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Old 06-17-2019, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,305 posts, read 11,212,063 times
Reputation: 14176

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A couple of years ago I went to see my doctor after about ten years and my cholesterol was a bit high. He explained the health risks based on the Framingham study and the evidence that adding a statin reduces the health risk even if it doesn't significantly reduce the cholesterol level.

In other words, since your original post asks about "the numbers" and how healthy you can be, once you're taking a statin your cardiac risk goes down and the numbers are not really relevant.

In addition, in the list of all the factors that lead to increased cardiac risk, you can't change the two biggest ones: your age and your sex.

I know that people say they're going to change their lifestyle and get their cholesterol and blood pressure down, but mostly they don't.

I tried a statin, I've had no side effects, so I'm sticking with it.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:39 AM
 
38 posts, read 13,790 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
My hips were both at -1.9 but my spine is PLUS 3.1. Like you, I do a ton of exercise; just did a Duathlon (5K, 13-mile bike run, another 5K) a week ago. (Sorry if you've seen this brag elsewhere on CD. )
Well, I don't know how CD responds, but YOW! I'm seriously impressed with your spine of steel! That's really cool.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,877 posts, read 25,302,878 times
Reputation: 26334
Being one of those old people who just spend their time going from one doctor to the next scares me. Right now I take no meds except vitamins, I feel great. The only time I feel like an old bag is when I look in the mirror. The only time I go to the doctor is when I'm sick and that is very rare.

I don't want to be like my cousin. Medical appointments are his life and his entertainment. He has lived here for 4 years now and receives more medical care per year than I have in my entire life with the exception of dental and vision. He is always going to one doc or another, one lab or another for some sort of testing. I think he has had everything scanned that can be scanned. His medicine cabinet is full of prescription meds.

He has one real issue. A bit more than 10 years ago he had a bad fall and wrecked one knee. He walks with a cane and that knee hurts all the time and is arthritic, probably from the accident. Most likely he needs a knee replacement but that isn't being pursued so he limps along and can't drive. To me that's a major disability. It makes his life much more difficult. He has a cardiologist but no heart problems. He has a podiatrist but his feet are fine. He sees an internal medicine specialist and his GP. And then his knee doctor as well. They all want regular visits and labwork/scans. From the outside looking in, he is still in pain every day and the one thing that could be done to make his life better hasn't been done.

I think this is how medicine makes money on Medicare recipients. We end up being totally medicalized and spend our time going to doctors we don't need. Maybe he is a bad example but he is the example I see all the time.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:53 AM
 
38 posts, read 13,790 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by katharsis View Post
Just curious about why bone density scans are a good idea, if nothing can be done to help except for supplements?

And if supplements aren't dangerous, why not just take them as a preventative measure?
I had no plan to get a bone density scan and no reason to think I had any problems or risk factors for osteoporosis. I went for a regular "wellness check" and had just turned 65 and switched to Medicare so the doc ordered it since it would give a baseline for future readings, etc. and it was a covered screening exam.

I did it just because it was there, I guess, and wouldn't cost me anything. In retrospect, I'm glad I did. Even though my bone density levels are basically okay, it did raise my awareness and will cause me to pay more attention to my bone health going forward. I pay attention to a lot of wellness issues, but I admit bone density was not one of them. Now it will be.

As for supplements, you'll get no argument from me. Even if some say it's throwing away money, I continue to take them (in fact will now add some new ones for bone health!) I've been incredibly healthy all my life, and although I don't attribute that to supplements with any certainty, they definitely haven't hurt me. It's not taking money I need elsewhere and my unscientific guess is that they are helpful in maintaining good health. Hard to know when you've only got yourself and you can't be your own control group.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:11 PM
 
2,066 posts, read 699,344 times
Reputation: 5294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessie Mitchell View Post
Well, I don't know how CD responds, but YOW! I'm seriously impressed with your spine of steel! That's really cool.
Thanks- I really wish I could tell you what I did to get it that way but I have no clue. I'll chalk it up to good genes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
I don't want to be like my cousin. Medical appointments are his life and his entertainment. He has lived here for 4 years now and receives more medical care per year than I have in my entire life with the exception of dental and vision. He is always going to one doc or another, one lab or another for some sort of testing. I think he has had everything scanned that can be scanned. His medicine cabinet is full of prescription meds.

