Borderline high cholesterol. Put on statin. Is it necessary?

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Hi guys. So my doctor told me I can't do anything about my cholesterol levels and that I would have to be on statin for life. Is this even possible? I have changed my lifestyle and I actively exercise prior to this finding. I took 4 blood tests this year. I am 31 and weigh 121 and am 5'2"female

3/29/16 total cholesterol 249/hdl-58/triglycerides-206/ldl-150

He gave me three months to change my lifestyle. I had no idea how because I eat very healthy and regularly exercise

6/13/16 total cholesterol 238/hdl-59/triglycerides-151/ldl-149

He put me on meds...one month later

7/20/16 total cholesterol 131/hdl-63/triglycerides-75/ldl-53

I did not want to be dependent on medication so i vigorously worked out and ate on a stricter diet.

I went back and shot back up to.

total cholesterol 235/hdl-53/triglycerides-197/ldl-143

I know the numbers are obvious that something is going on in my system but wanted to hear any experiences or suggestions. Thanks

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  • Posted

    I don't like cholestrol meds either. I was on them for 15 years. I think they've caused irreversible damage to parts of my body. But they did keep my cholestrol low. However , there's no cure for the side effects in many cases. And many of the side effects are debilitating. I've been off them for 6 months and have maintained a healthy level with LDL below 100. But I think it was to little to late for me. I exercise and eat very healthy , like you. Some people are genetically predisposed to have high cholestrol though , I think. But there's really no proof that the cholestrol is what causes problems. It all comes down to inflamation in the arteries that causes the LDL to stick to artery walls. Even if you take meds , your liver will still make cholestrol. Our bodies need it to function . It has to be a personal choice , albeit a very difficult choice. I know this probably really isn't much help in making a decision , but we are all faced with it. So best of luck with which ever decision you make.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tina.. could be you have familial hyercholsterolemia (I think thats how it's spelt).  In a nutshell as Portacrean says .. it's in your genes. Which means no amount of 'lifestyle changes' will improve your readings. I have it too, but I didn't find out until I was well into my 60's. Sometimes, I take the statins religiously, and sometimes I  come off them altogether because I get so fed up of the side effects (with me its, aching joints, and muscles, which can often hinder exercise .. which is a damn nuisance because I have copd as well, and I HAVE to exercise). I figure I'd rather live a full life and die happy tomorrow than live with the misery of side effects for the next 20 years.   Then .. a few months down the line, I'll panic, and start taking them again. Doctor tells me that it's all 'roundabouts and swings', and whether I take them or not has to be a personal choice. 

    (And aching joints and muscles might just be 'age' and nothing to do with the statins at all. But I just don't know!)

    Of course, it would help if the medical boffs would come to some sort of consensus on 'cholesterol'. When you consider that around 12 million Brits are now prescribed statins, you'd think they'd have figured it out, wouldn't you?

    But successive research is so contradictory.

    Talk to your doctor and ask him to explain the both pro's AND the cons.

    Good luck!

    Jo

     

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    • Posted

      I turned 70 in July. Been on statins since 2004 at 57 years old. Never could figure out why all the aches and pains. Doctors definitely didn't want to blame statins though. My problems actually started about a year after I started them. But , believing everything my docs said , I continued. By the time my doc did his own research , I was a mess. He's the one that found a lot of the research the pharmaceuticals has hidden. So he took me off them , along with many of his patients. And was full of apologies to all. A bit late , but better than never , I guess.

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    • Posted

      Preferably I would not like to be on it but I feel like I have no choice. I don't eat fast food and I eat on an almost vegetarian diet with fish here and there. I exercise as well. I took the multiple tests to know if I can "try" lowering it without meds.... unfortunately I failed. My mom also has high cholesterol and does not eat bad either. Maybe I should accept the fact that it's in my genes?

      I am skeptical too about the whole pharmaceutical companies !

