100 lb. Club - UGH! What the heck? My blood test results came in...

04-01-2008, 04:26 PM
So I started seeing a new doctor and she made me get a blood test as a routine for new patients.

So, I've been eating MUCH better and have lost 30 pounds since Jan 1st, 2008. I eat a ton of fruits and veggies, very rarely eat ANY fried foods, wouldn't say I'm a carb addict at all... jsut a nice well rounded healthy diet!

SOOOOO... I get the phone call today. My triglycerides are at 257 when they should be lower than 150 (REALLY bad... I've always had high tri's... my dad had SUPER high tri's through his adult life)

And the shocker (b/c I was expecting the tri's due to genetics) my cholesterol was 225 and the nurse said it should be under 200.

Is this just simply because I'm still fat? I mean, I've DRASTICALLY changed my diet... I don't really know what else I would change b/c I really and truly am eating a LOT LOT LOT better. Hmph.

Could just being overweight simply affect cholesterol? I'm so bummed!!!!! What good is losing weight and eating healthy if it's not MAKING me healthy????

Side note: this wasn't a full-fasting lipid profile--- just a non-fasting routine test. I go for a full-fast blood test on Saturday.

I ate a big tuna sandwhich on rye bread (light miracle whip and lettuce) literally 1/2 hour before I went in b/c I didn't want to faint (also a genetic predisposition!)... could that have something to do with it? The fact that I ate something right beforehand?

Talked to the nurse at the Dr's-- My old bloodwork from 2004 showed that my triglycerides were 503!!!! (I thought they were extremely high but wasn't sure)

So they told me that to go from 503 to 257 has shown that I'm doing SOMETHING right and that's why the Dr. isn't troubled by my results and wants to retest in a year b/c she knows I'm actively working on it. So, it's an IMPROVEMENT!!!
(The cholesterol didn't change too much though.)

04-01-2008, 04:32 PM
Oh Jen.. don't let this get you down. You have worked so hard. What did the doctor have to say? Did you two come up with a game plan? When can you be tested again? When were you tested before this? I guess what I'm saying is what do you have these numbers to compare to?

04-01-2008, 04:34 PM
Well. What were they before you started to lose weight & eat healthier?

You've made some amazing changes in these past 3 months. But, maybe it'll take a little more time before these changes show up in tests. Did you get a chance to speak to your doctor about that? If you haven't had a chance to discuss it, I'd suggest getting an appointment to talk it out with her so she can give you the official information about how long these sorts of things take, and if there's anything else you could be doing in the meantime before they retest. (I'm assuming they'd like to keep testing you so that they can see the numbers come down.)

04-01-2008, 04:43 PM
The doctor wants me to keep my carbs in check and get re-tested in a year...

Ugh--- hopefully it just takes some time to work itself out...

Oh, and I didn't have numbers before I started--- the only thing I can remember ( and it sounds crazy) but I thought I remembered my triglycerides being in the high 300's or 400's before... is that even possible? This was a few years ago when I switched doctors the last time.

They have my old bloodwork so hopefully she sees that there is a difference from now and three years ago. Maybe that's why she didn't bring me into the office and chat about things and just said she wanted to test again in a year. She knows I'm dieting and losing weight and trying to be healthier... who knows...

I made a call to the office and left them a message saying I'm bummed b/c I've been eating better and that I wanted to know what my numbers were from a couple years ago to see if it's done ANYTHING to help me out.

04-01-2008, 04:48 PM
I'm not sure about the triglycerides, but if it is true then you've come a looong way!!!!

I just thought of something, though. If they have your old bloodwork, you can always call to find out what it used to be. That might help to put things into perspective. :D

And if she doesn't want to retest you for a year then just follow her instructions to keep the carbs where they need to be, and continue on! :yes: You're doing really great!

