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My latest Lipids

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
Silverlining
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My latest Lipids

Postby Silverlining » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:50 am

I present a complicated picture. I'm rapidly approaching menopause, I have autoimmune thyroid that has been less stable lately, a genetic connective tissue disorder with vascular symptoms, impaired glucose tolerance (despite being thin and active) and of course the APOE 4/4. Before I post lipids, here are a few notes that may or may not be relevant.

Changes since last labs:
1) Added 1.5 tsp coconut oil a day
2) Cut out one fish pill
3) Cut out one egg yolk (now I eat one yolk, three whites)
4) Two benecol most days with egg meal
5) Tripled VitD supps a day due to low value in September (28 in September, 42 as of last week)
6) Less Alcohol
7) High stress
8) High hormonal fluctuations (age 49)

A year and a half ago (April 2012) I started injecting minute amounts (1-1.5 units) of rapid acting insulin before any carb meals. I did this because I was experiencing acute and extensive GI upset with ANY carbs and losing weight due to extreme limited diet. This was a new symptom that went on for several months until I got desperate. Upon the very first injection, I experienced zero, literally zero GI problems. Problem solved. Unfortunately, I got the insulin from a friend instead of a script and that was upsetting to all of my doctors. I knew I was being very cautious and responsible, so I was ok with it all. With six months of 1-2 insulin injections a day, my Ha1c fell from 5.9 to 4.8 and my fasting from 100 to 80. I've been off insulin for a year now and even though my carb intake is low compared to average diet, my GI problems are gradually coming back, my Ha1c is at 5.6 and my fasting is around 90. Just information in case this applies to lipids...

I'm thinnish (BMI 19), exercise almost every day and my average daily diet is:
1 coffee with cream
one small greenish banana with 1/4 c. almonds 1.5 tsp coconut oil
3 egg whites, one yolk, 1-2 oz aged cheddar with tomatoes in 1T olive oil
1/2 c. fat free plain greek yogurt
Medium salad with 1/4 garbanzo beans, veggies, olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice
2 cups skim milk, supplements: 3- 1,000IU Vit D., 2-450 mg turmeric, 1 NAC, 1 Broad Vit B Supplement, 2 Lysines, 1 Fish pill, 1 Milk Thistle, 2 Mk-7, 2 CoQ10

NMR results from Lipidologist 11/20:
LDL-P 1434
LDL-C 149
HDL-C 66
TRI - 80
Vit D 42

Standard Cholesterol Panel from Primary Care Doc 9/23
LDL - 113
HDL - 73
TRI - 58

VAP Results from Lipidologist 7/24
LDL - 136
HDL - 73
TRI - 82
LDL pattern A large bouyant
There were other numbers on VAP, but can't compare to NMR, so I left them out here.

So we're seeing a rise in LDL and a fall in HDL. I know my picture is convoluted; and I'm not expecting you guys to solve me...just posting as info in case you're interested. I see my lipidologist in 2 weeks..he doesn't know I've seen my results (another doctor sent them to me, probably by accident). I'm glad I can prepare ahead of time. I don't want to start statins, or zetia. He wanted me to take 4 benecol a day and I'm taking 2 instead. I see my endocrinologist in a month. She mentioned metformin in my future; she said she plans to be aggressive with treatment for glucose abnormalities given all my issues. I'm wondering if I should try and get insulin legitimately (as in from a doctor). I personally prefer the insulin, it gave my pancreas a rest that seemed to last a year and my GI system felt great.

Meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving to all my buddies here...I have a lot for which to be thankful :).

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Julie G
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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby Julie G » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:56 am

(((Silver))) I have a few ideas and will share more as I get a chance. Just wanted you to know I care. Things don't look awful...but eating sooooo healthfully, you'd hope to see movement in the right direction. :roll:

Silverlining
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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby Silverlining » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:05 am

You have a LOT going on Julie...no big worries here. I'm probably more unhappy about facing a lipidologist in a couple of weeks and trying to defend my lifestyle. I think alcohol is the possible reason for lowered HDL, I'm drinking virtually none lately due to headaches. The LDL rise may be the daily coconut oil. The stress has leveled off some and I can't change the hormones, but doubt they're doing much harm. Maybe some of lipid increase is lab discrepancies as well. I also read that high Vit D supplementation can raise lipids. I don't know if 3,000 i.u a day is high enough to affect lipids, but it certainly raised my D-25 levels very quickly...28-42 in 8 weeks. Weird!

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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby KrikorKap » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:04 am

Hey Silver - Your results look pretty consistent, especially your fairly stable TG. Vitamin D can take a while to get into a good range. I was at 20 when I was first tested. Don't be too shy about getting some good old fashion sunlight. It does wonders!

Like you, I have a crazy thyroid (Hashimotos)...loooooooong story how that may have come about. My friend Julie can tell you:). I've been poked and prodded more times than I care to admit in the last 18 months. I've read and researched just about as much as I can. My lipids have been all over the place in the last 18 months. Literally a roller coaster like graph.

