taste rather good: mOma : Welcome (http://www.momafoods.co.uk/)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Butterfly on January 20, 2010, 03:01:54 pm
Cut down on the caffeine the way you would anything - a bit at a time. Try 1:5 ratio of caffeinated and de- then 1:4 in a couple of weeks then 1:3 and so on. It will make you sleep better and be more alert as well as being better for your health - do you really want to rely on a drug that restricts the blood flow in your brain? Really? (my mother only drinks coffee or wine and has been a lot less stressy since I convinced my dad that giving caffeine to someone with a history of sub arachnoid haemorrhage was bloody stupid.) Sleeping better and not having the dips you get with caffeine addiction are just 2 of the benefits :).

Hope you get it sorted.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Andrew Br on January 20, 2010, 03:04:09 pm
Talking about porridge with fruit juice - lovely blonde lady was handing out free samples of Moma breakfasts at Waterloo. It is porridge combined with low fat yogurt, apple juice and fruit pieces. I bought one for my second breakfast this morning - nothing to do with wanting to speak to the lovely lady again, oh no.

Seriously, they do taste rather good: mOma : Welcome (http://www.momafoods.co.uk/)

Sounds like bircher muesli to me.
's what I have for breakfast during the summer (home made). Yum.

Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chris S on January 20, 2010, 03:10:34 pm
Blood cholesterol says more about your body than it does about your diet.

Did the test include your HDL/LDL ratio, and if so, what is it?

Whilst 8 is officially  :o level, if the ratio of LDL/HDL is good, that has a bearing on your risk level. Last test I had was 5.6 overall (highish) but HDL/LDL was 2.6/3.0. A ratio of almost 50/50 Good/Bad is, according to my doctor, a Good Thing and puts me well into the "Low risk" band.

If you believe Messers Roth and Pauling, high cholesterol is a response to very low Vitamin C levels; your liver is making lots of glue to hold your arteries together. Of course, many think Linus Pauling was a top of the line loony tune too, but dropping a 1000mg tab of Vit C a day won't do any harm  ;).
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 20, 2010, 03:20:44 pm
Oh dear! I suspect that diet won't bring your cholesterol down much cos your bady's making most of it. (8 is high.)
Hope it's under control soon.

Indeed, I was told many (um, 20+) years ago that diet was a poor way of regulating / reducing cholesterol - unless I lived like an ancient Briton vegan on nuts and seeds.

FTFY
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: clarion on January 20, 2010, 03:45:13 pm
Talking about porridge with fruit juice - lovely blonde lady was handing out free samples of Moma breakfasts at Waterloo. It is porridge combined with low fat yogurt, apple juice and fruit pieces. I bought one for my second breakfast this morning - nothing to do with wanting to speak to the lovely lady again, oh no.

Seriously, they do taste rather good: mOma : Welcome (http://www.momafoods.co.uk/)

So...did you get her number? ;)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Domestique on January 20, 2010, 03:54:28 pm
I had a similar results back from a recent cholesterol (LVT) test.
Like you I started a bit of panicing when I was warned it was high, normally I am around the 6 mark, this time it was an 8.3 and was requested to have another test. It has gone back down to 7.8 so the Dr said that it is too soon to put me on medication.
Apparently I am 5% chance to have a stroke of heart failure, I am not sure if that is normal or not  :-\
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Regulator on January 20, 2010, 04:08:14 pm
I had a similar results back from a recent cholesterol (LVT) test.
Like you I started a bit of panicing when I was warned it was high, normally I am around the 6 mark, this time it was an 8.3 and was requested to have another test. It has gone back down to 7.8 so the Dr said that it is too soon to put me on medication.
Apparently I am 5% chance to have a stroke of heart failure, I am not sure if that is normal or not  :-\

Well everyone dies from heart failure* in the end...  ;)











*OK - I know strictly speaking that it's their heart stopping not 'failing as such'...
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: rogerzilla on January 20, 2010, 06:25:22 pm
Mine's 4.2 and I eat crap  :smug:
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Moloko on January 20, 2010, 06:30:11 pm
Mine's 4.2 and I eat crap  :smug:

Yeah... but you live in Swindon. It's all swings and magic roundabouts, innit?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Domestique on January 20, 2010, 06:46:59 pm
I had a similar results back from a recent cholesterol (LVT) test.
Like you I started a bit of panicing when I was warned it was high, normally I am around the 6 mark, this time it was an 8.3 and was requested to have another test. It has gone back down to 7.8 so the Dr said that it is too soon to put me on medication.
Apparently I am 5% chance to have a stroke of heart failure, I am not sure if that is normal or not  :-\

Well everyone dies from heart failure* in the end...  ;)

Thats what I thought  :)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Moloko on January 20, 2010, 06:48:56 pm


Well everyone dies from heart failure* in the end...  ;)











*OK - I know strictly speaking that it's their heart stopping not 'failing as such'...

I somehow feel that people at the guillotine have been cheated.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Fab Foodie on January 20, 2010, 08:48:05 pm
I had astronomically high cholesterol, good diet, reasonable excercise, smoked, low Blood pressure and as the Docs calculated my risk as relatively low I did little about it 'till my first coronary crisis and my emergency stenting at 42 years of age.  I've quit fags and I take my pills, Statins at night and Ezebitimide in the morning and now I'm around 5 to 6 on a good day.  I'm a walking cholesterol factory.
As I take Beta-blockers which slow me up a bit it's hard to say whether the Cholesterol medication is having any side effects.  My sugestion is to try the medication and see what transpires.  Stenting and Beta-blockers is no fun.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: border-rider on January 20, 2010, 08:52:36 pm
I somehow feel that people at the guillotine have been cheated.

Well done.  I'd only been able to think of falling head-first into a commercial cheese grater ;)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on January 20, 2010, 08:53:48 pm
That sounds like a quick way to lose weight.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: FatBloke on January 24, 2010, 04:11:51 pm
Statins at night and Ezebitimide in the morning
Interesting. I take my Ezetimibe at night with my 40mg Simvastatin and a candesartin.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: noisycrank on January 24, 2010, 04:35:17 pm
Butter marg and hydrogenated fats

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/23/margarine-butter-health-wars (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/23/margarine-butter-health-wars)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: andyoxon on January 24, 2010, 05:00:46 pm
I get LDL/HDL results (with other stuff) back tomorrow.  From about 1985 to earlier last year I was 11.5 stone, now am ~12.5 stone (78kg).  Re caffeine, wonder if the new job and filter coffee everyday has had an effect...  Actually 12.5 is probably an ideal weight, but I know it's not muscle I've put on.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on January 24, 2010, 05:08:36 pm
I watched a programme about dieting the other day and they were talking about all the so-called "heart healthy" versions of stuff (containing omega 3) and saying basically it's bollocks because the amounts are so small as to be useless - you'd have to eat ridiculous amounts of the product to get the required omega 3 which means you're eating far too much fat overall (quelle suprise).

Best thing for omega 3 is real actual fish, cod liver oil, etc.  If you're veggie then you need to be drinking linseed oil.  :)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Regulator on January 25, 2010, 02:35:36 pm
Hmmmm... interesting.

I had my appointment with the GP this morning.  He wants me to try changing my diet and has referred me to the GP - but he thinks they'll probably simply say stick with the WeightWatchers diet plan.  He has also given me a thumbs up for the recent weight loss and told me to carry on cycling.

He also wants me to see the liver specialists again as he's not happy that my liver function tests are still awry.

There was no mention of statins.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: andyoxon on January 26, 2010, 05:15:33 pm
Reg, easy to say but you have to 'just' ditch all the cigs; smoking and nicotine itself (so patches too I guess) increases LDL lipids.  I heard also that one can be outwardly thin, but have significant build fat build up in and around internal organs.

Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Regulator on January 27, 2010, 07:34:35 am
Reg, easy to say but you have to 'just' ditch all the cigs; smoking and nicotine itself (so patches too I guess) increases LDL lipids.  I heard also that one can be outwardly thin, but have significant build fat build up in and around internal organs.



That's happening.  I'm 3 weeks into the 'giving up smoking' thang...
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: andyoxon on January 28, 2010, 01:31:00 pm
Well done - keep up the good work then :)

My total cholesterol came back as 3.7.  It's UV light has been my main problem.  :-\
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: border-rider on January 28, 2010, 01:38:02 pm
It's UV light has been my main problem. 


Why's that then ?

Lupus ?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: andyoxon on January 28, 2010, 01:54:26 pm
It's UV light has been my main problem. 


Why's that then ?

Lupus ?

No - sun damage and various '-omas' excised; having a fair skin and growing up under a tropical sun.  We did generally wear hats and apply sunscreen, but I can remember getting burnt on occasions.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 28, 2010, 03:42:50 pm
If you don't mind me asking, how long and what ages were you living in tropical areas?

skin 'omas' are my albatross, having grown up on a farm in australia. Not found any yet, I just check frequently and hope.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: andyoxon on January 28, 2010, 07:48:22 pm
 Just posted reply here, so as not to 'divert' any more, see Sun damage... (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=29213.0)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Fab Foodie on January 28, 2010, 08:28:30 pm
Reg, easy to say but you have to 'just' ditch all the cigs; smoking and nicotine itself (so patches too I guess) increases LDL lipids.  I heard also that one can be outwardly thin, but have significant build fat build up in and around internal organs.



