High Cholesterol

Dotty9June 25, 2004

Like I don't have enough going on right now, I got a letter from my doctor today,with a report that my cholesterol is very high.(around 300). She enclosed a prescription.

I'll probably have to take the prescription, but aside from that, what is the fastest way to lower cholesterol? I know,diet and exercise,but how much cholesterol in food is allowed?
Dotty

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trekaren

A combination of high fiber, low fat foods, and making sure to use good oils, will help. But you need to talk to your doctor for advice. It's strange to just mail you results and a prescription without a consultation to go with it.

In my weight watchers group, the diet of low fat, high fiber, eventually led to several women in my group lowering their cholestorol enough to go off their cholestorol medicines.

Good luck on your quest for better health, but you'll need more than luck. You will need a physician who will really help guide you in your efforts.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 9:32AM
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Dotty9

TREKaren, Along with a diet to lower my cholesterol, I also need to lose some weight. I know that WW's is a very good and healthy diet,but can you get good info on the right types of choices to lower cholesterol,as well as the weight,from joining and going to the meetings? I have thought about joining in the past,but maybe this is just what I need to push me over the edge. ~Dotty~

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 1:50PM
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trekaren

It would be beneficial for you to join and learn some good lifestyle choices. For me it has to be a new lifestyle. If I eat the old way, I gain gain gain, and feel terrible. I guess once I flirted with the big 4-0 the body ain't what it used to be.

My motivation was diabetes, my family has it everywhere. So the only thing I could change was my weight.

Once joining, I heard story after story of not only cholestorol improvement, but others who quit taking BP meds, too.

The WW points are based on a combination of fiber, calories and fat grams. The higher the fiber and lower the calories and fat grams, the less points a food is.

So I learned to look for good combinations.

The other two lifestyle changes that were very important for me were portion control, and eating 5 fruits/veggies per day.

I find that by following those two key things that overall my eating habits are in line.

Portion control really helped me when eating out. Your fist is approximately a cup. When eating out, I would portion out a fist size portion of the dish, and put the rest in a to-go box.

It would not be a bad idea for you to at least join for a 10-week stint. See how it goes and hear inspirational stories!

I am now at goal and have reduced my risk for Type 2 diabetes from 10 (on a scale of 1 to 10) to 2!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2004 at 9:23AM
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Dotty9

TREKaren, Thanks so much for your info. That's great that you are at your goal,and seem to have everything under control. I know the WW's is a very good diet; I've also thought about the South Beach Diet also; have the book,but havn't had a chance to read it yet.I do know I have to do something,and soon.
Dotty

    Bookmark   June 27, 2004 at 8:35PM
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trekaren

I have not read the South Beach book but from folks I know who have done it, they say its principles are similar to WW and sound, nutritionally. It has aspects of Atkins, too, as I understand it has different phases you go through and eat different things.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 11:23AM
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gandbb

I applaud your efforts to do what you can to lower your cholesterol, but do please keep in mind that there is also a genetic component that you may or may not be able to control. What I am trying to say is, don't beat yourself up if diet and exercise don't do it for you. It doesn't mean you have failed.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 4:16PM
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Ginny_Ca

Exercise is very important. If you aren't already, start walking 5 days a week. Work up to 45 minutes. Pace should be brisk but enjoyable.

I've heard the following things help and I take all of them:
oat bran (work up slowly to 1/4 cup a day,) flax seed ground up in milkshake, lethicin tablets (haven't tried yet but friend said it can be magic!!,) I stopped taking Glucosamine/Condroitin because I heard it can raise your cholesterol, evening primrose oil, T cinamon a day (just heard that one.) Most of those items go in a power shake I have each morning.........add dry milk and a banana and enjoy!!

My numbers were over 300 and my doc gave me a prescription. Being a nurse and a skeptic I didn't take it. Side effects may be rare, but can be very very serious!!

My numbers came way down by losing 8 pounds, walking 4-5 days a week for 30-45 minutes, and stopping the glucosamine.

According to my doctor, numbers alone do not mean you need to take meds. Depends on how high and if you have other risk factors - overweight, diabetic, smoker, heart disease in your family etc..........I had none except being a bit overweight so my doc let me go a long time before she gave me the prescription.

