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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Very High Hdl Cholesterol
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21 posts in this topic

Several years ago, before I ever heard of celiac or gluten, I had a physical for life insurance and the only thing that was flagged was my cholesterol. My overall number was high (242), but the ratio of good to bad (HDL:LDL) was within normal range, mainly because my HDL was really high (80s?). I called my doctor about it at the time and was told to simply watch what I ate and it was probably no big deal. A friend of ours is a cardiac-stress-test-technician (this is not the proper title, but I can't think of it-sorry), but he looks at cholesterol numbers all day long so I asked him about it. When he saw my HDL number his exact words were that I was a "phenom"......he was freaking out & said that the only reason the total number was so high was due to this good cholesterol being so high. He assured me that I did not need to worry. I thought "cool". Never thought about it again.

Recently I read that celiacs can actually have low cholesterol. Mentioned this to my sister, who also admittantly has suspect gluten issues, and she told me a very similar story of how HER HDL was really high!

I just wondered if anyone else has experienced anything like this (or completely opposite) or has any evidence that this could be related to gluten/celiac. Thanks.

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Intresting. Last cholesterol test I had(been a couple of years), doc said 218. That worried me but he said not to worry. Your HDL is 95- off the charts! I wonder if that's the situation for other celiacs. BTW, that's the only good thing I have going for me!

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I have really great HDL, too. Somewhere in the 80s. And my LDL is low, somewhere around the 30s. My mom's cholesterol is about the same.... I have celiac, and she doesn't.

I have heard that cholesterol can be low in undiagnosed celiacs, because of malabsorption. I had mine done right when I went gluten-free, then a year later at my physical. There was really no change... so, it seems doubtful this was the case with me.

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Count me in as another high HDL(reasonable LDL), so a high overall number but great ratio. Yeah, isn't it nice to have something that is working for you?? :lol:

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All my numbers are low.

Ya gotta wonder if eating no wheat/low grains is a factor.

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Several years ago, before I ever heard of celiac or gluten, I had a physical for life insurance and the only thing that was flagged was my cholesterol. My overall number was high (242), but the ratio of good to bad (HDL:LDL) was within normal range, mainly because my HDL was really high (80s?). I called my doctor about it at the time and was told to simply watch what I ate and it was probably no big deal. A friend of ours is a cardiac-stress-test-technician (this is not the proper title, but I can't think of it-sorry), but he looks at cholesterol numbers all day long so I asked him about it. When he saw my HDL number his exact words were that I was a "phenom"......he was freaking out & said that the only reason the total number was so high was due to this good cholesterol being so high. He assured me that I did not need to worry. I thought "cool". Never thought about it again.

Recently I read that celiacs can actually have low cholesterol. Mentioned this to my sister, who also admittantly has suspect gluten issues, and she told me a very similar story of how HER HDL was really high!

I just wondered if anyone else has experienced anything like this (or completely opposite) or has any evidence that this could be related to gluten/celiac. Thanks.

The reason your cholesterol was not low was probably due to the fact that damage can be patchy with Celiac and, unless you have total villous atrophy, some foods will be absorbed enough to keep your cholesterol normal. Personally, we pay too much attention to cholesterol in this country and people are being put on meds who do not need it. If your HDL (healthy cholesterol) is high and your LDL (bad cholesterol) is low, then the overall number is not as important....this is why they do the ratio. Only 50% of all heart attacks occur in people with high cholesterol so there are many other factors which contribute to the problem, other than cholesterol.

I did not have an endoscopy when diagnosed for numerous reasons but had sky high blood work. I also weighed in at 97 pounds and from my symptoms, I would venture to guess I had total villous atrophy. Cholesterol screenings, pre-diagnosis, were ridiculously low. Total cholesterol was 129 and my HDL was in the 30's! The minimum they like to see it (HDL) is around 60, so anything above that is in the awesome range. My last check 2 years ago, my cholesterol was a staggering 140 :P and my HDL was up to 60. I hope it is even higher when I am next tested. I pound down the salmon and Omega 3's so here's hoping! :D

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My HDL was 51, my LDL was 133, too high. My total is 200, down from 218 a year before that. I see my doc on Friday, we will be testing this again to see where I am now. 200 is ok, so I didn't worry about it much. It's not my foods causing this, has to be my body.

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My cholesterol has always been over 200 since I was 17. I was always skinny. Every time I had it checked, one or more of the numbers was in the bad range. Which one seemed to vary. I made attempts to control my cholesterol, but eventually would get lax about it and then the every few years blood draw would tell me to pay attention again. It never topped 220 until the draw that diagnosed Celiac. 239. Six months later, my cholesterol was normal for the first time. I had accidentally dropped 50 points and brough every number into normal ranges. I'm blaming it on the improved liver functioning that came along with the gluten-free diet. My "plan" was to get good at the gluten-free diet over 2 years and then start watching the weight and cholesterol.