I was outwardly thin (when I smoked) but my arteries were inwardly fat.
Giving up the ciggs is great (Zyban, it's the only way id will power alone won't cut it), but it doesn't help weight loss... Andy, I'm 90kg's and a tad shorter than you as you know  :o
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Fab Foodie on January 28, 2010, 08:40:49 pm
Statins at night and Ezebitimide in the morning
Interesting. I take my Ezetimibe at night with my 40mg Simvastatin and a candesartin.

I've no idea why the difference either.  I don't take Candesartin though, just Simvastatin at night.
I thought that a while back they were concerned about the combined Statin/ezetimibe pill, so it seems odd that both are taken at the same time.  I'd kinda guessed that was the reason why I took mine morning and night... to keep 'em seperate, but it's only a guess.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Fab Foodie on January 31, 2010, 10:53:46 pm
Statins at night and Ezebitimide in the morning
Interesting. I take my Ezetimibe at night with my 40mg Simvastatin and a candesartin.

I've no idea why the difference either.  I don't take Candesartin though, just Simvastatin at night.
I thought that a while back they were concerned about the combined Statin/ezetimibe pill, so it seems odd that both are taken at the same time.  I'd kinda guessed that was the reason why I took mine morning and night... to keep 'em seperate, but it's only a guess.

Update Fatbloke:

Just recieved a letter from the Doc's regarding patients on Ezetimibe, apparently " new information about these medicines has been published... and there may be a change in the way it's prescribed".
Ezetimibe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezetimibe)
I'll let you know.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on February 20, 2013, 01:50:22 pm
crap.

My family has a seriously bad history of heart disease.

Now and then I get a cholesterol kit from pharmacy and test - erm maybe did one 3 years ago.

Just got results back from doc:

7.2 total

4.5LDL

Since the last test, I drink far less milk (as in maybe some on cereal once per week), hardly ever eat eggs. Lots of butter on toast but that's only 2-3 days a week. Two cups of strong coffee per day. Red meat not eaten in our house and very little other meat. A lump of cheese in lunch every day.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on April 09, 2013, 11:00:34 am
Going on another health kick. Had my cholesterol tested 5.2

Diet is changing, lets see what it's like in 4 weeks time.

Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on April 09, 2013, 11:04:09 am
Only 5.2?  Wuss.


It's probably partly due to dropping dairy out of my diet and partly due to the holiday in Mostar (had cold and only ate one meal a day), but I've lost 11lb since the 15th of March.
Somewhat worrying as I haven't had much exercise in that period.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on June 03, 2013, 11:53:26 am
crap.

My family has a seriously bad history of heart disease.

Now and then I get a cholesterol kit from pharmacy and test - erm maybe did one 3 years ago.

Just got results back from doc:

7.2 total

4.5LDL

Ok, 3 months of being dairy free and another test. Had to argue with doctor's receptionist to actually get the figures (she said the screen says 'normal'; that's bollocks).

total 6.5
HDL 1.2
LDL 4
serum/HDL ratio 5.4

So, an improvement - down from 7.2 to 6.5 and LDL down from 4.5 to 4.

Not a *huge* improvement; I'm a little disappointed. As I was borderline 'may need statins' before, I guess I'm 'don't bother' now.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 03, 2013, 12:59:27 pm
I think you might benefit from discussing this with your GP, who should be able to put your cholesterol levels in the context of your diet and family history.
That level is still quite high, despite all the effort you are making.
Statins suit some people but give others side effects.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on June 03, 2013, 01:03:45 pm
It is interesting that you think that; that is my gut feeling as well. My diet and lifestyle (apart from too much alcohol and not enough sleep) is about as good as it gets for the average Westerner.

I can't quite believe that the path lab marked the results as 'normal no change'!

Maybe the GP is fed up of seeing me; when I showed them the discoloured pink/red patch on my forehead it was dismissed with "too early, go away for 6 weeks and see if it changes".
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: rafletcher on June 04, 2013, 10:32:56 am
Years ago (maybe 25) I used to get biennial health screening as part of my employment. My cholesterol was high, so for 2 years I tried, by modifying my diet, to reduce it. Nothing much had happened by the following check, and the GP I saw that time that only really quite extreme changes to diet ("living on seeds and grain") would have a significant difference. As other factors (reasonable weight and exercise, not smoking, moderate alcohol intake, no family history of heart attacks) were low he said not to worry over much - after all who knew what was a "normal" level for me / my family.

Now I just have to address weight/exercise/booze issues and I'll be right as rain again  :-\
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on December 10, 2013, 10:29:30 am
Re-assessment with GP today.

I'm doing really well and getting such good results, I don't need statins.


So that's been achieved by cutting the animal fats to a minimum (no dairy at all), reducing saturated fat intake overall and careful consumption of the 'right' oils.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on December 10, 2013, 12:55:57 pm
I'm really pleased for you, mrcharly!
Given how miserable statins made my low-risk Mum, I would not recommend them too keenly.

There again, you are not 'low-risk' and may well have to be very careful forever. Hope your cholesterol stays low and you remain healthy!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on December 10, 2013, 02:42:28 pm
I got a letter about a health check the other day. About time I found out if I have any cholesterol.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on December 10, 2013, 02:55:53 pm
We all have cholesterol: can't live without.  Trouble is that exactly what the import of high levels might be is a matter of doubt.  "Good" cholesterol and "bad" ditto is an oversimplification.  From what I can gather it's the very light fractions of LDL that are the main cause for concern, i.e. triglycerides & similar.

Also: if you're from the North you likely have a proportion of Norse blood in you, and many Scandinavians bear a gene that raises the amount of LDL manufactured by the body.  In that case, reducing dietary cholesterol might not have much of an effect.  Mrs T42 falls into this category, and only serious exercise keeps her triglycerides down.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on December 10, 2013, 03:33:51 pm
I come from north of the north.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: rafletcher on December 10, 2013, 04:07:51 pm
  In that case, reducing dietary cholesterol might not have much of an effect. 

A GP told me 2 decades ago that trying to reduce cholesterol by diet needed extreme changes, and that no-one knew what, for a given individual, was too high a level.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on December 10, 2013, 04:13:43 pm
Haven't they stopped talking about levels, and are now more about ratios of good and bad cholesterol
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on December 10, 2013, 08:22:53 pm
  In that case, reducing dietary cholesterol might not have much of an effect. 

A GP told me 2 decades ago that trying to reduce cholesterol by diet needed extreme changes, and that no-one knew what, for a given individual, was too high a level.

It is about ratios and absolute levels.

I have made extreme changes and achieved success.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on December 13, 2013, 09:37:43 am
Found the thing about northerners having naturally high cholesterol.  Vitamin D (lack whereof causes rickets) is produced in the skin from a cholesterol precursor in response to sunlight.  The thinking is that in Scandinavia people get so little sunlight and stay covered up so much of the year that high cholesterol-precursor levels, and hence high cholesterol, evolved as a response, heart attack in later life being a better outcome than growing up bandy and unable to fight.

BTW Mrs T42, who is doing a masters in medicinal chemistry, tells me that there may be a causative link between statins and cognitive decline. Win a few, lose a few, I suppose.

PS found this: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266632.php

Nice to know: since I was put on pravastatin in 2008 my memory has suffered.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chris S on December 13, 2013, 12:07:04 pm
Warning! Biochemistry Geekery Alert!

There's a very interesting talk on YouTube given by Peter Attia (Low-Carb fans know him well, not just as a serial self experimenter, but also a pretty knowledgeable MD) which goes into exquisite detail about Cholesterol:

Clicky (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GDx5sObceI)

I learned some new things watching it; particularly - don't get hung up on particle sizes, it's just not that simple. Boats & cargo  :thumbsup:.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on December 13, 2013, 01:15:37 pm
Most of that just reinforces the importance of the ratios of cholesterol in your blood.

I take issue with point 2 of slide 32. That's bollocks. Absolute bollocks.
Quote
The cholesterol we eat has little to do with the cholesterol in our body.

Genetics affects the cholesterol levels, yes. It is possibly the major factor.  However diet also has an effect. Your body is only made up of what you eat and how it is synthesized. For any single individual they cannot alter their genetics therefore they can only alter environmental factors such as exercise and diet.

I've made dramatically large alterations to the total levels and ratios of cholesterol in my blood. The only thing I've altered is diet.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on December 13, 2013, 01:15:58 pm
And meanwhile, Mrs T fired this back at me:
http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20060315/statin-withdrawal-hard-on-heart

The import being that if you stop statins after taking them for a long time, not just your LDL rockets but so does C-Reactive Protein, a marker for artery inflammation. Inflamed arteries favour clots. Thromboses, that is.

In other words, see doc talk first.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on December 13, 2013, 01:18:40 pm
And meanwhile, Mrs T fired this back at me:
http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20060315/statin-withdrawal-hard-on-heart

The import being that if you stop statins after taking them for a long time, not just your LDL rockets but so does C-Reactive Protein, a marker for artery inflammation. Inflamed arteries favour clots. Thromboses, that is.

