Hey! I am, as the subject says NEW, and bit out of my element.
I have been looking at your site since Thursday, and finally got up the nerve to join.
I have been vegetarian for 32 years. I have been vegan for the last 5 years. (I add that up front for the vegans, here). Vegetarian was based on ethics, Vegan was based on health and ethics. I mention that, as it will impact my dietary choices, even with 4/4.
I discovered my 4/4 status, accidentally. I became concerned about my cholesterol level, which had RISEN since I switched from vegetarian to vegan in 2012. My doctor recommended the Boston Heart Profile (BHP), due to a tremendous family history of CVD. I received my results in 2014. This gene status (only for the purpose of CVD) was in that report. During the genetic consult with my physician, the CVD aspects of the gene was discussed. Unfortunately, the suggestion was to increase my (at the time, low) consumption of saturated fat, assuming that my cholesterol level was related to my low fat diet. I did so. It lowered for the first two years. This year, it started to go back up.
So, Wednesday night - I sat down with my blood results and started Googling reasons for a VEGAN to have high cholesterol. And, joy of all joys, I came across the link between the ApoE 4/4 and Alzheimers.
My first reaction was tears, a lot of them.
My second reaction was anger - at my physician for NOT telling me, and wasting valuable remedial years.
My third reaction, honestly, was to see if physician-assisted suicide existed for a late stage Alzheimers Diagnosis.
After three days, I can't say I am completely over the shock, but I am dealing. Now, I need wrap my mind around the actual enhanced risk and a prevention approach.
Here is what you probably need to know, if you desire to give me opinions on where to start.
I live alone, and travel for work - constantly.
I have no children, no spouse and no real support system (and will not if I am diagnosed).
I am a person that actually modifies my behavior to improve my health.
Risk factors, as I recognize them.
- I am 52 and in good health (or so I thought).
- I was prematurely menopausal. I became fully menopausal in 2004, and started bio-identical hormone supplements within a few months. I still take them.
- I eat a non-junk food vegan diet (although, from what I read for AD, still too high in carbs and sugar for a good future). I have not been to anywhere with fast food in 20 years, and make almost all of my own food.
- I exercise almost every day. I walk 5-11 miles a day for work, and hike, kayak and bike on many weekends.
- I have been, pursuant to doctors instructions, adding lots of coconut oil to my diet for the past two years. Arrg.
- My family is not the closest, or the most communicative. However, to my knowledge, and my mother's, we have never known anyone to be diagnosed with AD. (My grandfather suffered a type of dementia in his late 70's that does not fit the parameters of AD. Probably alcoholic.)
- I do not drink alcohol, haven't for YEARS, and have never much participated in that activity.
- I do not and have never smoked.
- I have good muscle mass (well above average for a female of my size, despite my age.)
- I could afford to loose between 10-20 lbs.
- My mother is ApoE 3/4. I have no idea about anyone else in my immediate or extended family.
- I am well-educated, but honestly, don't use my brain much in my current job. (Guess I'll learn a language.)
LABS FROM 6/9/17
Total Cholesterol 236 mg/dL
LDL 143 mg/dL
NON HDL 165 mg/dL
HDL 71 mg/dL
Triglycerides 110 mg/dL
Glucose (fasting) 92
MCH 26.9 pg
Red Blood Cell Count 5.22 million/uL
Iron 119 mcg/dL
Alkaline Phosphatase 41U/L
ALT 18 U/L
Albumin 4.6 g/dL
Albmin/Blobulin Ration 1.8 calc
Urea Nitrogen (BUN) 9 mg/dL
Globulin 2.5 g/dL (calc)
Chloride 106 mmol/L
AST 19 U/L
Calcium 10 mg/dL
Creatinine .95 mg/dL
Protein total 7.1 g/dL
Sodium 142 142 mmol/L
Bilirubin total .7
Carbon Dioxide 27
Potassium 5.3 mmol/L
Absolute monocytes 374 cells/uL
MCHC 32.4 g/dL
MPV 8.1 fL
Absolute Basophils 27 cells/uL
Absolute Lymphocytes 2115 cells/uL
White Blood Cell Count 6.8 thousand/uL
Hemoglobin 14.1 g/dL
MCV 83.1 fL
Platlet Count 254 thousand/dL
Absolute Neutrophils 4114 cells/uL
Absolute eosinophils 170 celle/uL
Vitamin B12 874 pg/mL
TSH w/Reflex to FT4 2.51 mlU/L
Vitamin D, 25-OH, Total, IA 35 ng/mL
- B12/Folate/B6 Supplement
- Vegan D3 Supplement
- Nascent Iodine Supplement (using to shrink thyroid nodules)
- Magnesium Malate
- Same 400
- Garden of Life Womens Multi with Iron (was using w/o Iron due to menopausal status, but blood iron was always testing low).
OTHER RISKS FROM BHP
Factor V Leiden (increased risk of developing clots)
I included them all, as I am not yet sure what is relevant. I am still wading through the very dense (and very appreciated) initial information on the site.
1. I have read a lot (too much) research in the last 72 hours. They mention 4/4 risk of AD to be anywhere between 6-20 times higher, depending on the study/author. I cannot figure how to mathematically calculate that final figure. If 1/6 or 1/10 (depending on the study) people get AD, what fraction now represents me? Any clues?
2. Have I done monumental damage with Coconut Oil in the last 3 years?
3. Do I have time to transition into the appropriate protein/carb/fat ratios? Or, do I just need to throw out everything in my pantry and start over?
4. Is there any research demonstrating the benefits of the diet change, or its impact on development/diagnosis of AD?
5. What are the most important supplements to add immediately, while I wade through all of the info?
6. Tell me something good, cause it's looking pretty scary.
I would say that I'm glad to be here, but.... would rather not have to be reading it. I am, however, very glad you exist.
Thanks, in advance!