Am I worrying over nothing? FH?

So I bought the book The Great Cholesterol Con. Had a little read through.  Can't say I agreed with alot of what he said.  He mentioned FH. I couldn't understand what he was saying about it, but he did say something about 5 year olds dying from chd. Well this alarmed me. My uncle at 51 had a heart attack.  Slim, healthy.... and was told it was due to a problem with his liver and cholesterol and to get his family all tested. I've spoken to my auntie and asked was it fh he was diagnosed with, it was 11 years ago so she's not sure now but it was something to do with his liver?

So my aunties, my mum and cousins all got their cholesterol tested and all had high cholesterol and ended up on statins. My cousin was about 14 at the time when she was given statins. I'm 36, slim and my cholesterol wad 6.9 in December.  It was a non fasting sample,  I'd just eaten. My LDL was 3.9, hdl 1.6 and triglycerides 3. My gp wasn't concerned at my age and said my risk was less than 1%.

Now I'm worried if I have FH and if I do can my children die without me knowing? My friend lost her daughter to chd last week, she was 12 and it's made me so upset. I guess I'm now worried about my cholesterol and my chikdrens risk.

I spoke to my gp about my uncle and he just said he will test me annually.  Didn't seem concerned.

I'm really concerned can anyone advise?

Thank you.

38 Replies

  • You must have a fasting test ASAP and ensure that the other one is clearly marked in your records as a non-fasting one.  This is important because it can affect so many things in the future - I know from personal experience.

    Yes you should have an annual test and from what I have read so should your children. Also you should 

  • Also you should ask to be referred to a lipid specialist rather than being assessed / treated by your GP.

  • Thank you. 

    I had my test in December and he said at this time it doesn't need repeating  until at least late summer. He also didn't think my children required testing. He said that at my levels I wasn't a risk of FH as that gives much higher levels than mine. I hope he is right.

  • Hi . I was told i had high cholesterol which was one of the main course of me having a heart attack, and was told to change my life style completely. No more fatty foods stick to the traffic light system on food packages all green stick to veg and fruit. Been doing this for the last month and can notice a difference. Should,nt take much notice of these people who defy doctors about cholesterol if they say take statins then you should. If you feel you cant take statins then speak to your doctor again there must be alternative or speak to a dietitian perhaps although you are eating the right stuff perhaps not enough of 1 particular food.

  • Thank you Dave.

    My GP wasn't concerned at my levels but I am concerned for my childrens health incase they have inherited this too. 

    I watch what we eat best I can, teenagers are a nighmare though ;-)

    I eat very well, I am a healthy eater. I do my  best to keep active and do yoga daily. 

    I should not have read that book. I didn't agree with him that cholesterol is a con. Of course if you're eating fatty burgers, fries, crisps it can lead to heart problems!

  • Anyone who say,s cholestrol is a con does,nt know jack . If that was the case there would,nt be statins for the disease. Plus i bet the author is,nt medically trained to give such advice. Please be careful what you read i know these books sound like they know what there talking about but usually there just a con and could be dangerous.

  • I totally agree. I read a few pages and thought what utter crap. I skimmed through after that. He was saying cholesterol isn 't caused by diet basically. Rubbish!

    I have been following a low carb, high fat diet for a week to try to reduce my hba1c result but given up as high fat is so bad for cholesterol. It is confusing when trying to get both cholesterol and sugars in a better range. I am slim and healthy, or so I thought until I had my GP test me for everything he could think of ;-)

  • I know, when i started on my diet i thought this is gonna be hard but when you actually look at the traffic light system on the packaging it got really easy . The key is try and stay away from the red and orange i know you cant all the time but most of the time you can . Stick with the green eat veg and fruit. There,s loads of alternatives to meat as well. Try turkey i know it can be dry but its less in fat unlike beef,lamb etc. So far in the last month since i had my heart attack sticking to these foods i,ve lost over a stone . Excercise is essential as well. 

  • So sorry to hear you had a heart attack. I'm glad things are improving for you now.

    I try to avoid alot of packaged foods. Hard with the kids though. I've a veggie, one who loves carbs and a fussy eater who is tiny for his age. I have my work cut out lol.

  • Yeah can be hard with kids i have the 1 at home, well i say kid 22 at the mo, and i do worry about the amount of junk food and drink he has been eating but saying that he does have what we have during the week dinner wise.

