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    Good HDL/Triglycerides...bad LDL?
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    Anon_235523 posted:
    So I went to the doctor today to find out my cholesterol is high. I'm in my early 20s and did not expect this...but the doctor was confused as well!

    My HDL cholesterol was amazing at 97, but my LDL was 166 and Total cholesterol was 276. My triglycerides were really good as well at 52. The total cholesterol/HDL ration was 2.8. So everything was normal except LDL and Total.

    This makes me nervous since I'm so young and dont have any risk factors. Not diabetic, no high blood pressure, etc etc. I dont want to start a statin since I'm still young -- so my doctor recommended red yeast rice. Does anyone have any insight on it?

    And does anyone else have weird lipid panel numbers? Kind of freaking out a little... Thanks
     
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    bobby75703 responded:
    No need to freak out. You will be fine.

    Neither the statin nor the red yeast rice have been shown to prevent heart disease.

    They do alter blood lipids, and they do that very well. But prevent heart disease? No. Prevent heart attacks and strokes in otherwise healthy people? Nope.

    Keep in mind your total cholesterol was considered normal back between 1970 and 1975. During that same period the US had its best rate of decline in death from heart attacks.

    Your LDL of 166 is a few points lower than a certain population that experienced the lowest rate of heart disease on the planet. (Their LDL was 170) so I wouldn't sweat about that either.

    Your HDL of 97 is considerably higher than this same population. their HDL was 62.

    Your young and healthy. Taking cholesterol lowering drugs bear risks. They are not risk free. Sometimes the consequences of these drugs can be quite nasty, while other folks can take them without any problems.

    Figuratively speaking Its a game of Russian Roulette. Place a statin in the revolver and spin the chamber. Put the statin gun to your head and pull the trigger. Nothing happened. Great, you didn't get injured. But what did you gain by doing this?

    Nothing.
     
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    Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Your first step should be diet and exercise - here's an article that gives you the rundown on LDL Cholesterol:

    http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/11-tips-to-cut-your-cholesterol-fast '

    And check this out as well: Red Rice Yeast: Buyer Beware

    Bobby - what brought you to the Cholesterol community? Did you have high numbers? And what do you do to stay healthy?

    Haylen
     
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    billh99 responded:
    Your doctor is not will informed.

    Red Rice Yeast is a naturally occurring statin and is from which the first statin was developed.

    And the quality varies a lot.

    http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20101025/red-yeast-rice-supplements-vary-potency

    "
    Oct. 25, 2010 -- The amount of active ingredients in red yeast rice supplements may vary widely, and some of the popular cholesterol -lowering products may also contain a toxic agent.
    In a new study, researchers analyzed 12 different red yeast rice supplements, which are used by millions as an alternative therapy for high cholesterol .
    They found the total level of monacolins, the active ingredients, varied from 0.31 milligrams to 11.15 milligrams per capsule. Four of the formulations also contained citrinin, a toxin from fungus that is harmful to the kidneys ."




    About risk factors you did not mention anything about family history.


    Nor what you diet or exercise levels are.



    Studies of native populations that don't get heart disease show that the ideal range of LDL is 50 to 70.



    http://forums.webmd.com/3/cholesterol-management-exchange/resource/[email protected]@


    One problem with the standard lipid profile is that it does not give a clear picture of what is going on.



    HDL comes is several different types and some is not as protective.


    Like wise there are small dense LDL particles which are much more likely to cause heart problems. And others are large particles which are much safer.


    I would see a cardiologist and ask for a detailed test such as VAP or Berkley Heart Lab. And if you have a family history a Lp(a) test.
     
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    billh99 responded:
    One good thing to help lower cholesterol is plant sterols/stanols which are available in an enriched margarine. But that requires you regularly consuming margarine.

    I prefer pills such as CholestOff or CardioTabs.
     
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    bobby75703 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
    "Bobby - what brought you to the Cholesterol community? Did you have high numbers? And what do you do to stay healthy? "


    Thanks for asking Haylen, I'll try to condense my answer, cause its a long story how I ended up here:


    I used to have very high triglicerides (1,040) and My old cholesterol total was 240. Today my cholesterol and triglicerides are much lower due the thyroid hormone replacement I'm taking.


    I was also a cholesterol lowering fanatic. I honestly believed cholesterol was pure villain and the lower the better.