In other words, see doc talk first.

Aye, I'd heard that.

My brother, in Australia, has been put on 'precautionary' statins. Similar cholesterol levels to myself. No major diet changes.

I've hit the diet route, hard, and achieved good results. My MD regards that as more desirable than using statins.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on December 13, 2013, 01:46:31 pm
I had them slapped on me without comment when I got stented.  There seems to be a standard cocktail of beta-blockers/clopidogrel (aka Plavix)/BP meds/statins for all, and all that varies is the dosage.  Got rid of the BBS and the BP meds in three years after persuading the cardiac bunch to try me without and I've been arguing for years about the sudden decline in my mental acuity, but I've long since realised that they prefer the patients dumb.

Did you notice the bit about cataracts? Got those too.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: fboab on December 13, 2013, 02:00:24 pm
I've made dramatically large alterations to the total levels and ratios of cholesterol in my blood. The only thing I've altered is diet.

You're one data point.

My Dad did that diet thing-cut out all saturated fats and it made absolutely no difference.

Perhaps in the absence of dairy, you're (for example) eating more nuts, so it's not the reduction of dairy fat but the addition of mono-unsaturated fats that's changed your readings?

The only thing that is clear is how little we understand the mechanisms and interactions between genetics, diet and exercise and how they affect cholesterol levels. To say nothing of whether high cholesterol, in and of itself is the death knell we've been told.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chris S on December 13, 2013, 02:23:22 pm
The only thing that is clear is how little we understand the mechanisms and interactions between genetics, diet and exercise and how they affect cholesterol levels. To say nothing of whether high cholesterol, in and of itself is the death knell we've been told.

Good point. I was surprised to see the graph in this talk that plotted LDL against %age of patients, for patients actually suffering a cardiac event. Half the events occurred in those with low LDL  :-\.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on December 13, 2013, 02:27:33 pm
There's that weird thing they found where if they got people to write love letters, it dropped their cholesterol levels. I can't find it now, but it was very strange.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on December 13, 2013, 02:30:05 pm
I've made dramatically large alterations to the total levels and ratios of cholesterol in my blood. The only thing I've altered is diet.
Perhaps in the absence of dairy, you're (for example) eating more nuts, so it's not the reduction of dairy fat but the addition of mono-unsaturated fats that's changed your readings?

Are you actually agreeing with me?

I'm not disputing that it is complex, I'm just disputing the statement about cholesterol in diet having nothing to do with cholesterol in body.

Yes I've done more than just cut out saturated fat. I've eliminated dairy, reduced animal fat intake, increased consumption of foods containing unsaturated oils (including increased consumption of almonds). Drunk more red wine.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: fboab on December 13, 2013, 02:30:52 pm
There's that weird thing they found where if they got people to write love letters, it dropped their cholesterol levels. I can't find it now, but it was very strange.

This One? (http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ755926)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: fboab on December 13, 2013, 03:13:21 pm
Are you actually agreeing with me?

Weeeelllll... yes and no.  ;)

I can't disagree you've lowered your cholesterol, I haven't seen your results, but have no reason to doubt you.

However, if I get diagnosed with high cholesterol I will not be following the diet guidelines you are following. You focus on the 'eliminate dairy' and I just don't think that for most people that's a big factor.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on December 13, 2013, 03:17:36 pm
This One? (http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ755926)

That's the one! I could only find random articles that mentioned it, not the actual paper.

Do you think us writing about how much we like riding bikes on a regular basis is affecting our cholesterol?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on December 13, 2013, 06:53:03 pm
I'd be wary of avoiding statins to prevent cognitive decline:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10348491/Statins-may-reduce-dementia-by-a-third.html

If statins do prevent arterial damage then they should protect brain function.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on December 13, 2013, 09:43:26 pm
I'd be wary of avoiding statins to prevent cognitive decline:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10348491/Statins-may-reduce-dementia-by-a-third.html

If statins do prevent arterial damage then they should protect brain function.

To the extent of maintaining blood supply, yes, and obviously that is a priority.  However, it appears that certain statins appear to affect memory, while some do not. It would seem sensible to at least ask one's doc on changing from one to another, so that the circulatory benefits are retained.  It may be frying pan into fire, though, since some of them affect muscle performance.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Crepello on December 13, 2013, 10:24:38 pm
It may be frying pan into fire, though, since some of them affect muscle performance.
Hmmm, the heart's a muscle....
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on December 18, 2013, 02:51:13 pm
Well, I do have cholesterol!

Total 5.09
HDL 1.12
Ratio 4.5

BG 4.42. Apparently this is good.

These are after a large high carbohydrate breakfast about 3h previously.

In other news, apparently I’m 2cm taller than I thought. I might check this because it could be an anomalous measurement, and my BMI is thus (if this is correct) lower than I thought, in which case my current 75kg weight is actually spot-on, and my weight back in March of 72kg wasn’t as good.

BP was 135/73 so no major concern there though I’d have preferred the 135 lower, but it’s always higher at the doctor’s.

Overall risk of heart attack in the next 10 years 1.3%.


Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chris S on October 02, 2014, 04:20:59 pm
Nice neat ratio calculator here: http://www.hughcalc.org/chol-si.php

My results:

Your Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 3.22 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5) IDEAL
Your HDL/LDL ratio is: 0.528 - (preferably over 0.3, ideally over 0.4) IDEAL
Your triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 1.599 - (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) IDEAL


Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on July 01, 2015, 11:16:08 am
Went to see the doc, apparently my cholesterol is 7, and he wants me on statins immediately. Naturally not trusting doctors, I shall go vegan for a week, ramp up the exercise, try meditation and see if that can have an effect.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on July 01, 2015, 11:28:24 am
You'll need more than a week.

Mine was higher than that. I did a major diet change, dropped all dairy, upped intake of 'good' fats instead. Was already getting lots of aerobic exercise.

Dropped total cholesterol level a bit, substantially altered the ratio. No statins required.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Ningishzidda on July 02, 2015, 11:22:30 am
I think the best way forward is to completely reduce intake of ‘bad’ fats, and partially reduce intake of ‘good’ fats. Resulting in an overall ceasation of polysaturates and monosaturates; and an overall reduction of polyunsaturates and monounsaturates.

To complement this, a large reduction in simple carbohydrates and a small reduction in complex carbohydrates.

A continuation of essential aminos and non-essential aminos resulting in a 40, 50, 10 balance of Protein, Carbohydrate and Fats to constitute the Basal Metabolic Rate plus extra for deliberate exercise such as cycling.

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on July 02, 2015, 11:30:55 am
I think the best way forward is to completely reduce intake of ‘bad’ fats, and partially reduce intake of ‘good’ fats.

If you think that, you really don't understand how it works.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on July 02, 2015, 03:42:42 pm
There is some debate about what's a good fat and what's a bad fat. The only uncontroversial bad fat these days are trans fats.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24625808

I was banking on saturated fat from meat not having a major effect on cholesterol, but I guess the quantity I was putting away wasn't health inducing. I recently switched from margarine to butter too.

To be honest if I was given a choice of eating a boring healthy diet for potentially another 50 odd years, or eating pizza every meal but a sniper was instructed to take me out painlessly at anytime in the next 10 years, I'd be veering towards the pizza option.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on July 02, 2015, 03:57:51 pm
Healthy food does not have to be boring.

Pizza is only over-rated, overpriced cheese on toast anyway.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: sojournermike on July 02, 2015, 05:17:13 pm
I think the best way forward is to completely reduce intake of ‘bad’ fats, and partially reduce intake of ‘good’ fats. Resulting in an overall ceasation of polysaturates and monosaturates; and an overall reduction of polyunsaturates and monounsaturates.

To complement this, a large reduction in simple carbohydrates and a small reduction in complex carbohydrates.

A continuation of essential aminos and non-essential aminos resulting in a 40, 50, 10 balance of Protein, Carbohydrate and Fats to constitute the Basal Metabolic Rate plus extra for deliberate exercise such as cycling.

 :thumbsup:

I think is an overall reduction in calorific intake - unfortunately this is probably the correct prescription for 'the developed world'
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: numbnuts on July 02, 2015, 05:44:42 pm
Healthy food does not have to be boring.

Pizza is only over-rated, overpriced cheese on toast anyway.
I couldn't agree more
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on July 03, 2015, 01:20:42 pm
Unhealthy food can be very boring too, even if it's moreish.
I can think of no reason to touch it if other food is available.
Avoid.

Healthy food can be varied, interesting food. A rainbow of variety beats a portion of chips every time IMO.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Ningishzidda on July 06, 2015, 10:15:34 am
Here's an interesting article.

http://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/good-fats-vs-bad-fats


Total crap, I presume ???
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chinaski on July 06, 2015, 10:31:54 am
http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/good-fats-bad-fats-separating-fact-from-fiction/
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on July 06, 2015, 10:37:51 am
Here's an interesting article.

http://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/good-fats-vs-bad-fats


Total crap, I presume ???
No it isn't and it says the opposite of what you said:
Quote from: Ningishzidda
I think the best way forward is to completely reduce intake of ‘bad’ fats, and partially reduce intake of ‘good’ fats.

