I'm 62 a year old male, about 5'-9" 144 lbs. I was about 156 lbs. until a few months ago when I wanted an exercise program to improve my overall fitness and my shouIders (both had surgery to repair rotator cuff). As a result of my questions to my doctor, I was sent to a cardiologist who gave many tests which appeared normal but eventually a calcium Xray suggested that I had heart disease and the apparently the subsequent Berkley test indicated the same thing.

They gave me a dietary regime and put me on drugs for reducing cholesterol (although my numbers appeared to be quite normal to me). I got pretty sick with stomach problems after begining the diet and drugs so I stopped the meds. I continued with the diet and lost about 10 pounds and my lipid panel test improved somewhat. I'm pretty confused about these numbers and what they really mean.

Last month I was in FL visiting and I took a free screening at the CVS drugstore where the lady tested my blood and came back with some really alarming numbers. When I returned home, I went to a test lab and had a lipid panel done and my results are:

tryglicerides: 72
total cholesterol: 164
HDL: 37
LDL: 113

Next to the HDL and LDL there is a (L) and (H) respectively. What gives? I realize that the HDL is a bit under 40, but the LDL of 113 is high?

I was looking around old papers and found some old lipid panel results of 8 years ago and my HDL was about the same although my total was about 200. I remember at that time my doctor suggested I change my diet which I did and reduced my weight from about 165 pounds to the 150's.

I was an avid bicyclist and later a runner from my late 30's to early 50's. I got sedentary and gained some weight later but it did not seem so bad.. I have not smoked or drank alcohol in more than 20 years and lately my diet consists of fresh veggies, little meat, hardly any sugar or white flour and generally no processed foods. Do I really need to take cholesterol lowering drugs?

Thanks
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replied October 20th, 2008
Supporter
L and H are as you probably guessed Low and High.

LDL of 113 is high in those predisposed to heart disease and smokers. If lifestyle modification does not lower the LDL significantly in a couple months, then cholesterol lowering agents are indicated.

Hope that helps.
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replied October 20th, 2008
Cholesterol lowering drugs.
Thanks for the input. The concerns that I have about the cholesterol lowering agents are twofold. Firstly, it appears that when I take cholesterol lowering agents, my HDL goes down along with the LDL. This is not a good thing according to the current mainstream medical establishment.
Secondly, I'm very concerned with the possible side effects of these drugs. The listed side effects include possible liver damage and a whole host of other possible damages to the internal organs.
Now, if taking the drugs is not helping my HDL/LDL ratio, and the drugs present a danger to the liver ansd other organs, it would seem that their use is of doubtful benefit...
I've been reading a lot of stuff in the internet and various books and publications. The more I read the less sure I am about any particular course of treatment.

Thanks again for your input.
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replied October 20th, 2008
Supporter
You can try eating more fibre in the diet, as this complexes with bile acids and decreases absorption of cholesterols and fats.

Which drugs are you taking? (I'm guessing some sort of statin?)
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replied October 20th, 2008
I've practically become a silo for oatmeal LOL, All kidding aside, I've changed my diet a lot and now I consume lots of fresh veggies, fruits, legumes, brown rice, etc.
I was eating lots of oatmeal daily as well, but the last doctor I consulted (an endocrinologist) told me to avoid dairy products as well as wheat, barley, rye and even oatmeal because he believes I have a big problem with wheat. I did take some soluble fiber supplements and I just found some gluten free oatmeal.
I'm not taking the statin drugs although that is what was prescribed after the first drugs I took which were something different (I can't remember the name now). Those drugs I stopped taking because I developed serious indigestion problems. In retrospect, the change of diet might have had something to do with that too. But It's hard to think that embracing a "healthy" diet could cause such havoc.....
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