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High Cholesterol

I am 24 year old male I weight about 190 with high cholesterol. I was on meds a few years ago Lopid but i was not following a diet and it did not seem to work. 2 months ago i had a cholesterol check and these are my results. TC=225 TRI=424 HDL=32 and i do not know the LDL because my Tri's were high. My cardio told me I need to cut out fast food and exerise more and change my diet I also take omega 3 now. So I have done all that I no longer eat fast food which is awsome but I have cheated slightly here and there. A week ago my primary physican decided to check my cholesterol and these where my results. TC=253 TRI=603 HDL=35. This doctor wanted me to get on crestor 10mg a day and see him in 6 weeks for more blood. I decided not to take the meds but exerise even harder. My question is.. is it possible that the lab results are not accurate? I dont understand how before on the first results i was eating fast food like crazy and when i cut it out my test is higher... Also i had a stress test done and it came back fine. How long does it take for cholesterol to clog artieries?
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I don't know the answers to your specific questions, but tell me this.  When you cut out fast food, what did you substitute?  What is a typical day's intake?

Also, some people cannot control their cholesterol levels with diet and exercise alone.  
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A young coworker had high cholesterol levels.  I told her to start tracking the day before and of her tests.  Sure enough, she had met her husband for cheeseburgers (of all thiings!!) the night before the draw.  She was worried about her numbers, but had more on her mind being a new mother going through chemotherapy so I didnt razz her about it.  She had a bad skin cancer.  Chemo helped her and she has another baby.  Back to Fooz, stop cheating or your heart may start cheating on you!  Enjoy some lovely oatmeal every morning, drink your soy milk and pom juice.  Excercise and TAKE YOUR MEDS!!!  (also, everyone should consider keeping a regular yearly schedule with a dermatologist to be checked for skin cancer, and yes, it can pop up even where the sun dont shine!)
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When i say i cheated i didnt cheat by eating a burger or fast food. I cheated by going out to dinner and having a steak, or a few cookies etc... But like i said. On my first results i was eating fast food for lunch almost everyday. Shouldn't i have seen some type of improvment by cutting out the fast food?
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How long should i wait before i get on meds? Is novemeber to long? That is when the cardio wants to see me again for blood work.
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Typically i will eat a salad for lunch/with a soup and a diet spirte and for dinner its usually grilled chicken with some sort of vegetable whatever is on my wifes menu for the night (always some type of green) and usually white rice. Since that last test results we cut out white rice since it is not good for my cholesterol but besides the fact before i stopped eating fast food i was eating that junk almost every day for lunch and my results were lower on the first test. Also i lunch time is usualy the only time i drink spirte i usualy drink bottled water with a propel pack in it for taste.
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High Cholesterol can be inherited, and even an excellent diet and exercise can help but not eliminate the problem.   What you clearly need--and this is the hardest part to accomplish--is a lifestyle change.  Every 24 year old male feels like they are bullet proof,  but it just ain't true.   Just cowboy up and get with the program.  Your life really does depend on it.
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No   November isn't too long...in the meantime, continue to watch your diet.  Continue to exercise.  Oh   and the salad thing is good...but watch those dressings.......and what are you putting in the salad...?  What about the veggies....plain..steamed...it is surprising how unhealthy our so-called healthy eating can actually be.  Seriously...try the oatmeal every morning.  I eat regular oatmeal, not the instant junk...toss is some fruit...or flavor with cinnamon...you will definitely see a difference, I'll bet.

Brat, I too have noticed that.  I finally learned not to eat the potato salad or the eggs or whatever on the day before the testing.

You know...you could have your levels taken every hour for 6 hours and your levels would vary greatly.  

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I would ask them to phone it in to the pharmacy.  You can see if there is any improvement in November that way.  Why put it off?
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Sweetwaterguy is right.  Cholesterol can indeed be inherited, and also can be caused by STRESS.  In my case its easier inherited or also from stress.  I exercise every day for many yrs, and eat very healthy, but I had to go on meds.

