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Old 03-07-2017, 11:18 AM
4,312 posts, read 1,280,011 times
Reputation: 3392


You only need statins if your high cholesterol is entirely genetic.

There are good reasons for being skeptical of MDs, since they are currently very much influenced by the drug companies.

Reading various perspectives on the internet takes time and you have to be very skeptical. It would be stupid to believe every crazy thing you read. But when you read from various perspectives and find many different doctors criticizing the overuse of statins, that should make you wonder.

It is only a tiny percentage of people who need drugs to lower their cholesterol.

If you have gone a lifetime without exercise, it will take a long time to correct your metabolism. And the recommended amount of exercise is not nearly enough.

Old 03-07-2017, 11:21 AM
4,312 posts, read 1,280,011 times
Reputation: 3392
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
My husband had a friend who was an university professor. He was very smart, knowledgeable in many areas and fervently believed only in holistic healing. He advocated red yeast rice diet, natural supplements and exercise only and no statins for years even after a quadruple bypass. It was quite sad when he passed away from a heart attack while chopping down a tree when he was 70 years old.

Yes, sometimes you just have to take the meds.
You have absolutely no idea what would have happened if he did take statins. He might still be alive and healthy, or he might have died from a heart attack anyway. Or he might have died from something else caused by the statins.

You can always find an example to support what you prefer to believe.
Old 03-07-2017, 11:25 AM
6,212 posts, read 4,715,040 times
Reputation: 12710
There is nothing magical about those "heart healthy" foods. The magic is that deceptive advertising is allowed. It is virtually impossible for most of us with high cholesterol to change diet and make any significant improvement. I saw an ad that a brand of oats was heart healthy and reduced cholesterol by "15 points". Presumably that is a 15 mg/dl reduction. That is less than the daily variation or lab testing variation.
Old 03-07-2017, 11:28 AM
Location: Western U.S.
375 posts, read 179,890 times
Reputation: 410
Originally Posted by Good4Nothin View Post
I had a checkup and blood tests and got the results today. The doctor said my cholesterol is extremely high, 318. I said well there is nothing I can do about it because I won't take drugs, especially not statins. Anyway my blood pressure is normal.

She said it doesn't matter if blood pressure is normal, the carotid arteries could still be blocked, and that can cause a stroke.

So was I scared into getting a prescription?

No, I told her total cholesterol doesn't matter, you have to look at the ratio of HDL and LDL. Yes, I was telling an M.D how to do her job!

I told her the research on cholesterol-lowering drugs is not conclusive, and I said she should read it.

It was obvious she was getting very angry (can't really blame her), but trying to stay calm.

As soon as I got home I looked up the normal ranges for HDL and LDL. Yes my total cholesterol is high, but my HDL / LDL range is very low (1.6). So according to everything I read, I have extremely low risk of a heart attack or stroke.

And my triglycerides and VLDL are very low.

Yes I have high total cholesterol, but that means nothing, especially when you get older. In some research, high cholesterol was shown to predict better health in older people!

I have a healthy lifestyle and I exercise every day. The doctor I saw today, on the other hand, is fat.

I am posting this to see if any of you had similar experiences, and if you managed to resist getting put on harmful drugs. They really try to scare you.

Your post has some truths to it but also some falsities.

1--There ARE things you about high LDL other than taking statins. Diet and exercise, for one. You need some of those Omega fatty acids, like 3's and 9's. There are foods that have this, like nuts and whole grains and virgin olive oil and avocados. You can also take fish oil supplements. I dis and along with ramping up my cardio and tweaking my diet a little, I DID lower my LDL. My overall was not nearly as high as yours.

2--About your, BTW. Over 300, while not necessarily cause for immediate alarm, should not be smugly written off an "meaning nothing." It's too high. Period. While your ratio of 1.6 is OK, and it is good your Trigs are low, that number should still come down by around 20%. That is, about 60 points, if not a bit more.

3--Getting older is no excuse for cholesterol going up. Same deal with the metabolism myth. They don't physiologically have to go up and down, respectively, as we age. A healthy lifestyle, again, exercise, can prove this to be true.

