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Shocking Cholesterol results – Go back on Statin?

by (25)
Updated October 30, 2014 at 4:31 AM
Created December 06, 2012 at 3:19 AM

OK, I???m pretty sure I have the record for high numbers!

TC - 480, HDL - 71, LDL - 390, Trigs - 52, Apo-B - 2.0, Apo-A - 1.67

Kinda freaking out! I???m 48, 5???8??? 185lb, I???ve been Paleo for almost 2 years, improving month by month, but not perfect. I lost about 25 lb???s within the first few months, but my weight has been pretty much at a stand still since then.

I eat mostly grass fed beef, Bacon, eggs, avocado, salads with my own olive oil dressing. I avoid all commercial dressings and sugar, don???t eat out much, no fruit or grains. My vices are maybe a bit too much dark chocolate and other than the 3 months before I had the test I have a cheat day every few weeks. Also, before this test I was having a dessert of 36% MF whipping cream with frozen blueberries, pretty much daily. The total dessert is a cup or less. Based on many of the posts here, I think this may have driven my numbers up a bunch, so I have stopped all dairy.

My dad has had a stint and has been on Statins for years, then blood pressure, and now diabetes. This is what motivated me to go paleo and get off the statins, but now I look like a real dumb-ass to my CW friends. I???m thinking I probably have Familial Hypercholesterolemia and maybe a lot of this paleo stuff doesn???t apply to me and I should be on a Statin.

I'm in Canada and don???t have a lot of support. Although I live in a city of a million people, I don???t know a single other paleo person; pretty much everyone I know are CW???s and think I???m crazy. Fortunately my wife has heard me babble enough about it that she is on board with what I am doing. My Dr is, umm, tolerant, and helps by getting me whatever tests I ask for, but has no advise or suggestions other than to go back on a statin.

I've started seeing a naturopath, who has started me on Vitamin D, Fiber, Niacin, and a supplement called cholesterol care. He???s tested me for food allergies and Candida, and I just got tested for a bunch of other things, (B12, D, TSH and C-Reactive Protein) but I don???t have the results for any of this yet. I???ve inquired about getting a NMR test which is $3-400, and a Heart CT scan is about $800; are there cheaper options in Canada?

I don???t post here a lot, but I have I read a whole lot of posts especially related to cholesterol. I???ve done a lot of reading, listening to podcasts and watching videos about cholesterol and the Paleo, but these numbers have me pretty freaked out, so please hack and let me know your thoughts.

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25 · December 12, 2012 at 4:08 AM

Thanks so much Sataran, I really appreciate all the advice. I've read them all several times and will read them a few more times and research for further understanding. For a bit of clarity I was not on Crestor for the 3/2012 or the 11/2012 lipid tests; these crazy numbers are without Crestor. Sadly, I started 10mg of Crestor yesterday; I chickened out. I checked with my mother, and she doesn't remember her numbers being alarmingly high and her dosage is pretty low. I got some results on some other bio markers like CRP, but forgot them at work, I'll post them in the next couple days.

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578 · December 11, 2012 at 6:28 AM

Your TSH high, not low, FT3 low, being trapped by Rt3 from FT4. That is a possiblity. But I'd cut out heavy whipping cream, which seems to be the worst thing to take if you're ApoE4. 23andme can test your genes for $299, I believe.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63
578 · December 11, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Focus on yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, white rice, yuca, taro, plantains. You may be slightly overweight but I don't think you'll gain weight too much with higher starch Paleo. Just increasing your carb proportion to 30-50% will reduce high TC. There is a possibility, though, that if ur doing LC Paleo that your TSH/FT3 may be low and the receptor problem is pushing your LDL up. So do check your TSH/FT3/FT4/Rt3.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63
578 · December 11, 2012 at 6:22 AM

Crestor did what it promised, halving your LDL. 10mg isn't all that high. Pre-Crestor, your TC and LDL weren't that bad either at 280-290. Conclusion: it's the high fat Paleo that's increasing LDL in spite of 10mg of Crestor that you're currently taking, or at least as of 3/2012. What it seems to be is ApoE4, which responds inordinately to high saturated fat. It doesn't seem to be FH. If you were, your numbers prePaleo and pre-Crestor would have been 300+. This seems to give more credence to the ApoE4 SaFA response. Cut out heavy dairy, reduce eggs, fatty meats, eat fish, seafood.

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25 · December 10, 2012 at 4:11 AM

Sweet, I now know another Paleo in Calgary!

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25 · December 10, 2012 at 3:06 AM

When you say high carb Paleo, are you taking around 150 grams per day?