Linked article:
Quote
First, work on reducing foods in your diet that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Then, make an effort to incorporate foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

See the difference? It is important to *increase* the consumption of the  so-called 'good' fats.

The article is limited, as it doesn't go into the different types of cholesterol. For example, eggs are high in one type that turns out to be rather beneficial in helping balance your levels.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Ningishzidda on July 06, 2015, 11:10:03 am
“Incorporating” depends entirely on what situation one is starting from.

For someone who predominantly eats high ‘bad’ and next to no ‘good’, Mrcharly’s advice is sound.
For someone who is eating excessive amounts of both, my advice is sound.

The way I read it, firstly write down on a sheet of paper a record of all the fats one consumes. Then cross out the ‘bad’ fats, and then IF NECESSARY because there’s so little ammounts of ‘good’ fats on the list, add on to the list some ‘good’ fats to replace the ‘bad’ fats one has eliminated.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Ningishzidda on July 06, 2015, 11:17:38 am
Another way of looking at it is to look at the longevity of your ancestors to about five hundred years ago, or further if possible and see what they died of.

There’s no need to include those who died in battle, of the plague, were murdered or executed for treason.

If your ancestors expired at 50 – 60, it might pay to look after yourself and read up on health issues. If they died at 60 – 70, listen to medical advice. If they died 70 – 80, breathe easier and eat healthily.
If the died 80 – 90 or 90 – 100 like mine, enjoy yourself on cake.
 ;D
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chinaski on July 06, 2015, 02:10:13 pm
Here's an interesting article.

http://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/good-fats-vs-bad-fats


Total crap, I presume ???
No it isn't and it says the opposite of what you said:
Quote from: Ningishzidda
I think the best way forward is to completely reduce intake of ‘bad’ fats, and partially reduce intake of ‘good’ fats.

Linked article:
Quote
First, work on reducing foods in your diet that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Then, make an effort to incorporate foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

See the difference? It is important to *increase* the consumption of the  so-called 'good' fats.

The article is limited, as it doesn't go into the different types of cholesterol. For example, eggs are high in one type that turns out to be rather beneficial in helping balance your levels.


Formula: C27H46O

That's the formula for cholesterol, there is only one, no good or bad.

Eggs have the same type as every other source
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Si_Co on July 06, 2015, 02:43:00 pm
Here's an interesting article.

http://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/good-fats-vs-bad-fats


Total crap, I presume ???
No it isn't and it says the opposite of what you said:
Quote from: Ningishzidda
I think the best way forward is to completely reduce intake of ‘bad’ fats, and partially reduce intake of ‘good’ fats.

Linked article:
Quote
First, work on reducing foods in your diet that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Then, make an effort to incorporate foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

See the difference? It is important to *increase* the consumption of the  so-called 'good' fats.

The article is limited, as it doesn't go into the different types of cholesterol. For example, eggs are high in one type that turns out to be rather beneficial in helping balance your levels.


Formula: C27H46O

That's the formula for cholesterol, there is only one, no good or bad.

Eggs have the same type as every other source

Look up isomers and enantiomers

Formula : C13H10N2O4 is a good one
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Ningishzidda on July 06, 2015, 02:54:15 pm
Remember Robert Atkins?
He devised a diet regime.

He slipped on the pavement, smacked his head and died at a younger age than my father, grandfather and several great grandfathers who drank, smoked, ate 'unhealthy' food and generally had a good 'ole time.

So the moral is,,,

Don't worry about your diet. Wear suitable footwear.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on July 06, 2015, 03:00:20 pm
You sensibly further up the thread said that people should look at age of death and cause of parents etc. Well some of us have a family history that shuffles people off by middle age.

For those people, considerations of diet, exercise aren't some scarcely-need-to-bother-with thought, the literally mean the difference between death (in early 40s) and making it to 70 or more. So please excuse my sense of humour failure at your little quips.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on July 06, 2015, 03:10:43 pm
I understand mrcharly. Hope I'm not too smug.
I don't suppose I personally have to worry.

But this whole shebang must be a pain for those who do.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on July 24, 2015, 01:27:50 pm
Went to see the doc, it's my triglycerides that are high. His advice, cut back on fat, if it looks like a twig eat it, and drink more water
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chinaski on July 28, 2015, 11:37:05 am
Went to see the doc, it's my triglycerides that are high. His advice, cut back on fat, if it looks like a twig eat it, and drink more water

Your doctor should know but I used to always have Triglycerides around 1.4/1.5 when following food pyramid type diet, it's now at .85 eating loads of fat, including animal fat. HDl about 1.9 also where it used to be 1.4ish.

 
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on July 28, 2015, 12:02:29 pm
I think my triglycerides were high due to over eating. I had my blood test after a weeks driving holiday, where I did nothing but eat fried food and drive around the highlands.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Pickled Onion on January 31, 2016, 12:06:45 pm
Just had a vitality health check. My TC was 5.07 mmol/l which means they have told me to go and see my GP (and I don't get the 60 points).

However, the HDL was 1.96 mmol/l, which seems to be at the "very good" level. Do I really need to worry?

The advice was to increase exercise (LOL, I cycle 350 km a week) and change my diet. My weekly diet consists of veg, fruit, salads, olive oil, sardines/mackerel, porridge x 4, 50g cheese, 50g butter, 1l whole milk, 3 eggs/week, peanuts, home-made pizza and chips on Saturday. There's not a huge amount I can change there.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on March 20, 2016, 09:20:24 pm
My high Clolesterol was discovered 20 years ago, when it peaked at 9.6.

I tried diet and losing weight for several years to avoid medication, but it made limited difference and it was diagnosed as being an inherited condition. Finally gave in and agreed to statins about 6 years ago. I didn't get on well with them. The first gave me muscle pains, then a couple more sparked a liver enzyme reaction. Finally I was getting on ok with one but, when I went to the doctor for a check-up, I asked about early-onset Altzheimers, as I was worried about my memory. A bit more research and I decided I wasn't taking statins any more. 

I recalled a TV programme I'd seen years ago about two twins separated at birth. In middle age, they were traced and their health compared. One was sedentary and had high cholesterol and heart issues, the other was a marathon runner and was fine. So I thought i'd really try the lifestyle thing. 

Over a period of a couple of years I gave up caffeine, which was easy, junk food (also easy) and then meat (not that hard) and most dairy.  Also carried on cycling lots. Lost a bit more weight and cholesterol is around 6. Still high vs normal but lower than i've had it without medication - plus I don't find myself sitting in my chair at work trying to remember what I was doing quite so often as when I had the statins. 

My GP is very supportive of my approach, so I'm going to carry on, lose weight bit more weight and see what I can get it down to.   
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on March 21, 2016, 09:17:00 am
From what I've read it's not the caffeine in coffee that raises cholesterol, but one of the oils, which puts up LDL.  If you make coffee with a filter paper it stays in the filter, and in espresso there's so little it doesn't matter.  It's the other methods such as French press and vacuum pots that let it through.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: LMT on March 21, 2016, 12:51:32 pm
Cholesterol and it's inherent health risks is karma for all the animal products that one consumes.

Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: LMT on March 21, 2016, 01:25:56 pm
Just had a vitality health check. My TC was 5.07 mmol/l which means they have told me to go and see my GP (and I don't get the 60 points).

However, the HDL was 1.96 mmol/l, which seems to be at the "very good" level. Do I really need to worry?

The advice was to increase exercise (LOL, I cycle 350 km a week) and change my diet. My weekly diet consists of veg, fruit, salads, olive oil, sardines/mackerel, porridge x 4, 50g cheese, 50g butter, 1l whole milk, 3 eggs/week, peanuts, home-made pizza and chips on Saturday. There's not a huge amount I can change there.

Ditch the above in favour of flax/chia seeds and more fruit and veggies. In particular Bananas, Kale, Spinach and some Blueberries.

Or if you cannot be without milk, buy Soy or Hemp milk.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: geraldc on March 21, 2016, 01:49:28 pm
Cholesterol and it's inherent health risks is karma for all the animal products that one consumes.

Thankfully trans fats enables the righteous to also enjoy dangerous cholesterol levels
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on March 21, 2016, 01:59:18 pm
Just had a vitality health check. My TC was 5.07 mmol/l which means they have told me to go and see my GP (and I don't get the 60 points).

However, the HDL was 1.96 mmol/l, which seems to be at the "very good" level. Do I really need to worry?

The advice was to increase exercise (LOL, I cycle 350 km a week) and change my diet. My weekly diet consists of veg, fruit, salads, olive oil, sardines/mackerel, porridge x 4, 50g cheese, 50g butter, 1l whole milk, 3 eggs/week, peanuts, home-made pizza and chips on Saturday. There's not a huge amount I can change there.

Ditch the above in favour of flax/chia seeds and more fruit and veggies. In particular Bananas, Kale, Spinach and some Blueberries.