TG were 300+ on SAD. Now, 77 eating HF / LC Paleo. No wheat, no processed foods. If I can't kill it, pick it or milk it, I'm not putting it in my mouth.

My LDL has been 261 down to 159 and back up to 199.

My TC has been 344 down to 217.

My TSH from .01 to 77

My thyroid antibodies OVER 1000 to less than 300.

So, what have I learned?

It's fairly simple actually: the human body is NOT stupid. It gives us exactly what we need to function at any given moment. That's how we survive. If you workout, and are tearing / building muscle, your body needs the natural resources (I.e. Cholesterol) to rebuild your body. If you're stressed, you use cortisol. You need to replenish that.....how? Cholesterol! Through fairly extensive research over an 18 month period: Keep the gas away from the fire (fats away from sugar), keep inflammation low, eliminate any / all toxins that you consume, inhale, smoke, drink, breath, etc.

Shout out to my friends Spunky and Julie (excuse anyone I may have missed....I've only just signed up tonight).

My best to you Silver.

Krikor

P.S. I'm a 3/4

Silverlining
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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby Silverlining » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:28 am

Hi Krikor..nice to see you here! Wow your tsh IS crazy...mine's never been that far off and my antibodies are low as thyroid probably almost dead now. I take 150mcg synthroid which I'm told is fairly high for my size. I think my lipids are more admit my diet than any other factor. Thanks for your input and Happy TDay

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Julie G
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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby Julie G » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:03 pm

Krikor :D So nice to see you, my friend. Hope you pop in often and share your wisdom.

OK, Silver. Wow. I just re-read your post very carefully and have to admit, I'm slightly stunned about your insulin experiment :shock: I would have been terrified to do that...although you seem to have gotten some pretty good results. Describe your GI symptoms a bit to help me better understand. I never would have considered insulin to counteract GI stuff- unless you suspected hyperglycemia? I think I've shared with you that I've experienced major reactive hypoglycemia. I've lost consciousness a few times, had my glucose meter read "LOW" more than once, even had an ambulance ride. So, I feel you on the blood sugar stuff. I suspect I had some pretty good highs to swing down as low as I was...but I never caught those. Going lowish carb, higher fat has been enormously stabilizing for my glucose stuff.

And, yeah- all the rest of your stuff: peri menopause, Hadhimoto's, EDS, and STRESS- not good for overall health, including lipids :(

Have you ever tried Spunky's chronometer? I just went to http://www.cronometer.com It allows you to enter the food you eat and it graphically shows you your macronutrient ratios, fat breakdown (SFA, MUFA, PUFA), vitamin and mineral content for the day. It demonstrated that I need to work on getting more protein, copper, and magnesium. My blood work actually has demonstrated low serum protein, copper, and magnesium. The cronometer appears to be eerily accurate and may help you identify deficiencies you didn't know you had.

Your diet looks really healthy, all whole food. If anything, your fat intake looks kind of low...but then you have that wonky rise in LDL. Huh? I guess it could be the coconut oil, but geez, you're eating so little. How did all of your ratios turn out? Are your particles still Type A? How about small particles? Share more if you feel comfortable. FWIW, it's very selfless of you to share at all. Those of us who do so, are definitely making ourselves vulnerable, for the greater good. I've repeatedly said that I've learned more from other E4s sharing diets and lipid results than any study.

You are very smart and will sort this out and probably teach us all in the process. I have great faith in you, my friend.

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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby PhillyFree » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:14 pm

Have we gone from devaluing total cholesterol (TC) to not mentioning it at all in the context of reporting lipid results?
HDL and LDL are carriers...

@Silver, I'd triple the non-starchy veg and fruits. And get TSH, freeT4 and freeT3 tested at least annually.
I found your cautious insulin experiment and later tracking very interesting.

I'm personally wary of coconut oil except in whole coconut. I view coconut oil as a very processed food, beyond the processing you could easily do at home, with whole coconut as more natural, and I experience the effects entirely differently. Coconut oil is so hormonally active, stimulates the thyroid and can aggravate Hashi, raises DHEA and downstream T and E in an imprecise manner, so hard to control. Have seen many people surprised by a big jump in total cholesterol when taking coconut oil. Also Hashi thyroid and estrogen aggravation. The same amount of whole coconut (blended whole coconut, aka coconut "manna" (Nutiva brand), aka coconut "cream") has no downside effects for me. FWIW.