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25 · December 10, 2012 at 3:06 AM

Unfortunately I don't know what any of my families numbers are or were. Both my mom and my dad are on statins and have been for quite some time. I got a good EFA from my Naturopath but was taking typical Omega 3 fish oils from Costco.

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25 · December 10, 2012 at 2:56 AM

Ugh, those came out real ugly as a comment. If it's better I can post them as an answer.

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25 · December 10, 2012 at 2:56 AM

Thanks Sataran, I've posted all the numbers I have, I started Paleo in Jan 2011. Sticky blood, never heard of that before. When you say heavy starches, do you mean yam's & squash? Here are some Pre/Post-Paleo and Crestor numbers Oct 2007 - TOT 284, HDL 59, LDL 192, Trig 111 Pre Crestor, Pre Paleo Jun 2009 - TOT 289, HDL 53, LDL 201, Trig 190 Pre Crestor, Pre Paleo Jul 2009 - TOT 185, HDL 53, LDL 106, Trig 124 10mg Crestor, Pre Paleo Sep 2010 - TOT 192, HDL 60, LDL 111, Trig 97 10mg Crestor, Pre Paleo Mar 2012 - TOT 396, HDL 58, LDL 318, Trig 99 10mg Crestor, Post Paleo

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5356 · December 09, 2012 at 6:19 AM

I'm in Calgary also MonkeyM...nice to know I'm not alone!

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25 · December 09, 2012 at 4:45 AM

Oh well, that's 2 in Alberta then! LOL!

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1663 · December 08, 2012 at 3:13 AM

Toronto here!!! (well, okay, the 'burbs)

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d
1663 · December 08, 2012 at 3:12 AM

Don't worry. Dietary cholesterol doesn't really have much to do with cholesterol that causes CVD. Breeeeaaaathe :)

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11111 · December 07, 2012 at 5:43 AM

I am in Edmonton.

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25 · December 07, 2012 at 4:07 AM

Doing a bit more research, I've found a few more cases of higher numbers, That's exactly it, where is the fire? I definitely have genetics working against me, both mom and dad's family have a history. My Mom's dad had his first heart attack at 48, my dad's dad, died young before heart disease could kick in. I'm not sure what Phytosterols are, Veggie oils? Definitely not. I use either coconut oil or butter, just enough to prevent sticking. I'm thinking copper, thyroid, maybe a bit too low on carbs, might add some sweet potatoes, oh and cut dairy for sure. Thanks greymouser!

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Thanks Xzolian, Funny I've never heard of that one, I will check it out for sure. I've read a couple others, Ignore the Obvious by Uffe Ravenskoff, and The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcom McKendrick, I also have another book of the same name by Anthony Colpo, but I haven't cracked it open yet. There's also an excellent video you can rent on-line for $5, called Statin Nation, really good. It's funny how one trip to the Dr makes me forget all this stuff......maybe an effect of the Statins I was on...LOL.

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Thanks Scotts. I will check those out now. I was thinking Thyroid too, but I don't have any of the other symptoms. I TSH test result is on the way though. Ya, I read about the Copper thing on Perfect Health too, but don't recall the choline, will look for that now. Thanks so much!

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Oh and I'm in Calgary.

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Thank you. Still digesting (parden the pun) the numbers, so thanks for the reminder to remain calm. I've been all over his site, and listened to every podcast I could ge my hands on. My last test in March was about 10 to 20% better, but scared me into doing a bunch of research, tighten up my diet (thinking the cream was OK). That was when I found Kresser.

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Josh M - too funny, I'm in Calgary. Where are you?

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Alec - I just got the Perfect Health book and that seems to be really in line with their advise, i think I'm going to give that a try.

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 3:27 PM

NewPaleon - I was on Crestor before So my numbers were pretty "normal".

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11111 · December 06, 2012 at 2:53 PM

What city do you live in? I live in Alberta and am roughly your age. Only other Paleo person I know is my girlfriend lol.

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355 · December 06, 2012 at 10:03 AM

I had crazy high cholesterol on a high dairy fat low carb diet. After increasing carbs and limiting dairy my TC almost halved. Travis Culp has some good posts on this site about this.

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1826 · December 06, 2012 at 6:00 AM

What was your LDL prior to Paleo?

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363 · December 06, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Great answer ;)

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578 · December 09, 2012 at 6:01 AM

I don't think there's any need for an NMR test. Your LDL-P's gonna be high. Way high. Above 2,000 definitely, even above 3,000, 4,000. What will VAP show? Your particle size is gonna be large because your trigs are low. They're highly correlated. You do VAP so you can find out LP(a) but that's about hit. But those are not enough. You just have way too many of even those bouncy ones, which can be still atherogenic if you have so many of them. I don't think your high numbers are coming from micronutrient deficiency.

