Should I be concerned?

Hi. I'm new to the board. I did post a few days ago but my post has vanished so I apologise if this is a duplicate post.

I'm a 36 year old female. I had my cholesterol tested 2 years ago after my mum's brother had a heart attack due to high cholesterol. He was otherwise fit and healthy. We were all advised to get tested. My mum and her sisters all had high cholesterol as did some of my younger cousins. Everyone should on statins now.

My result came back at 5.9 but my gp said that was fine. 2 weeks ago I had it tested again due to the family history I insisted we didn't wait 5 years. He retested and my results were as follows

Total cholesterol 6.9

Serum HDL - 1.6

Serum LDL - 3.8

Triglycerides 3.0

My gp said he isn't concerned and he did a risk assessment and out of 10 I scored 0.5. He wants me to go on a low fat diet. I already eat super healthy. I only eat chicken and tuna. No read meats. No friend food or burgers. I eat plenty of vegetables. He's told me to cut out cheese and fats. He will re test me in the autumn of this year.

I walk my dogs for 30 minutes every day and I do daily yoga. I am 5ft all and 119lbs. I am pretty healthy.

My thyroid recently became sluggish. My tsh was 5.35 and t4 11. 2 weeks ago at the rend test my tsh was 2.93 and t4 10.2. Gp isn't concerned despite my mum and her family having hypothyroidism. He said my tsh is now much better and he wasn't even concerned when it was 5.35 I the summer. The range is up to 5.5 here in the UK. I'm considering going private for that next test.

Any tips of lowering cholesterol? I'm having the plant sterol drink daily now and using the spread.

Thank you



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23 Replies

  • I think the best way for you to get your cholesterol down is to stop eating sugar. Your diet sounds really healthy. There's lots of very good advice out there about healthy diet and exercise - have a look at Micheal Mosely's 5:2 plan. Not from the point of view of weight loss, but the point of view of health. Latest research shows that fats are not the main issue for high cholesterol, it's refined carbohydrates and alcohol that does the damage. Try not to worry. I think you are fortunate to have a sensible GP that doesn't push statins. Good luck.

  • "Latest research" is handwaving. Please link it if you've got it, as long as it's not the Daily Fail or known bigot blogs.

  • Thank you.

    I do yoga daily and walking.

    I eat healthy and don't smoke or drink. I do like dark chocolate. It was very hard finding out about my cholesterol the week before Christmas haha!

    I am also on a gluten free diet as it helps my ibs. I'm 3 weeks into that.

    I shall take a look. Thanks.

  • I think if you have a gluten sensitivity and sluggishness and history of underactive thyroids in your family you should test for Hashimoto's disease. I did a test with Geneva Diagnostics after seeing a Natropath and it confirmed that even though my test results with the doctor were coming back normal I had 300x the amount of ....can't remember the name which meant I had the auto-immune disease. Look it up, it also can affect cholesterol might only have a few symptoms at the start as it can take years to diagnose as you get sicker and sicker but it can be diagnosed and is worth catching early if indeed it is the case. I can't give up dark chocolate either ha ha! I hope you get to the bottom of it all.

  • You might want to consider Plant Stanol / Sterol Esters (Flora ProActiv / Benecol) as a supplement to your diet - they can help cut CH.

    It sounds as if your GP is following protocol - first trying diet modification before going on to suggest medications, which of course is a sensible thing to do.

    A good place to start looking for scientific diet advice is They have an Ultimate Cholesterol Lowering Plan which suggests a mix of proven cholesterol lowering methods from different diets.

    Then there's always the advice "Eat food, not too much; mostly plant".

    If you can lower your cholesterol without using medication (from either 'Big Pharma' or 'Alternative'), great. If it doesn't work, do try whatever you're offered by the medics - if they don't work for you, then try something else.

  • Thank you.

    I shall take a look at the link.

    I've recently started using the cholesterol lowering drinks. I've read they can be helpful.

    Thank for your reply.


  • Your triglycerides are probably too high but you could lower them by not eating processed food, which you may not do anyway? The total cholesterol is irrelevant, it's the ratio that is important and you don't mention that. Better to eat fruit and veg than those plant sterols as drinks and spreads: they are expensive and the spread is still margarine [trigs]. Eat real butter and ignore the advice about not eating saturated fat.

    Avoid anything labelled as 'low fat' - they have to add sugar to make up for the fat they've taken out just to make it palatable. Sugar is the enemy, not saturated fat.

    My own total C is 6.6, not that different to yours and my Qrisk was 15% at the last count [ my age,73, is a factor,] but as usual the GP offered statins to which I refused.

