Thyroid UK
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Should I worry about my cholesterol?

I've read a lot of material over the years (including Dr Malcolm Kendrick's book, "The Great Cholesterol Con") supporting the idea that cholesterol isn't necessarily the demon that we've all been led to believe that it is. It's therefore not something that I've particularly worried about. I should probably mention at this point that I was prescribed statins around 18 years due to my cholesterol levels, but I started to get muscle problems, read about and heard a lot of horror stories of people's experiences on statins, and made the decision to stop taking them after about 3 years of being on them.

However, I recently had a Medichecks test which included, among other things, cholesterol status. And, unsurprisingly, the results have been flagged up as a potential cause for concern:

Triglycerides: 2.14 [0.0 - 2.30]

Cholesterol: *9.43 [0.00 - 4.99]

HDL cholesterol: 1.47 [0.90 - 1.50]

LDL cholesterol: *6.99 [0.00 - 3.00]

Non-HDL cholesterol: *7.96 [0.00 - 3.89]

Heart disease risk

HDL % of total: *15.59 [20.00 - 100.00]

Obviously, seeing the results in black and white and receiving the comments from the Medichecks doctor that I ought to discuss these results with my GP, has now made me begin to worry somewhat. I'd be very interested to hear other people's thoughts about the situation.

Many thanks,

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If hypothyroid is correctly treated cholesterol falls plus if you eat uncooked oats as muesli fir breakfast that helps too

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Thank you for your reply!

I'm still trying to get the medication side of things right and am currently on 200 mcg levo and 18.75 mcg T3. My big hope was that the T3 would help with the brain fog I've been experiencing for a couple of years now, but, unfortunately, I've not noticed any difference so far. Most of the key vitamins and minerals are now in a much better place, thanks to following the supplementation advice I've received from members on here (a big shout out to SeasideSusie in particular), so I'm not sure what my next move should be.

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Your FT3 was still not that high at last test, even when adjusting for 12 hours rather than 24 hour delay

Its noticeable how much your vitamins are improving since started on T3.

You could possibly tweak T3 up a little more.

Eating (certified gluten free) oats daily in muesli might help reduce cholesterol. You can make your own muesli for breakfast, just add your own choice of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Delicious served with fresh banana (good for potassium) and blueberries ( high in antioxidants) and some kefir (fermented and good for gut)

Cholesterol may still be high due to still being slightly under medicated

Note NHS comments in this link that statins are more likely to cause muscle issues when hypothyroid

nhs.uk/conditions/statins/c...

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Thank you SlowDragon. I was wondering about the possibility of increasing T3 to the full 25 mcg tablet. As much as anything else, I've been finding it a bit of a chore cutting up the tablets :-) Should I also decrease levo at all?

Thanks too for the tip about making my own muesli. I love all of those ingredients, so may very well give it a go. And I'm totally loving kefir since I discovered it a few months ago - and am considering making my own!

How is it that you can always come up with a relevant link, no matter what people are asking about? It never ceases to amaze me!

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Personally I take my T3 in divided dose (3 times per day - waking, 3pm approx and bedtime) so still need to cut it up.

But lots on here do take it in one go.

Yes the museli is very easy. I add chopped walnuts, Brazil's, sunflower, pumpkin, golden linseed, chia, dates, figs, cranberries and raisins. A bag of gluten free oats from Sainsbury's (or similar) tip in large bowl, add the rest, stir and put in storage jar. Makes about 14 servings

Yes well I keep a list of "useful" links that I have gleaned over the years......also memory is vastly improved since GF (was long slow improvement)

Oats need to be from the "free from" section

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I shall definitely be giving this homemade muesli a try!

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drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Ischaem...

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/256...

Checking Homocysteine levels is also helpful - when high can correlate with raised cholesterol - and is a better marker I have read for heart and stroke issues. Bringing it down only requires the B Vitamins and Betaine HCL. You do not hear much about it of course because vitamins cannot be patented by Big Pharma. I have mine checked every other year or so ....

