HI everyone...this is my first post so i'm not sure how it works. Anyway my problem is my Cholesterol is over doctor won't give me statins because I have a fatty liver probably due to years of heavy drinking. I also smoke. I have now given up drink and am on a low cholesterol diet. I also take co-enzyme10 tabs plus flaxseed oil capsules. Any advice on what else I should be doing.I.m a 56 yr old male.

p.s. my father died at 58 from a massive Heart attack as did his brother and 2 sisters. My doctor says I have inherited his genetic make up. My blood pressure is always perfect 120/80 (normally) Got that from my Mother who lived till 90.....

29 Replies

  • The body produces 80% cholesterol because there is a demand from the body system. The food intake bring in the other 20 %. By food intake control, exercise you can reduce cholesterol but it is a slow process.

    Pleas ask your doctor the question why is your body producing (12) total cholesterol.

    Your doctor may be able to do other blood test other than the total cholesterol blood test. For example, inflammation, magnesium and blood particles and so on.

    Risk factors for fatty liver disease include diabetes and elevated triglyceride levels.

    Did your doctor give you triglyceride number.

    Do you know your blood glucose


    When you say lower cholesterol diet, where did the diet comes from?

    There are a lot of information available of cholesterol lowering food on the Internet.

  • Thanks Bala..I'll arrange a visit to my Doctor...Would you know if smoking has much of an affect on cholesterol. Am I alright taking the co-enzyme q10 supplements & Flaxseed capsules. Is exercise that important as I suffer from a little arthritis and can't walk for long (20 mins at a time is the most I could walk). Eugene

  • I am afraid I am unable to answer the question on smoking as I did not smoke. Again I do not take supplements.

    When you visit your you doctor, you could ask for a 12- lead electro cardiogram stress test and echo cardiogram test. I had both done to make sure there were no problems, this is because my GP asked me to go on statin to lower cholesterol to undo the damage, my question was "What damage"? GP suggested to do both tests, Both tests did not show any problems therefore no medication required, my total cholesterol is higher than UK average. We are monitoring by six monthly bold tests.

    Most of my food home coked, fresh veg, fish and chicken, do eat rice twice a week.

    I read in the papers today, "what to eat less"...

    Cakes, biscuits and pasta.

    Watch out for hidden fats, trans fatty acids, which increase total cholesterol and lower the good (HDL) cholesterol.

    I do not go for cakes, biscuits and pasta.

  • hi bala....have arranged to see doctor 11.30am tomorrow . Will ask him about the various tests you mentioned..Thanks for all you advice....emcg1236

  • While you are at the doctors you can ask your doctor to do a QRISK calculation and explain the numbers and then ask your doctor to vary one or two parameters and see how the results varies.

  • In QRISK calculation, the parameters like smoking, blood pressure, weight can all be varied (example, for smoking yes or no) weight (15 stones, lower it to 13 stones). A good GP should be able to do this and explain the benefits if giving up smoking and lowering weight!

    After seeing qrisk calculation then it is up to the individual to take the necessary action..

  • co-enzyme q10 as I understand it is a vital vitamin that is eradicated when taking statins.

    Smoking - I stopped in 84' best thing I ever did. My friend who is a similar age had a stroke - he was a fit bloke /roofer.. he was in his 40's - he had a stroke - he chain smoked roll ups. It blocks your arteries really bad.. he survived but had hearing loss and his health has inevitably suffered generally.

    You'll get a 30% boost within weeks of stopping.

  • I've being taking co-enzyme q10 for good while but maybe my lifestyle ruined any good effect they had or maybe I'd be even worse if I hadn't being taken them. I am In the process of trying to give roll-ups up again. Stopped smoking from 1983-2000 but slipped up by accepting one from a friend and was back on them again.

  • Hi there. I have to say I'm shocked!! I'm not a huge fan of statins but it sounds like you could have one of the conditions where they are actually necessary. I also have fatty liver and take statins. I did research and there's been studies tgat show they can actually improve fatty liver, my Dr said the same thing. My lft's after one month on atorvastatin were fine, really good actually. If I were you I'd see a different gp because of your very high levels and family history. My gp told me that smoking doesn't cause high cholesterol but it's a very dangerous combination...I do believe that smoking can lower your hdl (good cholesterol) though. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  • P.s the condition your Dr is talking about is called familial hypercholesterolemia and just by your numbers and family history I'd say you almost definitely have it. Do some research about it. If you do have it then diet and excerise won't bring your levels down, but it's still important to do it.

  • Hi j--9...going to doc tomorrow..will ask him about familial hypercholesterolemia...Have read up on it today after you mentioned it..Hope I don't have it, but will have to deal with it If I have...thanks a lot.

  • I'm surprised that none of the above replies say anything about giving up smoking. This is the first thing you should do.

  • Good morning emcg1236. I can imagine how you are feeling as I remember the shock of being told that I had Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) over thirty years ago. I endorse what other people on the forum have said but would suggest that you look at HEART UK's website as this charity was set up to help families such as ours, also thirty years ago, and they will be able to offer lots of support to you and your family.

    Tomorrow is the start of their annual Conference & AGM but they will all be in the office again next week. They will certainly suggest that your GP refers you to a lipid clinic for specialised advice.

    May I also suggest that, if you have children, you also make sure they get their cholesterol levels checked? The good news is that, even though each child has a 50/50 chance of inheriting this faulty gene from you, if they have not inherited it, they cannot pass it on to their children. If they have inherited it, then they can now take advice on how to ensure they can alter their lifestyles to ensure it does not keel them.

