Cholesterol Community
How bad is it?
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Cholesterol, a waxy, fat-like substance, is important for you body, but too much in your blood can form plaques that sticks to artery walls and narrow or block your arteries increasing your risk of heart disease. Discuss topics including cholesterol’s link to heart disease, how to maintain a low cholesterol diet, and treatment methods for lowering your cholesterol.

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How bad is it?

I just had some blood work done and asked to have my cholesterol test done as well. I NEVER had a problem before, as I'm 59 years young. When I picked up my copy of my tests I was shocked.
Cholestrol 257
LDL 171
HDL Cholesterol 63
Triglyceride 117
VLDL 23
Chol/HDL Ratio 4.1
Non HDL Cholesterol 194
I try to walk 2-3 miles 5 days a week. I'm 5'10 and 190 lbs.
Is it an age thing? And how bad is this? What should I be doing?
I'd appreciate any help and suggestions.  Thank you.
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159619_tn?1318997813
Your HDL and TGLs look good, however your LDL or bad cholesterol is very high. The National Cholesterol Education Panel recommends an LDL of 130 or less in individuals with no additional risks for heart disease. You should discuss your numbers with your doctor as lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to lower your LDL by itself. However, if you cut as much processed foods and empty carbs out of your diet and try to stay with low fat, low cholesterol food including fruits and veggies, less red meat more fish, you may be able to bring it down some.

You can also consider increasing your exercise but only do so after discussing it with your doctor.

Now, before you panic, your body regulates how much cholesterol it makes depending on it's needs. Cholesterol is key for cell generation so if you were healing from an injury when you tested or did not get a full 12 hour fast prior to your blood draw, these numbers may be overstated. I would wait another 3 months and do another fasting lipid test to make sure these numbers are not overstated.

I hope this helps and thanks for asking!

Jon
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159619_tn?1318997813
Your HDL and TGLs look good, however your LDL or bad cholesterol is very high. The National Cholesterol Education Panel recommends an LDL of 130 or less in individuals with no additional risks for heart disease. You should discuss your numbers with your doctor as lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to lower your LDL by itself. However, if you cut as much processed foods and empty carbs out of your diet and try to stay with low fat, low cholesterol food including fruits and veggies, less red meat more fish, you may be able to bring it down some.

You can also consider increasing your exercise but only do so after discussing it with your doctor.

Now, before you panic, your body regulates how much cholesterol it makes depending on it's needs. Cholesterol is key for cell generation so if you were healing from an injury when you tested or did not get a full 12 hour fast prior to your blood draw, these numbers may be overstated. I would wait another 3 months and do another fasting lipid test to make sure these numbers are not overstated.

I hope this helps and thanks for asking!

Jon
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Jon. Yes, I do feel a lot of stress and anxiety because of this. I will have another test done in 3 months. My other questions are, if I do go on med's, is this something I will have to take for the rest of my life or just until the numbers go down? Also, with so many med's out there how does one know what to use?
Again, thank you for your time to reply, and also for this forum.  
Sharon
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63984_tn?1385441539
I'd certainly take note of the high numbers.  In my case, I'm challenged to keep my LDL numbers below 75, and my HDL levels above 50, and no less than a 3:1 ratio.  I'm a veteran of the cholesterol battle.  You sound in good shape, congratulations for walking like you do.

I resisted taking statins when I had numbers like you have, it was a wrong decision.  In my case, familial cholesterol issues were an issue, so I take Vytorin, which controls both dietary and familial cholesterol.  Since taking the drug and carefully controlling my diet for the last twelve years, I've stayed below the 3:1 ratio.


Stay in touch, best wishes.
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Avatar_m_tn
My 5 cents: I took Statin drugs for more then 10 years. I had a Calcium Score done 10 years ago. They rated it different then. It was 25% in one artery, everything else checked out clean. 10 years later I had it done again: Calcium Score of 1217 with LAD at 782. Result: Statin drugs have little or no influence on plaque building - for me at least. I also took Vytorin for four years, wound up in E.R. with severe kidney pains. Then stayed off Statins for a year, then the Calcium Score news came. Switched to Crestor developed Rhabdomyolysis after 3 months and Gout - back to the kidney problems. I should add that I am also on HCTZ for my B/P which didn't help as far as the kidneys are concerned. What does it all mean? You're on your own, I guess.
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Avatar_n_tn
Here is an update as of Aug. 30.