Tested negative brother has sky high cholesterol of the bad proportion type.

Not tested mother has mid 200's cholesterol with normal bad cholesterol and excellent good cholesterol.

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hate to disagree with y'all but...

like Celiac, tendency to high cholesterol levels tends to be genetic, but, it's not necessarily a trait linked to gluten intolerance. At least, as far as we know now. Someday maybe, there might be a proven connection that comes to light. But, as far as we know now, looking at the matter objectively, there is no proven connection. Genetically speaking.

So, if you have both Celiac and/or gluten intolerance, and high cholesterol... well you just experienced a double bogey in the remix of chromosomes that takes place at conception...yeah go ahead and blame your parents!

My family tends towards high cholesterol numbers. For many years my total was high (230 or greater) but my good cholesterol (HDL) were in the 70's or 80's, and my bad cholesterol (LDL) were within a reasonable range and my triglycerides were low. I have never been overweight. My primary care doctor's comment during my 20's and 30's was... "you can get away with this for now." He commented that he had observed this pattern in many women in this age bracket.

A few years after I crossed the magical line of 40, the total exceeded 245, although the ratios remained similar. It was then that he deemed that I could no longer "get away with it" and he wanted to treat me. He also noted that my TSH levels indicated a slightly hypothyroid state (subclinical hypothyroidism). I asked for - and got - a chance to bring down the numbers with dietary changes. Decrease the fat intake, increase the fiber content, eliminate highly processed foods. My diet was not gluten free, although inadverdently I probably reduced gluten intake, since that's when I began using brown rice as a staple. In six months I was able to reduce my total cholesterol to 190 and my thyroid tests also improved slightly.

Fast forward 7 years, and my daughter is having problems, and I have developed a persistent (like 8 months) itchy rash that is now slowly subsiding as we have both gone on a gluten free diet.

But I still think this is an independent characteristic from our family's high cholesterol. we are just "doubly blessed" if you will.

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http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/medicalg...SideEffects.htm

Your Cholesterol Levels Will Probably Rise

For the first four decades of my life, while I was still eating gluten, my doctors always told me I had the lowest cholesterol levels they'd ever seen. It retrospect, it's easy to see why -- my intestines weren't absorbing any of the cholesterol in the foods I was eating. Those days are over. Now I have to watch my cholesterol levels along with everyone else. When I check food nutrition labels for the presence of gluten, I also check the fat and cholesterol content. It's very important to choose low-fat, low-cholesterol foods. Packaged gluten-free products are often higher in fat than their gluten-containing counterparts. This is especially true of packaged gluten-free cookies, crackers, and cakes. The American Heart Association points out that foods that are high in soluble fiber have been shown to help lower cholesterol -- so look for beans, peas, rice bran, citrus fruits, strawberries, apple pulp, and gluten-free oats.

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Personally I have always been of the totally?? unfounded opinion that one's cholesterol level does not come about from the foods one consumes (like don't eat egg yolks and that kinda stuff) but on one's overall health and nutrition and the cholesterol one's body naturally produces. So I don't believe in cholesterol-lowering drugs :o If you cut out eggs and fatty meats and butter, but eat trans-fats and potato chips and burgers, well, hail, what have ye done? If you eat the margarine that they recommended for my dad instead of the butter, you just die sooner. I do not believe that your cholesterol levels rise because you eat more cholesterol-containing products. They rise because you are doing something else wrong. So shoot me down, this is just a personal opinion.

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I do not believe that your cholesterol levels rise because you eat more cholesterol-containing products. They rise because you are doing something else wrong.

I agree, I think our bodies determine the cholesterol, I to do not think it's necessarily from the foods we eat, not for some of us anyways. I do believe the levels can get out of control, if a person is the out of contol type of eater. We wll know certain foods are not good for us, especially in huge amounts. I do believe if a gluten intolerant person starts to eat a majority of gluten free processed foods, they may run into problems with cholesterol, and weight gain.

Some of us though, do not eat foods which are known to cause a rise in cholesterol. Years ago, I had a neighbor who was only 8, and his cholesterol was off the wall...he had not had time in his life yet to cause that problem.

With the foods I can eat, there is nothing that should cause a rise in my cholesterol levels, yet mine is always borderline high. They say cheese is a big villian, so my levels should go down, I haven't had cheese for months now. We will soon see.

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Intresting. Last cholesterol test I had(been a couple of years), doc said 218. That worried me but he said not to worry. Your HDL is 95- off the charts! I wonder if that's the situation for other celiacs. BTW, that's the only good thing I have going for me!

I too tend to have unusually high HDL levels....this is interesting.

P.S. My cholesterol levels were always the best on the Atkins-type low carb diet....which is pretty close to the paleo diet if you avoid dairy and eat organic/free-range. I definitely ate lots of eggs!