  • Same here  he eats pretty healthy meals then will eat crisps and coke when out with friends. My eldest is the same. 

  • Malcolm Kendrick is a doctor.

  • Hi my cholesterol was 12.1 in 2011 I'm slim and very healthy had 4 different statins and suffered badly , will never take a statin ever again . In Feb this year 2016 my levels are 6.2 but have had to have a triple by pass , I'm only 51 but feel great now . My cholesterol is still 6.2 without statins I take 3 plant sterols daily , 1 opti - omega 3 1000tg , vitamink2 - m7,  aspirin,l-lysine ,vitamin d and vitamin c powder every day .I will keep everyone up to date every 3 month on how my cholesterol is . I have type 3 hyperlipidemia the genetic form 

  • Also check out lynus pauling 

  • Dr Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con is actually a practising GP!  I think he does know what he is talking about. As for statins they are pushed by pharmaceutical companies for commercial gain  and until they come clean about the side effects and problems they can cause I personally would not touch them. The NHS in its wisdom says all people should take them if their 'risk' is over 10%.

    Perhaps if you have had a stroke or heart attack then they have a purpose but otherwise stay clear of them, they are poisonous.

  • Yes I'd never take them. Imm36 and my gp said if your cholesterol is still high when I test in 6 months then you'll need statins. No chance. I told him I'd never take them. 

    I just wasn't sure if eating full fat dairy was a good idea after reading it. I'm trying a low carb diet again but not going too low carb to begin with to reduce the risk of feeling ill again. I fond my vegan diet lovely but very carb heavy which I think does raise my sugars and the hba1c high end of normal. I just feel weird eating eggs and dairy when my gp told me to cut right back on it.

    Thanks for your reply. 

  • I'm twice as old as you are [73] and I would say relax. The 'risk' they talk of is just a box ticking exercise which is what seems to pass for GP medicine today - sadly. 

    The whole cholesterol myth was dreamed up by Ancel Keys back in the 1950's on dodgy data and nobody other than Kendrick and others dare challenge it.  It is said that half the people who have had heart attacks have high cholesterol - I assume that means that the other half haven't ?

  • so you read a book and a friends child dies and you sad it all up and convince yourself you have a disease you have imagined. Go back to your doctor calmly tell him what you have told us tell him how worried you are and get him to explain why he us not worried. Relax in the mean time. Being anxious will not help you. A calm talk to your doctor is what you need.

  • Thank you.

    I spoke to my GP a few months back, explained about my uncle having possible FH, all my mums family on statins and he just said at present I don't require statins but may in the future. It does concern me having young children that could have inherited this problem too, it is them I am concerned about.

  • I wouldn't say I imagined it. lol! My uncle has possible FH, judging by what his consultant said and the fact all his sisters and my cousins are all now on statins for high cholesterol. It has concerned me for many years but my GP is not concerned.

  • Life style change, food and drinks intake control, hidden sugar and free sugar in food are very important to watch out for. Regular exercise is also necessary. I am not a doctor, your numbers, you can Google for UK cholesterol levels to get an idea about cholesterol numbers and also there are calculators there for you to check on cholesterol numbers.

    Stress is the one to watch out for!

    Did you GP fully explain the 1% risk?

    Keep a record of your blood test numbers including BP and blood glucose.

  • He just said he did a risk assessment.

    Thank you. I keep track on my results and what my children eat. It is my children I am concerned for.

  • Let the children enjoy the life. Watch out for hidden sugar and free sugar in food and drinks. I have three grandchildren, all boys, similar age to your children. No sugar in their house for breakfast  or drinks. Do not have any coke in the house. Chocolate once in a while, always three good meals and nothing between meals. This was difficult to start with for them but now have adjusted to this life style. When they come to our house we have to be extra careful with food cooking to make sure there is very little sugar is used and also only fruit juice, no coke and any other drinks.

  • They love life, we have a good one. They don't know that their mother is secretly concerned about the high cholesterol in the family ;-)

    Yes I am very careful with sugar and no added sugar drinks. My boys are teens and drink coke when out with friends which I don't like at all but what can you do. At home it's just water or apple juice. 

