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A question about cholesterol medicine

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Old 07-17-2006, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default A question about cholesterol medicine

I wanted to ask ~ about cholesterol medicine. I thought I had heard somewhere that once you have to start taking them, that you can never get off them. Does anybody know if that is true, or did I misunderstand what I heard?

I know I have heard tell about people who changed their lifestyles and were able to stop taking blood pressure medicine or diabetic medicine.

I knew this was coming and could kick myself. Had a dr appointment last week and she checked my labs and today called and told me my cholesterol was up and that I need to start taking medicine for it.

I haven't been doing very good lately. I was trying to go easy on myself and think that at least I was maintaining (within a few pounds range) instead of just going up, up, up. Lot of stressful things going on at work and at home, and the good habits (which weren't very firmly in place to begin with) have kind of gotten pushed aside.

I have another appointment in about a month for my yearly check up. I wonder ~ do any of you know if it is possible to get one's cholesterol (if I do the things I am supposed to do) down some in that time? I don't know if that is possible or not, but I am thinking that if I can get it to come down a little, maybe she will give me a chance to work on it some more on my own with out taking that medicine. My track record hasn't been very good so far though.
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:19 PM   #2
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First off, how high is it? LDL and HDL both, please.
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:22 PM   #3
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Yeah, it is, although, if you don't think you can seriously continue losing weight, then you might be better off on the medicine.
I'm using a book called the New Cholesterol Cure, and, while it's a couple of years old, the research in it is pretty close to being up to date, and a lot of the basic stuff hasn't changed all that much.

Cholesterol is about 20% food and 80% our existing bodies. Losing weight and exercising affect both, as we get saturated fat and cholesterol from our diet, and our body makes cholesterol to move fat to our cells to burn as fuel.

I would suggest this as a basic intro -- http://www.americanheart.org/present...tifier=3038638

I'm about 10 points into the danger zone, but my HDL is high (thanks, exercise!) so my doctor is letting me continue to try to lower my numbers without statins.

I'm also using phytosterol esters - plant proteins that capture the cholesterol in the digestive tract.

I have been eating too much cheese, so I've cut that down to a serving of low-fat every couple of days, and am eating a good tofu for protein servings serving (in this hot weather, tofu and berries make great smoothies with ice).

Good luck - this is the issue that is truly kicking my butt, as my blood pressure is down to 107 over 70.
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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I don't really think you can get it down much in a month even if you radically overhaul your diet and start exercising like a fiend. And some people, like me, just can't lower their cholesterol to a reasonable level no matter what. I've been able to lower it a lot on my own (from 316 to 232), but never to the heart-health level that doctors use so I, too, take medication. But, really, I'm all for trying as much as you can for as long as you can to see what you can do.

My experience with going on and off the medication has been that when I was on the medication, my cholesterol numbers were great. When I tried one last time to get it down on my own, the numbers shot back up over 200 again, although not as high as before. I decided not to fool around with it anymore, and just start taking the medication and keep on taking it probably forever.

The only health issue that has been affected by my weight loss was my blood pressure, which was normal when I weighed 261 (120/80) and now runs 95/60, which means I sometimes get dizzy when I get up too fast. My last blood glucose was up and I'm hoping that my next one is lower, my cholesterol sucks unless I take the medication, and it turns out my acid reflux was caused by a hiatal hernia so it will be around forever or until I decide to get it surgically fixed.

Sorry--this is kind of a depressing post. I think the norm is for people to see great health changes, and I hope that happens for you, too. I will definitely be rooting for you!
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:08 PM   #5
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The nurse who called said my bad cholesterol had gone up from 146 to 158.9 ~ normal she said was 100. The total cholesterol went up from 210 to 233 ~ normal she said was 200. My good cholesterol had gone up and she said that was good, but didn't say what the numbers were, and I was shook up and didn't ask. My numbers had been up in 1999 when I first started seeing my dr. I did a real good job at that time (had about 90 pounds to lose and was almost 1/2 way to my goal) and did all the right things and was able to get it down with diet and exercise. (Over time, I think they have been creeping up ~ she had me taking fish oil capsules ~ one to start ~ up to 4 a day now.) I guess that is why I was hoping that if I really buckled down and did all the right things that I could fix it myself again.

I haven't been successful since then. It has been up and down ~ I will do good for a while, then things fall apart. I know what to do, and know the dangers of not doing so, but for whatever reason, I don't seem to be able to get my act together. I don't know what is wrong with me.

I dread telling my husband I have to start another medicine. This weight thing is such a touchy subject here. He thinks all my problems are due to that and thinks that all my problems will be solved if I lose weight. I think if my hair turned green he would attribute that to my weight ~ LOL and GRRRR all at the same time.
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:43 PM   #6
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First of all - YOUR DOCTORS DON'T LET YOU DO ANYTHING!
You tell the doctors what you want!
If you don't want to take a medication and want to work on your weight and healthy eating, then do it! And tell them so! You are not under any obligation to do what the doctor says.... and I hate that so many people don't really understand that.
Also, have you tried take fish oil supplements? That can help up your HDL.
You can do this without medication - and not to mention that every few years or so, the "normal" numbers are lowered and many people who wouldn't have been taking meds are told they need to - not because their numbers went up but what is considered normal went down.
Losing weight helps cholesterol levels... My cholesterol was 206 when I started optifast in june, and in 3 1/2 weeks I was down 10 points. I don't have my labs with me at the moment to tell you how everything else changed (VLDL was down, LDL was down, and HDL was up a little). So yes, if you can watch the kinds of fats you eat and eat healthy, it will help.
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:52 PM   #7
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Family history also plays a big part.I know people with high cholesterol with near perfect diets.I have it and losing weight did not help me.I also have family history.I know taking meds suck but unmanaged cholesterol is doing damage.
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:44 PM   #8
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A lot of cholesterol is genetic. My total count was 230 and that was lowest of anyone in my family! Neither of my parents is/was overweight, but they still had high cholesterol. My sister and I have both taken meds for several years. I tried for years to get my numbers down with diet and exercise. Even when I lost 70 lbs, it stayed the same. And while I don't have the numbers right here, the ratio got better but not good enough. The first month I started on meds, all of my levels dropped into a normal range. I suspect I'll be on them forever. (But then, I'm 61, so my forever is not as long as some of yours. )
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