Monday, January 14, 2013


   I've 'suffered' from high cholesterol most of my life.  Even when I was a strict vegan, my cholesterol tested high. 
   I resisted the statin drugs---I felt great, and was very hesitant to take a pill because of a number on a test----the annual physical I have to do for San Diego Fire results every year in a scolding by the doctor---"It's absolutely insane tp put your life in jeopardy with cholesterol levels like yours"----Never mind I hold the record for the 12-lead treadmill stress test for my age group.  Great blood pressure.  My calcium score, which shows plaque build up, is at ZERO.  Show me something else, something other than a single number.
   Well, this year had some particularly stressful parts----dealing with AM's health, building a house, work stuff---which led to chronic heartburn, then skipped heartbeats.  Then xanthelasmas around my eye---big yellowy bumps that are basically cholesterol deposits exuding out of my body. 
   There's the 'something else'.
   So, went in for bloodwork to my own doctor---total cholesterol of 252.  He started me on Lipitor 20 mg per day (lowest dose).  I stopped eating out at work (saving about $25-$30 per shift) and AnnaMarie sends me to work with healthy stuff.  My doc also has me on 2,000 mg of fish oil supplements a day, and I'm taking Coq10 (an important enzyme that statin drugs can block your liver from producing along with the cholesterol--main cause for most statin side effects)  and bumped up my workouts.  I'm on the stair stepper, one hour a day, right now up to level 15---according to the screen I burn 1113 calories--and I've dropped 7 pounds.  I really feel great---no more heartburn, no more skipped beats, sleeping well, and the xanthelasmas have all but disappeared.
   Here it is six weeks into the new program.  I'll violate my own HIPAA privacy laws and share these numbers with you
                                  was             is
Total cholesterol        252            176
HDL                          44               46  (good cholesterol)
LDL                         177             102
Triglycerides             157             141

     Unfortunately I can't say how much a role the statins played since I changed a bunch of things at once.  I do know I've always tested high.  I also know I don't want a stroke, heart attack, or any other life limiting event.  I don't like the fact I take daily pills now but it's not a big deal