High cholesterol

My last blood test results showed that my cholesterol is high and that I should go to GP to be put on medication for this.

I went to pharmacy today where they do an on the spot test for total cholesterol and it came back at 237 which is 30 higher than last test I had there.

My understanding is that my cholesterol should lower if my thyroid medication is at the correct level - I currently take 100 mg of levo - she has not acknowledged the link between high cholesterol and under active thyroid which I find quite worrying.

I am going to see a different endo as soon as I can get an appointment and hope that this one will understand that 1) I still do not feel well and 2) I don´t want to take medication for high cholesterol if I do not have to.

Has anyone else had similar experience of this - its driving me mad :(.

28 Replies

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  • I have high cholesterol too. But nothing and nobody would persuade me to take statins.

    A man called Dr Malcolm Kendrick wrote a book called The Great Cholesterol Con, which I have read.

    amazon.co.uk/The-Great-Chol...

    Have a read of some of the reviews.

    He also has a blog which is well worth reading :

    drmalcolmkendrick.org/

    I have since read lots of other web pages by other authors which dispute the basis for using statins.

    One other point... Nobody can make you take any medication at all. You always have the choice to say no.

  • Thanks humanbean - I will have a read of the link and order the book.

    I really want to avoid taking statins if I can, just a short amount of reading I have done has scared the life out of me.

    I have been taking ´Mega Red´krill oil tablets for a while and having the Benecol drinks but nothing seems to be working much or my cholesterol would have gone down :(

    Its just so confusing - I don´t want to put my health at risk but feel if I was on the right amount of medication for my thyroid this would help my cholesterol.

    Thanks for the advice and the links - will look into ordering it.

  • Your cholesterol would almost certainly go down if you were on the right level of thyroid medication. But the targets set by doctors these days are so ludicrously low anyway that they are more likely to hasten your death than extend it if you were to ever attain the levels your doctor wants.

    Read this blog by Dr Kendrick :

    drmalcolmkendrick.org/2012/...

    Personally, I no longer care about my cholesterol level.

    Thyroid medication, on the other hand, is a totally separate kettle of fish ... Now that really IS important!

  • Statins are contra indicated in people with thyroid problems as its more likely to cause muscle aches and pains which don't go away even if you stop the statins.

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    G x

  • Thanks galathea.

    Thats one of the other things I was worried about - one of the first symptoms I had which alerted me there was something wrong with me before my thyroid condition was diagnosed was muscle aches and pains which kept me awake at night :(

    Thanks for the link will look into it.

  • some more interesting links

    Vit D & Cholesterol

    cholesterol-and-health.com/...

    Thyroid & Lipids

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/120...

  • Thanks for that info. I have lots of constant muscle stiffness and aches constantly due to poorly managed low thyroid ( Hashi) for the past 20 years, and since the menopause my cholesterol has been creeping up and up, and is now at it's highest at 6.9. My GP is champing at the bit to put me on statins. Now I have this info I can show him.

  • Interesting. In my innocence whilst trying to get diagnosed for thyroid I tried the statins- reluctantly- the doc gave me. After 2 days I started getting crippling pains in the groin area- the sort that take your breath away. No more for me.

  • Thanks Sparerib - I will have a look at the links - its great having this site to go to for help :)

  • I think we should be able to make informed choices about our own health,

    more research articles to educate your doc here.... :D

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/resear...

    shared decision making

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/NHS_In...

  • The heart stuff is really scary. I read a report of a serious hypo patient in Italy who was supposed to go through surgery with general anaesthesia. But the heart was not right and thyroid hormone levels were checked. Surgery was canceled pending hormone replacement or he would have died on the operating table. Even after replacement the ejection volume never returned to normal although it improved. This stuff is really frightening. Makes me wonder how many people have not woken up after surgery because their hypothyroid situation was not diagnosed................ Thyroid function is not routinely checked before surgery. There seems to be a lot of stuff that isn't checked. Like B12 level. And seeing as how bottom of range is so low, I find it alarming.

