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Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
GemmaJ
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Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby GemmaJ » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:13 am

Hi Everyone,

I don't often post but have had a real shock when I received my blood test results today and wanted to pick your well-informed brains. I know one of you might know what's going on here.

Over the last 10 years the one lipid results I've always been able to rely on has been my HDL cholesterol being really high and my LDL really low. Examples:

Nov 2014 HDL 137,00 LDL 96,60 (all mg/dl)
July 2015 HDL 119 LDL 78
Aug 2016 HDL 141 LDL 79
July 2017 HDL 142 LDL 98
Feb 2018 HDL 142 LDL 96

So I'm trying to work out why after years of this being my one fallback ("At least my HDL is always high") and giving myself a pat on the back for that good result at least, today:

July 2018 HDL 116 LDL 129

I had to reread it loads of times, convinced I'd got it wrong! My trigs are still low as always at 51 mg/dl which is something. I have two, well potentially three theories and I'm wondering whether you can help me figure out whether I'm on the right lines here or not:

1) In April I finally gave up all grains totally in a determined effort to follow a ketogenic diet as far as I possibly can. Before that I was eating a small portion of gluten free oats with almond milk, flaxseeds, cinnamon, and walnuts every day. I replaced that with half a Quest bar and lots of hazelnuts and macadamia (new nuts for me - possible other culprit?) instead. I eat no legumes (as in beans, lentils etc in fear of lectins - I honestly think I should never have read Gundry's book!) now and only really eat non-starchy and cruciferous veggies and nuts as my main source of carbs.

2) I had a adrenal saliva test in March which showed chronic levels of cortisol :( and on the advice of a nutritionist I started on two supplements to help this which I have just finished - DHEA (no longer have pot to check what was in it!) and an 'adrenal complex' containing Vit C and Vits B1, B2 and B6 and D-Calcium Pantothenate, whole adrenal glandular, PABA, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine and Adrenal Cortex Glandular :?: :lol: I can't really believe these supplements have anything to do with it and think it's got to be a coincidence that my LDL has risen so much since taking these but...who knows. I take other supplements too but have done for a while now with no adverse effect.

3) I have lived with a constant level of stress for many years now and so can't really believe that the following could affect my lipid levels so much but my Mum died at 70 young years of Alzheimer's in May. It was a terrible time as she was mid-divorce and mid house sale. I am also in the middle of a big move back to the UK from Spain and start a new job there soon. I've also got 2 kids who have to start a new school yet again and it has been a bad time for stress. Again, I'm used to stress - I don't crumble I just keep going and try to be positive so can't believe this could have such an effect on these lipid levels either...could it?

Any thoughts or advice would be so helpful. I've tried so hard the last year since I found out my 4/4 status to do the right thing. I'm VERY strict with diet and exercise and know I'm too much sometimes- I've suffered anorexia and can feel my brain sliding back into it's eating disorder grip sometimes as I grapple with all the dietary advice and try to push away all the ways I was encouraged back into eating bread and pasta as I recovered from it 5 years ago. I'm 45 and fed up of struggling. I feel like just giving up right now - If ANYONE has ANY idea quite how I've managed to raise my LDL so much whilst being so 'good' (!), I'd really appreciate the advice.

Sorry to be a bit negative there - and THANK YOU if you've read this far. I always feel so self-indulgent when/if I post here.

Gx

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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby Orangeblossom » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:59 am

Hi Gemma,

I've got similar cholesterol levels to you have inn the first set of results, (HDL over 100, LDL in 70s, and low trigs) I do eat some grains and small amount of oats, like the med diet but with intermittent fasting. It's good the HDL is still high though. maybe you just need to tweak thing to change it back, stress may also make a difference perhaps.

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Julie G
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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby Julie G » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:36 pm

Sorry things are moving in the wrong direction, Gemma. I couldn't figure out from your post if your cortisol levels were increased or decreased. Especially if increased, I'm curious about your BMI, and hbA1c, and fasting insulin. Any idea of your macronutrient ratios? My guess is that you may have decreased fiber a bit since cutting out grains. You may consider seeking out higher fiber veggies. Avocado (technically a fruit) is surprisingly packed with fiber.