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    • Posted

      I think it's probably worth a shot. But if I had it to do over , I don't think I would stay on them for 12 or 13 years. I ended up with joint problems and terrible muscle and nerve damage. But I stilli think it's because I was on them sooo long. So I wish you all the luck in the world. Some people don't seem to have any problems at all. Others are in worse shape than me. I've eaten extremely healthy and ran 3 miles every morning. Ate fish 2 times a week , baked chicken and cut out all high cholestrol foods. Took vitamins every day also. Still didn't seem to make much difference. But you may be one of the winners. Who knows.

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  • Posted

    I was always told my cholesterol levels were border line until recently. Now it seems I'm in the high bracket as the"goal posts" have been changed! I've never been told what my numbers were and have declined Statins until someone gives me more info. They, (my GP's) never tell me anything like that including blood glucose levels which they also say are borderline! According to my own blood glucose monitor they are 'normal' I also have osteo arthritis in spine and multi joints so exercise is very difficult due to pain and stiffness. I eat a healthy, home cooked diet, no junk foods or fry ups of any sort. I'm thinking that I probably have genetically high cholesterol too. Until I get some reliable  information which has not been put out by the pharmacuetical companies who persuade our doctors to prescribe their products. We need a simple reliable home test to compare cholesterol levels ourselves and not rely on BIG BUSINESS companies who are just relying on gullible people, to increase their profits even more. I do NOT believe what the tell us these days. mad I'm 73 and prefer a good quality of life rather than quantity so GP's take note!  Rant over! rolleyes

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  • Posted

    I was put on statins in my 20's because of my family history an finally got off them after around 18 years. They always gave me stomach issues but I have developed depression and lack of feeling from them I believe after taking them so long. Cholesterol is not the evil it was made out to be and are needed, please do your research on statins as they can have some very bad side effects. I think a healthy diet and eating the right type of fats is an option to think about.

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  • Posted

    I had my cholesterol tested today and the "bad" one is at 5.9:  this is down from 7.8 five years back after a heart attack, after which I was prescribed and tried every brand & strength of statins, with such disastrous side effects I decided more than 3 years ago that I'd rather risk a second heart attack than live in misery.

    Somewhere on the internet I found info about Psyllium Husks and now take 4 teaspoons every morning in my porridge:  I haven't changed my diet in any other way.   I definitely reckon they're worth a try:  WARNING never take the powder dry as it expands on contact with any liquid, including saliva.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do and apologies for late response. I was sort of blocked out of these forums for a while, with no explanation, but am now back.

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  • Posted

    I'm a lot older than you, my " cholesterol is the same as your 248 I think was the total. 

    My heart Dr. Told me diet and excersize won't usually bring it down, if this high cholesterol runs in your family. It does in mine. I also go to the gym regularly and eat pretty clean. I only weigh 110 lbs at 5'2 and a half. I'm 62 years old. He has me taking 5 mg. Only. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you Janet for the feedback. I am now seeing a different doctor and managed to lose 15lbs from exercising and eating extremely clean. I am going for another blood test next week. I'm at the end of my rope. The new Dr said she wouldn't put me on 20mg but will put me on 10mg if it did go back up to the 240 range. I might just have to accept that eating healthy and exercising won't do anything.

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    • Posted

      I recognise most of the problems I have had with statins in the posts above but note that there is little or no comment about the effect of stress levels on cholesterol production. That includes worry about cholesterol levels  Have your doctors discussed this aspect of your lifestyle with you?  You seem to be doing all the right things but if you are working under pressure, even if you are coping, then this could be a factor for you.

      My own experience is that I eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, have a resting pulse of 47, very good blood pressure and at 6ft 2in and 195 lbs do not have aproblem with weight.  When I was working pretty hard in my early 60s I had a spurious cholestrol check and was put on statins because I was 'at risk' simply because of being over 60.  It wrecked my exercise programme which included squash and racketball because of the muscle problems and so I gave them up after trying different dosages and types.

      However, there seemed to be some correlation with my cholestrol levels and work activity. Now retired at 72 and still within the above health parameters I tend to use weight, blood pressure, pulse and breathing as measures of my condition rather than have regular cholesterol checks.  I could be putting my head in the sand but I feel pretty good.

      If you haven't already done so perhaps you could look at any effects of stress in your life and see if that may be a contributor to your problem?  If so, it could be that your body is responding naturally and levels will surge and abate over time. 

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