A Health Setback

If you’ve been following along on the blog, you’ll know that I found out in early-September that my cholesterol was crazy-high. Like, OHMYGOD high. So, my doctor put me on a low dose of medication and had me meet with a nutritionist to figure out a diet to help lower it back down the normal zone.

I followed that diet pretty faithfully for September, October, November and December and was actually looking forward to getting my follow up blood test on December 20th to show that I had finally gotten everything under control.

Except, I had NOT gotten everything under control.

When I got my results back the following week, my cholesterol had actually gone up higher. I was crushed.

I had followed the diet so well and only had a couple servings of red meat over that last month. I felt like I had been depriving myself of food I enjoy for so long…but it was worth it, because it was making me better.

So when I found out that it wasn’t helping, I fell off the wagon a bit.

I didn’t go out and devour 30 steaks and gorge myself on fried food, but I did have way more than my share of cookies. I ate my feelings away. And then, ate some more.

I felt pretty terrible. Not only that I had failed at getting my cholesterol under control, but then I followed that up with failing on my special diet.

I finally had a chance to talk with my doctor a couple weeks later to put together another plan of attack. I had done some reading and found that losing weight could positively affect cholesterol. In the course of following the nutritionist’s diet, I’ve lost about 7 – 8 pounds since September. My goal is to lose 10 more pounds over the next few months, in the hopes that it helps my cholesterol lower down a bit.

I’ve recommitted myself to the healthy diet (with only a couple servings of red meat a month), but I’m also keeping an eye on the sugar I ingest. And cutting back on treats. And adding regular workouts.

I’ll go back to the doctor for (yet another) blood workup in 3 months. So, after a bit of a setback I’m working towards yet another goal of getting this damn cholesterol under control.

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3 thoughts on “A Health Setback”

  1. Cholesterol is a slippery beast and I don’t think the medical profession has it figured out as much as they say they do. I once went from eating oatmeal most mornings to eggs every morning- not egg whites, 2 whole eggs. I asked to get my cholesterol checked because I was worried it would have sky rocketed. Nope, it was 137, the lowest my total cholesterol had EVER been. Of course, most days I eat 20 grams of fiber (or more) and get 10.000 steps per day which surely factors in as well. I think many recommendations are based on epidemiological studies and extrapolated to causation when there is only correlation!

    And something I found was that triglycerides can be greatly affected if you had something sugary the night before. Mine were double the usual when I’d had a brownie and Annapolis cider the prior evening!

    All that said .. I do think raising your activity and potentially losing weight will help the cholesterol. Wishing you luck on your journey !

  2. It might be worth looking into familial hypercholesterolemia. A family member of mine had high cholesterol and couldn’t reduce it by diet. It turns out that they have this and when tested several members of our family also have high cholesterol (it’s inherited). They now have some mediciation in addition to the diet changes. Good luck with the changes you are making at present- your willpower is very impressive!

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