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    But I thought I was Healthy!
    shannon9585 posted:
    I went to my doctor for a physical exam a few weeks ago. I just got back my lab results and am shocked to see I have high cholesterol. My written instructions from my doctor say I should increase my exercise and eat a low fat diet (I have not yet talked to my doctor about the results though). I'm confused because I think I already have a pretty healthy lifestyle.

    My work day is pretty sedentary (at a desk all day), but I walk to work and home each day (which is about 1.25 miles round trip) and usually take a walk on my lunch break (~30 minutes). I have recently begun jogging for exercise 2 to 3 days per week at a moderate pace (10-11 min per mile) for 40 minutes. On days when I don't jog, I often do pilates at home for 50 minutes. I usually go 2 days a week without exercise.

    I eat oatmeal every day for breakfast (and if not, I have whole-grain cereal). I often eat salad for lunch with low-fat dressing. Snacks may include fat-free yogurt, granola bars, nuts, or fruit. I never eat fast food and rarely go out to eat. Dinners vary, but are usually lean protein and veggies. I eat beans, rice, veggies, and fruit a lot. Not a lot of pasta or bread.

    Here's what my results say:
    Total cholesterol — 266
    HDL — 79
    LDL — 167
    Triglycerides — 167

    I know that I ate a chocolate chip cookie immediately before my test and I think I had steak for dinner the night before, though I normally only eat red meat once every two weeks or so. Is it possible that this caused a spike in my LDL level at the time my blood was drawn?

    Has anyone else who thought they were healthy had results like this? If my HDL level is good, should I be overly concerned about the LDL level?
    bobby75703 responded:
    Yes, eating a chocolate chip cookie right before a lipid test will skew the results. What they are trying to measure is your fasting lipids.

    The reason is, anytime we eat blood lipids go up. Had you eaten a huge 2000 calorie meal right before the test, your numbers would have been even higher. Had you fasted before the test your numbers would have been lower.

    Keep up the healthy lifestyle.
    Reta32205 responded:
    I agree with Bobbi, the cookie prior to the test will alter the numbers a bit. You should have received instructions to fast 10-12 prior to the test being done.

    Your cholesterol numbers don't add up right.


    Based on this formula your TC should be 279.4. Check your numbers again. There comes a point where a high HDL works against your total cholesterol number. But, your TC/HDL ratio is excellent at 3.34. They want this ratio to be below 4.5.

    You might ask your doctor to retest and you will need to fast 10-12 hours prior to the test. Continue doing what you are doing because you are on the right track already. Your numbers are low enough to have lifestyle changes effectively lower your cholesterol numbers. I am not a big fan of statins after some negative experiences.

    Shannon, you did not mention your age. If you are female, your cholesterol levels will rise after menopause.

    P.S. One of the signs of high cholesterol is feeling good. This is because cholesterol is one of the building block of serotonin, which is a feel good hormone in our brain.
    shannon9585 replied to Reta32205's response:
    Hello, thank you both for your replies. I spoke to my doctor and she said that, yes, my results may be skewed because I was not fasting. She recommended I continue watching my diet and getting exercise and we are going to test my fasting lipid levels in 6 months. I'm not sure why they even bothered to check them without telling me to fast first.

    I may also take a fish oil supplement just as an added measure. The doctor said 3 g daily would be ok.

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