Oesophageal Patients Association
3,452 members2,124 posts

High Cholesterol

I'm a participant in the Whitehall Stress and Health study and recent tests as part of that have revealed high LDL (ie "bad") cholesterol - 4mmol/l as opposed to the recommended mount of less than 3mmol/l. I'm 4 years post op and otherwise doing ok. Has anybody else found high cholesterol and what if anything was done about it given our condition? I might add - rather surprisingly - my BMI is getting close to the upper limit; guess I'll have to stop eating snacks!

5 Replies

Hello tenorbell

Do you know if, during your Ivor Lewis four years ago, your gallbladder was removed?


Hi Gutless Wonder,

No - that's still up and running.


This is something one never normally thinks about! In so far as eating is concerned, it is good that you have been able to maintain a comfortable weight, with a bit to spare perhaps. I do not think you would be able to suddenly do away with the 'little and often' principle (unless you have graduated to 'quite a bit and often'), and you certainly would not want to change your diet and risk insulin spikes / dumping. But there may be some advantage in reviewing your diet, returning to the specialist Upper GI dietician perhaps. I think I would be inclined to take up a food diary (again) with particular reference to some of the factors that might be increasing your LDL score, and try and work out whether there may be healthier options for LDL purposes that are also compatible with your re-arranged digestive system. With that information, the dietician at the hospital may be able to interpret your LDL score against the background of your surgery and its after-effects (and Gutless Wonder's question about your gall bladder could be important). There is a school of thought that after an oesophagectomy you can turn all nutritional and diet advice on its head because you have a medical reason to try and become fat, but it is not quite as easy as that.

Here is a link, for what it is worth, about cholesterol:


If you have (a 'passing' thought!) light brown, oily-looking, floating stools, you might be having trouble absorbing fat (steattorrhea). I have no idea whether this gets reflected in the LDL score or not, but it is worth a thought.

I am not sure how easy it is to lower your LDL score through diet alone, and it may be an issue that might have to be addressed through medication, but it does seem sensible to go through this process sensibly and systematically with your doctor.


I have extremely high clostrol it's the familiar hypoclosrolimia I am now going to have injections for this after tablets are reducing it but can't seem to get lower than 7.7


Sometimes medications do not get absorbed so well if they are given by means of pills that are swallowed because their coating is designed for those whose digestion takes a normal time for things to pass from throat to intestines, so it can often be the case that medication has to be given in a different form because of the absorption difficulty.


You may also like...