Shocking Cholesterol results – Go back on Statin?

by (25) Updated December 09, 2012 at 6:01 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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590 · 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.

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.

15 · December 06, 2012 at 2:33 PM
18794 · 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?

2711 · 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.

1643 · 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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