Tuesday, July 20, 2010

walking heart attack waiting to happen.


I went to the doctor last week. Had my cholesterol tested, just for fun. There is a family history of scarily high cholesterol in my family, traditionally in the men. My dad and two of my brothers have it, and other extended family members. Apparently the U of U did a whole study on my family about it. That being said, only two members of said extended family have had heart issues (one heart attack, on stent) and there is a general history of longevity and overall good health.

So anyway, my sisters have both tested low, so I was expecting low results as well, especially since I have changed my lifestyle along with A, since he tested high last year. I've written about all of it before, losing 20 lbs (25 on a good day) cutting almost all meat out of my diet, increasing intake of good fats (fish, nuts, avocados) and fiber, eating oatmeal every morning, and exercising more. I could probably improve, but feel pretty good about my lifestyle.

Well, I looked at the results last night, and got a concerned call from a nurse at my doctor's office, and here's why.

Overall Cholesterol: 272 (normal is 122-199)
LDL: 218 (normal is <100)
HDL: 37 (normal is 40-83)

There were more numbers listed, but I don't really know what they mean. My triglycerides are within the normal range, as well.

The doctor wanted me to come in to retest, my guess is he thought something got messed up (because seriously, how can it be that high?). I explained to the nurse my family history. She had me hold while she discussed with the doctor. In the end, I get to skip the second test and just go in for another appointment (I'm thinking, great, another $35) where he'll probably try to get me on drugs. I'll say no. Here's what I will do.

-Exercise more. Try to work up to 45 minutes 6 days a week instead of 20-30 minutes 0-5 times a week (usually about 4).
-Eat better. This means no more french fries at Apollo burger, orange chicken and noodles at Panda, and fried fish tacos at Rubios. It also means no more red meat. Regardless of its locality or quality of life. And no more baking, and no more indulging in too many desserts at family functions. It means self control.
-Continue eating oatmeal everyday. Lately this has been going well. For awhile I was on an irregular sleep schedule, not getting up at a consistent hour everyday. This made exercising and eating oatmeal (which takes time) more difficult. Now that I've normalized my schedule (eat oatmeal and be ready to get on the machine by 6:30 every morning) things have been going better. That is what I want to keep going.

I don't have a lot of hope that I'll be able to lower my cholesterol, but I am glad that I got tested and found out it is high. I feel like this is the kick in the pants that I really needed to push myself to be healthier. Since I lost a little weight I've become a little too comfortable. Sometimes I feel like I can eat whatever I want because of it, which is not building healthy habits. That is about to change, folks. Right after I eat this last Sour Patch Kid.


alyddall said...

I find this as astonishing as I did when Andrew got tested. I think you should have it redone. When you go to your annual GYN check up, have them do it (if you don't before) and you should only have to pay one co-pay for both together. I guess it is a good thing that both of you buy in to the same lifestyle for cholesterol management.

My friend sent me this link: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml because I would like to take up running (slowly) too. Thought you might like to look it over. I don't know how good of a runner you already are. Keep us posted if you redo the blood work.

Marta said...

Funny! I used the same site for my training this morning. So far so good.

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