Hello, everybody. Ok, so i need your opinion on something. I have been following Dr. Bernstein's diet religiously for 7 months now. I eat around 20 grams of carbs a day sometimes even less. A few days ago a did a blood check, my cholesterol levels have skyrocketed. Here are the results.
The first number is from a year ago and the second is from few days ago.
Total cholesterol: 4 mmol/L (72mg/dl).....7.9 (142.2)
Triglycerides: 0.9......(16.2)........1.65 (29.7)
HDL: 1.7......(30.6)........1.24 (22.32)
LDL 1.9......(34.2)........5.9 (106.2)
I don't know what to do next. My blood sugars are great and i don't want to start eating carbs again. I train 3 times a week, i follow Dr.Bernstein's instructions for physical activity. I didn't have any kind of infection. Though some of my family members have thyroid problems i don't have any symptoms except this poor lipid profile, and my doctor said he doubt's that thyroid is the cause of these. I have to do something, i can't walk around with this kind of lipid profile and do nothing about it. I am 18 years old, i am not overweight.I know some say higher cholesterol isn't dangerous, but if i remember correctly Bernstein is expecting normal lipid profile's on this diet. I really don't know what to think of all this and what to do next? Maybe this just isn't a diet for me?
Wow! Seems like something is wrong here as your triglycerides should definitely fall on low carb diet (even if other fats go up) but yours have gone up which (I believe) is strange. Also extremely strange for your HDL to have gone down!! 1) What has happened to your HbA1c over the year - it should have fallen to low 5's or less - if only a small change perhaps carbs are still getting in somewhere to give the high triglycerides /fat results (I know you are following Dr B on 20 g carb a day only so should n;t be any carbs getting in but just thought you should cross check via HbA1c results!!). 2) If it is not carbs then are you losing significant amounts of weight (I know it has been a year so perhaps not but wt loss releases fats into the blood stream so if ongoing it may account for these results). 3) I think you have to formally check your thyroid as this is most likely cause whatever your symptoms or lack thereof. 4) possibly repeat the results (did the lab mix your specimen up - incredibly rare but not impossible and the first thing to do with abnormal results is repeat them!) 5) Were your previous blood tests fasting / had you just eaten something before this set - if you repeat them do fasting lipids (don't eat except water the night before). 6) Put it as a question on Dr B monthly webcast - send it in now to have best chance of getting on next one 7) Running out of ideas now but some sketchy thoughts: a) if low carb are you eating massive amounts of fat to replace the carb (ie is your weight stable / reducing as low carb diets tend to do? If it is going up you may be overdoing the fat (tho whether even this can give you the figures you got I am not sure!!)). b) Some people have a variant of the ApoE gene that tends to store fat. Do you have 2 copies of this variant (you may find searching online a lab who will do the genetic test or it may be indicated by strong family history of heart disease). If you have this genetic variant then the diet may be not for you (I don't know this but vaguely heard something along these lines so may need looking into). c) If it was this (ie genetic response) then you would have to balance risks of high fats on this diet versus high sugars (if you come off it). Despite all the anti fat press, I still feel high sugar a major problem so, if the diet really cut your Hba1c to normal levels, I might be tempted to continue it risking the higher fat levels if none of the above (or other peoples suggestions!!) help (but can't comment on this as no real idea of where to go / relative risks!!!). d) It might be possible to continue the Dr B diet but aim more towards fresh veg and fish cutting out lots of fat / meat etc which might still sort out HbA1c yet not put fats up or finally e) possibly continue Dr B diet but adding the dreaded statin!!?? f) could lots of alcohol cause it or abnormal liver finction tests (I dunno but wonder - did they also check liver function on your blood tests???). g) have you had some medication change / added lots of megadose supplements that could cause it???
I suggest repeat (fasting) lipids plus do thyroid (and liver??) function tests (online if your GP won't) then if still high see what Dr B thinks but those are some of my immediate thoughts (based on no science or experience of note!) Hope it is of some help anyway but interested to see what others think...
my last HbA1c was 6.5% (that was 3 months ago), before that 6.8%, i am going to have another in 2 weeks, i am expecting it to be around 6&. it is slowly getting better.
During the first 5 months on this diet i gained around 2.5 kilograms (5 pounds),i ate despite not beeing hungry because i am the type of a person that loses weight easily and than can't get it back. after those 5 months i started eating less and for the last 2 months my weight is stable. i am not overweight. so because i am not losing or gaining weight i don't think it afected my lipids.
i was eating large amount of butter (110 grams per day, but don't forget i am 6 feet and 2 inches high). i decided not to eat more than 40 grams per day, and get more calories from nuts. but i don't really know how much can that affect my lipids.
ok so i have just realized i made a mistake when converting mmm/L in to mg/dl
total cholesterol 7.9 mmol/L = 305 mg/dl
tryglycerides: 1.65 mmol/L = 146 mg/dl
HDL: 1.24mmol/L = 48 mg/dl
LDL: 5.9mmol/L = 228 mg/dl
I pulled out my latest lab results to see what the accepted ranges are for cholesterol.
Total cholesterol 0-200. At 305, yours is high.
Triglycerides, 0-200; at 146, yours is within range.
HDL, 40-60; at 48, yours is within range.
LDL Optimal is <100. At 228, yours is Very High. Another important number is Triglycerides/to HDL which should be 2>. Yours is 3.04.
So it looks like you do need to be concerned. I would talk to your doctor about his recommendations. Dr. B. doesn't believe MANY people on his diet need to be on statins. But he does say that he has prescribed statins for a couple of patients with very high cholesterol due to Familial Hypercholesterolema. You could have a genetic test done to determine if that would include you.
I also think your A1C is too high for someone on this diet. Dr. B. likes his patients to aim for 4.8. Most of us try for low 5's. I think you might want to log everything you eat for a couple of weeks and count carbs, fat, and protein. Too much protein can also turn to glucose in your body.
mine looked scary as well after almost 9 months on this diet
I had total 7,8 (ref.3,3-6,9)
tryglycerides 0,63 (ref. 0,45-2,6)
HDL was much higher than yours - 2,1 (ref1,0-2,7)
LDL 5,06 (ref <5) I was sent home with a promise to think about statins or change diet :(.
It's very scary to get cholesterol results that you didn't expect and that you proactively tried to avoid. I had the same problem when I started eating Bernstein's way. I was put on statins temporarily for three months during which I made some changes. 1) I started tracking everything I ate in myplate (http://www.livestrong.com/myplate/). 2) I started eating only real, unprocessed food. 3) I started eating a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet. An example of how it works is that if I eat 6 grams of good carbs (veggies, avocado, herbs/spices) for breakfast, I double that amount (12 grams) for good sources of protein (fish, meat, eggs, nuts...) and then double the grams of protein for how much healthy fat (avocado, nuts, olive oil...) for that meal(24 grams). Logically, it seems like I would gain lots weight...but once I started eating this way, I lost lots of weight that I really didn't need to lose. But I feel full and satisfied and manage to wait the recommended 5 hours before eating again. (http://www.dietdoctor.com/faq) 4) I make sure that I walk or do some sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. I still follow this routine, and my most recent cholesterol lab results were: Total cholesterol-196, triglycerides-39, HDL-112, LDL-76. I don't know if any of this will be helpful, but I really hope you find something that works for you.