When B12 is low in the cells - Homocysteine is also raised. Remember the B12 test you have tells you what is in the blood and not what is in the cells where it is needed :-)

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Thank you Marz for the links and for reminding me about homocysteine as a better marker. Now that you've mentioned it, I can recall homocysteine being mentioned quite a lot in the material that I read when I was looking into cholesterol, statins, risks factors for heart disease, etc. a number of years ago. I remember thinking back then that it was something I wanted to get checked, but was nervous about broaching the subject with the GP. Now that private testing is so much more accessible, I shall definitely think about doing this at some point.

I've been supplementing for a while now with a range of vitamins and minerals (including the B Vitamins), as suggested on this forum, so this will hopefully be making a difference. As SlowDragon has mentioned below, I am currently taking a PPI, so Betain HCL isn't really an option for me at the moment. But getting off omeprazole is on my "to do" list :-)

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The Betaine HCL could replace the PPI - sorry but surely if you are taking a PPI ALL your vitamins and minerals will be affected - especially B12. We NEED acid :-)

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I totally get what you're saying. And I agree with you :-) I would already hjave gone down this route had I not been diagnosed with Barrett's oesophagus last year, which, to be honest, has sort of scared me. For example, I don't know to what extent, if at all, the PPI is providing some sort of protective role, other than merely stopping the production of stomach acid. I need to look into all in more detail and start asking more questions.

For now, I've been focusing on the thyroid side of things - though I do, of course, realise, that one thing feeds into another. From what I've read about Hashimoto's, my gut feeling is that the years of acid reflux and the resulting damage to my oesophagus were more likely the result of too little stomach acid rather than too much, so I was very much thinking about weening myself off the PPI and going down the Betaine HCL/cider vinegar type of route in dealing with things. As I say, it was the diagnosis of Barrett's last year that made me stop going any further with that - at least until I've had a chance to investigate matters further.

I also can't help wondering whether the PPi is somehow responsible from this constant brain fog. Again, I've not really looked into this either!

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So many pills and potions prevent one thing and cause another. When we have low stomach acid - foods cannot be broken down into smaller molecules in order to pass into the duodenum. So foods linger in the stomach and slowly ferment. This upward moving fermentation ( think of brewing beer ! ) into the oesophagus is what most Docs think is Acid Reflux. Maybe adopt the Chinese way - and Greek come to that - and do not eat things too cold or too hot - surely that too has an effect on the oesophagus :-) Hope you find a balance soon without the PPI's :-)

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Thank you Marz! I think you'll find that we're very much on the same page. There's just so much to think about, and it can all feel quite overwhelming. I am also quite busy doing two completely different types of job, so I can't always devote as much time to researching and reading about these things as I'd like :-( I don't know what we would all do without forums such as this, and all the highly knowledgeable people, such as yourself, who are prepared to devote so much of their time helping the rest of us. You all deserve a medal!!

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Am happily retired living in Crete since 2004 - only then did I have time to sort a lifetime of issues. So do understand the work thing. You can click onto my name above and have a quick read of my edited Bio :-)

Think of Health as pennies - and work as pounds ! - so take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves ....

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Just read your bio. That's some journey you've been on healthwise! But it sounds as if life is now good - which is really good to hear. I've been quite lucky with my health... until the last 2 or 3 years. Then everything seemed to happen all at once!

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Marz, found your reply to stevenotts very interesting. I too have high cholesterol, and was wondering if instead of Betaine HCL raw cider vinegar would do the same thing?

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Mentioned Betaine HCL in connection with replacing the PPI. Yes absolutely - I have also read people have been happy with raw ACV ....

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Thank you Marz

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Are you still using omeprazole, or managed to ween it down or stop completely.

I don't think you can take Betain HCL and ppi

The fact your vitamins are improving shows gut function is very likely improving

Your FT4 wasn't too high, so personally I would not reduce Levo at this stage. Just try small increase in T3. If FT4 goes higher at next test, or if feel over medicated then can lower Levo a bit.

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Yes, I am still using omeprazole at 40 mg a day, and haven't really gone any further forward with addressing this. In terms of my health issues, I've so far been completely been completely focusing on my Hashimoto's and associated symptoms. It can all feel a bit overwhelming at times!

My gut feeling has been to introduce another small increase in T3, so thank you for your advice on how to tweak the medication.

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