Totally in the dark with these readings :-(

I was recently admitted to A + E in the early hours with faintness and palpitations. My pulse on waking up at 3am was 140. In hospital they took blood tests and my cholesterol wasn't given on the form for my GP but the following figures were. Can anyone translate them? Are they bad readings? I'm 71 years old and getting a bit anxious. The readings are: LDL 2.81, HDL 1.66, Cholesterol/HDL ratio 2.90, Triglycerides 0.73

28 Replies

  • What they haven't given is your total cholesterol which is why it's confusing. The figures which make it up LDL,HDL and triglycerides look absolutely fine. You could ask what your total cholesterol is to put your mind at rest.

  • The hospital didn't write it down so I don't think I will ever know --- unless I go back to A+E and ask but I don't really want another visit there!!!

  • Hello,

    You can calculate total cholesterol on the web by putting other known values. I red your question yesterday but did not want to respond but wanted to think about it, there must be a reason for total cholesterol not given, may be new practice, people are beginning to understand the cholesterol and numbers now. Your total cholesterol is in the region of 4, but please do check it yourself!!!

  • Thank you. Yes I think doing it the way the hospital did it may be a new thing. I don't think my total cholesterol is that low though -- I would be very happy if it was!! :) -- but yes I will try and get it checked.

  • Hello,

    Another idea came to me while I was on the bike in the gym!, chemist, Boots and many others do basic cholesterol and blood sugar check. With our saying much and not giving much information just ask if they could do a check on your cholesterol, you may have to give your GP details. Give it a try. I have done it.

  • Thank you :)

  • Add your LDL, HDL and Trigliciride figures together - I make it 5.2 - and for someone of your age with probably some underlying health problems like arthritis (like me) and a few other aches and pains that is excellent. Your ratio is also good - there is now a school of thought that your ratio (total Cholesterol level divided by HDL) should be below 4 - yours at 2.9 is also very good. If you have good Blood Pressure, your weight is good, with your waist measurement less than half your height, you are onto a winner!!! All the best

  • very interesting indeed. Thank you so much.

  • ohhh -- my waist measurement is 86 cm and my height is 160 cm. So a bit of work needs doing I think. I didn't know about waist and height thing -- interesting. I do have a roll of flab. Not huge but it's there:(

  • Don't worry too much about the roll of flab (subcutaneous fat), it's the fat underneath (visceral fat) that is the problem. If you lose inches from around your waist your visceral fat will be disappearing, but you may still be left with a roll of fat, unless you are an exercise fanatic.

  • Hello,

    The web calculator differ to your answer, I am afraid!.

    Maths and real test values are very different!

    The best is to go to a chemist for total cholesterol test.

  • I had it done in Sainsbury's but they don't do the LDL for some reason. Mine was 4.6 but I hadn't a clue what the LDL was. Maybe I'll go along to Boots and know everything once and for all!!

  • Hello Bala, The test at the chemist should be a starvation test (ie do not eat before you go so go early in the morning) as that should give the more accurate one. It is amazing how a non starvation test can vary considerably from the fasting one - the figures can be quite huge!

  • A trick I found with losing the excess inches around the middle was to cut down on the carbohydrates - not completely out of the diet - but watch that bread!!!! I found that if I replaced toast with a banana, had no bread with Italian meals or soup, and had open sandwiches (only one slice on the bottom or try rye bread - very Scandinavian!) and I lost the inches - not necessarily the weight! Bread seems to encourage fluid retention around the middle (at least with me) Give it a try for a couple of weeks and see how you go. Best wishes!

  • Modern bread seems to cause a lot of problems.

  • I can't tolerate modern bread - it gives me terrible bloating problems - that is why I make my own using organic flour and the old fashioned two proving recipe. I am going to have a go at making sourdough bread which takes up to a week to get to the final product!

  • I love toast in the morning!! But will try thank you

  • I have begun to make my own! With a 1lb of flour (500 gm in new money!) I can make a loaf last nearly a week and it stays much fresher and does not go mouldy either!!!!

  • Is rolled oats porridge good for you? The jumbo oats kind, whole rolled. I've started eating this with oat/wheat germ and dried cranberries. Porridge is very good for lowering cholesterol I'm told.......

  • Oats in all its forms are very good for you. It is supposed to have cholesterol lowering properties and is also very good for delicate tummies. It is easily digested unlike wheat based cereals that can "sit" in the stomach and caused problems. Your breakfast sounds very healthy and tasty - keep to it! Especially if you trickle a little good local honey on the top like I do!

  • haha then I go and eat two rounds of toast coated in butter and a cup of tea with two sugars! So 50% healthy - at a push :/

  • Tsh Tsh!!:)

  • Going back to the supermarket tests, they will only do a total cholesterol with a pin prick of blood and maybe a not very accurate machine. Some chemists will do a full "lipid profile" for about £30, but honestly your results sound well OK, as my daughter would say.

  • yes I agree about the supermarket tests not being all that accurate. I was initially "well pleased" with a 4.6 result until I realised there wasn't an LDL!

  • Hello, where did the 4.6 come from? Calculation from A&E numbers?

  • It was the result of Sainsbury's test a while back.

  • All,

    Any testing kit or the person doing the testing, there is an element of difference! same applies to home testing kit.

    Boots testing or any chemist testing or supermarket testing all are a quick guide, pas or fail, low or high.

    Hospital testing is more accurate, again an experienced person testing it makes the difference.

  • Well that's not very good then is it -- pass or fail?? Why bother to try and find out about your cholesterol levels if one test says good and another bad? If Boots charge £30 then surely to goodness their result should be more or less totally accurate?

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