<snip>He has a cardiologist but no heart problems. He has a podiatrist but his feet are fine. He sees an internal medicine specialist and his GP. And then his knee doctor as well. They all want regular visits and labwork/scans. From the outside looking in, he is still in pain every day and the one thing that could be done to make his life better hasn't been done.

I think this is how medicine makes money on Medicare recipients. We end up being totally medicalized and spend our time going to doctors we don't need. Maybe he is a bad example but he is the example I see all the time.
I agree- my brother has been saying that about our 88-year old Dad. I live several states away but my brother and SIL do a lot for Dad even though he's in a good Assisted Living place, and that includes taking him to doctors. Dad has some genuine issues and those get treated, but my brother thinks there are too many docs who are just happy to keep seeing him regularly and ordering tests. When I'm that age I think I'll quit all testing except whatever is necessary to diagnose or treat things that interfere with my quality of life. I will not care about my cholesterol level by then!
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:39 PM
 
38 posts, read 13,790 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
When I'm that age I think I'll quit all testing except whatever is necessary to diagnose or treat things that interfere with my quality of life. I will not care about my cholesterol level by then!
When my mom was 91 her cholesterol was high. She had gone off liking veggies and other healthful foods. Mostly she'd just eat stuff like yogurt, toast, etc. She enjoyed dessert foods, especially cheesecake. She'd been healthy all her life up until the last few years, kept a healthy weight, exercised, etc.

When she got that high cholesterol reading at 91 my brother (who was her primary caretaker) asked the doc if he should make any changes to what she was eating. The doc said, 'give her all the cheesecake she wants.' He said the calories alone (she didn't eat much at that point) were more beneficial than any harm to her blood levels.

So mom enjoyed her cheesecake for another two years and then died at 93... not of a coronary. Not too bad.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
Reputation: 35192
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
I hope this topic does not get moved. I am asking the seniors here, the ones who are most likely to fall in the category of their numbers being too high.

And I am not intending to argue, criticize, offend, etc. I'm just collecting information for my own self.

For a long time I've been told I have high cholesterol/triglycerides, etc. and my doctor has prescribed medication for it. None of them agreed with my system. They didn't really do a lot to reverse the high numbers either. Eventually, the doctor I went to at the time said to stop taking them. And he wouldn't prescribe anything more. I seemed to get along fine, no terrible symptoms, etc. He also said I was borderline diabetic but never prescribed any medication.

I've changed doctors a few times for various reasons. Again, my numbers are high. But I'm not sick. I'm 77 and seem to be doing OK. So this most recent doctor prescribed another medication that was not a statin and had an additional plus of combating diabetes. I decided to take it because I had refused medication before and think the doctor was getting a little upset with me. (Might be just my imagination.) So I took the med, 4 pills a day, 2 in the a.m., 2 in the p.m.

Then the slide started. I found myself getting more and more tired and got to the point I was asleep more than awake. No energy. Had to force myself to get to the store for things I had run out of, nothing I wanted to eat (no energy to cook).

So I stopped taking them. I feel a lot better. I'm awake, I want to do things, why take something that makes me feel half dead?

I should also mention my eye doc put me on a different eye drop to deal with a problem I'm having. So I called him to see what he thought. He didn't think the drop was causing it but said I could cut the dosage in half. He also said he doubted the drop would have that affect on me. The pharmacist agreed with that.

I don't know if anyone had the patience to read this, I know it's too long.

I don't want to live to be 100 but I don't want to hasten death, either.

I just believe there are some of us who are like this.
I went off all those meds - high blood pressure, statins, reflux, etc., about 1 and 1/2 years ago. Became a vegan and didn't eat any oil and very little plant fat like almonds or avocadoes. And, after 1 and 1/2 years of doing this religiously, where there was zero animal products in my diet, including honey even, my cholesterol came down from around 240 to around 220. The only cholesterol in my body is being made by my body. And every body needs cholesterol.

The statins only stop your body from making it's own cholesterol. And we need cholesterol in our bodies for brain function and healthy cells. So, if you think about that logically, it's crazy to take statins.

My doctor always brings up taking them again because of my "numbers," but I refuse. I'm going to trust that my body knows what it's doing.

Never felt better. I now go ahead and eat an egg now and then and I use oil to pop popcorn and I'll eat some fish occasionally and I'm just not going to worry about it. Otherwise, I eat whole grain, plant based very low fat foods.

I just really think time will prove that these numbers were all nonsense, yet extremely profitable for the drug companies. I read that statins are the most widely prescribed medication in the world.

