4

votes

VERY high total cholesterol

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 28, 2010 at 7:40 PM

I am a 24-year old female, 101 lb (46kg), 5'3" (1.60m), been paleo (mainly meat fish eggs dairy, very high fat, low/moderate carbs) for over 1 year.

I've just had a routine blood test, which included the following result:

  • Total cholesterol 550 mg/dl

  • Triglycerides 49 mg/dl

  • Fasting blood glucose 75 mg/dl

Now, I know Total cholesterol is pretty much meaningless, and I need to get HDL and LDL tested (will get another blood test in a few weeks for this), but I've been looking at some paleo sites and examples of other people's results, and while many people have "high" cholesterol (higher than CW normal range), I haven't found anything as high as 500... Even if my HDL turns out to be something like 200 (which would be A LOT), that still leaves 300 as LDL....

On the bright side, trigs are very low which I'm happy about (am I right in thinking low trigs are a good sign?).

How worried should I be? Any danger to having high LDL if all other health variables are OK?

7b5db799c33535bbefd7dcf7ffff42f6

on October 13, 2010
at 03:54 AM

I'm a 24 year old female and have TC 440 - i truely beleive it's a female trait. My HDL is 130 and trigs 37 by the way...

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on July 30, 2010
at 01:19 PM

Statins help NO ONE! And you would be very foolish to take them. Thankfully it seems you aren't foolish, find a competent doctor.

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on May 01, 2010
at 04:57 AM

oops typo- "sought"

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on May 01, 2010
at 04:55 AM

I had the sense that many know but still hang on to the old beliefs. A PROPER Cholesterol test should be saught, not the BS one given mostly everyone in a doctors office. If you do read the BOOKS by DOCTOR Ravnskov, how to proceed will be better understood that a tit for tat on anyone blog.

20172354416166004d612e7d6bdd2f5e

(352)

on April 30, 2010
at 07:01 PM

agreed, David. Statins haven't definitively shown to be helpful in women at all, and if anything, data regarding whether or not "high" cholesterol is even harmful (or helpful?) for women in particular is certainly not clear. find a paleo-friendly doc.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 29, 2010
at 05:27 PM

Dr. Eades might have relevant knowledge, too.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:47 PM

but doesn't a diet that replaces fat with carbs raise blood cholesterol--particularly LDL?

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:29 PM

Because there are risks to unknowns. TC of 500 is a 1 in a thousand thing, and eating lower fat may reduce it (unless it's FH).

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6082)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:11 PM

I believe that statins are known to not work well on women. I'd say get a new doctor.

A4ef7f1ae882639dddd62ade85b2f174

(10)

on April 29, 2010
at 01:40 AM

im wondering if this is more common then cw assumes too. i am also young, 28, thin (bmi 20-21) and have "high" cholesterol, and have even before eating no grains.

A4ef7f1ae882639dddd62ade85b2f174

(10)

on April 29, 2010
at 01:37 AM

why leave low carb?

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 28, 2010
at 10:16 PM

Yes, it is misunderstood. But, I didn't get the sense the original poster didn't know that. That said, you should not dismiss the relevance of cholesterol to somebody with TC of 500 - certainly not based on a few paleo blogs... It's probably ok for her, but certainly worth investigating.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 28, 2010
at 10:13 PM

Do you really feel qualified to give that advice to somebody with TC of 500?

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 28, 2010
at 08:44 PM

And, good news, even if you did have FH, you may have no increase in risk for CVD: http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/10/familial-hypercholesterolaemia.html

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12 Answers

4
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on April 28, 2010
at 08:21 PM

Talk to your doctor. You are young and shouldn't have levels that high however much saturated fat you eat. Total cholesterol of 550 mg/dl is not normal or healthy whatever particular types of cholesterol you have.

It is possible you have Familial hypercholesterolemia

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/121298-overview

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Familial_hypercholesterolemia

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 28, 2010
at 08:44 PM

And, good news, even if you did have FH, you may have no increase in risk for CVD: http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/10/familial-hypercholesterolaemia.html

3
Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on April 28, 2010
at 09:00 PM

I had a similar experience about a year ago. I'm 27, female, normal weight, and my results were:

Total Cholesterol: 334 mg/dL Triglycerides: 59 mg/dL HDL: 66 mg/dL Fasting Blood Glucose: 85 mg/dL

That was when I was still eating a fair amount of fast food (throwing out the buns of course!) and I've since made a big effort to cut out industrial seed oils, so I'm betting my HDL has gone up since then... My doctor's reaction at the time was to suggest that I clean up my diet and re-test in 4-ish months. I tried replacing some saturated fats with mono-unsaturated for those months, but the test scores were nearly identical. Anyway, my doctor then referred me to a dietician or something, who over the phone tried to prescribe STATINS after I told her I wasn't going to cut back on the animal products or add in whole grains... Anyway, I've decided to ignore the results and not change anything for now, since I wouldn't have even gotten the test if I hadn't just been plain curious. And of course I'm in the process of switching to a new doctor...

