Cholesterol Community
Your advise on my Cholesterol Levels
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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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Your advise on my Cholesterol Levels

My medical values are shown below. Are these in a dangerous level?
Should I start medication or is it okay to start with exercise?
I have not been doing any exercises during the last 1 year.

Fasting Blood Sugar: 97
Serum Cholesterol: 240
Triglycerides: 109
HDL - 47
LDL - 171
VLDL - 25
TC/ HDL Ratio - 5.1
18 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
You don't give your age.

Those total cholesterol levels and LDL levels are high.  Blood sugar borderline
If you begin with medication you will be on it for the rest of  your life.

Yes,  you should exercise,  but diet will produce a much greater impact on your cholesterol levels than will exercise.

Not just some tiny adjustments, trimming here and there.  
You need to give yourself very significant dietary changes over 3 or more months,  then have your cholesterol retested.    Halfway measures will give you minimal results.

So,  if I were you,  I'd make some fairly radical changes in diet and then also add in exercise.   That will give you a clear picture to see if you can avoid going on meds for life.
Some people need both the meds and diet,  but too often people take the easy route and just pop a pill.

If your dietary change and exercise program don't give you a good result, you can always add in a small dose of the meds.

I think common sense tells you which method of lowering  your cholesterol would be best for your overall health.   Right?   A pill or real lifestyle changes?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks.  I'm 38 now.
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159619_tn?1318997813
Everything Circa said is correct, you could use some major changes. Just one thing to add, please be sure to discuss any new exercise routines with your doctor before starting.

You can do this, make some changes and see what your numbers look like, just retest within 6 months.
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Avatar_m_tn
A thought about your statement

"Just one thing,  please be sure to discuss any new exercise routines with your doctor before starting"..

I know that is often suggested but really, for a 38 year old male, who has no symptoms of heart disease,  angina etc,   seeing or calling the doctor before beginning a gradual exercise programs is absolutely unnecessary.

Unless Vinod has a family history of heart problems or clear symptoms,  there is  only a micro chance that starting walking, jogging,  or running will cause him any danger.
Age 38 is darn young.  I'd just begin a gradual build up of cardio over 3 months.  If he encounters any symptoms of problems,  angina, etc.  see the doctor.  Otherwise a normal male or female, age 38 can begin exercise without consulting a doctor or getting a physical exam.

Just like a annual physical,  some long standing slogans,  have no   basis in science.  Now,  if he was 58,  I'd say the suggestion would make some sense.
Men and women,  are not fragile at age 38.   Their bodies,  if not terribly obese,  will let them know if they need to see a doctor in the early stages of  getting fit.
Obviously,  when beginning,  you don't go out and run a hard 5 miles.
Walk + jog,  a couple miles at most.   Then slowly increase over 3+ months.
Biggest concern would be joints and tendons rather than heart problems.

BTW,  there is nothing a doctor could suggest, short of having the patient come in for a treadmill test.   Normal people age 38 don't need such a test unless they have symptoms.
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159619_tn?1318997813
Maybe so, but guidelines here are that we should follow any suggestion of exercise with a comment about seeing you doctor first. We don't know medical histories or risk factors nor are we doctors so we should not recommend exercise.
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Avatar_m_tn
I cannot seem to see any guidelines.   Where are they located?

I could see more need for such guidelines in a forum on heart disease,  but this is a rather general forum on cholesterol.
Twenty five year old individuals could come here wondering if their TC of 200 might be improved with exercise or diet.
That is hardly something they need to check with their doctor about.

Also,  readers  here should fully understand that unless designated,  those commenting are not to be presumed to have any medical training.
Bottom line is that a otherwise healthy 38 year old does not have to see a doctor to start doing some walking, jogging,  or running on a  gradual basis.
Otherwise we'd have to tell everyone age 38 who was thinking of going skiiing for the weekend to see their doctors first.  
Humans are not so fragile.  
If we all wait until we see a doctor to start exercising and eating right,  most will never take steps to improve their health.

Still, I would like to read any guidelines located on the site
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63984_tn?1385441539
I agree with you that the cholesterol levels of Vinod are high by conventional standards, and diet and exercise plus medications would be helpful.  However, that said, I'm a good example of someone who learned the hard way that diet and exercise by themselves will bring down cholesterol a little, perhaps as much as 20%, but I have, like my brother and sister, a tendency to manufacture too much ldl cholesterol and needed a statin to bring down the level.  I disregarded that advice from my doctor at age 40, and by age 55, I had a full blown heart attack.  Once the heart pipes get dirty, it is very difficult to control plaque build up.  I exercised, lost a lot of weight, but the cholesterol level didn't improve until I took a statin.  That said, exercise and diet significantly reduced my Trigs.

