Cholesterol 7.5 and can't take medicat... - Cholesterol Support

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Cholesterol 7.5 and can't take medication.


My digestive system just won't cope with medication. My cholesterol is 7.5 and mostly the bad sort. The practice nurse says it is genetic and all I can do is eat lots of oily fish to build up the good cholesterol. I tried the fasting diet ( 500 calories 2 days a week). I only managed one day and don't feel I can do this. Has anyone tried this diet to reduce cholesterol? It is promoted as the answer to long life and good health but I am not sure.

16 Replies

I am horrified that your practice nurse says all you can do is eat lots of oily fish etc. That is just not true. Contact HEART UK, the cholesterol charity that was founded almost 30 years ago by patients like yourself. We have learned so much in that time and they can certainly advise you.

It seems that you have been given one element of advice out of a big package of what you should have been told. In other words, oily fish is indeed an important part of reducing cholesterol but there are also many other aspects to this.

First of all, the nurse should have given you more info on what else to eat - oats (daily), a handful of almonds (daily), pulses (lentils and chidkpeas good), lots of fruit and veg, wholemeal pasta,rice,bread instead of refined/white, a bit of olive oil. The list is long - some GP practices give out a food sheet of what to eat and what to avoid. I can send you the one I have if you like.

Exercise is an essential part of getting your level down. 30 minutes, 5 times a week is what you need to aim for. I do a brisk walk around my neighbourhood, nothing fancy.

I am not a fan of fad diets - or starvation - rather slowly adapt your eating habits so that you can eat well long term. I have a lot of recipe ideas which I am happy to send you if you would find it helpful.

Good luck.

bigboy in reply to foodblog

having high cholesterol i am interrested in your diet sheet could you please forward it onto me thank-you

foodblog in reply to bigboy

Hi bigboy

Here are the links to the food sheets I was given at my GP practice. and .

You will find lots of recipes on the website if you are looking for some inspiration for low fat cooking

Best wishes

practice nurse? I suspect you should be referred to a lipid clinic. Ask for it, but contacting HEART UK would be a good idea.

Has anyone any experience of taking garlic capsules? I was told this helps reduce cholesterol.Doctor has said no statins because of ongoing liver problem.

Hello Foodblog, I,d be grateful for the foods sheet too

Hello Patto..... I read with surprise that the practice nurse offered this advice. and agree wholehearted with DakCV-UK that you should be referred to a specialised lipid clinic. For the nurse to tell you it was genetic is did she/he make that judgement without the proper genetic testing. This makes me so annoyed. There are lots of people out there, like you, who are being given wrong advice about your cholesterol by someone not actually qualified in this field. But we listen to them unfortunately as we think they know best.

As for myself I cannot tolerate statins and have also been told the high readings I have are genetic but that was from a lipid clinic. I have pushed wholeheartedly for genetic testing which is now being done next month. Contact HeartUK like I did and they are only too willing to listen and offer valuable advice. .

Keep in touch and keep us updated on how things are going.

All the best

this Arthritis site may help someone on here,...Pat...

I would like to thank all those who offered help and would welcome any diet sheets. My blog was a little short as I didn't want to write my life history but I feel I must elaborate a bit. I am monitored annually as I had a possible TIA which was never confirmed. The hospital doctor said my high cholesterol was genetic after I followed a rigid exercise and diet programme after which it was tested and had risen from 8.2 to 8.6. I was so disappointed as I had tried so hard. The practice nurse was only reading from the notes. She did give me a diet sheet but I eat well and exercise most days. I swim when I can and walk for 30 minutes some days. She knows I try very hard. Her oily fish comment was quite relevant as I had slipped a bit over this. My husband is a very good cook and we eat home made low fat food. He eats cheese and cream (I don't) and yet his cholesterol is 4.5! Very annoying! I hope this has given a slightly different perspective and I am sorry if I gave a somewhat misleading message. I will follow the advice offered and hope I can make further progress. After all my cholesterol is down from its highest level! Maybe it can go even lower.

DakCB-UK in reply to patto

What's TIA?

I know what you mean about trying hard and being disappointed - it seems I can only make 25% difference by diet - and about annoying partners - mine has cholesterol of 4.2 and fairly high HDL, but then she does eat the same diet.

I don't know whether it's better or worse to be told that it's "genetic". Once I had been told this, I was determined to get a diagnosis which just led, in my case, to more frustration. I had a battle to get a genetic test (won't bore you with my life history!) which ruled out 99% of the causes of FH.

The obvious question would be, well what is it then, but nobody seems able to tell me. Apart from "it's genetic" of course.

Ever feel that you are going round in circles!

Hello patto, have you very thought of having an intolerance test for your digestive problems. I have been suffering from IBS for nearly 25 years, and, after no help at all from my GP, (exclusion diets being her only advice) and getting nowhere, I went to a private clinic and had an intolerance test done and found I had developed an intolerance to dairy. With this change 2 years ago, my cholesterol figures have improved, although the total is only slightly lower, the HDL levels have surged and the LDL lowered. Worth thinking about. It did cost me over £250 but it has been well worth while. I can eat all the foods i was having to avoid because of tummy problems, namely fruit and veg, salads etc., without any digestive problems and take supplements to keep it all on an even keel. Probiotics, Multivitamins, Omega 3, Calcium with Vit D and Glucomsamine for the joints and have never felt better. I walk daily, and have a BMI of 24. All the advice above is also very good and I wish you all the best and hope that we have been able to give you some food for thought.


Here are the links to the food sheets I was given at my GP practice. and .

Patto - I know how frustrating it is to have a husband with naturally low cholesterol. Mine eats everything and has cholesterol of below 4!

Does anyone find it strange that so many of you have the experience that you know someone who 'eats everything', which presumably includes saturated fat, yet have moderate cholesterol levels? Why are people so quick to think those people are lucky, rather than accept the advice may be flawed?

Is it so difficult to accept that real food is better for you than processed food (even if it is touted to be healthy)?

Hi patto

If you want to reduce LDL cholesterol try reducing the carbohydrates you eat, especially the processed stuff. It will have the same effect as the Fast Diet without having to starve yourself. The advice to eat wholemeal bread, cereals etc is not good advice. I agree with Concerned, the advice we have been given for years is flawed. Don't ever eat low fat foods because they are usually loaded with sugar. I eat saturated fats because our bodies need them to function properly, and my cholesterol remains below average.

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