When I started digging around online, of the other people in a similar situation that I found, they all seemed to be female and relatively young. I'm starting to wonder that maybe it is "normal" or at least acceptable for us, because no one knows what normal is- we just have standard ranges of people eating a western diet. Plus, so many cholesterol studies focus only on men... Hopefully with the new doctor I can get a lot more tests to see if my hypothesis is correct.

A4ef7f1ae882639dddd62ade85b2f174

(10)

on April 29, 2010
at 01:40 AM

im wondering if this is more common then cw assumes too. i am also young, 28, thin (bmi 20-21) and have "high" cholesterol, and have even before eating no grains.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6082)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:11 PM

I believe that statins are known to not work well on women. I'd say get a new doctor.

20172354416166004d612e7d6bdd2f5e

(352)

on April 30, 2010
at 07:01 PM

agreed, David. Statins haven't definitively shown to be helpful in women at all, and if anything, data regarding whether or not "high" cholesterol is even harmful (or helpful?) for women in particular is certainly not clear. find a paleo-friendly doc.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on July 30, 2010
at 01:19 PM

Statins help NO ONE! And you would be very foolish to take them. Thankfully it seems you aren't foolish, find a competent doctor.

7b5db799c33535bbefd7dcf7ffff42f6

on October 13, 2010
at 03:54 AM

I'm a 24 year old female and have TC 440 - i truely beleive it's a female trait. My HDL is 130 and trigs 37 by the way...

2
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 28, 2010
at 11:18 PM

You can get a blood workup for a NMR test at done here:

http://www.prepaidlab.com/index.php?/vmchk/NMR-LipoProfile.html

or a VAP test here:

http://www.anylabtestnow.com/Tests/Wellness_Tests.aspx See if they have a facility near you. Each location is a franchise. They all send the blood samples overnight to labs to run the tests. Scroll down to the bottom for VAP Cholesterol test. This test is overnighted to http://bit.ly/1rqbFi thevaptest.com

Anylabsnow have a coupon for $10 discount.

Getting your testing done by yourself may be cheaper than your copay with your insurance through your PCP.

2
4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on April 28, 2010
at 08:56 PM

I'm not sure what test you took, exactly, but keep in mind that LDL is typically calculated and not measured directly, and that in people with low triglycerides (like you), the calculated number can apparently be massively wrong. So you need to get a direct cholesterol test to figure out what is going on.

Reference: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3725/is_200103/ai_n8944645/

2
15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 28, 2010
at 08:07 PM

With such low trigs, your LDL are likely to be big and fluffy, which may indicate significantly lower risk of CVD. Thus, it may very well be the case that you have little risk of CVD. However, I don't think anybody knows to what extent this new principle holds true for people with such high cholesterol levels. After you get the additional results, you may try emailing Petro at hyperlipid and Dr. Davis at heartscanblog to see what they say. Petro is smarter but Davis has more clinical experience. I would also use the opportunity to get a full battery of lipid test -- Lp(a), full particle count and size measurements, etc. You may want to leave low-carb land too...

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:47 PM

but doesn't a diet that replaces fat with carbs raise blood cholesterol--particularly LDL?

A4ef7f1ae882639dddd62ade85b2f174

(10)

on April 29, 2010
at 01:37 AM

why leave low carb?

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:29 PM

Because there are risks to unknowns. TC of 500 is a 1 in a thousand thing, and eating lower fat may reduce it (unless it's FH).

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 29, 2010
at 05:27 PM

Dr. Eades might have relevant knowledge, too.