Your HDL is to low, your trigs are to high, they should not be higher than 150.  HDL they like to be over 50.  As for the LDL not over 130 if you do not have heart trouble, if you do then they like it to be 100 or lower.

Try to get it down without meds, there is all kind of info and books how to get your cholesterol down.  If you do have to take meds, don't listen to the horror stories like I did, take them and if you get the side effects your doctor tells you about call him right away.  I was so afraid I took and still take the Zocor "every other evening" my doctor doesn't know that.  My cholesterol dropped from 309 to around/below give and take 200, the rest all in normal limits.  I take it for 4 yrs, and never had a side effect.

However, there is always something new about cholesterol.  I saw this doctor "Oz" on CNN tonight and he said "don't pay any attention at your total cholesterol number, only at your HDL, it should be over 50".  He never mentioned the LDL, the bad cholesterol, from what I always thought, heard and read that the LDL, the bad cholesterol is just as important and bad for your heart as the low HDL is.





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My doc just answered one of your questions.  I have increased my Lipitor and he wants to see me in a month to six weeks for blood work.  Two reasons:  How is it working, and is my liver tolerating the change.   This should give you an indication of the time line to determine if meds are working.  
If your goal is to continue to try without medication, ask your doctor about niacin.  It is inexpensive and can either lower your cholesterol, raise your HDL (which is good), or have no benefit.  It is worth a try.   Statin drugs are often very effective, but a rare few do experience dangerous side effects and cannot take statins.    I am sure you will work all this out with your cardio.  These folks really do know what they are doing and have confidence in their recommendations.  
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I have an inherited condition called hyperlipidemia. I cannot tolerate any statin. I have dangerous side effects from these medicines (rhabdomyolysis), probably due to a "fatty liver" condition caused by high triglycerides.

10 years ago my total C was 487 and triglycerides were >2000. Today they are around 300 TC and 800 triglycerides. My Ldl is high and Hdl is fairly low. I have lowered my C&T from diet. Currently I cannot exercise do to my heart and zero energy.

High triglycerides can cause pancreatitis. My grandmother died from this. My cardiologist has prescribed Omacor for me, which is omega 6 & 3, fish oil and whatever. He says it is to lower my triglycerides. I am also taking Zetia 10 mg, which carries some of the same warnings as the statin medicines. It builds up in my body, apparently to toxic like levels and causes muscle pain all over. I stop it for 5 or 6 days, then restart it. I want to try Lescol, which is the weaker of the statin drugs, but my cardiologist said let's wait.

To date I have had 1 heart attack, 2 strokes, roto-rooter of my Lad, 5 stents, 4 in my Lad. My Lad is very diseased and I still have a blockage of 35% to 40% in it. I have small vessel disease (SVD) in my heart and brain, really it effects all of my body, it has only been documented in these organs. I am soon to be evaluated for single vessel bypass surgery.

So, I hope my story can motivate you, not scare you. I am 54 now. The high cholesterol did not show up until about 10-12 years ago.