I don't share with you your assessment that people about 40 years of age can exercise at any level without medical clearance.  I just finished heart rehabilitation after a significant heart procedure, and in the facility were a number of people very unconditioned at about age 40 who had recent heart attacks or procedures.  I think establishing baselines and advice from medical practitioners is very important to someone with significant health risks.  Yes, if someone was starting skiing at age 38, I think they absolutely need to check with a doctor first.  I was a skier, and being cold, tired and working hard is a huge health risk.    
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Avatar_m_tn
You have a particular history;  I understand that.

Having said that,  regarding the following,
" Yes, if someone was starting skiing at age 38, I think they absolutely need to check with a doctor first."  

I think that is just plain crazy.  If you are age 38,  with average fitness, and you want to go up to ski on the weekend,  you do NOT need to check with your doctor first.    That is medical excess for 99.99% of 38 year old  individuals.      For that 1 person in 10,000, (I believe it to be less),  they may get a heart warning and perhaps 1 in 100,000 may die.
Not a good reason for the other 99,999  38 year olds to see their doctor before going skiing.
Again,  I'm talking about the typical group of 38 year old individuals who have no known history of heart problems.
They can begin walking, jogging, and even minimal running without first checking with, or seeing their doctor.

However if they have a medical history or have been warned by their doctor to avoid any exercise, well that is different.  

I realize there are some genetic traits that keep some cholesterol stubbornly high.   For some,  radical dietary change will produce a dramatic change in cholesterol.   For others only minor results.
Actually the 20% you mention is significant for a individual such as the original poster at 240 TC.   That would bring him down to 192.

If I followed ALL the dietary changes I could lower my cholesterol from about 190 - 200 to about 150.   However I don't employ all the changes so I end up at about 160 to 165.

Some are willing to do the entire dietary change,  but most balk at such a diet over the long term.

I think this poster could employ as much dietary change as he can do, then add in some exercise and retest his cholesterol in 3 or 6 months.
If he isn't getting results he can get some meds to help.

The other alternative is to go on meds now and stay on them for the next 45 years,  never knowing if diet and exercise could have done the  job.

Now, which of those alternatives sounds more reasonable?
Drugs for life, or trying a comprehensive lifestyle change to see if it works?
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63984_tn?1385441539
I'm not sure what a 'particular' history means.  At age 40, as I mentioned, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, and refused to take statins.  My total cholesterol dropped to about 200, I lost about 50 pounds over the next fifteen years, and worked both in the construction business and ran a commercial fishing vessel in Pacific waters, so I was very fit and very strong, also did exercise and weight training but high cholesterol (about 200) got to me.  I wasn't good to my body in other ways early in life, so I set myself up for heart problems.  That said, had I mixed in good medication I wouldn't have had, in my opinion, the very difficult cardiac problems that began about age 55 and I still have at age 72.  I do agree with you that the original poster could go on a cardiac diet and get retested after six months, but how do you know if the poster or others looking at this board for ideas know what a cardiac diet really is?  

I have been a mentor for a number of years working with people at high cardiac risk at a volunteer but professional setting, and certainly understand and respect your post, and think we are suggesting the same philosophy, but I'm a firm believer in high risk people establishing a baseline with a health professional early on, it will pay off later in life.  There is so much misinformation on line that people are confused.  

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159619_tn?1318997813
It's what we have been told as CL's. No one here is a doctor unless there is an MD after their names. We don't recommend treatments, doctors do.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all your posts !

It was worth more than me visiting a Doctor  :)   Didn't expect so much comments within this short time !  I'm a first time visitor to this site from Doha, Qatar, originally from India (Kerala).
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Avatar_m_tn
Vinod,   this discussion is no substitute for your doctor's advice.

Your background and family habits, family diet,  etc. should put you on guard regarding  your risks
If you are like most people from Kerala,  you are at heightened risk for both heart disease and diabetes.    Kerala is the diabetes capitol of  India which is a nation with already high rates of diabetes.
Kerala also has the highest rates of heart disease in India.
With your high cholesterol and borderline blood sugar,  you need to be very proactive to avoid problems in the future.