    Also any brothers, sisters, cousins on your Father's side of the family need to be told that they would be advised get their cholesterol level checked.

    There is a lot to learn about our condition but it is not a death sentence - unless you choose to ignore it. I shall be off line whilst at the AGM but look forward to reading from you again on this forum when I return.

  • Just quit smoking. It was the biggest factor for my heart attack. Was revived 5 times before they saved me. Your story was the same as mine. Just quit. You know you should. Just do it. Stop looking for ways to keep it going. I am positive you were told to. Stopping drinking will not have as great an impact as stopping smoking.

  • Smoking, hidden sugar, free sugar all there are bad for human health therefore an individual need to address these three health issues. Healthy eating and regular exercise can help with healthy life.

  • I fully endorse what Wyvon says. Given the family history, you're highly likely to have FH.

    Like Wyvon, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol just under 30 years ago - mine was 18.9. My father had a fatal heart attack in his mid 50's, and had all the physical signs of high cholesterol. Some of his siblings also had it.

    Can you try and get a referal to your local or regional Lipid Clinic (some have been set up, more being done in the future) or Lipidologist. Mine is an Endicrinologist and is based in the diabetes department of my county hospital. They may arrange genetic testing (just a blood test), but sometimes family history is almost as conclusive.

    They will also know of a wider range of treatments than your GP (unless they also happen to be a specialist), which drugs are coming on-line soon and of other treatments such as Lipid Apheresis (a bit like kidney dialysis but stripping out cholesterol - and without the patient slowly getting worse!).

    Have you children? If so, they may well want initially to get a cholesterol test from them as well, and eventually a genetic cascade test. Also in the case of children, it could also be a good idea to get your partner to have a test - getting the FH gene from both parents can be very serious.

    And finally, please look at the Heart UK web site -

  • I am suspected of having FH and the doctor at my lipid clinic who is testing me say they want to identify EVERYONE with FH. So if my tests prove to be positive they will be asking to check my family members and do cascade screening.

    So a lipid clinic/specialist is the way to go

  • do you have your cholesterol numbers?

  • not the breakdown. My cholesterol was 8.8 and has already improved on 20mg daily simvastatin.

  • See my various post responses on this. In a FEW people Simvastatin can have adverse effects which are gradual and not obvious. Get regular blood tests.

  • I am on 20mg statins and only have one complaint about them I am getting a lot of cramp in my legs. I find that if I stop taking the statins for a day or two that eases things a bit but isn't that defeating the purpose of taking them.

  • Discuss this with your GP and try a different statin and see if it can help you.

  • I agree with bala. In the meantime, taking the odd day off isn't great but it's also not completely awful because it takes a while for cholesterol levels to return to their (high) baseline.

  • A low cholesterol diet? You mean low fat? Don't eat a low fat diet - they make you ill..

    I eat oilly fish(wild salmon) tinned/fresh not farmed. I eat eggs, butter, full fat greek yoghurt - I avoid bread, starch, sugar, vegetable oils (I eat butter, olive oil. coconut oil, (cold pressed oils are good but not standard sunflower/rapeseed) goose fat -

    My cholesterol is fab - I also take hempseed oil and cod liver oil capsules are fab - makes all your wrinkles disappear too which is good. Sugar/starch drives cholesterol not eggs meat or cheese.. this contradicts recent NHS advice but they are presiding over a diabetes epidemic and 750,000 NHS employees are obese - so, make your own mind up :-)

  • Aye, what is needed is a cholesterol-lowering diet or right-fat diet more than a low-cholesterol diet or low-fat diet.

    The hypothesis that sugar/starch drives cholesterol has even less evidence than the lipid hypothesis, doesn't it?

    However, current NHS advice agrees on cutting down on sugar - I think the key difference of opinion is what proportions of your energy needs should come from starch, fats and protein.

  • Yes, they say we should cut down on sugar generally - but when you go to the docs as a diabetic they tell you to eat porridge! - it's ok to eat bread! - Fruit! ..and other stuff like rice and potatoes.. but the body sees these things as sugar! They're telling diabetics to eat sugar! Prescribing statins which cause diabetes! Then meds for diabetes! It's madness! The statin & diabetes medication business is worth $450 BILLION world wide every year!

    I can tell you, that is never going to work!

    But, If you replace your starches and sugars with good fats and eat more quality protien you are going to have much better cholesterol levels, you are going to lose weight and your sugar levels will return to normal or thereabouts..

    You can't have high sugar levels if you're not eating sugar or the things the body converts to sugar in your diet (apart from the sugar that the liver produces when you're sleeping etc..)

    If you eat an omlet for breakfast, with some cheese in it - it's glyceamically almost zero.. then eat some fish for lunch, maybe just a little fruit with greek yoghurt in the afternoon.. and then a normal meal with a very small portion of carb in the evening with lots of veg..

    That means your body is sugar fasting for nearly 23 hours a day.

    THAT makes a HUGE impact on diabetes..

    You won't get hungry at all either - and no cravings

  • GPs do need to offer more advice on food intake. Free sugar, hidden sugar, we all need to watch. WE wait and see if and when NHS comes with new food plate, low cab high fat food. I agree with the above.

  • I was diagnosed as having familial hyperlipidemia (inherited high cholesterol) almost 20 yrs ago when I was just 21. We got screened after my mum had strokes. Turned out both myself (youngest) and my eldest sister had inherited it. Both my daughters where tested when they were young and both had inherited it and also put on statins. I think it's 50% dominant. Ask your doctor for more information and to refer you to a lipids clinic x

  • Btw, my cholesterol is 14 x

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