04-01-2008, 04:52 PM
Really makes sense to me - If your body was working on processing the sandwich it seems reasonable that some things would appear to be elevated. After all, look how quickly someone who's having a low blood sugar episode revives after just a glass of orange juice. Did the doctor know you had just eaten? And, like Charbar said, what numbers do you have to compare to - maybe those numbers were even worse before you started eating healthy. Don't let this get you discouraged. You've made really great progress. I'd say, wait until after you get the full-fast results. Then, if you need to, maybe your doctor can help you tweak your plan to move the bloodwork in the right direction.

Little side note - (if you haven't already :D ) you might want to check the ingredients in the rye bread you used for the sandwich. Lots and lots of breads (even the ones that claim to be "whole grain and heart healthy") are actually made with high fructose corn syrup. In some people corn and corn products (especially that high fructose stuff) can really wreak havoc with those triglycerides and with your predisposition toward them being high, might not hurt to try and avoid.

04-01-2008, 04:54 PM
I would get a retest. Every year, my place of work offers a free health screening. The first year I went after changing my diet I had a GREAT screening, all my numbers were good. The second year, everything was good EXCEPT for the triglycerides which were oddly high. I was retested again about a month later and everything was back to normal.

Since you did eat within 12 hours of the test, that might have something to do with it (although, fainting is also not good). When I had my odd high reading, the first thing the tech asked me was if I ate before the test.

According to this website (http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/triglycerides/glance.html):

Note: Current standards recommend that testing be done when you are fasting. For 12 to 14 hours before the test, only water is permitted.

I also found this:

Triglycerides may change dramatically in response to meals. Even fasting levels vary considerably day to day. Therefore modest changes in fasting triglycerides measured on different days are not considered to be abnormal.

Triglycerides, can increase markedly after eating, hence affecting the calculation outcome of LDL. Because of this factor, you should fast before testing triglycerides in order to achieve accurate results.
Do not ingest anything except water, black coffee, and prescribed medications for 12 hours prior to testing.

Can you schedule a test for first thing in the morning (like 8:00) so you don't have to be hungry for long?

04-01-2008, 04:58 PM
Just because she wants to test you in a year doesn't mean you can't request it! If she wants these numbers better - then you need a plan. Show her a sample of what you are eating. I would say that I want them tested every 6 months until they are where they should be. I think once a year is what they should be done in the normal range.

When you get your eob from your insurance company look at what the costs are for the tests to see if you are willing to pay for them (usually insurance will pay for them if they are deemed medically necessary)

Please don't just do what the doctor suggests. You pay for these services.. you are THEIR customer! Thankfully, there are plenty of doctors in this country - the ball is in our court. Okay time to get off my soapbox :soap:

04-01-2008, 04:59 PM
you may just need more time to get the cholesterol down, 3 months although is great! your body may need more time!! dont give up! it took me a year of diet and exercise to get off high blood pressure meds! you can do it!

04-01-2008, 05:08 PM
You said that your Dr. said to watch your carb intake, and I'm not sure how "low carb" you consider your meal plan now... but I will say that most people on LC diets (I'm on Atkins specifically) see drastic improvements in their blood work after even a short time on it. My most recent blood test had such good HDL cholesterol levels that my Dr. wrote: "Excellent" on the paperwork (my mom said she "didn't know you could get an A+ on blood work").

I don't know if something like Atkins, South Beach or another low carb plan is something you've considered or think would work for you...but it could be beneficial. I just thought I'd put that out there. :hug:

04-01-2008, 05:10 PM
Glory--- thank you for some hard evidence that has helped to calm my nerves for now!

I'm very glad that she also told me to get a Full-Fast blood test done... I'm doing it Saturday morning, so I don't have to be worried for too long, which is good. Whew. I'm hoping that eating literally right before the blood test has something to do with it.

Even if it doesn't, in the meantime (before my full-fast test on Saturday) thanks GLORY for the info!!! Makes me feel a little better!

