After having a fasting cholesterol test this week at my Endocrinologist office he described my total cholesterol as a "charging elephant". It is so high that I am ashamed to post it here. I am not ashamed of my A1C which is currently at 6.1%, but I need to learn all I can about trying to lower my cholesterol.
My results are:
I can't take statins because of the side effects and I have literally tried them all. It would be so much easier if I could take them as my lipids were very good when I did. I told my Endocrinologist "I know I am a medical disaster" which is a accurate description of how I feel at present.
My Endocrinologist described statins as the 'bazooka' which will knock down the charging elephant. He understands why I declined his offer of a Rx for statins. Is there any type of alternative cholesterol treatment for someone like myself?
You are not a medical disaster and you mustn't feel ashamed. As I'm learning here on this site, its not always the numbers we should be focused on. I'm going through a hbA envy phase here, if I was 6.1 I'd take out an add in the local paper. If we don't tell each other honestly what our numbers are, how else can we learn from each other. You aren't the only one and no doubt you will help someone else in the same situ when they read your post. I'm not at all up on cholesterol, but I'm sure advice will be on the way. Tell you what, I'll swap my chol for your hbA.
There is another class of drugs that affect the guts. I think Ezetrol is the name of one of these. Have you tried this? My Dad is on it and has no problems and excellent lipid results. Way to go on the a1c, btw.
Statins as tolerated is my problem. I don't tolerate statins in any dose. I took Crestor for 3 years with great lipids. One Summer morning in 2003 I woke with severe muscle pain to the point where I could barely walk. I saw the Dr. immediately and he stopped Crestor. This started a 2 yr long cycle of starting a new statin, again with having the severe muscle pain, stopping that drug and starting a different one. I have literally been through all the statins currently available and all produced the same side effect.
Obviously I can do better with my diet and exercise, at this point I don't know if that will be enough or even help. But my Endo spent a long time explaining my high cholesterol to me and asking questions about family history. The Endo is doing a special blood test to check the 'particle' size of my cholesterol. He suspects I have something called familial hyperlipidemia.
Thank you for figuring the ratios. You must be very good with math. Math is not one of my strong points, although I do try.
I will try to modify my diet so that I might lose weight and hopefully that and increased exercise will help?
I decided to not eat one egg for a month, no eggs in anything. My cholesterol dropped 50 pts.
My hat is off to you as eggs are in lots of foods that are pre-packaged. I might give this a try also, it can't hurt. I'm glad it worked for you.
I recently heard that the cholesterol in the egg yolk is worse for you if it is a broken yolk (like when eggs are scrambled or in an omlet). If the yolk is intact (such as hard boiled or over easy) there are properties in the egg that help offset the cholesterol. I don't eat a lot of eggs, but after hearing more about them recently I think I will opt to keep the yolk intact, or better yet, eat egg whites only.
I can really sympathize. I have been under constant pressure for years about my cholesterol. My HDL is above range and my triglycerides are within range, but my LDL is chronically high. And statins are like death to me. So I pretty much refuse treatment.
But if you still want to do something you could try one of the other major classes of treatment (from Mayo):
Your liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids, a substance needed for digestion. The medications cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran), colesevelam (Welchol) and colestipol (Colestid) lower cholesterol indirectly by binding to bile acids. This prompts your liver to use excess cholesterol to make more bile acids, which reduces the level of cholesterol in your blood
Cholesterol absorption inhibitors:
Your small intestine absorbs the cholesterol from your diet and releases it into your bloodstream. The drug ezetimibe (Zetia) helps reduce blood cholesterol by limiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Zetia can be used in combination with any of the statin drugs.
In reviewing the lab results that I received from my Endo at the time of my appointment, my HDL is above range also, but it is flagged as "High". I always thought the lab flagged something that needed attention, am I mistaken in this line of thought? My triglycerides are also within range but my LDL and total cholesterol are POOR.
Sadly I have tried the Bile-acid-binding resins as well as the Cholesterol absorption inhibitors and could not tolerate either of them. My Endo has told me I can 'try' fish oil liquid if I want to, so I'm going to give it a go. Have no idea if it will help with any of my out of range numbers, but I don't think it hurts to try.
If I might be inquisitive, how did you get your Dr. to accept your position on taking statins?
The reference range corresponds to the test results of "most" people. It is not a "desirable" result. It is desirable to have an HDL as high as possible.
I don't believe fish oil will help your LDL, it does lower triglycerides and raise HDL.
The way I got my Dr to accept my position is by researching my position and being firm. It is my body. A doctor that doesn't accept my role in deciding my own treatment isn't one who I want to work with.
If you take fish oil pills I would recommend freezing them. I had issues with disgusting fish burps when I first starting taking fish oil pills. My doctor told me to freeze them and I have had no issues since.
There are only 2 ways of getting cholesterol into your body, Animal products and your own liver making it.
If you go on a strict veggie diet for month and have your lipids retested, you can see what your body is making.
There is very little you can do if your body is making too much cholesterol unless you can tolerate the drugs.
I know a friend who went on an extreme diet. She Vegan so no animal products at all, and also nothing that has OIL in it, I really do not know how she manages, because it cuts out tons of really good things like avocado.The point is that her Cholesterol dropped by half and her LDL did as well, but her HDL increased.
I don't know if this sort of diet is maintainable, but it sure did wonders for her.