Mid 30's and High Cholesterol - What now?

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In late August 2018 just days after my 34th birthday during a routine checkup, for the first time in my life I was told my cholesterol was high. LDL was 152. That's odd, I thought. Never experienced that before. The doctor offered me Statin's but I explained how I was guilty of some crappy eating and I would cut down and see what happens. Still, I was quite shocked as even though I wasn't eating as healthy as a horse, I wasn't shoving cheeseburgers and cake in my mouth every night of the week. In any event, it was true I was a bit of a sweets junkie, with cookies and some ice cream being culprits after a few meals here and there. I figured some changes would do the trick. Over the course of the next 6 months I all but eliminated ice cream and cookies and other sweets, cut down a bit on things like cheese, egg yolk and bacon, and even switched to a lower cholesterol milk instead of whole. It was hard to completely give up butter on my toast. Soda I have not had in several years aside from maybe big get togethers.

In March 2019 I returned and was told LDL was down to 137. Though still in the borderline high range, this was a great sign I thought. After this good stress relieving news however, for the rest of the year, while I stepped it up in certain areas (i.e. Literally no more egg yolk, literally no more ice cream and literally no more whole milk), I began going back to the sweets. A box of cookies in the house here , some chocolate there, and cheese came back into my diet to an almost normal level. I had this rather immature thought that at 34 and in August 2019 35 years old, that I was simply too young to worry about my diet to such an extreme degree, and that once my next checkup came around I had this naive idea that things would just be fine.

Well in December 2019, now at 35 years old I went back for another blood test. The doctor informed me that my bad cholesterol had went back up to 142. I told him I'm just shocked as I even though I still have cheesy foods here and there and some sweets as well, I literally have not had egg yolk, whole milk or ice cream (have had yogurts) since I last saw him in March, and in general I simply do not have such an awful diet at all and how I actually make an effort to eat relatively healthy. Salads more often than not, burgers on an EXTREMELY rare occasion, basically no soda at all for YEARS, etc etc. Bc of this he told me there is a good chance this is genetic. No immediate family members deal with this so he said it could easily have skipped a generation.

I SHOULD note however, that over the course of the last 3 years or so I have had some rather serious sleeping problems. They have improved greatly over the last 6 months or so, finally, after much effort, but they are still not perfect. I have read that prolonged poor sleep could in fact impact cholesterol. Any real truth to this?

Well anyway, now he wants me to finally try a low dosage statin, taking it every other day for 2 months, then coming back to recheck my levels. ((Sigh))

Can anyone please give me some thoughts and/or advice???

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I came to these forums just over three months ago because my doctor put me on a low-dose statin and I was scared of the effects I read online. I watch a lot of health videos on Youtube and thought I was heading in the right direction, but my numbers were slowly getting worse. I'm a 35 year old male by the way. Anyways, I've had the same doctor for half a decade. I find him to be very honest and intelligent so I listened and after a few days contemplating began taking 10mg of Atorvastatin once a day. I had a three month followup on the 10th of this month and I was blown away by the numbers. I don't have the actual numbers on me, but I can estimate from what I remember. HDL went from low-30's to mid-high-40s. LDL was above 160 and went to below 100. Tris went from just under 200 to low 100's... Doctor told me its probably just my body and something I would have to be on for life. He had charts of my bloodwork over the years. He's always told me to watch my numbers, try to eat healthier, exercise more, etc. I've listened but no matter what I did, everytime i got bloodwork the cholesterol numbers slowly crept in the bad direction. Three months in and my numbers looked better than they ever have in all the bloodworks ive had since ive seen this doctor.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for putting my mind at ease a little bit. It just gets so disheartening reading endless stories of people making statins out to sound like poison, and then of course there’s the endless posts about how all these numbers really mean nothing and new studies show this or that, etc. I don’t know. I think my biggest mental hurdle is getting over the fact that at 35 I may have to go on medication for the rest of my life. I already have quite a few other stressful things going on in my life and it just pains me to know that this is another. I have been contemplating giving the next 4 months a big push in the whole cutting out bad food diet, but like I’ve told my family and friends, what kind of life is this going to be? Anytime I scarf down a couple slices of pizza or a piece of cake I have to feel guilty? Anytime I have a few chocolate chip cookies or a lightly buttered roll I have to wonder how truly bad this is for me? That is no kind of life.

    Just an fyi I’m 145lbs, very thin for my height of 6’2, and I just find it also funny seeing as how by looking at me you’d never think in a million years I eat like cr@p, bc truth is well, I really don’t. Like my doc said it is probably genetics. My Mother is one of those who is insisting I do not go on this medication and how a lot of doctors are just pill pushers and how 142 is “only borderline”. She also says unless overall cholesterol is over 200 there isn’t really a problem. I told her she’s wrong. If LDL, the bad cholesterol, is anything over 120, it’s suspect. Guess I’ll probably go on these drugs. Let’s just hope they don’t destroy me.

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  • Posted

    Michael,

    75% of cholestetol is made by the liver - 25% is from food. Cholesterol is needed by the body as certain functions like hormones need cholesterol, should we be lowering something that is important to the body? Statins are known to cause dementia and muscle problems, because of these known problems the 'powers that be' changed the rules on prescribing statins, doctors are now supposed to encourage diet and exercise before prescribing. There are plant sterols which are apparently just as good, without the side effects. learn about cholesterol, (not doctors mantra as they are ruled by drug companies) then make up your own mind.

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  • Posted

    Thanks Jen, but what am I really supposed to do? My cholesterol IS borderline high and has been for well over a year now and probably longer. At first yes my doc talked to me about improving the diet but now he has finally suggested the Statin rather strongly.. With regards to Doctor’s being ruled by drug companies and all that I just can’t really get behind it completely. High cholesterol, or at least LDL, can be dangerous, and may very well need medication to correct if altering a diet doesn’t work. It shocks me to see some people on here who just brush their doctors off completely. There are also no proven thing that statin's can cause or demenia in any way.

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    • Posted

      Michael,

      No one really knows if cholesterol is bad for us, we have been brainwashed about this subject for forty years. I believe something the body makes naturally should not be artificially lowered to maybe dangerous levels. Only you can decide, perhaps read the twenty two countries study by Ancel Keys and how he cherry picked countries to suit his theory.

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    • Posted

      You and some others might think this way, but in my opinion it's rather foolish. I'm not jumping on the whole "drug companies are just out to make money!" and "it's all a scam!" bandwagon. There have been plenty of studies and most doctors agree cholesterol needs to be at a certain level. What am I supposed to do? Just go with the mindset that cholesterol isn't bad for me and then have heart problems and/or a heart attack at 40? I just don't understand your mentality, Jen. What am I supposed to do.

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    • Posted

      It is entirely up to you Michael, your body, you decide. You came on here for a reason.

      Doctors prescribe what they are told to. All studies/research can be manipulated in favour of who is paying for it and generally is.

      I found out last year even journalists are paid by drug companies to write favourable reports on their drugs, this has happened since at least 2010.

      As I said, your body, know one can decide for you, only give advice from experience or learned research.

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  • Posted

    Well, you may be one of the lucky ones who doesnt experience crippling and dangerous side effects from statins so maybe you should give it a try.

    But be warned that this forum is filled with people who've had very seriously bad side effects from statins including, for myself, severe tendon and joint pain. (The pharms claim the pain is 'only' muscular, which is a lie)

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