There are lots of ideas out there, many of which are easy to try.

Ginny

    Bookmark   July 31, 2004 at 9:44PM
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carolpolki

Dotty, it's better to use natural products. Check out this Wall Street Journal article and think twice about taking a prescription.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cholesterol Drug Use Raises Questions About Side Effects

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 10:11AM
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locomo

does anyone know if home cholesterol monitors (like these: http://cholesteroltestkits.com/cholesterol-monitors) are a good alternative to frequent trips into the doctor to check my levels

Here is a link that might be useful: Home cholesterol testing

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 8:12PM
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iloveexercise

Eat Cheerios.LOL,sorry just making a joke.Remember that commercial,"I lowered my cholesterol!"

For real though,whole grain foods like Cheerios are good,oatmeal,veggies.
Cut out the fast food,bacon,anything greasy.

Milk is a big one.If you drink alot of milk and it's whole~that has alot of cholesterol.Try Skim or a milk alternative (soy or rice milk is pretty good)

Try lean meats at the grocery store.I prefer skinless boneless chicken over the chicken with skin and fat anyways.(yuck)
Exercise is great.Doesnt have to be strenous.A bit of light walking or some low impact aerobics will do wonders.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 2:01AM
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devorah

Let us please remember that most cholesterol is made in the liver and doesn't come from our food. For years I ate oat bran and all the rest of it. I didn't eat any saturated fat - no meat, no dairy - didn't do a thing. Recently my Dr. sent a sample of my blood to the Berkeley heart lab and the results show that my problem is hereditary. I still do all the dietary stuff, and I still take a statin, but now I am also taking 500 mg. of niacin a day and will work up to 2,000 in a bid to slow down the build-up of plaque in my arteries.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 1:48PM
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iloveexercise

I think you are right devorah,but I also think eating bacon cheeseburgers probably wouldnt help.:)
There is some evidence to show that a high fiber/whole grain diet can lower cholesterol.
In people who are geneticly predisposed,it may not do much.That is up to your doctors to tell you.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 9:05PM
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popeda

We lived many years in Germany teaching for the Army. We usually saw the top German physicians since they were allowed to have pay patients and lower ranking ones did not enjoy that perk. Our internist saw that my DH's cholesterol was very high; he said for the next month, don't eat anything with eyes. We were almost vegetarian with that. It did lower his numbers a bit, but the dr. said, well, you never get more than about 10% with diet. He put DH on a statin.

As you read about statins, they do have some side effects like muscle pain (although changing statins will usually help), but the news about them preventing heart attack is very strong, to the point that many drs. are taking them regardless of their cholesterol levels. Do some research about statins and I think you will feel better about your prescription and worry less about your diet.

We do eat things with eyes now, although we don't go overboard with those cholesterol no-no's. My DH's cholesterol is very low taking his statin.

As far as "natural products" go, there is a point where you have to decide if you are going to trust the training and experience of your doctor and try to follow his advice, or not. I don't take anything not advised by a doctor, but I have had doctors (including my German one back then)advise some things that would fall into the arena of supplements. But I can't imagine a doctor telling you, oh forget that statin (which has a lot of studies to back it up) and take this natural cure. Sorry if this offends anyone, but that is my humble opinion on that. We each follow our own path, and events send us down different paths. My father was very convinced about natural supplements and would "hide" what he was taking from his doctors. I did some research once and convinced him to stop all of them and let his prescribed medications work alone. He improved drastically; at least one of his supplements worked against his blood thinners; it's a marvel he didn't develop a clot and die when it hit his heart valve. That sent me down a path of deciding to follow my dr's advice. What sends one down the natural supplements, ignore the dr. path is incomprehensible to me.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 11:36AM
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yayagal

I tried the statins and diet and neither worked. I had hepatitis as a child and it seems my liver is just manufacturing too much so I've stopped the statins as they can cause kidney damage which I already have. I live a healthy life style and have good bp.
A top cardiologist told me that the time to really worry is when you have high cholesterol and high blood pressure combinations, then you MUST take the statins.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 8:42AM
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