  • Our body produces cholesterol for a reason - the body needs it :-) Over 80% is made in the body and does not come from food. Our brains are over 20% cholesterol and it is needed for good hormone production - all hormones. Also required for VitD which is so CRUCIAL for our wellbeing....

    Homocysteine is more important than cholesterol and both were found in congested arteries during research. Good B vitamins - B12 - Folate etc. is the remedy for lowering Homocysteine so no money for Big Pharma. They headed for the cholesterol :-( Raised Homocysteine can be an indicator for strokes nd heart problems.

    The food industry is equally corrupt in creating so called special foods to lower cholesterol so best not to buy into that....

    If you divide the Triglycerides by the HDL the figure ideally should be less than 2. My cholesterol was raised but the Tri/HDL ratio was fine. Sometimes the total cholesterol is raised but the HDL is good.

    Have you had your FT3 checked - to ensure your dose of Levo is converting well.

    I have read that statins do not help women and are only of a miniscule benefit to men - who have had a heart attack....

  • "If you divide the Triglycerides by the HDL the figure ideally should be less than 2. My cholesterol was raised but the Tri/HDL ratio was fine. Sometimes the total cholesterol is raised but the HDL is good."

    I just wanted to double check that the ratio you quote is the right way round.

    When last tested my triglyceride level was 0.88 mmol/L and my HDL was 2.61 mmol/L.

    Tri/HDL ratio = 0.34

    HDL/Tri ratio = 2.97

    So I'm not sure if my levels are really good or really bad. I'm just asking out of curiosity since I've had doctors try to persuade me several times (unsuccessfully) to take statins because my total cholesterol is high.

  • journal-advocate.com/ci_200...

    There are many references to this ratio...I just picked one that looked interesting :-) So your result looks good !

    Congratulations on resisting the statins :-)

  • I had to check this out because I was convinced my ratio looked too good to be true. And sadly, I was right. :( Although my numbers still aren't too bad. :D

    The page you link to was written for an American audience and I'm assuming the calculations and numbers were using American measures. When calculating a ratio this is fine as long as the conversion from American units to metric units is 1 to 1. But for cholesterol and all its various parts this isn't true - so the ratio changes.

    Take a look at these pages :

    ctdslab.co.uk/conversion.html

    soc-bdr.org/rds/authors/uni...

    To convert my triglycerides level to American units I have to multiply by a factor of 87.5 to give a level in American units of 77.0 mg/dL

    To convert my HDL I have to multiply by a factor of 38.66 to give a level of 100.9 mg/dL.

    Calculate the ratio using the American values and my ratio is 1.3, still a good level but not quite so spectacular as the result in SI units.

  • Glad you have sorted it - I live in Crete and the measurements are mg/dL. So you result is under 2 so all is well. Also HDL needs to be above 24% of total Cholesterol....

    Thank you for pointing out the differences to me....

  • I am very much in favour of treating any cause rather than the side effects. I don't know a great deal about statins other than I had a friend put on them. At the time I thought her only 'problem' was that she was diabetic. She turned into an invalid almost over night-coincidence? I don't know but her son who was also diabetic and was given statins refused to take any more! So please do your research and then make an informed decision

  • Unless your Ferritin is above 70 your body cannot utilise /convert the levothyroxine into the T3 your cells are screaming for

    Thus you will not feel well and your cholesterol; will not fall

    Its vital that

    Ferritin

    Vitd3

    B12

    are all optimal not just "NHS in range "

    hence I strongly suspect your ferritin is low so you will need to take iron plus at least 500mg Vit C 4 hours away from your levo but preferably you need T3 in the interim rather than levo which is t4

  • I mentioned this to GP and he has put to test for Ferritin, B12, T3 and T4 so hopefully this will give me more to work on. Thanks for the advice - will look at getting Vit C and iron as well - I will try anything to feel better ....

