I got my lab results today and the Dr. said my cholesterol is too high. I do not have a family history of high cholesterol so I was a little shocked. Her's the info I got. I'm a 23 year old female slightly overweight. I do eat a lot of fast food being in my last year of college.
total cholesterol: 198
HDL:36 which they said is low it needs to be a 40
LDL: was 144 they sais 130 and under.
Any insights on this at all about what I need to do and will this affect me through life?
cholesterol is funny...I'm glad to see you had a "profile" done that breaks it down, as just looking at the total can be very misleading (I had a patient today with a total of 131, but his HDL was so low that his ratio was thru the roof...he is a heart attack waiting to happen).
The first thing to do is diet modification. Foods high in whole grains, fish oils (omega 3 fatty acids), flaxseed (must be ground...we can't digest the whole seed), and fruits and veggies. Not rocket science. There are also some studies about the effects of "moderate" red wine consumption and dark chocolate (must be the extra dark stuff, greater than 65%) comsumption for improving ratios (increasing the good cholesterol). Given your numbers, you should be able to achieve some modest results this way, and hopefully appease your doc. If not, then a statin is usually prescribed, but they aren't without side effects (things like lipitor, zocor, zetia, etc...we all see the commercials).
I read a great book about this type of diet (because i needed to lose weight) called the "good mood diet"...it has some great info about the foods mentioned above and the other benefits (like improved mood and sleep patterns) in addition to the change in cholesterol profiles. Worth taking a look.
Steph is right. You should be able to get your LDL and HDL in the normal range with diet. Start NOW. When I was young TC cholesterol was normal up to around 250 and LDL was never talked about. Cholesterol was checked "maybe" once a year. It was always around 240 and the docs said I was in perfect health. Untill my cholesterol within one year shot up to 306, LDL 231 (four yrs ago) no diet or life style changes. I eat healthy and exercise every day. After this mind blower test result I THEN started all the natural stuff to get my cholesterol down, but it was to late, my cholesterol was to high, and after one year it only dropped 20 points, and I tried many different products and foods.
Long story short after that one year and being told by my doc that I am a heart attack waiting to happen and a walking time bomb I caved in and took Zocor 20mg as prescribed. I take it every other day (doc said every day, but he doesn't know that I take it every other day) and in only two months my cholesterol fell from 306 to 209, LDL exactly 130. This was 4 yrs ago. My cholesterol now is around 180 and LDL still in the 130 range. I have absolutely NO side effects from the Zocor. Of course would I take it every day as I should maybe my LDL would even be lower.
If you start now with the natural stuff you should be able to get it down without statins. Keep in mind on message boards about statins you read mostly the horror stories people tell. People with no side effects usually don't post on these boards. As for the side effects, I know statins suppose to be hard on the liver for some patients, but even aspirin can have dangerous side effects as in stomach bleeding in some people. Over the counter meds can have serious side effects in some people. If you eventually have to go on a statin don't be as afraid as I was and fight it like I did. If you get side effects you can always get off just get off right away, tell your doctor, don't wait to long "guessing" whether they are from the statins or from other reasons.
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