As for low/no carb--- I NEVER considered it and NEVER will (sorry). I need to learn how to eat food in a healthy manner that I can maintain FOREVER... and low/no carb isn't for me. Limited fruits?? Only certain vegetables? No bread at all? Not even 100% wheat? I'm not a carb addict, but I think that grains are a nice healthy part of a normal diet. Thank you for the suggestion, though. Any pointers are certainly appreciated--- low carb is just not for me. :)

04-01-2008, 05:14 PM
Yes, it is possible to get your levels up in the 400's. My son was put on Depakote which drove up his Triglycerides to 677. They put him on Niacin (will need to take aspirin with it to avoid the side affect of flushing) and Fish oil supplements and Lovastatin (a cholestrol drug, but very low dose). He was overweight and went from 225 to 185 in a 6 month period and his levels are now at 85. Cholestrol is genetic also (the docs told us this), and can also skip a generation.

04-01-2008, 05:17 PM
As for low/no carb--- I NEVER considered it and NEVER will (sorry). I need to learn how to eat food in a healthy manner that I can maintain FOREVER... and low/no carb isn't for me. Limited fruits?? Only certain vegetables? No bread at all? Not even 100% wheat? I'm not a carb addict, but I think that grains are a nice healthy part of a normal diet. Thank you for the suggestion, though. Any pointers are certainly appreciated--- low carb is just not for me. :)

Neither of my suggestions were "no carb" diets (I eat more vegetables now than I ever have), and both have a plan for transitioning into maintenance where most fruit, nearly all vegetables, and high-fiber grains are included. Many people think that the induction phase of those diets is all there is to them, but it's really not the case and it's a common misconception. However, I completely understand if you think that they're not for you in general :) No diet is a one-size-fits-all approach, and low carb certainly isn't for everyone, I just thought I'd make the suggestion in case you hadn't considered it.

04-01-2008, 05:30 PM
Do you eat walnuts on a regular basis? I have read so much on how they benefit your cholesterol and overall heart health. Just a handful a day helps!


04-01-2008, 05:57 PM
I'm glad you were able to compare these numbers with past numbers! Because you really have made progress!

Here are some things I believe, although I'm not a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist: (1) overeating carbs and being under stress is what leads to high cholesterol, and not overeating cholesterol-containing foods. (2) the best way to lower blood sugar (not that you had this test yet) AND reduce stress is regular exercise.

You just keep on, Jen! You're doing great! :cheer2:


04-01-2008, 06:25 PM
hi jen :)
don't let these things to get you down , you've work so hard for the last few months...:hug:
it happend to me when i was pregnant with my daughter, 5-6 hours before the blod test...i have ate almost 1/2 of watermelon, and they called next day and they said i have diabetes. :?:i was very scared, because i was reading so many things on diferent websites, that i can have this for my whole life....blah blah blah...and after i had the second test...she said that my sugar level is way down:D...so it was only because of the watermelon...
just wait...you'll see what they gonna say next...

04-02-2008, 01:05 AM
I know you don't want a low carb diet but tryglicerides are a direct result of a diet rich in sugars (carbs). Your cholesterol is high because tryglicerides are considered as part of the whole lipid profile including hdl and ldl. It is my understanding that the cholesterol test is supposed to be given when you are fasting, so you definitely need that to be done to really get an accurate lipid profile.

As to the low carb thing, I will agree with the other person where you can include the things you like just in moderate healthy ways and perhaps consider cutting out sugar entirely. But the tryglicerides are the reason your doctor is asking you to consider this.

To give you an idea, I started out with tryglicerides at 128. I went on a low carb diet (which is nowhere near a low as say atkins) and my tryglicerides went right down to 64, then 27 and finally at 39 during my last test. Those are my last 4 test.s

You are doing great though, don't forget that. Still, you've lost a lot of weight and if you keep at it, you'll lose even more but at this weight, you are still in the morbidly obese category and your numbers can and will get better as you lose even more weight.

04-02-2008, 09:12 AM
Just wanted to offer a :hug:. You are on the right path. Just remember no matter what you eat, if it's in your genes there is little that you can do for it.

04-02-2008, 10:38 AM
Just read your update--see, what you are doing IS working!! Just keep on keepin' on!!

04-02-2008, 06:08 PM

Have you ever had problems with your thyroid? When my thyroid medication (for an underactive thyroid) wasn't the right dosage, my cholesterol went up even though I was eating healthy.

Best of luck!