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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Cholesterol Story

Five months ago I had my annual decade physical. One of the things I knew I need tested is my cholesterol.  See, I have a history.  When I was 17, my total was 197 (200 is considered high for a child).  I weighed 115 pounds, skinny a twig.  A decade goes by and I have it rechecked, total was approximately 220 (going off memory for this one.)  At this point I get the "Exercise more and eat less to lose weight" from my doctor, my weight being about 170.  Understandable.

Fast forward to July 2010.  Yep, it's been about 10 years.  My immense hope was that since I'd been exercising regularly and eating better that my cholesterol would be about the same.  I was crushed on reading the letter from my doctor.

Total: 280
LDL: 197
HDL: 46
Triglicerides: 208

Another over 240 total is considered high.  LDL is your 'bad' level, they'd like it under 100.  HDL is your 'good' level and they like that to be over 40 (so I barely cut it, which made me sad becuz exercise is what raises it and if I'm already active where does that leave me?) Triglicerides should be under 150.

The doctor recommended I get 200 mg or less of cholesterol in my diet per day.  Most days I don't even make 100 mg.  Sometime next month I will go get a recheck.  I fear if the numbers don't change enough he will recommend statins.  Do I risk the bad side effects of statins, or risk a possible heart attack or stroke down the road?

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