Yikes......my cholesteral is 315!!!!!

organic_donnaDecember 15, 2006

I just got my test results back. This number is not that shocking, that's what it was about a year ago. Please don't tell me to change my diet, I already eat very healthy. I am not overweight and I'm active. It runs in my family. My father died at 50 of a heart attack. I've been taking "Red Yeast Rice" which is a natural drug, but I don't take it often enough. I hate taking medication. It looks like I'll have to go on one of the statin drugs. My doctor is on vacation so I have to wait a while. Are any of you on statins? Any side affects?


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I can relate unfortunately. I am taking the generic for zocor and I haven't had any problems with it. Down to 240 from about where you were. I just hated giving up butter through!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 6:14PM
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My father has had high cholesterol his entire adult life. At one point it was over 500. He has a condition where his body creates too much cholesterol. Anyway, he has tried everything there is and the only thing that has worked is Vytorin. His cholesterol is very, very low now. The doctor actually hugged him and said he should be in an ad for them.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 6:30PM
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What are the side effects?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 7:24PM
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Yikes is right. Sorry to hear about your bad news. I got a lecture from my DR. at my last visit, though not as high as yours, and put on a strict diet. She even mentioned medication. Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:22PM
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That's pretty high, but what's the ratio? The ratio of LDL to HDL is as important as a total reading.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:43PM
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Vytorin is a combination of Zocor (simvastatin) and Zetia (ezetimbe), so I imagine it could have the side effects of both. Your doctor can tell you if it requires liver monitoring (I know one of the drugs my father used to take did). My father has not suffered any side effects. My husband (who uses the same doctor as my father, the doctor is one of my father's closest friends) is also on it now (as of a few days ago). They will run blood work in three months to see how it is working and to check his liver.

I guess you have to balance side effects against the danger of extremely high cholesterol.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 12:29AM
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My dad had high cholesterol, (not as high as yours though), and started taking omega oil supplements. It worked for him, and he did not have to take medication. His dropped 40 points in a few months.

He took Omega 3 - 7200mg (Six 1200 caps 3x day with meals) and Flax oil (high lignan) capsules.

He is going to change and try a combo of Omega 3/6/9 and the Red Yeast Rice that you mentioned.

I don't know if you saw the article linked below, but it's great. If the link goes bad, email me at: w dot stout at charter dot net. (I spell it out so email sweeps don't pick mine up and spam me to death :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Clicky

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 9:32AM
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I've heard flaxmeal can improve cholesterol levels - but I think I also heard it's not "compatible" with the red yeast rice. I haven't been paying full attention to this stuff since mine is just borderline at this point. I'm hoping the 5x week exercise program I started in January will help. I too have not the greatest family history with heart disease and I think I'm heading down that path - first HBP and borderline on the cholesterol. Donna - when I read the subject of this post, I thought - uh-oh - that could be me come January. I'll be interested to hear what you decide to do.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 10:18AM
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Thanks all,
I think my eating habits are healthy, but maybe I could use some improvement. I am going to start a food diary and see what I can improve. My M.D. is "Traditional Chinese Medicine" and I doubt he'll put me on statin drugs. After I talk to him I'll let you know what he says.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 9:58AM
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Triglycerides: 113
HDL: 70
LDL: 222
Total: 315

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 11:19AM
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"Please don't tell me to change my diet, I already eat very healthy. I am not overweight and I'm active. It runs in my family. My father died at 50 of a heart attack."

Yikes, Donna -- with an LDL (the "bad" cholesterol at 222, it should be below 135 if I'm not mistaken) and a total choesterol of 315, a dad who died young of a heart attack, and few lifestyle changes to make because you are already not overweight and have a good diet, please consider getting on medication right now to reduce your total cholesterol and LDL. Your liver manufactures most of the cholesterol in your body anyway, and you may be one of those people who have some type of familial hypercholesteremia or predisposition to heart disease. While I'm all for alternative medicine, I'd suggest seeing a savvy internist or cardiologist to get on some effective medication asap. Statins have been around and used for years...