Do you have any pre-Paleo or pre-statin numbers? What were your numbers while on Crestor? What were the numbers that got you on Crestor? What dose were you taking? You gotta know those numbers before you judge the impact of Paleo.

Cutting out dairy, coconut oil and reducing eggs will definitely lower your TC and LDL, if you're ApoE4. But by how much, I'm not sure. You're deep in FH territory and it's possible that your family members have FH. But it's also possible that you have separate and independent risk factors of heart disease. I'd ask around and see if your family members have had 400+ TC / 300+ LDL. If not, then you may have another risk factor that makes you more vulnerable: sticky blood. It's kind of like double trouble.

If I were you, I'd do high carb Paleo with heavy starches and white rice. Take fish oil. Avoid all dairy fat and try eating lean meats, fish, seafood, poultry. If you do this, I'm 70% certain TC and LDL will halve. That's still better than being on a hyperstrong statin like Crestor.

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25 · December 10, 2012 at 2:56 AM

Thanks Sataran, I've posted all the numbers I have, I started Paleo in Jan 2011. Sticky blood, never heard of that before. When you say heavy starches, do you mean yam's & squash? Here are some Pre/Post-Paleo and Crestor numbers Oct 2007 - TOT 284, HDL 59, LDL 192, Trig 111 Pre Crestor, Pre Paleo Jun 2009 - TOT 289, HDL 53, LDL 201, Trig 190 Pre Crestor, Pre Paleo Jul 2009 - TOT 185, HDL 53, LDL 106, Trig 124 10mg Crestor, Pre Paleo Sep 2010 - TOT 192, HDL 60, LDL 111, Trig 97 10mg Crestor, Pre Paleo Mar 2012 - TOT 396, HDL 58, LDL 318, Trig 99 10mg Crestor, Post Paleo

6c75689340db7a8e128af148465f5205
25 · December 10, 2012 at 2:56 AM

Ugh, those came out real ugly as a comment. If it's better I can post them as an answer.

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25 · December 10, 2012 at 3:06 AM

When you say high carb Paleo, are you taking around 150 grams per day?

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63
578 · December 11, 2012 at 6:28 AM

Your TSH high, not low, FT3 low, being trapped by Rt3 from FT4. That is a possiblity. But I'd cut out heavy whipping cream, which seems to be the worst thing to take if you're ApoE4. 23andme can test your genes for $299, I believe.

6c75689340db7a8e128af148465f5205
25 · December 10, 2012 at 3:06 AM

Unfortunately I don't know what any of my families numbers are or were. Both my mom and my dad are on statins and have been for quite some time. I got a good EFA from my Naturopath but was taking typical Omega 3 fish oils from Costco.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63
578 · December 11, 2012 at 6:22 AM

Crestor did what it promised, halving your LDL. 10mg isn't all that high. Pre-Crestor, your TC and LDL weren't that bad either at 280-290. Conclusion: it's the high fat Paleo that's increasing LDL in spite of 10mg of Crestor that you're currently taking, or at least as of 3/2012. What it seems to be is ApoE4, which responds inordinately to high saturated fat. It doesn't seem to be FH. If you were, your numbers prePaleo and pre-Crestor would have been 300+. This seems to give more credence to the ApoE4 SaFA response. Cut out heavy dairy, reduce eggs, fatty meats, eat fish, seafood.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63
578 · December 11, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Focus on yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, white rice, yuca, taro, plantains. You may be slightly overweight but I don't think you'll gain weight too much with higher starch Paleo. Just increasing your carb proportion to 30-50% will reduce high TC. There is a possibility, though, that if ur doing LC Paleo that your TSH/FT3 may be low and the receptor problem is pushing your LDL up. So do check your TSH/FT3/FT4/Rt3.

6c75689340db7a8e128af148465f5205
25 · December 12, 2012 at 4:08 AM

Thanks so much Sataran, I really appreciate all the advice. I've read them all several times and will read them a few more times and research for further understanding. For a bit of clarity I was not on Crestor for the 3/2012 or the 11/2012 lipid tests; these crazy numbers are without Crestor. Sadly, I started 10mg of Crestor yesterday; I chickened out. I checked with my mother, and she doesn't remember her numbers being alarmingly high and her dosage is pretty low. I got some results on some other bio markers like CRP, but forgot them at work, I'll post them in the next couple days.