The fact that you now live in Doha, Qatar,  doesn't mean you haven't brought your risk factors, lifestyle habits and genetics with you.
Your high cholesterol is evidence of that.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/130920/news-current-affairs/article/state-tops-coronary-heart-diseases

"Kerala is the diabetes capital of India with a prevalence of diabetes as high as 20% ─ double the national average of 8%. 1, 2 In a large multi-center study involving nearly 20,000 subjects, the prevalence of diabetes in Thiruvananthapuram was 17% compared to 15% in Hyderabad and New Delhi, 4% in Nagpur and  3% in Dibrugarh."

Being "at risk" you need to learn all you can about reducing your risk profile.    That would include substantial dietary change,  exercise, and meds as needed.   Don't delay taking the necessary steps until you get symptoms.

As others have mentioned,  I am not a medical doctor and I have no training.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had no idea what a CL is.   After much searching I concluded it is a "community leader".

I know you don't recommend treatments.  However I don't think suggesting that a person begins to exercise and eat better qualifies as a treatment.

I remain convinced that a normal 38 year old, who isn't having symptoms, can begin walking and easy jogging without first seeing their doctor.
If one can't do that at age 38, then at what age is it OK?  
30, or 25, 20, ?
150 million Americans need to improve their diet and begin doing some activity.    They all won't see their doctor before doing so.  
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Avatar_m_tn
When I said your "particular history"  I only meant you had very specific details as opposed to being the average person without that history.

You said you are a firm believer in high risk people establishing a baseline with a health professional early on; that it will pay off later in life.
I agree, and Vinod74100 seems to have taken the first step.
He has his report showing him to be at some level of risk.
He can also learn from your history that he should not delay in taking all the measures he needs to alter his current path.
As you indicated you would have benefited from having meds during those years from first warning until symptoms appeared and worsened at age 55.

I understand the dilemma that doctors face.  If they have 100 patients who have cholesterol at 240 and if they were to tell them all to follow a Ornish  or Esselstyn type of diet,  that compliance would fall under 10% within weeks or months.   Additionally some who might comply 100% with a very rigorous diet,  still need meds to be safe.
I just think that for a individual, age 38,  depending on how motivated they are,  they should be allowed to give a radical lifestyle alteration a chance.
I can't believe that right off the bat,  that 100% of patients with a 240 cholesterol need to be on statins for life.
Some, even if only small percentage, can place themselves in a safe category without needing meds for life, they should be given that chance rather than the very first answer being meds (statins).

When you think about it,  to begin a 40 or 50 year course of medicine is not a casual step to take.    Some don't need to do so if they are really motivated and IF their genetics respond to lifestyle changes.
I would admit that most will eventually end up on the meds, mostly because of unwillingness to radically alter diet,  but many others because diet alone is not enough.

I'm sure both you and I would have been even more rigorous in dietary choices from age 40 onward if we knew everything we know today.

Now, let me say, I don't follow any one doctor's diet.  I mention those names above only as examples of those who favor the more extreme versions of "heart healthy" eating.
I am not a vegan nor a vegetarian though I do eat largely plant based with only very minor amounts of meat and dairy.  I don't believe anyone has the corner on the prefect diet.   But their are healthy directions depending on how motivated a individual is.
We see a individual like former president Bill Clinton,  very late in the game,  making a complete and radical change in his diet.   I would suspect he also takes statins at the same time,  but I don't know that for sure.

In conclusion I only wish so many Americans and others would get more encouragement and support in  making very substantial lifestyle changes early on before just taking a pill.   Our medical system, the time constraints on doctors, and the reimbursement models,  don't allow much time or money to be expended on lifestyle.



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159619_tn?1318997813
That may all be true, it does not change the fact that we should always recommend posters discuss any changes in exercise with their doctors.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Friends, I am 38 year old male. Recently i came to know that my cholesterol level is high i.e. Total cholesterol is 273, LDL-188, HDL-36, TRGL-249 so please let me know what are best way to reduce this and i am regular smoker and i left smoking when i came to know this. is there any risk to my life immediately? please advise me. Thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Vinod,
Your cholesterol levels are very high. You need to make major lifestyle changes to get your health back to normal. Please consult a dietitian for a diet chart and regular exercise is a must. My dad’s cholesterol and sugar level was very high last year and he was advised to change the cooking oil. We were using vegetable oil previously, then switched to Saffola Total oil. Saffola Total has multi seed technology which means that it has the goodness of two oils and its losorb technology make the food less oily while cooking. My dad’s cholesterol is finally under control, he goes for regular walks and eats only home cooked food. I hope this helps you Vinod!
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Avatar_m_tn
Check the immunization process for a preventive treatment. Check ILC Hungary on google. The immunization restores the cholesterol metabolism, cures atherosclerosis but also saves the organism from newly evolving atherosclerosis and plaques.
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