High cholesterol

Daruk

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Is there a cholesterol scale out there anywhere? I see plenty that don't make sense of the figure of 8.7 that the doc just gave me.
So in general I'm healthy, have low BP but have never paid attention to Cholesterol. Now I know there are two camps about it, but I'm at the point where a) I know I need to change my diet and b) I know I need to spend more time destressing. I know both contribute to high cholesterol... but in the mean time I may just take the docs advice and go onto statins.

Is there a scale out there relative to the 8.7 the doc gave me of what's considered good or bad? High or low?
Thanks!
 

Freddl

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Your level is high. Enough so that you should be worried. You level should be below 5.

You will need to change your diet as well as start using statins to control your cholesterol.
 

Tomtomtom

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Statins have serious side-effects but doctors prescribe them like they're SuperCs because the pharma companies have paid for lots of marketing oops I mean research that shows they're amazing for controlling this proxy for health outcomes. Everyone I know who's been on them has eventually quit because of the rhabdomyolysis, neuropathy, etc.

So in general I'm healthy
Keep it that way in part by avoiding prescriptions. IMO unless you've actually had a heart attack, or have gangrene eating your leg, they are the health equivalent of a debit order.
 

Naks

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Went for a Discovery Health check this morning, mine is 7.3.

It's been high since 2008, and I was on statins for a couple of years. However, the side-effects and the latest research show very little correlation between cholesterol and incidence of heart attacks, so I stopped.

I find a diet with lots of avo, eggs, and nuts brings it down a couple of notches, so I'm sticking with that for now.
 

justplain

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rather get a comprehensive test at PathCare for example.
Total cholesterol wont tell you much.
You need to know your exact HDL and LDL levels.
Also have your triglycerides checked and LDL partical size.
The guys at the PAthcare will be able to help pick the correct tests.
For example
738737
 
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3Gee

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Statins has its place in people with a genetic predisposition to very high cholesterol

Problem is the pharmaceutical industry pushes statins like any other drug out of greed.

Antibiotics are just as much over prescribed.
 

Ancalagon

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Bear in mind that tests have found that statins do in fact lower cholesterol but cause a higher incidence of all cause mortality. So, they do what they say on the tin but make you more likely to die than if you were not taking them. Not necessarily of heart disease, just in general.

Are you overweight? Do you smoke?
 

The Voice

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Regardless of what new study comes out next week, bad cholesterol is bad, and causes your arteries to get lined with fat, which leads to them narrowing, which inevitably leads to a heart attack (or stroke). There are multiple reasons for arteries failing in that way, but bad cholesterol is one of them.

After 4 heart attacks, I'll be taking statins every morning for the rest of my life, probably. I'd rather keep taking them knowing they'll keep my bad cholesterol in check, keeping me alive just a little bit longer, than going off of them on the advice of whoever suddenly decided they're an expert cardiologist and spewed out some crap article somewhere.

Science saved my life, and I'm happy for it to keep me alive, too.
 

Daruk

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Bear in mind that tests have found that statins do in fact lower cholesterol but cause a higher incidence of all cause mortality. So, they do what they say on the tin but make you more likely to die than if you were not taking them. Not necessarily of heart disease, just in general.

Are you overweight? Do you smoke?
I weigh more than I should but can still do 10-15 pull ups and 30-40 dips. I'd like to lose 10 kilos.
Don't drink and don't smoke, no.
 

Daruk

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Family history?
It's possible but neither my mom nor my dad are on cholesterol meds. My mom had a mild heart attack some years back but she was a 30 a day smoker. I'm pretty sure it's hereditary.
 

Milano

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It's possible but neither my mom nor my dad are on cholesterol meds. My mom had a mild heart attack some years back but she was a 30 a day smoker. I'm pretty sure it's hereditary.
Could be. After you lose the 10 kilos, de-stress and change your diet it will be interesting to see the movement in numbers. Only chance mine will ever be tested is at the morgue.
 

The Voice

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Saying cholesterol is bad because it blocks arteries is the same as saying platelets are bad because they block a knife wound...

Google "cholesterol myth".
Actually, you're quite right. It's why one of the drugs they give you after a heart attack or angioplasty is an anti-platelet - platelets block your narrowed arteries, too. So they are bad, sometimes.

One of the major causes of heart attacks is ruptured plaque (a build up caused by LDL cholesterol) - your body immediately reacts by sending platelets to try and fix the injury. But the build up just blocks the artery, starving the heart of blood and oxygen, i.e. a heart attack.

Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in the developed world. I think it's causes are pretty well documented by now, as are the treatments.

Google "ldl cholesterol and heart disease".
 

Daruk

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Could be. After you lose the 10 kilos, de-stress and change your diet it will be interesting to see the movement in numbers. Only chance mine will ever be tested is at the morgue.
I think the stress is definitely a factor. I need to get into the gym more and get my body managing cortisol more effectively I think
 

The Voice

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It's possible but neither my mom nor my dad are on cholesterol meds. My mom had a mild heart attack some years back but she was a 30 a day smoker. I'm pretty sure it's hereditary.
There are a lot of things that can contribute to it. Smoking is the only thing that contributes 100% to it every time.

In my case, I smoked for 26 years (never heavy, but I did), I wasn't active, and my diet wasn't great. I also have a family history of heart disease (killed both parents), so I guess I had it coming.

But, even if you do everything right, you can still be at risk, so it may be worthwhile getting referred to a cardiologist if you're worried. Super fit athletes have dropped dead from heart attacks, too, remember.
 

krycor

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So it depends on family history, race , age, exercise, stress/job & diet.

Family history & race you can’t control but it will explain if you have a high norm or a low norm.. Ie if you a saint when it comes to health related things.. your level will still hover about at 2.5-3 for risk factors.. guys with not risk hover at 0.5-1.5 despite eating a steak daily lol.

Age.. older you are the harder it gets control it without medicinal intervention. While it’s partly true that age itself is an issue.. the real reason is that factors causing the issue are harder to correct ie lifestyle (diet, exercise, stress). Generally under 30yr olds have lower levels if healthy without family history.

Diet - (in your control) well cooked meat, oily foods, low intake of green veg & fruit should be fixed. Recover time is long.. 6-9m to notice improvement.

Exercise - (in your control) Cardio (2-3x a week) is your friend, careful if you already old and have a high level.. I’d say you see impact shorter periods if done sufficiently 3-6m to see impact.

Stress - (not/in control) this one is hard.. technically you can and cannot fix this but the exercise actually helps with this in particular weight training and outdoor activity.

So for me.. mine was 4.9-5.2 when I started going to gym, fixing diet etc when I moved up to Jhb.. yr later I brought that down to 2.7.

But life has its ups and downs. So was inactive for a year and a bit till end of last year.. last year it shot up to 5.7 so been actively working at bringing it down again but it seems harder this round, 7-8yrs after the last time I changed it.

Need to do a test soon but if I can get under 4.5 I’d be happy since I started targeting results 6m ago. I guess staying active is key.
 
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krycor

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I’m not a fan of drugs, but older you are the more likely you will need it especially if above 7 and old due to needing a quicker impact time.
 
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