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25 · December 09, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Got some allergy test results from my naturopath.....turns out I'm pretty sensitive to a lot of things I've been eating, leading to inflammation. Eggs, pretty much all dairy, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, etc. Interesting stuff.

He gave me an iodine supplement to cover possible thyroid problems. Apparently, the symptoms aren't always evident and the supplement is harmless. I read on the Perfect Health site that another possibility is copper deficiency, but he wasn't keen on giving a supplement for that so i might have to find a way to get some liver in my diet.

On another note, we talked about the Olive Oil I use for salad dressings and a bit of cooking which I get from Costco, apparently this stuff can be up to 2-ish years old by the time it hits the shelf; expiry is somewhere around 6 months unless chemically treated. As it turned out there is a deli right next door that sells very fresh Olive oil less than 30 days old. They seem to really specialize in this stuff I was blown away, it was like a wine tasting, they had little sample cups and would let me try a bunch of different ones. Amazing flavours, they had about 20 different ones in bulk and they would bottle it right there for you. They also had a lot of balsamic vinegar's. Delicious and super healthy fat.

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15 · December 06, 2012 at 2:33 PM
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25 · December 06, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Thanks Xzolian, Funny I've never heard of that one, I will check it out for sure. I've read a couple others, Ignore the Obvious by Uffe Ravenskoff, and The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcom McKendrick, I also have another book of the same name by Anthony Colpo, but I haven't cracked it open yet. There's also an excellent video you can rent on-line for $5, called Statin Nation, really good. It's funny how one trip to the Dr makes me forget all this stuff......maybe an effect of the Statins I was on...LOL.

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19120 · December 06, 2012 at 7:45 PM

I know that most people here -- and rightly so! -- are strongly against CW regarding the cholesterol hypothesis/myth of heart disease. However, 480 is high. Don't freak out, just realize it's higher than most other people out there.

Now, take a look at the cholesterol correlated all cause mortality chart. You'll see that 200-240 is the level that the people least likely to die at any moment are in.

Cholesterol, when correlated to everything out there, can be thought of as smoke -- and where there's smoke, there's fire. What this graph (and your doctor, it seems) can't tell you is where the fire is.

(It's interesting to note that cholesterol levels lower than this range also imply higher chance of death.)

Statins reduce cholesterol, but is that really the problem? I would take this matter seriously, although I would try to discern why your cholesterol is as high as it is: genetics? Cooking all the time with oils that have a lot of phytosterols?

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25 · December 07, 2012 at 4:07 AM

Doing a bit more research, I've found a few more cases of higher numbers, That's exactly it, where is the fire? I definitely have genetics working against me, both mom and dad's family have a history. My Mom's dad had his first heart attack at 48, my dad's dad, died young before heart disease could kick in. I'm not sure what Phytosterols are, Veggie oils? Definitely not. I use either coconut oil or butter, just enough to prevent sticking. I'm thinking copper, thyroid, maybe a bit too low on carbs, might add some sweet potatoes, oh and cut dairy for sure. Thanks greymouser!

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2688 · December 06, 2012 at 4:11 AM

There's a lot of information about potential causes of high LDL here http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/biomarkers/hdlldlcholesterol/ and more specifically here http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/03/low-carb-paleo-and-ldl-is-soaring-–-help/

It could be a thyroid issue and/or certain micronutrient deficiencies like copper and choline.

Good luck.

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Thanks Scotts. I will check those out now. I was thinking Thyroid too, but I don't have any of the other symptoms. I TSH test result is on the way though. Ya, I read about the Copper thing on Perfect Health too, but don't recall the choline, will look for that now. Thanks so much!

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1663 · December 06, 2012 at 3:52 AM

I'm in Toronto. Where do you live?

I'd read up on Chris Kresser's website about cholesterol. Don't freak out. Take a deep breath.

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Thank you. Still digesting (parden the pun) the numbers, so thanks for the reminder to remain calm. I've been all over his site, and listened to every podcast I could ge my hands on. My last test in March was about 10 to 20% better, but scared me into doing a bunch of research, tighten up my diet (thinking the cream was OK). That was when I found Kresser.

3089dd0b9a8f1d24f1b08d6cc3ca84e3
363 · December 06, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Great answer ;)

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25 · December 06, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Oh and I'm in Calgary.

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1663 · December 08, 2012 at 3:13 AM

Toronto here!!! (well, okay, the 'burbs)

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d
1663 · December 08, 2012 at 3:12 AM

Don't worry. Dietary cholesterol doesn't really have much to do with cholesterol that causes CVD. Breeeeaaaathe :)

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