Cholesterol Results – Static, No Statins

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Bless me, doctor, for I have sinned.  It’s been 11 months since my last cholesterol test. (Sorry, could not resist putting this in Catholic confessional format!)

So, I finally worked up the courage to have my cholesterol tested a few weeks ago and the news is – well – fine.  Not great.  No movement in the right direction.  Indeed, some movement in the wrong direction. BUT the following magic words were uttered by my doctor, “We can keep monitoring – no need to start you on statins.”

She didn’t say ‘yet’ but I know she was thinking it.

Some of my friends/blog readers have been asking me to report actual results.  I’ve hesitated because I’m not sure the actual numbers are relevant.  But maybe it would be helpful to share – so geek that I am, I graphed my cholesterol test results.

 

Not a graph geek?  Prefer words to numbers and line charts?  Here’s a summary:

The February 2002 and August 2008 were ‘baseline’ results from regular physicals. Following the red line, you can see the 228 and 211 total cholesterol levels that are a result of my family history of high cholesterol. Sigh.

The big spike up in August 2010 – total cholesterol of 267 and a big bump up in LDL (bad) cholesterol – were alarming.  Indeed, that was the impetus for starting this blog to learn more about cholesterol and manage it via diet and exercise to stay off statins.

The last three data points – March 2011, November 2011 and October 2012 show that my blog/focus on diet and exercise to keep my cholesterol in check have been relatively successful. Since starting the blog, here’s what’s happened:

  • Total Cholesterol in 2011 was down at the 225 range, which is decent for me.  But my latest 239 number reflects my faltering discipline in recent months. Probably I’ll never meet ‘goal’ of  under 200, but clearly I did better in 2011…gotta’ get focus back.
  • Triglyceride level is stubbornly hovering above the 130 goal. As explained in Do You Know Your Non-HDL Cholesterol, I need to cut starches and impose a limit of 1 glass of wine per night.  This is proving to be my Waterloo.
  • HDL (good) cholesterol is increasing, which is good.  This can be counter-intutitive… so think of H for HDL – and that you want this number to be HIGH.
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol went up to 138, which is not good.  (Think of L for LDL – and that you want this number to be LOW.) As I stopped taking Metamucil and fish oil pills in recent months, I need to get back on the right eating/exercising track and see what happens.

So that’s where things stand.  Not a lot of change, but one amazing result: no Lipitor for me. Sorry Pfizer, but goal met.  Woot.

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