Since I was going to be starting regular exercise, I decided to go down to CVS and have a lipid panel done just to see where my numbers were with THM alone so I’d know how much difference was due to dietary changes before exercise when I see the numbers this coming fall at my annual checkup.
My overall numbers were about the same, but my triglycerides were vastly improved, down from 218 mg/dl in October 2015 to 128 mg/dl (less than 150 mg/dl is recommended). While the CVS test did not report my VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein) level like the panel from my doctor does, that is often estimated based on triglycerides by dividing the triglyceride level by 5. So, it is fairly safe to assume that my VLDL number would be down too and is probably in the neighborhood of 25-26 mg/dl (less than 30 mg/dl is desirable). The HDL number is headed in the right direction, up to 45 mg/dl from 41, but really needs to come up to 50 mg/dl or above. My doctor and the physician assistant at CVS have both indicated that exercise should help this, so I’m looking forward to seeing what my tests this coming October will show.
Of course there is also the “bad” news of my LDL having gone up and total cholesterol staying steady. Hyperlipidemia/hypercholesterolemia runs in my family as does high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease (my dad had quadruple bypass surgery in 2009 at the age of 62–a mere 20 years from where I am right now), so I am probably considered more at risk for these things, which makes me a little concerned about these numbers. Both my dad’s heart surgeon and the physician’s assistant at CVS said that there isn’t much you can do about sucky (my term, not their’s) genetics. However, these days most people, and even mainstream medical professionals, realize that the total cholesterol number is nearly, if not completely, worthless as an indicator of anything. And, as is the case with most things we hear in the mass media and from mainstream medicine, LDL has been shown to be just a tad more complex than we have been led to believe–starting with the fact that there are four types of LDL that range from harmless to dangerous. For those that want more information on the subject, Men’s Health featured a lengthy article titled Your Unstoppable Heart that offers a very good explanation of the various aspects of your cholesterol profile and what they do and don’t tell you. Additionally, I’d suggest reading LDL Cholesterol: “Bad” Cholesterol, or Bad Science in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Fall 2005. It suggests that LDL cholesterol levels themselves are a poor predictor of risk for coronary heart disease despite what the mainstream medical community has been programmed to say.
You can view a table of my blood test history at Trim Healthy Mama Stats.