1
4e72c891d548acda0886988e7b5a6d17

on April 04, 2013
at 02:59 AM

Hello, I'm new here, and these numbers are real. 12,000 trigs, 2000 TC.... The riddle is, how does it ever get this high, and how is one able to survive in this condition for over a decade. I even saw a blood sugar spike of 400+. The blood looks milky when drawn. I don't want to hear anything about changing the overall diet... Been tried. Something is wrong, and I'm aware of this. I'm looking for real answers b/c the docs have none. Is there a some silver bullet I'm missing in all this? Are the superhigh readings connected to each other, or is there some hormone causing all this mayhem....maybe lepton resistance? Either way, I'm currently searching for the cure for this before its too late. I've never even heard of cholesterol this high. Have a nice day everybody!

1
5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on July 29, 2010
at 12:58 AM

I have a similar problem with high LDL, on the negative side, but hight HDL, low triglicerydes and low VLDL, on the positive side. My test was recent, so I haven't retested yet. But I'm doing three things that I hope will fix the problem by next test:

I'm getting in the SUN as often as I can, assuming that this high LDL might be a response to an (unknown) inflammation, and thus made available by my body in order to produce VITAMIN D with sun exposure, which in turn should fight the inflammation. Better still is to find out if you do have some form of inflammation with a CRP test.

Second, I've cut DAIRIES, which are a source of inflammation, at least for me (acne). I never gave it so much thought because I love them, but I suspect they may be the starters of a chain reaction leading to high LDL. Fat in dairies is little understood, but I'm pretty sure it is not very good in high amounts, and from non-pastured, non-organic, grain-fed sources.

Third, I'm increasing my carbs intake, in the form of veggies and fruits (no grains legumes cereals). I went too low on carbs, even when I craved some fresh and juicy vegeteables, just to induce ketosis. I suspect it was not a good move, as vegetables are too important for acid/alkaline balance, vitamins, sugars, anti-oxidants, and easier digestion of more dense foods (like fish and meats). At least it works for me. I think an easier transit in the digestive system helps with LDL.

1
1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on April 29, 2010
at 06:44 AM

I'm in a similar position - my highest total cholesterol was around 400, but my HDL has always been pretty good, and my Trigs quite low, so it's an LDL thing. It would be wrong to say I am not worried about it at all, but I definitely look at it in a new light following some of the mythbusting recent research. Free the Animal has some good posts on cholesterol. I also found (from that site) that taking relatively high doses of (the right quality of) fish oil daily reduced my markers quite substantially - worth looking into.

1
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on April 28, 2010
at 09:12 PM

Cholesterol is VERY mis-understood. You really NEED to do some research on all the Cholesterol myths that are out there - Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD is a great place to start as is Jimmy Moore's blog. he just posted an article on why Doctors don't understand Cholesterol. Paleo diet and foods low in Omega 6s will improve your health better than any doctors advice or drug. Take control- don't let a doctor do that- this isn't the 1950's.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 28, 2010
at 10:13 PM

Do you really feel qualified to give that advice to somebody with TC of 500?

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on April 28, 2010
at 10:16 PM

Yes, it is misunderstood. But, I didn't get the sense the original poster didn't know that. That said, you should not dismiss the relevance of cholesterol to somebody with TC of 500 - certainly not based on a few paleo blogs... It's probably ok for her, but certainly worth investigating.

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on May 01, 2010
at 04:55 AM

I had the sense that many know but still hang on to the old beliefs. A PROPER Cholesterol test should be saught, not the BS one given mostly everyone in a doctors office. If you do read the BOOKS by DOCTOR Ravnskov, how to proceed will be better understood that a tit for tat on anyone blog.

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on May 01, 2010
at 04:57 AM

oops typo- "sought"

0
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on October 26, 2012
at 05:40 AM

Take a good read of this. It is sound information.

http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Paleo-Solution-151.pdf

Sometimes "anything goes" is not the healthiest approach and can lead to unecessary and serious problems.

Best of luck to you.

Follow up!

0
6059655a2cc82837a8668d4a255cc6e4

on October 23, 2012
at 01:32 AM

I'm an athletic female I've got the same problem. What is it about paleo that cuts out 2-hydroxyestrones? This (eliminated by flavenoids and DIM) seem to be the one connection that I can find.

0
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on April 28, 2010
at 07:47 PM

Either way, the LDL will likely just be an aggregate count, not taking into consideration the further density subdivisions of LDL. I believe you have to get it run through a centrifuge to get an accurate breakdown. Very small dense LDL is bad, big fluffy LDL is OK.

A LDL/triglyceride comparison would be helpful though. Typically, low HDL along with high triglycerides is a bad thing, regardless of the total LDL count.

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