    As somebody on this site pointed out 'a 15% risk of having a heart attack/stroke within ten years' [which is what the drs use as a reason to put you on a statin - because NICE tells them they have to] equates to '85% of NOT having a heart attack/stroke within 10 years.' Don't be fooled, you need cholesterol for every cell in your body and the risk of muscle damage is too great in my opinion.

  • Better yet, read the labels. Some things labelled "low fat" have higher sugar to compensate, but not all of them.

    "Real butter" hahaha. All fat spreads have their drawbacks. Spreading neat xv olive oil is probably best but that isn't always appropriate for other reasons.

    Fruit and veg can't really replace the function of plant stanol drinks which outcompete cholesterol in part of the process. I agree that I don't see the value of the spreads if you're already taking the recommended daily dose of drinks.

    Other than that, I don't necessarily agree with the above completely, but I don't disagree completely either :)

  • I won't be eating any butter or dairy that's for sure. I really need to cut these things out.

    I'm using the plant sterol drinks daily.

  • Great advice thank you.

    My gp.told me to cut out dairy especially cheese and butter which I do like.

    Only sugar I have is dark chocolate which I do have a little every day ;)

    I don't eat any processed food. My diet is tuna or chicken, veggies, porridge, sweet potatoes, brown rice pasta as my diet is now gluten free. I've cut eggs out too.

    My full results were .... I will type them out in a separate message underneath as I need to look for them. Lol!


  • I believe you should be introducing healthy fats if you are not already. I cook with organic Coconut oil which is fantastic (you can get fragrance free as well which has had the taste steamed out of it for eggs!). Healthy fats like nuts and avos' etc are very important as I'm sure you're aware. Grass fed butter in moderation is better than margarine and I believe it's better to eat full fat things like Greek yoghurt. Fat is not the enemy. Trans fats are the enemy and sugar as has already been suggested as they produce inflammation within our bodies along with refined grains. A little sugar in moderation is surely fine but avoid processed everything as you are. I try and eat berries. I love cheese and will not be told to cut down! I think it's worth it with all the other healthy things I'm doing! Anyone can reply to say otherwise :)

  • Full cholesterol results

    Serum Cholesterol - 6.9mmol

    Serum Triglycerides - 3 mmol

    Serum HDL cholesterol - 1.6mmol

    Non HDL cholesterol - 5.3mmol

    Total cholesterol HDL ratio - 4.3 mmol

    Serum LDL cholesterol - 3.9 mmol

  • Full cholesterol results

    Serum Cholesterol - 6.9mmol

    Serum Triglycerides - 3 mmol

    Serum HDL cholesterol - 1.6mmol

    Non HDL cholesterol - 5.3mmol

    Total cholesterol HDL ratio - 4.3 mmol

    Serum LDL cholesterol - 3.9 mmol

  • Hi,

    Food and drink intake control can help towards a healthy life.

    Life style change is necessary. you can go for LCHF diet with regular exercise.

    Watch out for hidden sugar and free sugar in processed foods and also drinks.

    Controlling cholesterol is a slow process but it can come down without any medication.

    There is a new way of looking at cholesterol test results, some GPs do use it.

  • Thank you. My GP did a risk assessment and he said my risk out of 10 was 0.5 so told me not to worry.

    I have a good diet, don't drink any sugary drinks, I only drink water or camomile tea.

    I hope I can get it down even if it is hyreditary.

  • I do eat coconut oil, real butter, eggs, full cream cheese, chicken green leaf vegetables and fish. go for blood test every 6 months to keep an eye on the numbers.

  • How have you got your numbers down by eating the saturated fats? My GP told me to avoid them now.

  • It's sugar that and refined carbohydrate that's the problem. saturated fat is not the enemy. I lost two stone on a low fat diet yet my cholesterol rocketed. Fats are important part of the diet.

  • I agree. My sugars have been high on the hba1c diabetes test too. Not diabetic but range 21-41 and mine were 40! So maybe sugar is the enemy here.

  • All you have to do is read the latest information on online sites. Yesterday it was in the papers, a UK cardiologist is asking his parents to a lot of fat food!!!!

    It is the new school , not the old school, time is changing?

  • Hello

    If you are still worried, you can ask your GP to refer you to a lipid clinic, given your family history.

    That's probably the best thing.

    The only other observation I'd make is that your trigylcerides are quite high. This may be an indication of something genetic, or it could be to do with your diet or alcohol consumption. If you drink alcohol, you may want to consider giving up for a bit and seeing if your trigs improve.

    It's recommended that your triglycerides are below 1.7.

    Here's an article which explains more and about diet and lifestyle factors that may help you to lower triglycerides.

  • Thank you.

    Having the high triglycerides was a shock for sure. I down drink or smoke. I don't eat red meat or fatty food.

    Thanks for the link.


  • As I said there are some genetic conditions which make your trigs high, so it might not be anything you're doing. But worth giving diet/exercise a try.

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