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Stavia
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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby Stavia » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:50 pm

Lipids can change from week to week, it could be a lab error - it's an outlier, Id personally test it again.

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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby apod » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:52 pm

With the adrenals looking a little stressed, I'd be curious how thyroid hormones are doing, as these influence LDL clearance rates. I've read that copper is also a useful micronutrient for cholesterol metabolism, though I'd be weary to supplement (hazelnuts, cacao powder, shellfish, and organ meats are decent sources.) I often use supplemental pantothene + fish oil as a small nudge in the right direction.

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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby GemmaJ » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:19 am

Thank you so much for all the advice everyone.

I'm curious about your BMI, and hbA1c, and fasting insulin.


Julie - my cortisol was chronically low (sorry I didn't make that clear). I'm underweight - it's a continual fight. Currently my BMI is about 17 so not good, my hbA1C is 5.1 (the lowest it's been which is why I'm reluctant to start adding in too many carbs again). I don't know my fasting insulin - it's not a test they've let me do here I'm afraid. My fasting glucose is 66 mg/dl

My guess is that you may have decreased fiber a bit since cutting out grains.


That's exactly what I think Julie - I stopped my apple a day at the same time as the oats.

Avocado (technically a fruit) is surprisingly packed with fiber.


I've virtually lived on avocados since I was about 10 and first tasted one in a prawn cocktail (80s style!) at Xmas! Seriously every day nuts and avocados are the staple of my diet and have been for years.

it could be a lab error


Hi Stavia - that was my initial reaction too. But it does make me wonder - just as I completely cut out the oats and my daily apple the lipid profile changes so much. Maybe it's a lesson to me. Lately I've been craving the oats - just thought it was me being weak but maybe I really do need them sometimes? I would have the test redone if it was easy! It's really difficult to get one organised here and with moving back to the UK next week I'll need to join a doctor before I can do anything. I'll have to trust it for now and wait a few months I think. Thanks though.

I'd be curious how thyroid hormones are doing,


Hi apod. My TSH is 1.47 uUI/mL. It says that's in the normal range, although at lowish range. I've supplemented with copper for a few months, finishing last week, after a hair mineral test showed I had very low levels and eat loads of hazelnuts so unsure on this...

Who knows.... I am going back to a small bowl of organic gluten-free oats now and again just to see if it makes a difference and I may allow myself an apple more often from now on too. Wow, feels a bit wild tbh!

Thank you everyone for helping me out.

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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby slacker » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:49 am

Gemma;

I appreciate that your most recent LDL and HDL numbers are not as good as what you are used to, but in the scheme of things, are still pretty darn good! And your trigs are excellent. I agree with Stavia that a repeat in a few months is reasonable. Apod makes a good point about thyroid possibly contributing - your TSH is fine. There are other tests in addition to TSH that can help evaluate thyroid function, but I don't think they are accessible to you.

Good luck with your move! Hopefully your stress levels will go down once you are settled back in the UK. As a sister underweight, I'm rooting for you to put on some muscle mass!
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GemmaJ
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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby GemmaJ » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:26 am

As a sister underweight, I'm rooting for you to put on some muscle mass!


Thanks Slacker - I'm rooting for us littl'uns too, especially in light of the research on cognition and sarcopenia.

As for the rest, I'll continue on my path as undaunted as possible for now and see what happens in a few months. Thanks for the advice everyone.

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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby jgilberAZ » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:31 pm

Apoe 3/4
My Website

GemmaJ
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Re: Please help! LDL Cholesterol Fright

Postby GemmaJ » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:11 am

Thanks for the links jgilberAZ! I've watched the Dave Feldman one and it makes sense. I'll definitely watch the others too when I have time.

Thanks so much for the help!


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