Best,

Jack
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You said your high cholesterol did not show up till about 12 years ago.. Where you being checked before that? Like throughout your 20's and 30's?
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214864_tn?1229718839
Yes I was. It was a job requirement to have a physical each year.
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About how long does it take once you change your diet to see a change in your cholesterol?
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You are only 24 yrs old, I doubt you have any blockages.  A Cardiologist told me one time it takes DECADES for the cholesterol to clog up your arteries.  Its good they found your high cholesterol at your young age.  How long does it take getting it down with diet?  It depends on the person.  Some people see succes within months, some people don't have any like me, and have to take meds.  
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I don't have much in the area of answers, but can share my experience with you.  I am a 28 year old female.  I am very overweight (about 80 pounds).  I had my cholesterol checked as part of a free screening offered by my employer several years ago.  It gave me results for HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol, but NOT triglycerides.  Everything looked normal, so I never thought anything about it.  Last year my brother (who is 5 years older than me but in great physical shape as a result of being in the military since he was 18) told me that he had a problem with high triglycerides and that our father had the exact same problem (even exact same levels).  I decided to have my cholesterol tested.  My "bad"cholesterol that should be >199 was 215 and my triglycerides were 1500 (exactly the same as my brother and father).  My doctor immediately put me on 145mg Tricor once a day and instructed me on a low arb diet.  In 3 months I was able to get it down to 750, but that is still very unexceptable.  My doc consulted a cholesterol specialist who suggested I start taking Omacor 4mg/day (this is the omega 3 fatty acid everyone talks about).  With in exactly 4 weeks my triglycerides went from 750 to 358.  That is still VERY high since they should be something like 150 I think, but much better than 1500.  Anyway, since then it will not go below 350.  I have an appointment with the cholesterol specialist in October, I'll let you know what he says, but I truely believe that alot of it is familial and can not be helped.  My doc also told me I need to exercise 1 hour a day everyday (that has not happened and realistically won't happen cause I'm lazy and I have 2 year old twins and I am in college full time).  I assume keeping it down to 350 will be better in long run than having 1500, right?
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I been reading a lot online about all this stuff cholesterol etc... Just because I have high cholesterol does not mean i will get CHD. From what I been reading there are people with low levels of cholesterol that still get CHD. So i guess all we can do is watch our diet and exercise and take meds which i will end up getting on i am sure. I am so scared of having a heart attack its been my fear for many years but i need to grow up.
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It doesnt take decades to clog your arteries..I had a double bypass at 37 (now 48) from your style of diet..(Fastfood), most of that diet was in a 12-14 year span.

As far as medication goes..ask the doc for vytorin, its a combonation of zocor and entzimbe. The zocor will lower your ldl, raise your hdl, the entzimbe will block the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract.

As far as when you would see results from a diet change and or medication change..about 6-8 weeks and there should be a significant difference in your test results.
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I have been exercising for about 2 months now and changed my diet also. I just had a stress test done and a nuculear picture test also was done with it. Everything came back fine. Is that good news? or does that mean i can still clog them up in the next 10 years? I wont touch fast food anymore to scared.
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I like your idea. All this is driving me crazy and I am getting engaged. Last thing i need to do is become a physco thinking ahout this all the time I might lose my friends and family. I am gonna watch my diet, exercise, and if i need to take meds ill take them, and continue going for routine checkups.
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Look at the people around you and those you know.  Any of them have heart problems?  Any of them smoke?  Any of them on a fast food diet?  What I'm saying is that all those "risk factors" don't mean diddly squat.  What we do or don't do don't mean diddly squat.  Either we will have heart trouble or not.  I know of a number of folks that had no risk factors at all, and they have heart problems.  Conversely, I know of many folks that have done everything wrong and bad for their health for their entire lives.  And guess what--no heart problems.

Best to just go about your business, and hope for the best.
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I guess what the Cardiologist told me is wrong in your opinion.  Even though you had a double bypass at age 37 your arteries could've started to clog when you were a Teenager.  The Cardiologist told me that they made autopsies on soldiers (with the permission of their families) who died in combat as young as 18, and some of them already showed partially clogged arteries.
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Doesnt a stress test detect clogged arteries?
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Stress tests can detect clogged arteries.  

Your earlier comment
"I am gonna watch my diet, exercise, and if i need to take meds ill take them, and continue going for routine checkups." is the right way to go.  I think that once you start down this road, you will feel better because you are doing something positive about your future.  I think you will also feel better physically.

