I have been told too many conflicting things regarding cholesterol and unsure whom to believe. During a physical my doctor said I have elevated cholesterol and asked if there were any other issues. I explained I'm not really interested in cholesterol issues; I have had sore ribs for almost a year and was hoping to follow up after taking x-rays of the ribs a few months earlier.
He said he reviewed the x-rays and would prescribe some medication and would like a follow up in six weeks. I made a follow up appointment when I left and asked for the prescription. The appointment desk informed me it would be at the pharmacy when I arrive to pick it up.
I took the medication as instructed but had to apparently get a refill to keep taking it for my appointment. I have never taken anything for so long before.
The day of my appointment (actually two appointments) I had to give blood in the morning after fasting. (Was not told to fast for the previous test) I asked what the draws were checking and the phlebotomist said cholesterol and liver. When I was finished, I called the nurse before the next appointment and asked why they were checking the cholesterol and liver so soon after my last appointment and she replied it was standard procedure. I asked to confirm the doctor was still going to give a diagnosis for the ribs that day and she said no and there is no reason for the doctor to see me. She said she would cancel the next appointment and if my ribs hurt I should make another appointment. I should also expect the results within a week. (Results arrived four weeks later).
After receiving the results I called as they meant absolutely nothing to me. There was nothing regarding the medication either. I called to inquire about this and was told the results were fine and to keep taking the medication. When asked about the duration she said "long time", could be 3 months.
After a few more phone calls over the next few months I was told by nurses, doctors and my provider:
TC was 167 and the medication might be for years
The medication is for cholesterol and not the ribs
If want a diagnosis for the ribs, I should pay for a separate appointment after the completion of cholesterol treatment.
I might have a goal of <200 and I am only at 167 so I should work harder on exercise to get rid of it (I took an extra hour of vacation every day and pulled my kids out of afterschool sports so we could work out that extra hour without screwing up too much of the logistic schedule) - increased exercise during the week from 3 hours to 8 hours.
I am currently at 167 and if I don't want to pop pills every day I could take a lesser dose but would have to come back in to get checked.
Changing doses would not extend the time but would not do much because it already is a low dose.
Must get rid of cholesterol from the food (changed to eating strictly oatmeal and tuna sandwiches everyday)
My cholesterol is from family history
Need to get rid of cholesterol
Cholesterol is needed in the body
The medication is more of an art than a science so we cannot predict duration
The medication is not an art but a science as it is supposed to block the liver
The medication has no side effects
The medication may have some side effects
There are two different goals the doctor may want and when asked which one, - "I don't know" was my answer
Cholesterol has no cure and must be controlled
Cholesterol is not forever and treatment can be completed.
Check cholesterol annually sometime. (Checks are for the medication according to the diagnosis code V58.69)
Heart disease has not claimed a single life that I am aware of in my family. Father and both grandfathers have survived a heart attack or stroke.
Cancer has been the cause of all the deaths in family members older than me (male and female). My brother recently was diagnosed with stage 4 liver, colon and bone cancer. He will not see 48. Father made it one week after turning 60. Mother had lung cancer. Not sure of Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents sources.
So should I start to worry over cholesterol at 167? How long does it take to complete cholesterol treatment? I gave up on eating strictly oatmeal and tuna everyday. Not into fad diets. It took me 8 years to gain 50lbs - difficult to maintain. Went from 6ft, 27 inch waist to 33 inches and having trouble breaking the 180lbs barrier again. Some nurse said it is all about the BMI, I just want to feel comfortable.
My goal is to finish the cholesterol regiment and get a rib diagnosis as soon as possible to rule out pancreatic cancer or anything else. It has been almost a year of pain and 12 ibuprofen a day.
Why I should even care if all the answers are contradictions? Where can I find an unbiased resource? It seems either cholesterol is a con or complete death. We eat and exercise healthy normally and if it is heredity, than I cannot change it. I am 41, single parent father, non-smoker and want to resolve this before I am 42.
Hi Papa Smurf, You have every right to be confused. The truth can be found in human physiology, far removed from commercial interests.
Cholesterol is actually needed by the body where it serves many positive roles. It helps build strong healthy cells, helps keep our nerves healthy, helps form the bile acids we use for digestion, and it is found in abundance in the brain where it helps aid in memory and concentration. Its also needed to make vitamin D.
Unfortunately, commercial interests have Demonized cholesterol, painting an image of cholesterol as a villain placed in our bodies for the purpose of giving us a heart attack.
Half the heart attacks happen to people with low cholesterol. You be the Judge. If total cholesterol levels are to blame, is it the high cholesterol, or the low cholesterol causing heart attacks?
The relationship between total cholesterol levels and heart attacks never panned out. But it made a lot of money, and it still does today.
If you are suffering rib pain you need to see a physician who will address your primary concern ASAP, and not deviate trying to sell you a drug for a disease you don't have.