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 1:12PM
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organic_donna, I understand you eat healthy and are genetically producing the hi cholesterol. Do you take niacin? Have you added Oat Bran to your diet? Two natural ways to help.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 1:35PM
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I may try niacin, but a friend of mine tried it and it made his face red all the time.
You are right, I have to get this under control. The last time it was that high I went on Red Yeast Rice, but double the dose and it came down to 240 in 6 weeks. Then I stopped taking it and it went back up. I need to take this more seriously.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 1:40PM
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Yup, looks like you need to get your LDL down. Your HDL looks pretty good - a reflection of an active lifestyle. Doctors like to see the Total to HDL to be below 4.0, and you're over that. You should seriously consider medication or going back on the red yeast rice or other homeopathic treatments.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 6:42PM
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Statins have been around for a while, yes, and there seems to be a push to get everyone in America on them. But the death rate from heart attacks has not changed. And there ARE serious side effects, many of them neurological. With your family history, I think you should see a savvy cardiologist who could test for what KIND of cholesterol particles you have - the very dense ones seem to be the most dangerous. Most of the red yeast rice around now isn't as concentrated as the kind used in the testing that showed very good results. So it was smart of you to take more....

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 8:26PM
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More on red yeast rice: the ones that worked in the studies contained 10-13.5 monocolins (whatever they are) per daily dose. A lot of the preparations don't list this info at all, but if they do, that's what you should look for.
The omega-3 would decrease inflammation, the prevailing theory being that cholesterol rushes in to patch areas that are damaged by inflammation.
All things being equal, I'd certainly try those two things first. But you need to find out if all things ARE equal - i.e., check out the genetic factor.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 11:01PM
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Donna, I hope you get on the medicine quickly, as it doesn't look like the natural remedies are working and you lead a healthy lifestyle. My friend (46) with Lupus was recently told by her doctor that she would need to start the Vytorin, which she did several weeks ago. She was quite upset about it but realizes that it is a necessity at this point. The only side effect she had was leg cramping that was AWFUL the first night, better the next, then gone. So far, so good!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 12:02AM
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The last time I took the Red Yeast Rice my cholesteral dropped from 317 to 240 in 6 weeks. I know I have a family history of heart disease but my family history of Alzheimer's scares me a million times more. I'm afraid if I see a cardioligist he is going to run a zillion tests on me. Last year I went to a gastroenternoligist and he ran $10,000.00 worth of tests on me. He diagnosed me with Crohn's disease and prescribed steriods. I never filled the prescription. My traditional chinese medicine MD said he didn't think it was Crohn's and I haven't had an "attack" now in 1&1/2 years. I get symptons about once a year.
mizsnooks, If I go see a cardioligist what tests exactly should I request? I read that one of the symptoms of statins was "fuzzy thinking", I already have enough of that problem. I appreciate the advice.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 8:19AM
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Side effects do not affect all people. My father and DH are both on Vytorin and neither has had a single side effect. I, on the other hand, seem to often suffer side effects from meds. Antibiotics always make me sick (supposedly that only happens to 2%) and my allergy medication makes me dizzy, so I take it at night only. Until you take something there is no way of knowing how it will affect you.

DH had a cardiac work-up last year. They ran a bunch of blood tests (sorry, don't know which ones) and did an EKG and a treadmill stress test. I had to push to get them to do the stress test.

"I'm afraid if I see a cardioligist he is going to run a zillion tests on me."

What's wrong with that? If my insurance would pay for a brain MRI I would get one. I say, anything noninvasive, go for it. The typical cardiac tests are less invasive than the ones for Crohn's disease.

In terms of alternative treatments for cholesterol, my SIL uses grinds flax seed into a banana yogurt shake she eats for breakfast. I remember her cholesterol dropped after starting that, but I don't recall how much (it must have been at least 20 points or I wouldn't remember it).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 11:41AM
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My MD phoned today, but I was out purchasing fruits, vegetables and salmon for my dinner. I will definately follow up.
The FDA tried to ban red yeast rice a while back because it's chemical properties were exactly the same as the statins. The FDA felt it was more of a drug than a herb and wanted to have control over it. $$$$ It does have side effects as do the statins. This article is from Mayo clinic.

Here is a link that might be useful: here is a link that might be helpful

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 3:12PM
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DH dropped his cholesterol by about 80-90 points and upped his good cholesterol following the advice in the book:
The New 8-Week Cholesterol Cure : The Ultimate Program for Preventing Heart Disease.

His new regimen includes some minor dietary changes as we were already eating healthy diet. And walking 40 minutes 4-5 times a week.

What he is NOT doing is the niacin. We were going to wait and see if everything else worked first before trying that, and everything else did work.

Also helpful - he bought a home cholesterol tester machine and strips (Amazon.com) called CardioChek, and he checked his progress every week at first, then leveled off after he was stable with the new numbers. He has a doc's appointment to confirm.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 6:56PM
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