Or if you cannot be without milk, buy Soy or Hemp milk.
I'd keep the eggs. They shift the ratios in the correct direction. Add Almonds.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on March 21, 2016, 03:33:45 pm
Cholesterol and it's inherent health risks is karma for all the animal products that one consumes.

Thankfully trans fats enables the righteous to also enjoy dangerous cholesterol levels

I thought trans fats were EVIL and best avoided.
Synthetic margarines are an offence to the palate anyway. (I say this as a van den Bergh descendant.)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chris S on March 21, 2016, 03:48:22 pm
Cholesterol and it's inherent health risks is karma for all the animal products that one consumes.

Thankfully trans fats enables the righteous to also enjoy dangerous cholesterol levels

I thought trans fats were EVIL and best avoided.
Synthetic margarines are an offence to the palate anyway. (I say this as a van den Bergh descendant.)

I think he was joking, Helly  ;)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Polar Bear on March 21, 2016, 03:49:43 pm
Margarine and other vile spreads have always been yukky.   We should know from experience that the food industry rarely ever offers up something better than nature can manage on her own. 

I don't think any 'food' is good for you if it's not consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced and healthy diet, is it?   
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chris S on March 21, 2016, 05:13:15 pm
I don't think any 'food' is good for you if it's not consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced and healthy diet, is it?

Indeed, but as nobody actually agrees what this (highlighted) is, we're all a bit in the dark really.

Big Food has come up with some uniquely nasty foods over the years (margarine, HFCS, palm oil, GM foods) and Big Pharma is right there waiting to reap the harvest.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Polar Bear on March 21, 2016, 05:15:16 pm
Wouldn't it be a massive surprise to find that big food and big pharma are all part of the same $megaglobalcorps... ?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Oscar's dad on January 30, 2018, 03:13:57 pm
I am mildly hacked off and mildly concerned.  Had a cholesterol test and its come back at 5.8, the target is 5 apparently so this puts me in the "borderline" category.

I appreciate that 5.8 is not dangerously high, before the test my GP told me 6.5 to 10 was considered dangerous, but I would like to do something about it.

Any tips or advice?  Thanks in advance  :-*
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Ripio on January 30, 2018, 03:27:09 pm
I am mildly hacked off and mildly concerned.  Had a cholesterol test and its come back at 5.8, the target is 5 apparently so this puts me in the "borderline" category.

I appreciate that 5.8 is not dangerously high, before the test my GP told me 6.5 to 10 was considered dangerous, but I would like to do something about it.

Any tips or advice?  Thanks in advance  :-*

The total figure of 5.8 is meaningless without knowing the breakdown of LDL, HDL, and Triglycerides.

My result at my last test in september was 5.1, which is slighly above the recommended, but my HDL was 2.1, LDL was 2.8, and triglycerides were 0.6.
So my LDL level (the 'bad' cholesterol) was in the acceptable range, my HDL (good cholesterol) was double the recommended level, and my triglycerides were less than half the recommended limit.
So all good despite being 5.1 total cholesterol.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: toontra on January 30, 2018, 03:28:01 pm
I am mildly hacked off and mildly concerned.  Had a cholesterol test and its come back at 5.8, the target is 5 apparently so this puts me in the "borderline" category.

I appreciate that 5.8 is not dangerously high, before the test my GP told me 6.5 to 10 was considered dangerous, but I would like to do something about it.

Any tips or advice?  Thanks in advance  :-*

As mentioned upthread, the headline (LDL) figure is pretty meaningless without the "good" (HDL) figure also, so you can establish a ratio.

My LDL rates have been in the 5-6 range for many years and until recently this prompted GP's and others to suggest statins.  On more recent tests in independent health facilities I've been shown to have very high levels of HDL (up to 3 at times), giving me a ratio of around 2:1 and have been told that I have absolutely nothing to worry about.

So ask to see what your HDL level is before worrying.

EDIT:  Cross post with Ripio!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Oscar's dad on January 30, 2018, 03:39:48 pm
See!?! yacf is fab for advice on just about everything!  I shall pop into our GP
surgery tomorrow and ask for some clarification.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Chris S on January 30, 2018, 06:26:57 pm
Your LDL level is just a remainder from other calculations, it's meaningless.

HDL : Triglycerides ratio is the important figure; <3 is best, <1 is Awesome.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Ripio on January 30, 2018, 06:37:36 pm
Your LDL level is just a remainder from other calculations, it's meaningless.

HDL : Triglycerides ratio is the important figure; <3 is best, <1 is Awesome.

Something wrong with that, my HDL: Triglycerides ratio is 2.1: 0.6 which is 3.5 and is good.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: TPMB12 on January 30, 2018, 08:51:09 pm
After seeing a cholesterol self test in boots I bought it out of curiosity. It gave me a result of 200 possibly 220 in different units. By my reckoning that's 5.18 to 5.7. Since the instructions said anything above 200 or 5.18 to to get checked by gp blood test.

So I went in and tried to book a cholesterol test only to be asked who has asked me to get one. It seems you need to go through gp appointment. So now I have gp appointment which I'm guessing means 10 minutes of a busy GP's time to just get told to see the practise nurse / phlebotomist.

I'm mid forties which I've been told is in the age range where you can ask for 5 yearly cholesterol checks. Why so much hassle? I've now got two appointments plus no doubt a third to get told it's ok or a bit high.

It seems to me there's a lot of faff in the system. Why?

BTW my mum had years of being told her cholesterol was too high (7 IIRC) and she changed her diet a lot without any change in the results. Then one gp said they needed a breakdown test of the hdl and ldl levels. Turns out she's got a low bad cholesterol but a very high good cholesterol level. The gp told her she was not at risk. So she was very nearly put on medication for cholesterol levels. It was really an afterthought from the gp to get the breakdown that stopped her going on unnecessary medication. Always get a breakdown of cholesterols. Any other single figure result isn't really worth much.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: rafletcher on January 30, 2018, 09:19:40 pm
Check and see if you have a local Lloyd’s pharmacy, some of which offer cholesterol checking and monitoring, afaik wi5hout needing a GP referral.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: TPMB12 on January 30, 2018, 11:05:55 pm
They will only do a test for a single figure. I've got that from the self test kit. It's a breakdown that's really needed. I don't really see the point of a single headline figure when it's the ratio of hdl to ldl that's important.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: MikeFromLFE on January 31, 2018, 09:15:11 am
Your LDL level is just a remainder from other calculations, it's meaningless.

HDL : Triglycerides ratio is the important figure; <3 is best, <1 is Awesome.
Be very aware though that Triglycerides are the fats most affected by recent dietary intake. Measuring Triglyceride is the only/most valid reason for measuring lipids in a fasting state.

Sent from my P01W using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: TPMB12 on February 01, 2018, 09:04:52 am
When I did the home self test I didn't eat for 12 hours. Then went to work and didn't eat for a further 3 hours. I was hungry to say the least. Why do you get so hungry when you can't eat for some reason but it's not an issue when you're free to eat?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on February 01, 2018, 12:47:56 pm
When you're free to eat and happen not to ingest, there will be multiple activities and issues to distract you from food.

Boredom is often a cue to eat, as is the sight, smell and availability of food.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: TPMB12 on February 18, 2018, 09:37:20 pm
So nhs health check came back positive with everything OK. Total cholesterol was ok at 5.8, ratio was 4.7. Now Google search gives total above 5 is high and ratios of above 4 is bad too.

So how are my figures classed as ok?

Is it simply that my healthy lifestyle (never smoked, 2 units alcohol a week, exercise levels, no heart issues in the family until later in life, etc.) just means cholesterol levels higher than recommended are not a significant risk? Kind of I've got a healthy lifestyle so one risk factor on it's own isn't a worry?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on April 11, 2018, 08:34:53 am
My health check results are a little concerning:
BMI = 29 - it was 23 5 years ago
BP = 150/95 - not good
Blood sugars - can't remember reading but in 'Very High' risk of type 2 diabetes category
Cholesterol = 9 - can't remember ratio but it wasn't good

It's been the wake up I needed to get me back out on the bike and cut out pork pies. Spoke to doctor and we've agreed that I'll try lifestyle changes for 6 months and then get a retest.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: perpetual dan on April 29, 2018, 10:40:41 pm
Good luck with the lifestyle change. It did that and got a "could do better" after 6 months, still a work in progress.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on May 15, 2018, 08:30:28 pm
Bad news today.
I've managed to keep my cholesterol at 6 (down from peak just under 10 when first picked up about 20 years ago) for the last couple of years, taking Ezetimibe but no statins (as they'd given me liver and memory loss issues) and doing 'good' lifestyle stuff (no meat / caffeine, exercising, weight, etc).  But I found out this afternoon that the years of higher cholesterol before I started cycling and lost weight have taken their toll.  Apparently my heart is above the 90th percentile for calcification, which is not good.  So I am now on stronger drugs (Alirocumab) and off energetic exercise, at least until I see the cardiologist. 
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on May 31, 2018, 08:10:16 am
Hope that goes OK for you @Frank9755.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on May 31, 2018, 01:47:12 pm
Thanks - should know more after I've seen the cardiologist this evening.
In the meantime I've scaled back my TCR training schedule somewhat!  Somehow, I don't expect I'll be able to restart it, but it will be good to know what I am allowed to do. 

