Medication dilemma

Hi all,

It's good to connect with this group for lots of useful information sharing hopefully.

I am 46 and have had high-borderline cholesterol levels since many years and despite my reasonably active life style and not so unhealthy eating habits , it doesn't improve . The most recent readings as of last week are HDL 0.9 , total serum 5.67, non HDL 4.7. The non HDL to total cholesterol ratio is 6.27.

The confusing thing is that some doctors suggest to take statins which I started in 2015 and it made significant difference , while others say my overall risk factors don't warrant taking medicine . Anyway, I stopped taking them after a year , after reading about so many long term side affects on the net .

I was wondering if anyone has done any non invasive tests like nuclear assisted CAT scans of the heart arteries to reveal the plaque formation ? Wouldn't that be a good way to find out health of the arteries and then taking appropriate actions rather than making analytical guesses and spending so much money on medication with the risks of side affects .

By the way , my previous GP had special interest in cardiology and he used to do research on new advancements. He did a carotid ultrasound scan of mine and told me that he could see som plaque formation but when I discussed this with cardiologists , they were not sure if it was an appropriate method .

10 Replies

  • Did you GP fully explain the findings?

    Carotid Ultrasound

    Also known as carotid duplex.

    Carotid ultrasound is a painless imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your carotid arteries. This test uses an ultrasound machine, which includes a computer, a screen, and a transducer. The transducer is a handheld device that sends and receives sound waves. If combined with Doppler ultrasound, this test also can show how blood is moving through your arteries. Carotid ultrasound is done to detect plaque buildup in one or both of the carotid arteries in the neck and to see whether the buildup is narrowing your carotid arteries and blocking blood flow to the brain. Test results will help your doctor plan treatment to remove the plaque and help prevent a stroke.

    Carotid ultrasound usually is done in a doctor’s office or hospital. You will lie on your back on an exam table for your test. The ultrasound technician will put gel on your neck where your carotid arteries are located. The gel helps the sound waves reach your arteries. The technician will move the transducer against different areas on your neck. The transducer will detect the sound waves after they have bounced off your artery walls and blood cells. A computer will use the sound waves to create and record pictures of the inside of your carotid arteries and to show how blood is flowing in your carotid arteries.

    Carotid ultrasound has no risks because the test uses harmless sound waves. They are the same type of sound waves that doctors use to create and record pictures of a baby inside a pregnant woman.

    Visit Carotid duplex for more information about this topic.

    Related reading


    •Carotid Artery Disease

    •Carotid Endarterectomy

    •Clinical Trials

    •High Blood Pressure



    OR you were just a test case?

    you need to go back to your GP practice to get explanation on your blood test results as the GP practice has your medical records.

  • Yesterday, I watched The Widowmaker on Vimeo. It explains the politics of calcium heart scanning in the US and may help you understand why it isn't fully accepted as a risk measure. Bottom line is that it's used by NASSA and each US president also gets scanned so that suggests they think it's a good predictor of risk and as a diagnostic tool.

  • Sorry, I was confused by the different tests but I guess they do the same thing, only one tests the cartoid artery and the other the heart. Can you have bulk up in one area but not the other or is that unlikely?

  • Build not bulk.

  • I would recommend watching lectures by Ken Sikaris on youtube they may help you understand your cholesterol numbers better. For instance Triglycerides is an important number as is the ratio TC/HDL. He also talks about the LCHF diet and what effects that has, you say that you have a healthy diet, however modern thinking and research shows that the healthy diet most of us have been following for many years and still propagated by the food pyramid is not so healthy.

  • I have seen a lot of video clips on the Internet. The question is why are all these coming up now?

    I am eating the same type food for dinner every day since 1973!, I am 70 now. My wife ask the question (why?) do we need to change? We go to the gym for exercise now days as we retired and have time!!. Only time will tell

  • There are LOTS of theories about everything on the Internet - all of which conflict with one another. Hence I resort to my own sense of logic to determine what I do/think/believe.

    I also have had extremely high cholesterol numbers for over 30 years. I knew nothing about what the individual numbers for HDL,LDL, etc were as nobody explained them to me - and as I felt well and appeared to have no other heart risk factors, I ignored my Doctors desire to put me onto statins. However two healthy personal friends had a calcium score test - one of which was clear for a man with high cholesterol and one of which was very bad for a man with low cholesterol. ( this man with low cholesterol was ordered into hospital for IMMEDIATE open heart surgery after his scan). So I decided to also have one - and found to have high levels of calcification in my heart arteries. This discovery has forced me to make changes to both my lifestyle and my medical treatment if I wanted to increase my chance of living beyond the next 5 years! . The good thing about these types of physical scans is that they do not promote unproveable "theories" - but give you a real-time picture of the state of your heart. You may find that you have high levels of cholesterol - but have NO physical damage in your arteries and hence need no intervention. On the other hand, somebody else may find that they have low levels of cholesterol but EXTREME damage to their arteries which requires immediate intervention including the use of statins.

    My advice to you is to not take notice of theories here or anywhere else - and if you have concerns , pay for these non-intrusive scans whereby you can see exactly what is going on inside your body.

  • Chronic Inflammation/Infection, of any type, will impact Cholesterol/Lipid levels.

    Non-optimal Thyroid levels will affect Cholesterol/Lipid levels.

    Heavy Metals also affect Cholesterol/Lipid levels.

    That's just three things. There are others. And we should eat real food rather than margarine etc.

  • If you want to know your risk for a heart attack or stroke, you need the following tests:

    PLAC TEST (blood test) -

    Non-invasive test for the state of your arteries:

    Brachial arterly responsiveness test using the angiodefender device:

    Myeloperoxidase blood test - checks for arterial inflammation:

    C-Reactive Protein - CRP - another blood test - checks for inflammation anywhere in the body.

    Fibrinogen and Homocysteine (blood tests):

    You can do all of the blood tests noted above with one blood draw.


    Without doing these tests generally speaking you should have very little fat around the mid-section. You should be exercising for 30 minutes every day of the week. This can be in the form of a brisk walk.

    Cut out all sugars and simple carbohydrates (white flour products like bread pasta, and things like white rice and white potatoes).

    Eat more fiber by eating legumes such as beans, lentils and chick peas, also whole grains like barley and oatmeal.

    Eat arugula or spinach daily to help lower blood pressure.

    Good luck.

  • Also read my post - about Niacin - they can also help you reduce cholesterol naturally:

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