High Cholesterol

Hi, I'm new here so looking forward to hearing how other people cope with high cholesterol. Mine is currently at 7.0 which I think it quite high. It is believed to be inherited and I've tried for years to reduce it naturally with little effect. I'm on a very limited diet due to stomach issues so can only eat lean chicken, potatoes (mashed/baked), eggs, salmon, white toast, tuna fish and heinz chicken soup, honey, marmite, few carrots and parsnips and a tiny bit of butter in my mashed potato. (Oh, my only sin is mayonaise!) Occasionly I have beef or lamb but not very often. My GP is trying to keep me off statins as he thinks they may make my migraines worse than they are already. I don't know what else I can do to reduce my cholesterol. My blood pressure is ok, I had it done yesterday. I don't know what else I can do to reduce my cholesterol naturally. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Living With High Cholesterol?

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22 Replies

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  • Most of the time GP's offer station, you are very lucky your GP is keeping you off it!

    Watching out for hidden sugar and free sugar in food and drinks and regular exercise can help towards a healthy life. Cholesterol numbers, who designed it?

    Just enjoy quality life.

  • Thank you Sandy for such a quick reply. I have quite a few health issues that have stopped me exercising regularly, the most I can do is a gentle walk when I feel well enough but I do try. Yes, we could do without the worry of cholesterol for sure, just another problem to deal with, lol! I just enjoy the good days and have to deal with the bad. My GP is a really lovely family doctor and is so helpful. I think the media worry us to death about cholesterol. I hope you are ok and many thanks for your message.

  • Hi Pump, I went off statins a month ago due to crippling leg aches and weakness, which I still have. I got my cholesterol checked yesterday and it was 7. The Dr started to say that I should get it down, I told him I was pleased it was high, as the latest research shows the lower the cholesterol in women, the greater the overall mortality. Sandys advice is good:)

  • Sparky, how did your GP respond to your answer? 🤔

  • Londinium, he was shocked. He didn't push the statins again tho. I eat very healthy, used to exercise before this crippling pain, and apart from a few heart attacks 10 years ago am pretty healthy. Im pretty sure the heart attacks were brought on at the time by extreme stress.

  • I was so pleased to read your post Sparky, it was so encouraging as my cholesterol is 7 like yours. I have met so many people who are on statins and they, like you, have experienced awful leg aches and muscle problems. It's really nice to read that not everybody whose cholesterol is high are convinced that statins are the way forward. I feel much more reassured by joining this site and knowing that not everybody goes along with the idea that statins are the answer. I am going to stick to a good diet. My BMI index has improved apparently since I have lost a bit of weight so I'm going to take a chance and hope for the best. I've got enough other heath issues without being worried to death over cholesterol. Thanks for your reply

  • Hi this may sound a bit blunt but here goes, your cholesterol is 7 and both you and your Dr have decided that statins are not the way for you at the moment, FC would be much higher numbers so I don't think that's your problem and that's usually early age on set as well, so you have 2 options, spend your life trying to get it down by strict diet and become obsessed by it, easy done as well to fall into that trap, I know. Or you can except the fact its higher than the supposedly normal figure which goes down on a regular basis anyway and just watch your food content, don't become overweight, eat junk food, drink too much alcohol and eat healthy fats and unprossed foods and try to cut out sugars and sweet additives, in other words look after your liver, it has to work hard enough to cope with toxic living nowadays anyway.

    If your stressed then that's bad for the liver as well. So with luck your choice of staying statin free will be a good one.

    Maybe test in about 6 months time as well

    PS I am on statins, totally through choice, 10 mg daily its down to 5.3 and I'm quite happy with that and thankfully no side effects at present

  • Thanks for your reply Alexandria. So you don't think my high cholesterol is FC (inherited family cholesterol, I think that's what you mean) is my problem. I don't know why they think mine is FC, probably because whatever I do my levels never come down and have been high for about the last 20 years or since they first started testing me (I a 71 now). I've lost weight and changed my diet to a very healthy one and still nothing changes. I don't drink any alcohol at all or eat junk food but my levels never lower. I am pleased the statins are working for you and you are not suffering from any sides effect, that's good news.

  • Familial hypercholesterolemia is what its called but FC is as good to explain it, I suppose it also depends on what your actual numbers are, especially LDL, but 7 is possibly a low number and I think that after 20 years it would have been in 2 digits, has it never altered at all?? Also I would have expected there to have been at least one episode by now and obviously there hasn't.

  • The last cholesterol test I had was in May this year and it was 7.2 then. I have got a print out for that one and it is says: "7.2 mmol/L [3.6 - 5.0] Above high reference level."

    So the one I had done the other day at the surgery during a health check was 7 but I don't know the breakdown of that one. The nurse said some years ago it did go down to 6.6 but at times I know it's been much higher so it does fluctuate. I was happy to hear it was 7 this time rather than going up higher. Is FC worse to have or not? I guess it's harder to control FC but I don't really understand it.

