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High cholesterol?

So my bloodwork came back for my life insurance policies that we set up for DH and myself. Apparently normal cholesterol is under 200. Borderline high is 200-240. High is over 240. Mine is 290. I'm a little freaked out about this. I am 29 years old, average size 6-8, I grew up very active and have been a regular runner forever. We eat pretty healthy, we use real butter and bacon like twice a year and we don't eat fast food or other high fat items. I eat a lot of the good fats like salmon and olive oil. I'm guessing most of it came from hereditary ways.

I plan to see a doctor and go over everything, but I was just curious if anyone here has experience with it. Like different medication options or what has worked for you in terms of lowering it?

                                                                 

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Re: High cholesterol?

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    My cholesterol is weird - it's always above 200, but my "good" cholesterol is crazy high, and my ratio is also good so I've never worried about it. 

     

    My dad died of a heart attack 4.5 years ago though...I'm going to see a new doctor in December to get a physical and I fear that maybe she'll want me to go on cholesterol meds - FI already is on them, and he's in pretty good shape (has to be, he's in the Army). 

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    I haven't had issues with it, but friends of mine have had cholesterol problems despite being healthy by all other accounts. Studies have found that the cholesterol you eat plays less of a role in your blood cholesterol than fats and carbs do. This would explain why one friend's cholesterol problems stopped once she went on a Paleo diet where she eats a crap ton of red meat!


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    I have cholesterol issues too. I know my diet could be better, but even when I'm super strict, my levels are high. Very hereditary, which isn't fair! Especially when it sounds like you have very healthy habits. I work out a lot and try so hard, but I just can't get my levels down without medication. Which I do not want to take. My doctor had me on a statin. The side effects are no fun - lots of extra aches and pains (in addition to those I already have from working out!). The one I was on is also kind of scary as far as pregnancy goes. My doctor suggests going off it 6 months before even trying to get pregnant and I've read that it can cause serious problems with the fetus. I worry about a surprise pregnancy when I'm on that medication. I stopped taking it about a month ago to see if I could manage my cholesterol on my own, but my levels are still elevated. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow and we'll see how that goes and if there are other options.
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    I have high cholesterol, which is dumb because I really don't eat unhealthy (despite my recent thread about cheese, ha), and I exercise 4-5 times a week. My grandmother has been a vegetarian for thirty years, and never eats any junk food, and also exercises every day, but she still has high cholesterol and diabetes, so I'm a little worried I just got the short end of the stick genetic wise.  At least my good cholesterol is surprisingly high.  

    Nordic Naturals has a really high quality omega vitamin that helped me to get my cholesterol down a bit.  I also upped my salmon intake.  Olive oil is "king" as my doctor says, but coconut oil is also good.  I just got blood work done last week, so I'll get to see if my cholesterol went up or down again soon.  Ugh.  


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    My cholesterol is weird - it's always above 200, but my "good" cholesterol is crazy high, and my ratio is also good so I've never worried about it. 

     

    My dad died of a heart attack 4.5 years ago though...I'm going to see a new doctor in December to get a physical and I fear that maybe she'll want me to go on cholesterol meds - FI already is on them, and he's in pretty good shape (has to be, he's in the Army). 

    I have the same thing--technically I'm a bit high overall (215) but my HDL ("good") cholesterol is super fucking high.

    You're probably right that your situation is hereditary more than diet-related. My father has had high cholesterol since he was 19 years old. I would caution you against necessarily going on a cholesterol-lowering medication if you don't have other problems. I don't have a source for this, so I apologize, but I have heard that statins, specifically, do not have a proven effect on lowering heart attack risk in people who have not already had one--where they HAVE been shown to be effective is in preventing a second heart attack in people who have already had one AND have high cholesterol. High cholesterol in and of itself is not, to my knowledge, an indicator of specific health problems. It does tend to be combined with other issues though, so as always, talk to your doc. 

    Cholesterol meds (specifically statins, not others) can have shitty side effects, including affecting your muscles (like, as in deteriorating them). Both my mother and father experienced this side effect, so personally I am planning to avoid going on any statins.

    One thing you could do all on your own that is medication-free is to start doing some high-intensity interval training in addition to running. It has been shown to raise HDL cholesterol, so perhaps you can improve that ratio, even if you don't necessarily lower your overall number with exercise alone. As an anecdote: my cholesterol was 215 when I was 20 or so, and the ratio was high on triglycerides and LDL. Today, my diet is a million times healthier and I do interval training twice a week. My cholesterol is still 215, but my LDL and triglycerides are within normal range, and my HDL is INSANE, so my doctor is officially Not Worried. Your mileage may vary, but in general I feel like switching up your exercise game is usually a good idea for a healthy person.
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    This baby knows exactly how I feel
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    Thanks all! I will get the paperwork in the mail which has the good and bad levels so I'm anxious to see that. I'm hoping it will be very high in the good kinds since I eat a lot of those items.

    My dad said the same thing- that it doesn't necessarily mean "heart attack" becuase it depends if your particular platelettes are sticky or slippery. He said there was a famous marathon runner in the 70's who died of a heart attack and his cholesterol was only 150 but he happened to have the "sticky" kind that build up instead of flow with the blood. He said eskimo people sometime have levels of 500 and they don't have heart attacks because it's a lot of the hearty good kinds of fats. So that makes me feel better about NOT wanting to go on medication. I don't really want that stuff messing with my body as I'm trying to get pregnant.

                                                                     

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    FI had high cholesterol last year which seemed odd cuz he was only 26 at the time, plays soccer, runs a lot, is in really good shape, and we cook almost every night (like cook from scratch and eat a lot of vegetables, salmon, and good stuff). 

    We both cut back on stuff that has saturated fat, like ranch dressing, cheese, etc and ate less bacon which was a bit of a challenge cuz we both LOVE bacon. After just making those few small changes, he got the health screening again this year for our insurance and his cholesterol was way down, in the healthy range. 

    I know you said you eat healthy but maybe there's a few adjustments you could make? Don't worry too much till you actually get to talk with a doctor. This may not be as bad as it seems, and you probably have some options on how to proceed from here. Best of luck! 
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    I have something called hypercholesterolnemia, its hereditary. Two of my 3 kids have it too, it doesn't matter your age or really how you eat (that much) if you have something like that, diet really doesn't help much.  You have to have meds with it, but if it is because of your diet then simple changes can help a lot.  My DD has 2 kids and may try one more time, the Dr. has her go off the meds when trying and during pregnancy.
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    Ah I found my numbers from last year:

    Overall - 227 (borderline high according to Mayo Clinic)

    HDL - 90 (best according to Mayo Clinic, 60mg/dL and above)

    LDL - 113 (near ideal according to Mayo Clinic, 100-129mg/dL)

    Ratio - 2.5 (I can't find reference to this ratio anywhere - I "think" I remember the sheet we got last year at the health fair that it should be under 4.0)

    MAYO CLINIC

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