Edit - actually went quite well. Only minor restriction on blood flow. Need to have angiogram but only 20-25% chance i'll need a stent.  And I can carry on riding in the meantime.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on June 01, 2018, 09:26:59 am
Sounds hopeful.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on June 01, 2018, 07:06:50 pm
Sounds like good news @Frank9755. Great to hear that you can carry on riding. Fingers crossed for angiogram now.
One of my old mates is full of stents (about four I think) and he's still riding all over the world at 73.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on June 01, 2018, 09:14:23 pm
One of the older rowers in my club has a stent and last year competed at the world masters championships.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 04, 2018, 08:10:28 pm
Good to hear those stories.

I've had my angiogram this afternoon and it looks like they want me to come back for a bypass and a few stents.  I expect I'll be able to get back on my bike reasonably soon, but somehow I don't fancy my chances of making the start line of the TCR at the end of July!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 04, 2018, 09:09:45 pm
Good luck with that!

Wishing you well...
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 07, 2018, 11:10:59 am
Thanks.
Bypass on Monday...
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 07, 2018, 01:00:52 pm
Coo that's quick!

All the best for smooth surgery and rapid recovery!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 10, 2018, 07:54:51 pm
Postponed because I've got a cold :-(
A bit more waiting.  Would like to get it over and done with now!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: sg37409 on June 11, 2018, 11:22:44 am
ATB Frank. Your fitness will stand you in good stead.   
2 mates had this done (stent) with totally + outcomes. ( Seems routine in west of scotland tbh. )
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on June 11, 2018, 11:35:13 am
ATB Frank. Your fitness will stand you in good stead.   
2 mates had this done (stent) with totally + outcomes. ( Seems routine in west of scotland tbh. )

Diet of deep fried pizza and Irn Bru, what do you expect.

(I spent most of my formative years in Ayrshire, but my diet wasn't too bad).
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 11, 2018, 12:17:14 pm
ATB Frank. Your fitness will stand you in good stead.   
2 mates had this done (stent) with totally + outcomes. ( Seems routine in west of scotland tbh. )

Diet of deep fried pizza and Irn Bru, what do you expect.

(I spent most of my formative years in Ayrshire, but my diet wasn't too bad).

Some 25-odd years ago, I was a Professional Witness at a Court in Glasgow. There's a lot of hanging about in court so I thought I'd go to the dining room for refreshment. I wanted an apple or other fresh fruit.
No can do: fruit yogurt and aspirin yes, apple no...
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: sg37409 on June 12, 2018, 04:05:43 pm
Yes, its a great place for heart surgeons to get experience.
(As per SimonP - my formative years were spent in ayrshire, but we were lucky for my mums cooking)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 12, 2018, 04:55:33 pm
I think the West of Scotland's coronary health was impaired by:
Fags
Booze
Diet
Dreich weather discouraging outdoor activity and reducing Vitamin D synthesis
Unfavourable genetic legacy.

The Public Health crew did try to address factors that could be modified.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on June 12, 2018, 11:36:25 pm
Anecdote I was recounted, by my sister's ex bf years ago.

A friend of his went to have a coronary bypass op at age 28. Yep. This guy was told he needed to go see the dentist first due to poor dental health. Dentist said there was not enough time to resolve his dental health issues before the op, so they decided to remove all 11 of his teeth.

 :-\

Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: sojournermike on June 12, 2018, 11:51:33 pm
I think the West of Scotland's coronary health was impaired by:
Fags
Booze
Diet
Dreich weather discouraging outdoor activity and reducing Vitamin D synthesis
Unfavourable genetic legacy.

The Public Health crew did try to address factors that could be modified.

The genetics?!


On a more serious note I heard an excellent talk by a Professor of Gerontology and Demography last week, during which she explained that smoking and drinking shorten life by (on average) about 3 years and bring forward morbidity by the same amount. However, because we’re ‘good’ at treating diet related disease, poor diet doesn’t have much impact on life expectancy but still brings morbidity forwards by the same 3 years.

Lots of other stuff too, but don’t forget life expectancy in the USA and EU has actually been falling over the last few years.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: rogerzilla on June 13, 2018, 10:20:34 pm
I ought to get another test, I suppose.  I had a slightly high test of 5.9 but the nurse agreed it was probably bollix, especially as the HDL was about 1.5 which is 50% higher than it needs to be.  I was dehydrated, as it was first thing in the morning, and had drunk a triple espresso.  I think this made all the numbers higher.

I did two DIY tests in the following weeks and both were low-normal.  The Boots kit gets good reviews for accuracy.  I did mostly stop eating red meat, though, and started drinking those cholesterol-lowering drinks.

My parents are in their 70s and 80s and both have always had low cholesterol without statins.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on June 18, 2018, 05:15:02 pm
Total cholesterol in February was 10 which prompted a retest in March when it was 9. Both readings dangerously high apparently and I don't have the breakdown figures because at that point I didn't realise there was anything other than a total cholesterol measure.

After three months of drastic lifestyle changes the figures are now:

Total cholesterol    5.2
HDL cholesterol     1.7
LDL cholesterol      3.2
triglycerides           0.75

which is loads better.

However, to get it down this much I've given up red meat, all dairy products, fried food and (almost) alcohol. So, no pizzas, no pork pies, no cakes and no chips - all my favourite foods. The only fats in my diet now come from fish, nuts and avocados. I've lost 35lbs in those three months.

The doctor is concerned that it's still a high level of cholesterol and doubts I can maintain my current lifestyle but I'm not going on statins and there will be a retest in six months.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 18, 2018, 06:46:11 pm
To have done that on diet alone is amazing, congratulations!

Unfortunately your LDL is still a bit high so they will still want it to come down.  But you've definitely earned the right to keep trying by what you've achieved so far.  I expect that kind of improvement from diet is very rare.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: LMT on June 18, 2018, 08:53:22 pm
To have done that on diet alone is amazing, congratulations!

Unfortunately your LDL is still a bit high so they will still want it to come down.  But you've definitely earned the right to keep trying by what you've achieved so far.  I expect that kind of improvement from diet is very rare.
Not really, if you remove most of, if not all your dietary cholesterol and do some exercise it's logical that your cholesterol scores will go down.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: LMT on June 18, 2018, 08:55:58 pm
Total cholesterol in February was 10 which prompted a retest in March when it was 9. Both readings dangerously high apparently and I don't have the breakdown figures because at that point I didn't realise there was anything other than a total cholesterol measure.

After three months of drastic lifestyle changes the figures are now:

Total cholesterol    5.2
HDL cholesterol     1.7
LDL cholesterol      3.2
triglycerides           0.75

which is loads better.

However, to get it down this much I've given up red meat, all dairy products, fried food and (almost) alcohol. So, no pizzas, no pork pies, no cakes and no chips - all my favourite foods. The only fats in my diet now come from fish, nuts and avocados. I've lost 35lbs in those three months.

The doctor is concerned that it's still a high level of cholesterol and doubts I can maintain my current lifestyle but I'm not going on statins and there will be a retest in six months.

Good job. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: nicknack on June 18, 2018, 11:49:01 pm
However, to get it down this much I've given up red meat, all dairy products, fried food and (almost) alcohol. So, no pizzas, no pork pies, no cakes and no chips - all my favourite foods.

but I'm not going on statins
Well if I had the choice between giving up my favourite foods or going on statins I know which I'd pick.
I made the choice about 15 years ago and haven't regretted it.
Statins every time.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 19, 2018, 08:56:34 am
To have done that on diet alone is amazing, congratulations!

Unfortunately your LDL is still a bit high so they will still want it to come down.  But you've definitely earned the right to keep trying by what you've achieved so far.  I expect that kind of improvement from diet is very rare.
Not really, if you remove most of, if not all your dietary cholesterol and do some exercise it's logical that your cholesterol scores will go down.

In practice that's not normally what happens.  Firstly very few people are actually able / willing to make such a drastic improvement in their diet.  And even if they do, the reduction in cholesterol levels is not usually so great. 
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 19, 2018, 12:45:43 pm
I've said before (but can't be bothered to search) much cholesterol in the blood is synthesised in the body and is not amenable to dietary manipulation.

Restricting energy intake from fats carbs and protein might drop blood cholesterol but many can't sustain (say) 1000kcal/day.

Those who make lots of cholesterol despite being built like a racing snake may need statins, especially if there's a family history of heart disease at a youngish age.

Not everyone tolerates statins well.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on June 19, 2018, 05:27:10 pm
I've managed to alter my cholesterol balance by dietary changes. It isn't just a matter of eliminating fats, increasing the proportion of the 'good' fats is equally important (if not more so).

Much prefer that to statins, those are last resort in my mind.

Congratulations, JonJo
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: nicknack on June 19, 2018, 06:56:19 pm
statins, those are last resort in my mind.
Why?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: LMT on June 19, 2018, 07:17:58 pm
To have done that on diet alone is amazing, congratulations!