  • So it can go down on its own which as far as I know does not happen with FC, when you go next time ask if you can have a gene APOB test, that way it will tell them for definite its not genetic, do you have any vascular problems or heart problems, also have you never considered statins.

    Are you USA

  • Hi Alexandria, thanks for further info. on FC and the gene APOB test. I don't have any vascular problems or heart problems so far. My GP has mentioned statins but is reluctant to prescribe them for me as I am an absolutely chronic migraine sufferer and he is very concerned they will just make my migraines worse, if this happens my life won't be worth living as I have 3-5 a week now and have to go to bed so life is pretty tough already and I can hardly ever get out and am unable to lead a normal life as it is. I think I am prepared to risk not taking the statins. I live in the UK.

  • On my last two monthly check-ups I had been told my cholesterol was high. I went yesterday and was told it is fine now. The changes I made = have started taking a plant sistoserol tablet once a day and having porridge for breakfast about 3 times a week. Plant sistosterols are what are added to the often advertised yogurts which claim to bring cholesterol down. Those yogurts are quite expensive though so I've never tried them.

  • I think I will start eating porridge again for breakfast, I stopped eating it as I thought it was playing my diverticulitis up. Also I've not heard of sistoserols but do eat yogurts, thanks for your reply.

  • I'm a triple bypass survivor with CVD. My surgery was in March 2015, and by October 2016, I was completely off all medications.

    I changed my diet and lifestyle, and started using supplements.

    Below is a link to all of my posts - you can choose which ones would be most relevant to you:

    healthunlocked.com/user/sos007

    In spite of your physical limitations, you should be able to find some form of exercise to elevate your heart rate. Perhaps a rowing machine in a gym if you cannot walk. Exercise is critical to good health.

    Good luck!

  • Hi, 7 is not that high, in my opinion. It used to be the acceptable medical figure before the statins movement (which, sadly, is very profit driven) started pushing lower figures.

    Familial Hypercholesterolaemia is where there is a gene that causes very high cholesterol figures (usually double figures at the very least, plus numbers tend to stay very high rather than fluctuate at all).

    There are other figures that should be taken in to account, including your HDL and LDL and triglycerides. You might find this video informative

    . Since starting a low carb high fat diet, my triglycerides have come right down, and so has my HbA1C (which is a diabetes test but the latest research shows that excessive carbs are related to high cholesterol.) which makes me at far less risk of heart disease.

    You might also want to get a full thyroid profile test done, as low thyroid can cause high cholesterol, particularly if you get other low thyroid symptoms such as fatigue, depression, foggy brain.

    But, as I said, I personally would be happy with a figure of 7. Particularly for women, a raised cholesterol level is healthy!

    Best of luck :)

  • Hi Pump 321. I recently visited docs and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol is 6. She prescribed me Atorvastatin 20mg. I am to return in 6 weeks for more blood tests to see how they have worked.

    I've also been doing some research and have discovered that drinking Hibiscus Tea lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Also more exercise, even just daily walking. I don't want to be on statins either, so I bought some Organic Hibiscus Loose tea. It is lovely and refreshing. You just soak a few flower heads in a pot for 10 minutes and drink it throughout the day instead of the usual tea and coffee. This is my second day drinking it.

    You seem to be on a really healthy diet, but cutting out sugar is also recommended for high cholesterol. That one is difficult for me as I do get my cravings for chocolate or sweeties.

    Hope this has been of some help.

  • As we age both blood pressure and blood cholesterol can increase. I have seen this on my and my wife's blood tests. At the moment my wife is doing a three times a day BP check at home.

    I do not know why you are on statin medication for 6? Please ask your GP.

    Watching out for hidden sugar and free sugar can help, also regular exercise.

    In you blood test did you get full lipid numbers? Did you GP offer a QRISK analysis?

  • Hi Maggiethecat, thanks very much for your reply and information about Hibiscus Tea. I've not heard of it but it's worth a try to your lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. I'll see if I can find some and give it a try too. Like you, I also find cutting down on sugar very difficult. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my struggles to lower cholesterol. I hope the Hibiscus tea helps you, it seems all the nice things are bad for us. Having given up just about everything else it's not much fun eating just to exist but it's a small price to pay I guess.

  • Hi Sandybrown. My blood pressure was 156/84. Don't know about full lipid numbers. She said the statins might also lower my blood pressure as well as the cholesterol. I am on the list to get a wrist band which measures my blood pressure throughout the day. She wants to check this out before prescribing blood pressure meds.

    I am trying out this Hibiscus tea, as research shows it has loads of health benefits, HBP, cholesterol, water retention etc etc.

    I am definitely cutting down on sugar, white bread, rice and pasta.

    If my blood pressure and cholesterol have reduced on my next tests in 6 weeks, I will stop the statins. We were concerned because I am 60 and my mother died from heart attack at 66.

  • This link gives information that may help you.

    healthline.com/health/stati...

  • Sandybrown. Great information, thank you very much. Doc said the Statins might also lower blood pressure. I'll see how I am at my 6 week check up and blood test results.

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