I went back to the Dr.'s for a plan-of-action for the high cholesterol numbers. We decided to try Simvastatin 20mg's and I also will be adding CoQ-10 with that (my suggestion). I will be having another reading done in December to see if it brings the numbers down. He also suggested I have a Coronary Calcium Score CT done.
I had the Coronary Calcium test done the next day and received the findings today. The Total Agatston Score is 0.

So, I do feel less stress in the fact that maybe this statin will help bring the numbers down, because it is something I can afford. I guess we will know more in December and I will post the numbers then.

Take care and God Bless.  
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159619_tn?1318997813
All good news! I also take Simvastatin and it is very effective at lowering LDL very quickly. It also has the fewest side effects and is very well tolerated and you are on a low dosage as well. Sounds like you're on the right track!

Congrats,

Jon
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for posting and the words of assurance to help build my confidence in the decision I have made. I look forward to posting more good news in the future!   Sharon
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Avatar_n_tn
Well now I seem to  have another problem. It has been less than 2 weeks since I started on the Simvastatin. 3 days ago I started to have an itchy rash up the back of my neck, and my head seems to have itchy patches as well as around my ears.  Also I am getting real bad headaches. I feel I need to stop this med. I talked to the Dr's. nurse and she will be getting back to me.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I was told to stop Simvastatin until everything clears up...then we try something else.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am now on Pravastatin 10mg. Hope I do not have side effects from this one. I am starting at a low dose, and if I can adjust to it, I can always go up on the mg's in the future.
My numbers will be rechecked in December.
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159619_tn?1318997813
Pravastatin works a little differently than Simvastatin so you may be fine, plus as you said you are on a very low dose which will help. I'm sure your doctor has already told you, but in case he did not, most side effects happen within the first 90 days. Mild side effects can start within a few days such as muscle pain, which is the most common. It's good that your numbers will be checked again in December, that way they can make sure you are not having any serious side effects from the med in addition to checking how well it's working. Remember, make sure you report any side effects to your doctor as soon as you notice them!

Good luck,

Jon
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for posting. I have not seen the Dr. since Aug 30... this is all done per phone calls to his office via the nurse. So any information I get is through this forum or my own study on the internet. I did not know the information about the time line on the side effects, good to know, thank you for that.
You say that this works a little different than Simvastatin, so my question is...will the Prevastatin help with the numbers on lowering the total cholesterol and the LDL's? I think this is my main objective.
Thank you for your input.
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Avatar_n_tn
Finally....90 days have passed and I went for my follow up on the cholesterol test and to see if the 10mg of Prvastatin was doing the job. Well here are the numbers:
Cholesterol     203     down from 257
LDL               132      down from 171
HDL               56       down from 63
Triglyceride     75       down from 117
VLDL              15       down from 23
Chol/HDL Ratio 3.6     down from 4.1
Non HDL Chol 147      down from 194

We are now going to try the 20mg's and recheck in March. This was my suggestion to up the amount and see if it would bring the cholesterol and LDL down even further. The Doctor, according the nurse, said he had no problem with this. I hope this is a smart move and not put anything else at risk. I'd appreciate any feedback from you.  Thank you
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159619_tn?1318997813
Those are great results, just a little more to go. Remember, you can always stop, but it sounds like a good move to me. 20 mg is really still not a large dose, I bet you won't even notice a difference until you see the next results!

Jon
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the reply....looking forward to March!
Have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have an update after 90 days on the 20mg of Pravastatin. They are as follows:

Cholesterol         189     down from  203
LDL                    109     down from  132
HDL Cholesterol    58     up from        56
Triglyceride          113     up from        75
VLDL                    23     up from        15
CHOL/HDL Ratio   3.3    down from    3.6
Non HDL Cholest  131    down from   147
SGPT/ALT             34     up from        22

I'm hoping these are good numbers even though some have gone up. I'd appreciate your input to help me understand. I do know it is good to have a high number for the HDL (the good cholesterol).  Also is this something I will have to stay on forever? And if I do will these numbers change any more? If so about how long before I need to have them rechecked again?

Thank you for any information you can give me.              

Take care, Sharon
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159619_tn?1318997813
These are all good numbers, congrats!

Jon
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you.
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