As far as risk factors, I am not sure what Jim62 is thinking. If you don't smoke, keep your cholesterol in the right ranges, exercise, watch your weight, etc, you will reduce your chances of developing heart disease.   You can't choose your parents or your sex, but you can work on the other risk factors. (Besides, Jim comments about your friends not having heart disease and they eat fast food or smoke is silly.  Your friends are most likely in their 20s.  Heart disease (Heart attacks) are very rare in your 20s.  The question is what will happen to your friends as they get older if they maintain their bad habits. )

Anyways, I think you are making the right decision by modifying your diet, exercising, taking satins if they are needed and going to the doctors for checkups.
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AND STOP SMOKING!
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Now I am thinking it was Michael who said he was a big smoker, so if I am confused, I apologize.
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Yea i dont smoke cigs never have or drink.
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You have certainly put a lot of energy into finding answers for your cholesterol issues.  It sound like you are going in the right direction to take charge of your health.  One more suggestion:  Read "The South Beach Heart Program," by Arthur Agatston.  He is a renown cardiologist and the author of The South Beach Diet.  He writes about aggressive prevention of heart disease.  His ideas make sense to me and I believe if you follow his ideas, you can avoid heart disease and can enjoy a normal, healthy life expectancy.  
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I just ordered the book. Thanks!
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Ok, not friends.  Let's say aquaintances.  People that you know (of).  Can you really say that the ones with heart problems are the ones with all the "risk factors"?  I can't.  I'd have to go with about 50/50, amongst the people I know.  All the risk factors just don't seem to hold water............
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All I can say that my mother eat healthy, was not overweighed, never drank or smoked and died of stomach cancer at age 46.

My grandmother, her mother, never had a BP lower than 200 syst. she was not afraid of doctors or having her BP taken or anything like that.  Back then they didn't have BP meds like they do now, the doctor, an M.D. not a homeopathic doctor gave her "Valerian Root" for her BP which of course didn't help. BP meds were not  prescribed back then.  She died in her sleep at age 83.  Never had a heart attack or stroke.  Had no heart problems, was fit as a fiddle, energy and everything.  Don't know what her cholesterol was because they didn't check it back then.
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My mom side of the family had medical problems but lived long. My great grandma (moms side) died in her sleep 87 my grandmother is still around also she is 70 i think.  My dads side of the family my grandfather had a bad valve or something he was born with. And my grandmother had some muscle disease. I seem to be the only one in the family with high cholesterol at a young age. Guess it does not matter. I am gonna take meds and eat smart and if anything should happen it happens. Cant control everything in life.
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I forgot to mention that my grandma had BP over 200 syst. for 30 yrs,  My uncle, her son, too had BP around 200 syst. and could not get it down with meds.  He never had a heart attack, heart problems or a stroke and died at age 78 from cancer.
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The most recent study I know of about risk factors is the INTERHEART study. The authors found that 9 factors that can be control account for 90% of heart attacks.  The study included 30,000 people from 52 countries.  Since we are not suppose to post links, you will have to google.

The risk factors are probabilities about populations.  They cannot tell who will actually get the problems. Let's say you do do the calculations and end up in the high risk category, say 25%. What does this mean? One way to look at it is to say that out of 100 people with these risk factors, 25% should develop heart problems while 75 should not.  There are people who smoke, have bad cholesterol, never exercise, etc yet who will skate through life without heart problems.  You shouldn't model yourself after those people because they were lucky.  They are walking time bombs.

To reduce your chances of developing heart disease, you shouldn't smoke, watch your diet, exercise, etc.  This mean your chances are lower to develop heart disease but there is still a small chance to develop it.  There are no guarantees.

Another way of looking at it is to conside lung cancer and cigarette smoking.  Only 10% of all cigareete smokers will develop lung cancer.  The best way to reduce your chances of developing lung cancer is to not smoke or to quit smoking  You can still develop lung cancer if you never smoke.  It is much rarer but it happens. (If I remember corectly, the wife of the Chris Reeves, the actor, recently die from lung cancer even though she never smoked.)