4--I have trouble believing your VLDL was "very low" in view of your overall score. But I will take oyur word for it. Since you didn't mention exercise, I am guessing you don't. You should.

5--A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. This is why many MD's hate the internet. You don't have the training and education to smugly "write off totally" an MD's suggestions and diagnosis. There was at least a kernel of truth in your MD's warnings and advice to you.
Old 03-07-2017, 11:30 AM
6,212 posts, read 4,715,040 times
Reputation: 12710
Originally Posted by Good4Nothin View Post
You have absolutely no idea what would have happened if he did take statins. He might still be alive and healthy, or he might have died from a heart attack anyway. Or he might have died from something else caused by the statins.

You can always find an example to support what you prefer to believe.
This is all based on your conjecture and wishful thinking. The facts are well known. Sure there is individual variation. Some people die of heart disease and have totally normal lipids. Others have elevated lipids and die of something else. Regardless the statistics are very clear and compelling. You are free to believe anything you want, but unfortunately you are passing on claims that are not based on fact.
Old 03-07-2017, 11:34 AM
Location: Saint John, IN
11,043 posts, read 3,980,532 times
Reputation: 13557
Originally Posted by Good4Nothin View Post
Their approach is simple-minded and, well, stupid.

At least we know that artery disease is mostly caused by the unhealthy modern lifestyle, which is pretty easy to fix.

The MD I saw today did not recommend improving my lifestyle, by the way. She just wants every old patient on drugs.

Did she recommend a stress test or just an Echo? Might be a good idea to have one.
Old 03-07-2017, 11:55 AM
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,656 posts, read 1,521,066 times
Reputation: 3627
My 71 year old friend finally started on statins after years of resistance because a recent carotid artery scan showed large amounts of plaque buildup. Her cholesterol is elevated but not 318, more like low 200's - I think her triglycerides and LDL are high but HDL is also high (good). My friend has exercised rigorously for the last 35 years (e.g., jogs 3 miles several times a week and takes a 3 mile walk on other days, rides and takes care of 2 horses). She eats a diet high in vegetables and low in sugar/carbs, partly because she is borderline diabetic due to genetics. But she also eats a lot of red meat and drinks 2 glasses of wine a night so that might be contributing to the plaque buildup and diabetes.
Old 03-07-2017, 11:59 AM
2,221 posts, read 1,094,492 times
Reputation: 9061
Originally Posted by Good4Nothin View Post
But I can see you would rather leave all that up to your doctor.
Yes, I would rather leave it to the professionals. That's what I pay her for, isn't it.

As for not getting enough exercise, I ran daily for 10 years during the time that I was eating the "right" foods and "right" supplements and yet still having high cholesterol values, so whadda got to say about that, Dr. Smarty Pants Internet Guy.
Old 03-07-2017, 01:02 PM
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,095 posts, read 3,455,118 times
Reputation: 10153
Every time we move or I see a new doctor/specialist and s/he runs routine blood work, I either get a phone call from their offices saying, you need to go get a re-test. Or, when I see the doctor about the results, s/he says my cholesterol is too high.

I have to tell them, would you please look at BOTH the numbers, not just the total number?

Ohhhhh.....they say when they see my numbers. Over the last 35 years (I'm 64), I have only had 2 doctors out of about 20 notice my odd numbers on their own.

Here's my last bloodwork numbers.

Total 246
HDL 103
Trigl 65
LDL 130
Chol/HDLC ratio 2.4
Non HDL Chol 143
Old 03-07-2017, 01:16 PM
6,212 posts, read 4,715,040 times
Reputation: 12710
dothetwist, I can understand why some docs might want to retest, but if they do not notice the high HDL, I would look for a new doc. It costs the same to go to the absolutely best trained and knowledgeable docs. I look for docs who have gone to first rate medical schools and then who were accepted for residencies at first rate facilities. I often also go to practice groups. Notice the credentials for all the docs in the group. A first rate group attracts the best physicians who want to join and practice with other top physicians. BTW, depending on overall risk factors you still might want to talk with your doc about a low level of statins to knock down the marginal LDL.
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