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High cholesterol and blood donation
ZivBnd posted:
I am very healthy but have relatively high cholesterol levels (250+) and I was wondering if donating blood would hurt the recipient and if it would reduce my cholesterol levels over time. If there is an oversupply of cholesterol in my existing blood and I remove a pint, my body has to manufacture another pint of fresh blood, and it won't be manufactured with cholesterol... It seems like every time I donate blood, my body has an opportunity to clean up my blood supply a little bit at a time. I exercise 4-6 times a week and feel great, but I really don't want to take drugs/statins.
toneman84084 responded:
I can understand your reluctance to take statins, but if you are exercising as much as you say and your diet is good and your cholesterol is still high, you may need a statin to get your levels lower. It would be helpful to know how your numbers breakdown, it will help the doctor give you a better answer.

I have been on statins for years, they have worked great for me with no side effects, but everyone is different. As far as I know there are no restrictions for donating blood as far as cholesterol is concerned.

Hope it all works out, don't be afraid of statins, just do the responsible thing and get your blood tested every 6 months for a while to determine if your body is tolerating the drugs and report any side effects to your doctor.

Good luck!

ZivBnd responded:
Thanks, Toneman, I haven't made the best diet choices, but after a bad cholesterol report 6 months ago I did eat more oatmeal and doubled my fiber intake, ate a lot more fruit and veg, cut out the eggs and red meat, but I still ate chicken and fish and 6 months later, my cholesterol stayed at 276, hdl was 65 and the ldl was 181. My triglycerides were 142 all of which is right about where I was in 2008. But I was kind of wondering about my glucose which was 107, which is 14 points higher than last time. I am 6'3", 46 years old, and I usually weigh around 204-210 and I was right at 210 on the day of the blood test. My father died of an accident that saved him from emphysema, my grandfathers died of old age at 91 and an industrial accident, and both my father and my maternal grandfather, the one that lived to 91, had high cholesterol. I don't know about my uncles cholesterol levels but I have lost 10 of the 11 that I have, and they have all died of something other than a heart attack except for my Uncle John. So 1 of 11 has died of a heart attack, and my surviving uncle is a tough old coot, and will probably outlive me. I gave up ribeyes, burgers and BBQ for 6 months and did not gain a bit on the cholesterol. It just seems like if my body has to make new blood, due to me donating a pint every other month, it won't be making the new blood with the cholesterol in it, so it will reduce my cholesterol by a noticeable amount.
ZivBnd responded:
But not by much and not for long. I asked my nurse if my cholesterol would go down after I donated and she laughed it off. I kept after it, and she said that yes, my cholesterol would go down by a noticeable amount but I wasn't donating half my blood so the reduction would be slight, and that by the time my body had reproduced the missing blood, if I didn't improve my diet, my cholesterol would go right back up. But, it does sound like my cholesterol will go down about 10% each time I donate blood and since my numbers are up around 280, that gets me close to 250, and if my new diet keeps me there, in two months I can donate again and get down to 225. Healthy eating, exercise and blood donation, maybe I won't do the statins for 6 months and see if the blood donation lowers my numbers enough to avoid taking drugs...

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