My blood pressure came down and so did my sugar numbers - down into the normal range now, so my diet did affect those positively. And after a month or two, I no longer have had any reflux problems, and I eat a lot of beans and spicy foods without issues now.

Does anyone remember the big news scandal about milk formula companies advertising in third world countries that women should feed their babies formula instead of breast milk? And babies were starving and they were watering down the formula because they couldn't afford it?

Yeah, I don't trust these guys. I did my own experiment with my own body and found the numbers thing was nonsense. I just really don't believe my own body is going to create clogged arteries via my own liver producing cholesterol.

Anyway, I do believe diet is key. Base your diet on the diet of healthy people in the world - little meat, starches and veggies. I think whole grain is better (like brown rice), but there are lots of very healthy Asians who only eat white rice and plenty of it, so I don't think that's a major thing. But, might was well get the extra nutrients and fiber.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:57 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,741 posts, read 7,022,649 times
Reputation: 14219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessie Mitchell View Post
When my mom was 91 her cholesterol was high. She had gone off liking veggies and other healthful foods. Mostly she'd just eat stuff like yogurt, toast, etc. She enjoyed dessert foods, especially cheesecake. She'd been healthy all her life up until the last few years, kept a healthy weight, exercised, etc.

When she got that high cholesterol reading at 91 my brother (who was her primary caretaker) asked the doc if he should make any changes to what she was eating. The doc said, 'give her all the cheesecake she wants.' He said the calories alone (she didn't eat much at that point) were more beneficial than any harm to her blood levels.

So mom enjoyed her cheesecake for another two years and then died at 93... not of a coronary. Not too bad.

Way to go, IMO. I figure that should I reach the ripe old age of 91, I'll eat anything that suits my fancy.

My mother will be 93 in September, and I've encouraged her to do just that.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:18 PM
 
2,134 posts, read 524,377 times
Reputation: 3724
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
...My brother caught her in a Costco with hard alcohol like whisky in her cart...
It all depends on which whisky. If it's a nice excessively aged Single Malt from Costco, I'd say go for it. For example, these are at our local Costco:



Or this one:




This one isn't at Coscto, but I'd still drink it.

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Old 06-17-2019, 03:23 PM
 
2,221 posts, read 1,094,492 times
Reputation: 9061
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
I hope this topic does not get moved. I am asking the seniors here, the ones who are most likely to fall in the category of their numbers being too high.

And I am not intending to argue, criticize, offend, etc. I'm just collecting information for my own self.

For a long time I've been told I have high cholesterol/triglycerides, etc. and my doctor has prescribed medication for it. None of them agreed with my system. They didn't really do a lot to reverse the high numbers either. Eventually, the doctor I went to at the time said to stop taking them. And he wouldn't prescribe anything more. I seemed to get along fine, no terrible symptoms, etc. He also said I was borderline diabetic but never prescribed any medication.

I've changed doctors a few times for various reasons. Again, my numbers are high. But I'm not sick. I'm 77 and seem to be doing OK. So this most recent doctor prescribed another medication that was not a statin and had an additional plus of combating diabetes. I decided to take it because I had refused medication before and think the doctor was getting a little upset with me. (Might be just my imagination.) So I took the med, 4 pills a day, 2 in the a.m., 2 in the p.m.

Then the slide started. I found myself getting more and more tired and got to the point I was asleep more than awake. No energy. Had to force myself to get to the store for things I had run out of, nothing I wanted to eat (no energy to cook).

So I stopped taking them. I feel a lot better. I'm awake, I want to do things, why take something that makes me feel half dead?

I should also mention my eye doc put me on a different eye drop to deal with a problem I'm having. So I called him to see what he thought. He didn't think the drop was causing it but said I could cut the dosage in half. He also said he doubted the drop would have that affect on me. The pharmacist agreed with that.

I don't know if anyone had the patience to read this, I know it's too long.

I don't want to live to be 100 but I don't want to hasten death, either.

I just believe there are some of us who are like this.
I'm not sure what your question is...is it the part I've bolded? If so, I'd say tell your doctor how the med makes you feel, and get a replacement for it that doesn't make you feel bad, or change the dose, or change the time of day you take it, or change eating/drinking with it, whatever fixes the problem.

As for me, I take my statin, and I have no problems with it whatsoever. I take my BP meds, and have no problems with them either. It did take me months to get used to metformin (it caused upset stomach), but I'm glad I stuck with it and didn't give up on it, eventually my stomach settled down, and it's fine now.
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