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Go Back   Active Low-Carber Forums > Main Low-Carb Diets Forums & Support > Low Carb Health & Technical Forums > Cholesterol, Heart Disease
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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Sep-29-16, 12:18
jude's Avatar
jude jude is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 941
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 182/149/145 Female 65"
BF:
Progress: 89%
Location: Innisfil, Ontario
Default My doctor says my cholesterol is slightly high.

I've never had it checked before, so I'm wondering why its high. I thought low carb would, if anything, lower the bad and increase the good. Plus the specialist (endocrinologist) I saw yesterday kept harping on too much saturated fat being bad for my heart. I wanted to say, "Haven't you watched all those documentaries about sugar?" but I knew it wouldn't change his beliefs.

I guess I'm looking for is a little reassurance that low carb is good for cholesterol.....and perhaps some insight into why it would be high.
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Sep-29-16, 12:36
deirdra's Avatar
deirdra deirdra is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,723
 
Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta
Default

If they gave you just one number, that would have been the total, which is useless. The good cholesterol can surge while the bad goes down; the total may seem high, but the key to know how much of it is bad.

It is also possible for the bad cholesterol to go up in the beginning of a LCHF diet (first 3 months or so; good cholesterol goes up too, so total rises), but that is because your body is trying to get rid of the bad stuff, and it is transported in the blood before it can be destroyed.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Sep-29-16, 17:06
JuliaR JuliaR is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 226
 
Plan: Atkins/eating to my meter
Stats: 170/132/125 Female 5'2"
BF:
Progress: 84%
Default

If you haven't had it checked before it's possible it's lower now than it was before. LC has been fabulous for my cholesterol but YMMV.

As deirdra said, your total number isn't that useful. I would see if you can get a breakdown of that, and then see about getting a retest in three or six months so you can look for trends.
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Sep-29-16, 17:17
comanchesu comanchesu is offline
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Posts: 161
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 182/175/155 Female 65 inches
BF:
Progress:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jude
I've never had it checked before, so I'm wondering why its high. I thought low carb would, if anything, lower the bad and increase the good. Plus the specialist (endocrinologist) I saw yesterday kept harping on too much saturated fat being bad for my heart. I wanted to say, "Haven't you watched all those documentaries about sugar?" but I knew it wouldn't change his beliefs.

I guess I'm looking for is a little reassurance that low carb is good for cholesterol.....and perhaps some insight into why it would be high.


It is quite possible that your cholesterol HAS gone down-if this is your first test you have no idea what it was when you started? To answer your question though: My HDL (healthy cholesterol)went from the bottom of the range (32) to a 'heart protective' 67; triglycerides are below 50 and LDL (lousy cholesterol) has decreased.
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Sep-29-16, 17:21
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 9,557
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
Default

Check the Cholesterol sub-forum for more information on the numbers, this is one thread that has good info: http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=466506
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Sep-29-16, 20:11
MickiSue MickiSue is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 8,006
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 189/148.6/145 Female 5' 5"
BF:36%/28%/25%
Progress: 92%
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Default

What they all said. In addition, "slightly high" actually, if you look at the data, is MORE protective against heart attack than low. Looking JUST at total cholesterol, between 200-250 is most protective. The farther you go in either direction above or below that, the more dangerous it is.

In fact, in the famous Framingham study, the men who had heart attacks the youngest had very low cholesterol, and their heart attacks were usually fatal.
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Sep-29-16, 20:45
jude's Avatar
jude jude is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 941
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 182/149/145 Female 65"
BF:
Progress: 89%
Location: Innisfil, Ontario
Default

Wow, I think the main thing you've all taught me is how much I don't know. I didn't think to ask for any numbers when he said "slightly" high. It's true....my cholesterol could have been worse before. Next blood test I'll be more insistent about the details.
Thanks everyone!
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Sep-29-16, 20:50
DelaneyLC's Avatar
DelaneyLC DelaneyLC is offline
Posts: 2,012
 
Plan: Atkins '72
Stats: 188/143/144 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 102%
Location: NV
Default

You should get your numbers. There's no way to actually tell what your doctor might mean by slightly high without knowing the numbers. Plus next time you will have something to compare to. You should call and get your results or see if you can get a copy of the test.
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Sep-30-16, 05:21
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 3,362
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
Default

I believe I was in my 40's the first time I was told that my cholesterol was "slightly high". I'm now well up into my 60's. Early in my 50's I succumbed to my doctor's advice and started taking Lipitor. It caused severe joint pain. I quit taking Lipitor, the joint pain went away and I stopped having my cholesterol checked. That solved the problem. Now there's no numbers to look at so there's nothing to worry about. I tell my doctor that since I won't take a statin there's no reason to test. This may be a heretical position but since there seems to be absolutely no evidence that treating "high" cholesterol numbers has any effect on mortality, that higher may even be better, especially for women, I figure why bother.

Jean
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, Sep-30-16, 08:53
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 45,211
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

You can always ask for a copy of the test. However, typically the low carb diet can inflate the total chol. number because when triglycerides fall below 100 the calculation fails to calculate the TC properly.

IMHO the link between chol. and heart disease isn't a good one. Doctors have fallen into the habit of treating meaningless numbers and not actual illness. Trained to do so by drug companies.
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  #11   ^
Old Fri, Sep-30-16, 09:40
jude's Avatar
jude jude is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 941
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 182/149/145 Female 65"
BF:
Progress: 89%
Location: Innisfil, Ontario
Default

The fact that I'm eating whole foods and staying away from processed foods as much as possible tells me I shouldn't have to worry about things like cholesterol. And my doctor's second solution (after telling me to eat low fat cheese) is to prescribe medication. My immediate reaction was "No Way !" So he wanted me to get tested again in a few weeks, which would be next week. I'll get the the numbers from the lab and, I hope you guys don't mind, I'll post them here for explanation.

btw off topic question...would thyroid medication have any effect on cholesterol if you were taking it for a low thyroid when you didn't need it? The doctor had me stop the thyroid meds at the same time as the cholesterol thing came up.
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Sep-30-16, 09:43
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 45,211
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

No. Your cholesterol can be high if your thyroid is under functioning.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Sep-30-16, 13:31
MickiSue MickiSue is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 8,006
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 189/148.6/145 Female 5' 5"
BF:36%/28%/25%
Progress: 92%
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Default

I would tell the doctor No on the "few weeks." That's the sign of a doctor who knows nothing.

Changes in cholesterol over the course of 6 months? Yeah, maybe. But a few weeks isn't much. And I'd insist, before I agreed to ANYTHING, on having the specific numbers given to me. Along with having the LDL computed, not imputed.

THE most important two numbers in a lipid panel are the HDL and the triglycerides. Not the TC or the LDL.
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  #14   ^
Old Fri, Sep-30-16, 14:38
jude's Avatar
jude jude is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 941
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 182/149/145 Female 65"
BF:
Progress: 89%
Location: Innisfil, Ontario
Default

I can get results directly from the lab, but I learned earlier today that its too late to get the details of the previous blood test, so would it make sense to go ahead and have the test next week? I'd rather not wait 6 months to find out what's really going on.
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  #15   ^
Old Fri, Sep-30-16, 15:16
MickiSue MickiSue is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 8,006
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 189/148.6/145 Female 5' 5"
BF:36%/28%/25%
Progress: 92%
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Default

Your doctor's office, at least in the US, MUST give you your medical records if you request them. They're YOUR medical records, after all.
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