    Between the thyroid medicine I was taking, aggressive dieting and exercise, I drove my lipid numbers to an all time low. Total cholesterol fell to 126. My LDL was only 51.


    The doctor said 'That's not good enough! You have the least amount of cholesterol a person can have, but the type of cholesterol you have is BAD!" You must take this drug for the rest of your life to prevent a heart attack 15 years from now."


    The doctor held up a sample of Niaspan.


    I was perplexed! I refused to take the drug for several months. Meanwhile my liver was fighting for my life and boosted my total cholesterol up from 126 to 175 with no changes. Little did I know that was a benefit.


    Eventually I caved in to pressure and took the drug.


    I fell sicker than I could have ever imagined. Locked into a paralytic state, I fought for every breath. I wanted to call 911 but couldn't move, couldn't speak to call for help. My heart was slamming against my chest with intense force. My body tingling like an electrical shock from head to toe. My body was on fire, and it felt as though someone had injected ammonia into my veins.


    When I thought I was well enough to get up and walk I fell to the floor. I could not support my weight. Tremors shot thru my body. Muscles spasm and jerked on their own, then I watched in horror as my skin crawled like a snake, muscles were moving in a wave like motion. Then more twitching and flinching.


    That was ten years ago. December 7th 2001.


    Today I still live with muscle fatigue which impedes my ability to go more than 6 hours without resting. I am only 54 years old, but feel like I am 84. I'm in muscle pain every day.


    Sometimes I wish I didn't survive it.


    So what do I do to stay healthy? I eat a balanced diet and I don't eat low fat anymore. I limit refined carbohydrates. I eat fresh food. I stay clear of drugs I don't need, and stay as far away as I can from industry sponsored propaganda. I no longer monitor my cholesterol, although last check years ago was 165 with a large dose of thyroid hormone.


    I am no longer afraid of cholesterol and now recognize it as an important nutrient which gives us life.
     
    avatar
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to bobby75703's response:
    Bobby - thank you for sharing your personal story - I'm sorry to hear about your muscle pain - is there no remedy? Are you able to do any exercise?

    Haylen
     
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    bobby75703 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Thanks for your concern Haylen.

    There is no known cure for what has happened. Rest and good diet appear to help. It comes and goes so I do get a break from the muscle aches now and then. I can be active for short periods, but if I push myself beyond my limitations, then my muscles start to fail.

    Its a game of good diet, respecting my limitations, and making the best out of 6 hours of available activity per day.

    I do simple exercise now. Like a few crunches, walking, very short bike rides. I work part time because I can't make 8 hours on the job. My shift is only 5 hours. 4 days per week.
     
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    bdyrcker responded:
    To the OP:

    Your HDL and Trigs are great. Trigs below 100 and high HDL usually indicate that your LDL is of the "good" kind; i.e. the LDL particles are large and "fluffy". This type of LDL is benign. You can get a VAP test to confirm this. Look for Pattern A LDL on the report. As another poster said, limit carbohydrate, even "whole grains". Carbs raise triglycerides. Don't be afraid of saturated fat, (but keep carbs low) as sat fat actually raises HDL. You won't hear that from your doc, most likely.
     
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    Anon_235523 responded:
    Thanks guys for all the suggestions and insight. I actually work in a pharmacy and talked to my pharmacist. She told me to stay away from red yeast rice as well. I think I'm just going to alter my diet and start exercising more -- I really dont want to take any pills! There are too many side effects associated with medications nowadays.

    To Bill: I dont have a family history of cholesterol problems or heart problems. I actually have the healthiest genes in my family -- nothing runs in it. My dad is actually 75 and not taking a single medication. I work all the time/in school working on my doctorate so I dont get as much exercise as I should. Thats one thing I need to work on. And tend to eat a lot of fast food when I'm super busy.

    To Bobby: I'm so sorry for everything you've been through! Just makes me more confident in my decision to stay away from any kind of medication!

    To bdy: I figured with low triglycerides and high hdl -- I couldn't be as bad off as the doctor was making it out to be. I think I may get re-tested by another doctor in the near future.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
    avatar
    moborn responded:
    I am much older than you--my cholesterol started climbing from 179 to 210. My doctor told me to exercise. I started going to the gym and have lowered my cholesterol to 190. You are very young to have such a problem. It could be hereditary. That means you may have to work to keep it down. Of course there is always watching what you eat. I found I was "buttering" too much.


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