Unfortunately your LDL is still a bit high so they will still want it to come down.  But you've definitely earned the right to keep trying by what you've achieved so far.  I expect that kind of improvement from diet is very rare.
Not really, if you remove most of, if not all your dietary cholesterol and do some exercise it's logical that your cholesterol scores will go down.

In practice that's not normally what happens.  Firstly very few people are actually able / willing to make such a drastic improvement in their diet.  And even if they do, the reduction in cholesterol levels is not usually so great.

Yes it does, it's hardly 'drastic' as you put it, all you are doing is cutting out meat, dairy and eggs and watching the amount of saturated fat you eat.

Can't believe your last sentence after the figures given by JonJo. :-\
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: LMT on June 19, 2018, 07:19:38 pm
statins, those are last resort in my mind.
Why?

Because prevention is far better than cure.
And it costs less.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 19, 2018, 07:23:07 pm
<Anecdata>
My Mum took statins for years, as advised.
She had various aches and pains but put those down to age etc.
Her bestest friend told her that her aches and pains vanished after stopping statins.
Mum stopped statins. Aches & pains were no more.

Mum's cholesterol is a bit high but she won't go back on statins.
Mum is 82.

Most of the epidemiological work supporting statins has been done with a younger population.

Mum does not expect immortality but rather enjoys an ache-free life.

Mum is currently on NO medication.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on June 19, 2018, 07:51:01 pm
Well if I had the choice between giving up my favourite foods or going on statins I know which I'd pick.
I made the choice about 15 years ago and haven't regretted it.
Statins every time.

Giving up my favourite foods hasn't left me feeling deprived. Apart from high cholesterol levels my favourite foods (including alcohol) were responsible for frequent night time acid reflux which was scouring my oesophagous badly enough to give me a persistent cough. I've also been treated three times to eliminate Helicobacter pylori which is linked to stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer. Irritable Bowel Syndrome has also been, quite literally, a PITA

Something had to change and the cholesterol blood test results were the wake up call I needed. As soon as I changed my diet my gastric symptoms disappeared and I feel great. It's not just about the statins.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: nicknack on June 20, 2018, 09:35:33 am
I see your point.  :)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 20, 2018, 11:15:44 am
<Anecdata>
Mum stopped statins. Aches & pains were no more.

More anecdata:
My mum had extensive muscle wastage from statins after she carried on taking them and ignored the pains for a period. 
I have tried half a dozen of them but couldn't tolerate any. Several made my liver enzymes go crazy and one led to memory-loss.  The memory-loss one is scary as it is very hard to monitor and quantify.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 20, 2018, 05:28:33 pm
The 'Mustn't Grumble' generation might well tolerate almost intolerable muscle pains, which may be under-reported.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: chrisbainbridge on June 21, 2018, 11:45:07 pm
I would not take statins unless I had a very high risk of major cardiac disease (not just a high cholesterol). The true analysis of numbers needed to treat suggests no real reduction in mortality and over 200 needed to be treated to avoid one non fatal heart attack.

 BUT 1 in 22 may report muscle pain and 1 in 200 develop diabetes!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 22, 2018, 12:09:21 am
Well, quite CB!

Mum did a fair amount of reading, knew her heart was fine, BP was fine, has no convincing family history of heart disease and could find no convincing reason to go back on statins.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 22, 2018, 01:45:52 am
I was never keen on strains but would have taken them if I could have tolerated them.

Had my bypass this morning, stents tomorrow
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: sojournermike on June 22, 2018, 06:15:46 am
My Mum was hospitalised for something over a week as a consequence of a creeping paralysis caused by her statin. She called the doctor when she couldn’t get out of bed on her own. She is now not taking any statins and has managed her type 2 diabetes pretty successfully through diet, also leaving those meds behind. It would be false to suggest she’s a paragon of health and fitness, but she has become a much more informed and engaged patient and has taken some clear decisions about how she wants to address these issues. She is also 82.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 22, 2018, 12:52:26 pm
I was never keen on strains but would have taken them if I could have tolerated them.

Had my bypass this morning, stents tomorrow

Get well soon!

I take it autocorrect/fat fingers/powerful medication have changed your intended post...
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on June 23, 2018, 11:31:17 am
I was never keen on strains but would have taken them if I could have tolerated them.

Had my bypass this morning, stents tomorrow

Hope it's all gone well @Frank9755. Take it easy and get well soon.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 25, 2018, 05:36:48 am
All finished and expecting to come out today.
Thanks all for good wishes.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on June 25, 2018, 07:14:34 am
All finished and expecting to come out today.
Thanks all for good wishes.


Been avoiding this thread because I'm bored shitless about cholesterol etc having been gobbling statins since 1990 with no problems, but a bypass is something else. Glad you're through it.

Have they got you down for a re-education/readaptation course?  The Inlaw Paw got a buckshee month in the country after his bypass.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on June 28, 2018, 11:54:29 am
No, nothing like that, I'm afraid. Just spending some time at home and going for a few walks...
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on June 28, 2018, 12:40:05 pm
[Not specifically cholesterol-related]

I think that's a difference between British and Continental healthcare; my late grandmother had three weeks' residential R&R and physio in some country retreat when she had a fractured patella in Denmark. Methinks here in GB post-op stays are minimal...
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Phil W on June 28, 2018, 07:45:21 pm
No, nothing like that, I'm afraid. Just spending some time at home and going for a few walks...

Best of luck with recovery and future health.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: ElyDave on June 30, 2018, 08:41:27 pm
JUst had a second test with high cholesterol, don't know the exact numbers yet but the diabetic nutritionist/pump specialist has been in touch.  She is very helpful in that she also takes an interest in the athletic diabetic types such as me.

We had a good discussion at my last appointment about my low carb diet, I've been keeping a food diary and hopefully with more discussion we can resolve the issue successfully by diet changes.  One thing is for sure, statins are not going to be entertained, and an overall low carb approach is not up for discussion - methods of achieving that are.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: nobby on July 01, 2018, 12:21:07 pm
<Anecdata>
My Mum took statins for years, as advised.
She had various aches and pains but put those down to age etc.
Her bestest friend told her that her aches and pains vanished after stopping statins.
Mum stopped statins. Aches & pains were no more.
Mum's cholesterol is a bit high but she won't go back on statins.
Mum is 82.
Most of the epidemiological work supporting statins has been done with a younger population.
Mum does not expect immortality but rather enjoys an ache-free life.
Mum is currently on NO medication.

I'm nearly 70 and have been on statins since 1999 after the doctor's advice that it reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack in elderly males. I always feel tired, listless and lethargic and have many odd aches and pains.
I spoke at some length with my doctor about it a fortnight ago because of reading about cases like your mother. During the conversation about symptoms he started to check me over for lymphoma.
He referred me to a consultant haematologist (80 days wait on our nhs but only three days with a £250 bung) who also told me that he regards statins as essential at my age and brought my diabetes into the equation.
I've decided I'll stick with the statins. I wait for blood test and scan results on the 24th July for the maybe lymphoma.
My prostate cancer was caught early during a discussion with my doctor about something else. If I have lymphoma, which is unlikely in the consultant's view, it will have been caught early because of statins. Got to be a bonus. :)
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on July 01, 2018, 01:35:31 pm
[Not specifically cholesterol-related]

I think that's a difference between British and Continental healthcare; my late grandmother had three weeks' residential R&R and physio in some country retreat when she had a fractured patella in Denmark. Methinks here in GB post-op stays are minimal...

Anyone planning a heart attack had better have it in France, before next March.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on July 02, 2018, 02:20:32 pm
I've been put on Alirucomab, the (hideously expensive) new treatment for high cholesterol.
It's a two-weekly self-administered injection.
After one round, my cholesterol had halved, to just over 3.  It had never been so low with any statin. 
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on July 02, 2018, 02:47:43 pm
How low do they want it to go?  3 is already in the cellar.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on July 03, 2018, 03:03:53 pm
They are happy with that. The target was bad / LDL below 1.8, and it is.

It's clearly a strong drug: 25 years of me messing around with statins, fibrates, Ezetimibe, diet, exercise, etc never got close, but this did it in one shot.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on July 03, 2018, 03:26:24 pm
Different approach from statins. I see what you mean by hideously expensive, though - $14,300 p.a. in the US.  I guess they'll wait for the generic here.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on July 03, 2018, 08:59:36 pm
The rationale for the pricing is that they are saying that the alternative was for people to have a form of dialysis which involved a hospital visit, and they have priced relative to that. 
Obviously it would be more widely used if it was priced lower but the drug company is free to set its prices.
My doctors had to make a special funding application to get it for me.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on July 04, 2018, 09:09:09 am
Dunno what the approach would be here. I do know that when an over-pricey US drug for migraine appeared ~15 years ago the Sécurité Sociale initially refused to cover it until the manufacturers got real.  It's now available at 21,75€ for 6 and the Sécu cover 65% of it.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on July 06, 2018, 03:30:14 pm
Got out on the bike yesterday, 2 weeks after the operation. 
A gentle couple of laps round Richmond Park, missing out the hills, and easing off whenever my heart rate drifted above 100bpm.  Steady and sedate but it felt good to be mobile again!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on July 06, 2018, 03:44:12 pm
I know the feeling - great, isn't it?  Two weeks is fast - in 2008 they kept me off for almost 2 months, and it was just a stent.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on July 11, 2018, 10:38:32 am
I may get into trouble for going on the bike when I see the doctor on monday, but they told me to do walking to the point where I was almost getting out of breath. 

