One of the first things I saw in my Facebook page this morning was a post from Credence, it was an article about Cholesterol lowering drugs, the possibility of statins being given to “Millions of healthy Britons” as a preventative to anyone who may have a risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke due to either having a family history of heart complaints or due to their lifestyle.
Apparently there are about seven million patients in Britain who already are on statins to lower the cholesterol in their blood.
As I was reading the article it took my mind back to 1999 when I visited my doctor for a lump in my leg, (I was going on a long haul flight to Scotland and did not wish to take any chances with a DVT) as my doctor was away on holiday, it was a locum that I saw, and to cut a long story short I was sent for some blood test which came back with a result that my Cholesterol was high. Well not the result I was wanting to hear.
Heart disease and Cholesterol is often a family matter.
I was then referred to a heart specialist at our local hospital, and the first thing he said to me was that I was definitely a product of my ancestry, I am 5 foot 2 inches in height (sorry I am no good with metric) I was at this time also very overweight for my height. He asked what my mother and my grandmother looked like and yes there was a strong gene pool there for women in our family and yes heart problems there too.There are certain features of a family history that may be signs of a genetic heart disorder.
The information I received at this time from the Dietitian at the hospital is as follows:
CHOLESTEROL levels to aim for;
- Total Cholesterol 5.3 mmol/L st European countries measure cholesterol in millimoles (mmol) per liter (L) of blood.
- Triglycerides 1.1 mmol/L
- HDL Cholesterol 1.6 mmol/L
- LDL Cholesterol 3.2 mmol/L
The heart specialist I saw informed me that there was nothing wrong with my heart, but due to the high Cholesterol levels he would like to put me on Cholesterol lowering drugs and monitor my progress, I did not give him time to tell me which drug it would be as I refused to go down this road as I did not wish to take any drugs. He informed me since I was overweight, if I was to change my lifestyle and work on becoming a lighter me, that maybe it could be done by diet, if though when he saw me in two months time there was no improvement in the Cholesterol levels, I would have to give in and take some drugs.
Being the determined person that I am, I set out to prove to both myself and this Heart Specialist that I could get my Cholesterol levels down without the aid of drugs, when I first saw him my levels were as follows;
- Total Cholesterol 8.4 mmol/L This needed to drop to 5.3
- Triglycerides 2.98 mmol/L This needed to drop to 1.1
- HDL Cholesterol 1.1 mmol/L This needed to increase to 1.6
- LDL Cholesterol 5.6mmol/L This needed to drop to 3.2
- My weight at this point was 101 kg’s (15 stone 12 lbs) far too heavy for my height
My husband was very supportive, and between us we made a plan, a completely different diet for me and back to doing more exercise (exercise is required to increase the HDL)
By the time I had my next appointment with the Heart Specialist my total Cholesterol had dropped to 6.91 and I weighed in at 98.4 kg. The specialist was pleased and told me to keep doing what I was doing as he was impressed. Every visit to him after this I continued to drop off the kilos and my Lipid profile was improving too.
By August 2001 I weighed in at 86 kg (13 stone 7 lbs) and my Total Cholesterol was 4.54 which is when the Heart Specialist informed me that he did not need to see me again, and that whatever I was doing keep doing as he had never seen anyone do what I had done without the aid of drugs, he also asked me if he could use me as an example to others, which of course I agreed to.
I am writing this blog not to boast but to let others out there realise that if I can do it so can you.
I have continued to this day with the same lifestyle change (diet etc.) and I know I benefit from it, I have also continued to lose a bit more weight but tend to be stuck at 75 kg.
To read the full article that I read this morning click here.
More information about Statins and what they do click here.
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