    2 eat very well, one is a veggie. Other is fussy but eats ok. My middle child is overweight. He is very tall for his age but loves his carbs. I am trying to get him to slim down without making it a big issue which I find hard. He doesn't eat veg so that's hard when trying to cut carbs down at meal time. Other than that though they all eat ok. For my son he is just a carb monster, no cakes or doughnuts just loves his bread and potatoes.

  • When I was in school, I had four meals a day and I had to eat all on the plate!!, I was heavy, during my working life I travelled a lot and stayed in hotels therefore difficult to control. not in retirement, life style change has helped towards a healthy life style. Take care and do not worry.

  • Thank you Bala. 

    He's 12, 5ft 5 and 10.5 stone.  Totally different build to my other 2, he's just like his dad.

  • Calm down and relax as others have suggested. 1% risk of heart attack = 99% of NOT having one and let's face it you could get run over by the proverbial bus tomorrow!  My own feeling is statins and so called 'high 'cholesterol is a con having read the pros and cons of the argument.  My own cholesterol is 6.9 too although I believe the ratio is considered more important. I refused a statin yet my 'risk' of having a heart attack/stroke in the next ten years was 15% or as someone on this site said 85% of NOT having a problem. 

  • lol! Thank you. I am just worried for my children. I read some horrible things that children with FH can just drop down dead in their teens. My children are 10, 12 & 14. I find this worrying. My GP knows about my uncle but says my figures are fine.

  • if your children are on a no exercise donut and burger diet then sure worry. If not then you have to stop worrying. Your doctor isn't. Enjoy life and stop worrying. If concerned get your Kids tested. As I said talk with your doctor about your worries. And stop ready hoping to find something to worry about.

  • No they eat pretty well, just one loves his carbs and is a little over weight.

    I honestly don't look for things to worry about. I have just had a shock recently with my hba1c being 40, high cholesterol and my thyroid is high which my GP is keeping an eye on. All been a bit of a shock. 

  • Children can drop dead with FH - however, it tends to be when they have homozygous FH - that's when they inherit a copy of the gene from both parents.  This is rather rare, but not impossible.  Most inherit the gene from only one parent.

    My wife had her cholesterol tested before we got married 25 years ago, because, even though we were not considering having children at that time, we wanted to discount the risk of homozygous FH. 

    With the homoz. version, the liver can't get rid of the cholesterol that the body makes, so it just builds up like mad.

  • Thank you. My husband doesn't have FH so that's reassuring.

  • I did not normally eat fatty food and my cholesterol was high, as stress can be another important reason as well. My sister is vegan and her cholesterol is high too. Last  year I become a vegetarian and had benecol yogurt/drink, PLUS REGULAR gym exercise. My cholesterol has been lower by 1 . I within 11 weeks.As it is a risk factor to atherosclerosis which cause Heart Problem and Stoke cardiovascular diseases, we have to do some think to change it.I hope it helps.

  • If you want to read a book on cholesterol try this one: The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease by Uffe Ravnskov MD PhD who, because he was concerned about the way interpretation was being used to corrupt the facts, made the book available for free to reach a wider audience.  It can be downloaded here

    Whilst there are some instances where concern over high cholesterol levels is well founded medical opinion is starting to realise that it isn't quite the danger once thought.  Whereas opinion on statins is moving in the opposite direction.

    With Familial Hypercholesterolemia, as I am sure you are aware, it is LDL cholesterol that is the issue since the liver has problems breaking it down for disposal.  As to worrying unnecessarily, yes you are.  The recognised figures in untreated adults are  LDL >4.9 mmol/L or total cholesterol levels >8 mmol/L 

    If you are still concerned that this is a risk for you then investigate the addition of ghee to your diet.  This has a proven ability to improve blood cholesterol  Of course it may not be the only dietary change you might consider to be beneficial.

  • Thank you so much. I feel so reassured about FH now. 

    I did buy the cholesterol con but wasn't that impressed. I shall search for the other one.

  • You don't have FH with that cholesterol profile, which is  a pretty healthy one apart from the trigs, but that was probably because it was non fasting.

  • Thank you. Very reassuring.

  • There is a 50/50 chance of you inheriting the gene.  If you don't have that mutation, then you can't pass it on.  I would ask to be referred to a specialist clinic, who will be far more thorough in looking at the figures.  If you get an appointment with one, ask them what blood tests you need before your initial appointment, so they can see the fasting results on your first appointment.

    You can also contact who can give advice over the phone. 

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