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I've been reading studies long enough to know that you can make any study "indicate" anything you want it to indicate.  All these risk factors "indicate" that they "may" be involved in heart problems.  On the other side of the coin, they "may not" be.............
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Its hard to not being able to control things.
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    Not all science is good science.  People with an agenda can slant many things with "research."  However, I believe it is foolish to ignore important data on heart disease.  If you do, ignore it at your own risk.  Good science involves involves blinded studies and sophisiticated mathematics to  
determine if the findings are meaningful.  Most medical research does this.  
     When it comes to human health, of course we don't know all the answers.   But science has allowed us to know a lot, and to ignore what we know can be dangerous to our health.  
Of course there are people like Winston Churchill who had all the bad habits and lived past 90, and others who did all the right things and did not survive to old age.  If staying healthy is our goal, then use the knowledge from commonly accepted good science--eat right, exercise, keep BP and cholesterol under control.   Are there guarantees?  Of course not!  Yet, if you gamble and intentionally stack the cards against yourself, then don't be surprised if you lose.  
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I spent most of a lifetime doing the right things.  At 59, with NONE of the "risk factors". I had triple bypass surgery.  The only thing that all the docs could say was well, if you hadn't been doing the right thing it could have been worse.  You could be dead.  Yep, could be.  Also, it could be that if I had high blood pressure and cholesterol, and ate fast foods, it may have not happened at all.

I've known many people that have literally turned their lives upside down and inside out when faced with heart trouble.  I haven't seen any particular benefits.  Some are still suffering with it, and some are dead.  Of course, I guess if you were to ask the docs and study writers, they would contend that had they not done the right thing, they would likely be much deader.

Obla di, obla da-------life goes on.
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Of course it is discouraging to have heart issues at our age.  (I am 64 and also have treated my body reasonably well).  I am fortunate my problems are only rhythm problems, hopefully solved with ablation.  I had a 64 slice ct scan recently and learned I was 40--70% blocked in two arteries.  That got my attention, and I am working even harder to keep my weight under control and to exercise and eat a healthy diet.  A month ago I did a ten mile hike and fishing excursion in the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming, up to 10500 feet.  
Does life go on as you indicate?  Absolutely, and I suspect we both do our best to maximize our daily experiences.  Now our goal on this forum is to encourage others to take charge of their health and live fully while maintaining healthy behaviors-- knowing there are no guarantees.  
  
Best of luck to you and your pipes.  Let's hope you can keep them from plugging again.  
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I wanted to ask another question. When i was in the hospital for a panic attack they did a cat scan of my chest and injected some medicine that burned throughout my body... What was that test looking for? And if they let me go that a good thing?
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I am going to guess it was the contrast dye to help improve the imaging.  I believe it contains iodine, to which I have a mild allergy.  They gave me benedryl before and after, and that helped.   Iodine dissapates in the body and within a fairly short time, it is gone completely.  
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Yea but what were they looking for? I am trying to determine if i have clogged artieres. I get chest pains every so often but my fiance says she notices me talking about them when i am stressed. So far i have had a CT scan/ Xray/ Stress test with a nuclear picture and i have been told i am fine. But at 24 could i still have clogged artieries? I run at the gym for 30 minutes a day and i feel fine.
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216614_tn?1195668672
"So far i have had a CT scan/ Xray/ Stress test with a nuclear picture and i have been told i am fine"

Whether or not you"could" isn't relevant.  What is relevant is that you have been told you are fine.  

I suggest you make an appt with your doc, have the test results from the CT with you and have him discuss if it will make you feel better.  The chest pain could be from your stressing about clogged arteries.  If your doc thought there was a chance you had clogged arteries, I am sure he would have done a heart cath.  Chill.
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OH....BTW.....only 24 and you have a wife AND a fiance....are you Mormon?
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I dont have a wife yet. I call her my wife cause she is gonna be. She is really my fiance. LOL
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You seem to be putting a lot of energy into this forum trying to find out answers to questions which are likely already answered.  Please understand I am not trying to be hard on you or critical, but you did indicate you have been hospitalized for a panic attack.  It may be that anxiety is the real driver of your bus, and perhaps the next step is to talk to your doc about how to medically deal with anxiety.  
Panic attacks/anxiety are real illnesses, likely with a biochemical root.  Perhaps you are treating the wrong symptoms.
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