Re thyroid antibodies, high numbers are not so important as just the existence of sufficiently high antibodies for dx. After diagnosis, antibodies don't really need to be tested for again since thyroid med will bring them down, and how far down how fast is not important, just work over time to get the TSH around 0.5-1.0 and freeT3, freeT4 into the upper third of ref range (these are optimal for a medicated thyroid person but not necessarily for normals or for post-thyroid cancer/thyroidless). It can take from 1-3 years to initially optimize and stabilize thyroid numbers, which can be thrown off by a med change or reformulation, etc. And don't aggravate thyroid antibodies by taking anything over very tiny amounts of thyroid stimulating substances (iodine, selenium, ginseng, ashwagandha, spirulina, shellfish, brazil nuts, coconut oil, seaweeds, etc), the amount and frequency that may cause aggravation seems to differ among Hashi hypoT people.

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Gilgamesh
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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby Gilgamesh » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:13 am

Just a quick note about coconuts and coconut products. Philly, what you're saying resonates with me. And, like you, it's partly a sense of how it works for me, not something based on well-conducted science, for, unfortunately, there isn't a lot of science that I trust on coconuts. [1] But I saw some reviews in science journals by Indians, read about the Kitavas, and sort of thought, well, coconuts themselves, sure, worth trying. In South America, where huge coconuts cost around a dollar, I was eating 20-35 or so grams of coconut flesh per day, for at least a month (after that a bit less). No effect on the common lipid panel measurements. (But my numbers don't move no matter what I do. But I need to get a particle count done!) I felt good, and it was fun cracking them open! Now coconuts are on my long list of things to research.... For now, I'm using the coconut oil I bought a while ago as a skin moisturizer, and putting 4-7 grams of coconut flakes (coconuts are too expensive here -- but flakes are closer to being coconut flesh than the extracted oil) in my breakfast. No good reason, really, yet. Thinking sometimes stops and acting starts. But I'll be rethinking this at some point, I hope.

[1] While I'm at it, I'll whip up a stub (equals barebones beginning, to which anyone can add... :D ) on coconut products at the wiki. Done:

https://www.apoe4.info/wiki/index.php?title=Coconut

P.S. Wait, am I doing that thread-hijacking thing that always happens at 23andMe?? :) If people want to talk more about coconut products, we can move this.

Silverlining
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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby Silverlining » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:33 am

Thanks for the input friends. Julie..I was experiencing "dumping syndrome" exactly one hour after eating carbs. This syndrome is normally observed in people who have had gastic bypass surgery. I have no idea why it happened to me. So in my very first insulin experiment, I prepared a meal (taco salad with beans) that would have sent my blood sugar to about 230 and then it would plunge 260 points in a relatively short time (reactive hypoglycemia) I injected 1.5 units of Apidra as I began the meal. I checked my blood sugar every 15 minutes...it was beautiful, it stayed stable the entire time and I had zero gastric effects. Basically I supplied the missing first phase insulin. So what was happening was I ate, had huge spike, pancreas over reacted with huge insulin response which caused a dumping problem. By blunting the spike with the exogneous insulin, everything worked normally. However, after injecting insulin for 6 months and with all my glucose markers falling to normal, I began to get similar mild dumping symptoms from the injected insulin, so I stopped. There's obviously a problem with me and insulin whether endogenous or exogenous. I have shown no markers for insulin resistance whatsoever, I trend toward insulin deficiency markers, but show no antibodies that would indicate type 1 diabetes. It's so complicated! So, my question is I wonder if carbs are bad if you correct for the spike with insulin. I mean fruit and starchy veggies have good nutrients...those are the carbs I would like to add back in to my diet.

I've cut my coconut oil to 1/2 tsp, just because I like the taste/texture. I use it on everything else, hair, skin, etc, once again because I really like it! I'm going to take a little more benecol, for instance, add it if I have a higher fat meal. I do like the idea of more vegetables. I plan to be vigilant on my exercise. I will probably watch saturated fats a little closer, although I don't eat many now. Maybe some of this is lab discrepancies since there were not huge swings...

Edited to add. Julie, I checked my cronometer for a typical day's diet. I am at 56% fat, 25% carbs and 19% protein. I was low in only iron and potassium. I need to rely on that program to get a scientific picture of my diet.

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Julie G
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Re: My latest Lipids

Postby Julie G » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:56 am

Interesting to hear your thoughts on coconut products, G and Philly. I'm using the flakes too and tiny amounts of the oil for cooking. Funny how many of us have gravitated to coconut oil as a beauty product :D I also rub it on my finger and toenails- great for cuticles.

Gotcha, Silver. I've had very similar GI symptoms most of my life. Unlike you, I was never smart enough to check postprandial BGs. I only checked when I felt terrible...just to reassure myself, yes, this is indeed hypoglycemia. In my case, since the GI symptoms are now gone, I attribute the symptoms to wheat sensitivity. Now that I know that's a problem, it's easy to avoid. Makes me wonder if you could have an unidentified food allergy or sensitivity. I'm thinking of doing a 2nd Cyrex panel that identifies common food allergens, like dairy, etc. Unknowingly, exposing yourself to a food that is problematic is opening the door to major inflammation- bad news for us.

Isn't the chronometer amazing? I just have to remember to use it :roll:


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