  • Gosh a GP who actually accepted advice from here ! WOW

    The link of high cholesterol

    dodgy blood glucose

    low ferritin

    with hashimotos hypothyroid are all subject of research papers and any doctor who denies the link has no business practising medicine

  • Thanks reallyfedup123 - I told him about the site and how helpful the advice and info was - he agreed that the whole business of thyroid is a complicated one - so glad he listened.

    Not so sure the Endo will though - the new one I am going to try have heard he has not got best interpersonal skills...in fact many say he is very rude - but meant to be a good Endo so am going to see for myself... :)

  • Hi I have the same situation. My doctor said she wouldn't treat my cholesterol until my thyroid was under control. I wonder how long it takes for it to come down? I have been on treatment for a year and a half ........but my meds for the first time for about four months have not been increased and seem good. Keep us posted, I also will not want to take anything if I find out on my blood test is still high, Before treatment my total cholesterol total was 330. That was over a year ago. And she wants to check it soon. Seems to me if the meds are in control for only 4 months maybe to soon to check it or maybe it has come down a little. Sorry this is getting long. Hope all go's well with you...Your not alone in this one....All the best Susita

  • I have the same problem with cholesterol. I`m on 50mg of Levothyroxine daily, but this hasn`t helped my cholesterol levels. Iv`e tried simvastatin, which did help with cholesterol, but gave me muscle pains & extreme tiredness, so I stopped taking it. I don`t know where else to go from here.

  • I also have an issue with cholesterol. Iv`e tried statins, but the side efects were unacceptable, & I won`t be taking them again. I`m on 50mg of Levothyroxine.

  • Your dose seems quite low - do you have any recent blood test results ? Also if your levels of B12 - Iron - Ferritin - folate - VitD are optimal it can help with improving thyroid function and also lowering cholesterol....

  • Hi. High cholesterol was the first thing my Dr saw in my fbc, along with v low vit D. My chol was 12 - prob still is, and vit D was 35. He would not entertain thyroid explanation. I was trying to get diagnosed at time. He gave me statins and high dose vit D . The statins made me feel awful and the vit D didn't help my symptoms. He gave me diff statins. No better, but I didn't want to take them anyway as I knew my chol was not normal for me. Another GP suggested statins were inappropriate as the high chol was being caused by another factor. After another blood test the antibodies showed up. The first doc referred me to cardiologist which he said was routine for high cholesterol. The cardiologist said my heart was fine and it was all due to thyroid. He never mentioned statins and didn't bother when I told him I wasn't taking them. Forget the statins if you know the figure is artificially high as it is prob thyroid driven. Apparently high cholesterol used to be used as an indicator of thyroid problems in the past.I'm still waiting for Endo appt

  • There are few factors that are associated with increased cholesterol:

    Cholesterol is integral to brain health and the body makes it to compensate for the lack of it or in response to an inflammation, as a protective mechanism.

    The body likes to be spoon- fed with Cholesterol so you have to take it from food. It is far easier as a mechanism than making it by the body.

    The biggest misconception is to eliminate cholesterol from diet and feed on grains to lower it. Pharmaceuticals would want you to take statins to increase their profit and take control of the body to induce more problems and sell more drugs. They are geared to make profit through illnesses!!!

    Burning excess cholesterol is associated with T3 and not T4.

    Total cholesterol levels include triglycerides, the very bad and dangerous component.

    Eliminating fast sugars will make those levels drop and will increase HDL.

    LDL is calculated and not measured. Technicians will not recognise the fluffy good LDL from the sticky bad ones when they look at total cholesterol.

    In a nutshell, what may well help is to eliminate grains, wheat, and sugar from your diet. Stop using cooking refined cooking oils which result in the oxidation of bad LDL. I cook with coconut oil, real butter, and use olive oil on salad.

    Omega-3 supplements help a great deal. It may take some time to see results but it will eventually happen.

  • Thanks MelanieLondon - will try and see if changing my diet will help as well - we have some coconut oil and I have heard its very good.

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