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    Is the standard lipid test sufficient
    BizBroker posted:
    I am a 69 year old male in fairly good health. I have had cholesterol numbers for many years that have indicated my levels were slightly out of range. I started to use red yeast rice and that was keeping my cholesterol numbers fairly normal. After fixing an arterial blockage in my leg, my doctor put me on Pravastatin to get my LDl and total cholesterol numbers very low. I took that for a while and indeed my numbers were greatly improved. However, I had side effects which led me to question whether the statin was causing these effects. My family doctor then introduced me to a different cholesterol test called the VAP test. This test breaks down the numbers to a greater degree. Essentially what I was told (and have read) is that high LDL and high total cholesterol numbers do not necessarily mean that I have a problem. I know this goes against everything that we hear. This VAP test gave me other numbers to look at and these numbers indicated that I may not have a problem. I stopped the statins (with my doctor's approval) and the two side effects disappeared. I will retake the VAP test in June to see where my numbers are and then consider the next step in my test. There are several websites that talk about the overuse of statins and one of the potential side effects that I encountered. Let's see what the future holds for me.
    bobby75703 responded:
    Hi Bizbroker,

    Why not look to see if you even have heart disease in the first place? Then go from there. Ultrasound will get a good look at your carotid artery, your heart valves and your leg arteries, with no radiation exposure.

    Cholesterol is not a disease in itself. I never understood the logic in treating a person for a disease they didn't have, just based upon a cholesterol number.

    Unfortunately, this happens a lot.
    BizBroker replied to bobby75703's response:
    I agree and luckily my doctor does too. I have checked the carotid artery-it is fine. Since I had the angioplasty in my leg (2 years ago), I have had my legs checked and they are fine. I didn't realize I could check the heart valves in a non invasive/non radiation way - I will have to check with my doctor next time I see him (in June).

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