But I had good fitness before (was training for TCR) so, after a few days I could walk for hours, pushing a pram and up the local small hills, so the only way to get enough load to push my heart rate up was to get on the bike.  Still taking it gently, backing off when HR gets to 110.

8 weeks sounds like a very long time.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on July 11, 2018, 11:06:38 am
It felt that way too.  Then when I got back I followed their dietary strictures and had my first really bad dose of bonk. Great stuff.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on July 17, 2018, 07:55:27 am
I had my follow up with the cardiac surgeon yesterday.  Mostly ok but downside is I have to have another angiogram as it appears that one of the stents put in was too small and it needs a bigger one.  They'll also check out the bypass while they are in there. 

Good that they are following up on things but I'm a bit disappointed to have to have another procedure!

Doctor was pleased when I said I'd been doing 2 hours per day cycling or walking, although he then did go on about how dangerous it was to cycle on the road.  He then said he used to live in Copenhagen, which put his comments into context.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: T42 on July 17, 2018, 08:39:29 am
Tell him to keep off the road until he's done treating you.

Bit of a bugger with the undersized stent.  I wasn't aware that they could swap them out - or are they going to thread it with a collapsed one and expand it forcibly? Seems dodgy.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on July 17, 2018, 09:17:57 am
Yes, I'll know more when I speak to the cardiologist - the one who actually does the stenting.  The story yesterday was that the artery turned out to be bigger than he expected it to be once he got inside with the small stent.   It seems a bit weird, and I've not seen anything similar in a bit of googling. 

I don't think the small stent will come out: I expect once they have been expanded they are stuck in there, at least until the worms arrive!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on July 17, 2018, 05:40:36 pm
The story yesterday was that the artery turned out to be bigger than he expected it to be once he got inside with the small stent.

You'd think they'd have a slack handful of different sizes ready wouldn't you?

Anyhow, hope it all goes well @Frank9755.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on August 22, 2018, 02:48:25 pm
Turned out it wasn't that at all.  The cardiac surgeon had got the wrong end of the stick. 

The issue was that where the bypass rejoins the main artery it was very narrow.  But I had another angiogram last Friday and it all now looks fine.  They test the pressure difference either side of the narrowing and when they find it is within a % or two, it is fine (apparently they only consider a stent if there is at least a 10% reduction in pressure).

So I am now all clear to do whatever I did before this all cropped up and should have no greater risk than is normal for age, gender, etc.  Once I get off the calcium channel blockers in another months' time, my heart rate should go back up to previous levels and I should be all set, just in time for winter!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on August 22, 2018, 03:07:33 pm
Sounds like a great outcome.

Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on August 22, 2018, 04:12:21 pm
Certainly a great outcome compared to the alternative. It was a bit of a bugger missing out on your main goal this year, so commiserations for that.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on August 23, 2018, 08:42:22 am
Great news Frank9755. Winter miles = summer smiles and all that bollox eh?  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 28, 2018, 03:09:23 pm
Just got results back from doc:

7.2 total

4.5LDL
I've just had a thorough workup under the company health scheme. Detailed Cholesterol test results:
Hba1c 33 mmol/mol
Total cholesterol 5.37 mmol/L
LDL cholesterol 2.89 mmol/L
HDL cholesterol 1.14 mmol/L
Triglycerides 2.96 mmol/L
Total/HDL ratio 4.7

I can only compare the figures in bold, and I need to work on the total/HDL ratio. However, that is still a heck of an improvement. All via diet.
Need to get the HDL up.

Other parts of the health test showed that I have small lungs (for height/weight), a VO2 Max that puts me in the 90th percentile for my age bracket (decent, considering I only get exercise twice a week) and a grip strength that is above the top bracket for all age groups. Heart ecg thingy was normal.

Surprisingly, because I look 'slim', I'm a bit 'thick around the middle' for my height. Could do with losing a bit of fat from the kidney area.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on August 28, 2018, 08:10:43 pm
Well done!
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on August 29, 2018, 08:25:03 am
smart work mrcharly-YHT. Are you getting any pressure to go on statins?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 29, 2018, 09:30:23 am
smart work mrcharly-YHT. Are you getting any pressure to go on statins?
Not any more.

Given family history, the doctor thought it would be sensible to get a calcium coronary heart score; I'm going to see if my health cover will pay for it.

The V02 max test stopped when my heart rate reached 80% of 'maximum'; 140. I felt like I was just getting going. When I use the cross trainer at the gym, I usually do 20-30min at a heart rate of 160. That feels to be about the same intensity as the regular kayak club intervals sessions, which go on for 60-90 minutes (including warmup/cooldown).
So I don't have too many worries about heart health. Reckon my heart is having to make up for small lung capacity.

They put a lot of emphasis on exercise affecting cholesterol levels now. Kept saying that intensity, not quantity, had a significant effect. Sustained, intense exercise is supposed to help (so cycling hill-climbing is going to be good).
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Frank9755 on August 29, 2018, 12:08:15 pm
They put a lot of emphasis on exercise affecting cholesterol levels now. Kept saying that intensity, not quantity, had a significant effect. Sustained, intense exercise is supposed to help (so cycling hill-climbing is going to be good).

That is interesting.  I had always assumed - based on nothing - that large amounts of moderate exercise - like audax - would have the best effect but it appears I was wrong.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 29, 2018, 03:15:11 pm

Maximal effort has been shown to increase levels of HDL for 'amateur' cyclists:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286303000524 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286303000524)

Endurance efforts increase or have no effect on LDL levels.

So more interval training (ulp) for me.

He said, several times, that it was a really good thing for me, to be doing this sort of training with people much younger than me.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: simonp on August 29, 2018, 04:54:54 pm
http://theconversation.com/from-diarrhoea-to-heart-damage-ultra-endurance-sports-put-a-huge-strain-on-the-body-79375

Rowing training been similar for me: a lot of high intensity work (e.g. 6x500m intervals on the rowing machine or water). Or the dreaded 10x1m:1r.

And I am 17 years older than the next oldest person in our crew, and racing against people as young as 30 years younger than me.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on August 29, 2018, 08:47:46 pm
Mmmmmm................. as I've got older I've moved away from short intense efforts. Mebbe it's time to get back on the chain gang wi the young uns or at least blow the cobwebs off the turbo trainer.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: JonJo on December 19, 2018, 02:03:35 pm
Total cholesterol in February was 10 which prompted a retest in March when it was 9. Both readings dangerously high apparently and I don't have the breakdown figures because at that point I didn't realise there was anything other than a total cholesterol measure.

After three months of drastic lifestyle changes the figures are now:

Total cholesterol    5.2
HDL cholesterol     1.7
LDL cholesterol      3.2
triglycerides           0.75

which is loads better.

However, to get it down this much I've given up red meat, all dairy products, fried food and (almost) alcohol. So, no pizzas, no pork pies, no cakes and no chips - all my favourite foods. The only fats in my diet now come from fish, nuts and avocados. I've lost 35lbs in those three months.

The doctor is concerned that it's still a high level of cholesterol and doubts I can maintain my current lifestyle but I'm not going on statins and there will be a retest in six months.

After another six months of healthy living it looks like I've stabilised. Latest figures are:
Total cholesterol    5.1
HDL cholesterol     1.7
LDL cholesterol      2.9
triglycerides           1.19

I've lost another seven pounds too. Just need to be careful not to overindulge at Christmas now.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: Wowbagger on May 10, 2019, 04:52:40 pm
I was given statins & aspirin to take in January. Last week I had a fasting blood test to see how things were going. I've just been for the results. All I was told was that I had a cholesterol level of 3 (down from 5.1). Doc said "This is very good, and most unusual."

Reading through some of this thread, it seems as though I should have asked for a bit more information. Presumably this figure of 3 is some sort of ratio, but I'm too much of an ignoramus to know what. Up until relatively recently, I've always considered that being unhealthy is what other people do and I don't need to bother myself about all that stuff.

Can someone elucidate in moron's language, please?
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: hellymedic on May 10, 2019, 07:59:00 pm
I am no expert but in general terms:

Total cholesterol should be 5 or less.
HDL is 'good'
LDL is 'bad'.
Triglycerides are bad in excess.

There is an optimal HDL:LDL ratio I can't recall and CnBA to look up. JonJo's results seem fairly sound to me but ICnBA to check.

I think my results were fine with a total of 4.7 when checked and ratios within the ideal range but I'm FAR too lazy to unearth them. In truth, I think problems with this are unlikely to affect me so I'll try to keep my diet, weight and blood pressure sensible.
Title: Re: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...
Post by: chrisbainbridge on May 11, 2019, 10:17:50 am
What can happen with LCHF diets is that the good cholesterol goes up and gives a spuriously high total but a better than good ratio. If the person giving you advice does not understand then the advice given is wrong.

My wife ended up being offered statins in exactly this situation.