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Personally I have always been of the totally?? unfounded opinion that one's cholesterol level does not come about from the foods one consumes (like don't eat egg yolks and that kinda stuff) but on one's overall health and nutrition and the cholesterol one's body naturally produces. So I don't believe in cholesterol-lowering drugs :o If you cut out eggs and fatty meats and butter, but eat trans-fats and potato chips and burgers, well, hail, what have ye done? If you eat the margarine that they recommended for my dad instead of the butter, you just die sooner. I do not believe that your cholesterol levels rise because you eat more cholesterol-containing products. They rise because you are doing something else wrong. So shoot me down, this is just a personal opinion.

Methinks you make a lot of good sense! ;)

Everyone blames everything on genetics these days and I don't buy into it. I also do not think it normal to lower a 200 pound man's cholesterol levels to 140, via medication and I hear people talking about their levels all the time. People are put on so many meds and most of them are broken down in the liver or pass through, at some point. A healthy liver is crucial to normal cholesterol levels, which vary greatly from person to person. Whats' up with this attitude that one number fits all?

Back at the turn of the century, the consumption of butter was around 18 pounds per person, per year. Heart disease was almost non-existent and not only did people eat butter, there wasn't all this processed food people eat today. Fast forward to the 1970's, when margerine and trans fats became popular and heart disease soared. At that point in time, butter consumption was down to 10 pounds per year, per person. Go figure! Yes, you could say many people died earlier before they had time to develop heart disease but many people lived longer also and did not suffer from what we do today.

I think if you eat animal fats in moderation and smaller amounts than what most people consume today and keep the liver healthy, you'll be fine. A 240 cholesterol level does not necessarily mean you'll develop heart disease. Doctors are clueless about nutrition, in general, and pass on a lot of misinformation.

Exercise is also important and we can see by going to any mall that it's not happening for many people today.

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this was a good article, thank you. Since reading nutrition labels was already a habit for me, when I was first shopping for gluten free products, one of the first things I noticed was the hi fat content of many of them.... and also that they seemed much more "calorically dense." We are not using that many prepared products - a breakfast cereal, some pasta, and a couple of baking mixes are about it. I have chosen to focus on the things we can prepare at home: moderate servings of meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, brown rice and gluten free oatmeal.

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I was listening to the Bernstein(diabetes) teleconference last month and there was a question about high LDL(from a mom of a child, if I remember correctly. I jotted down a note that Dr. B. said high LDL could indicate low thyroid and recommended testing.

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I was listening to the Bernstein(diabetes) teleconference last month and there was a question about high LDL(from a mom of a child, if I remember correctly. I jotted down a note that Dr. B. said high LDL could indicate low thyroid and recommended testing.

yes, hypothyroidism can contribute to fat/cholesterol metabolism in such a manner that it will contribute to both a high total cholesterol and a high level of "bad" cholesterol.

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Gemini and Darlindeb,

I almost didn't post this but have thought about it for several hours now. I have to respectfully disagree and assert my opinion that yes, genetics and what you eat do contribute to cholesterol metabolism.

You are right, your body does manufacture cholesterol; regardless of what kinds of food you eat. And you are also right that labeling some foods as "bad" and reverting to other foods that are equally unhealthy is not a wise pratice. A healthy balance is what is required - both in terms of diet and exercise - and I think these are the important take away themes of your posts.

But. Your genes code for what enzymes you will (or won't) produce. And these enzymes determine how you will metabolize the food you take in. These processes are also affected by your endocrine status, as the presence or absence of certain hormones will have an effect. It is not a simplistic situation. There are multiple contributing factors to cholesterol metabolism.

My family's experience provides evidence to the genetic factor. My personal experience brings evidence (not proof, mind you) to the dietary factor. My brother also did quite well managing his cholesterol by dietary means. Or should I say, his wife did. Once my brother got lazy in that regards, he ended up on cholesterol meds. I am not on them and have maintained good levels, through dietary means alone. (I am also physically active.)

That being said, I have reverted on some of my opinions over the past five years. When I was first trying to lower my cholesterol, I took the tack of animal fat = bad. Virtually eliminated beef and pork and butter. Lots of chicken and fish - healthy enough. but also used things like "I can't believe its not butter" spray and margarine. I kinda went too far in that direction.

Over the past year I have been reading about the benefits of animal fats (in moderation) and relented on some of my restrictions. I do enjoy an nice portion of lean beef steak - and may even succomb to a bit of fat crisp on the edge. and I have perfected pulled pork (with a non gluten BBQ sauce at the end). Ben Franklin had it right. "Everything in moderation, nothing to excess" (well ok with the exception of no gluten.)

Today there is not a stick of margarine in my house; all my baking and cooking is done with butter. ( Better balance of those omega 3's and 6's!)

A high total cholesterol does not necessarily mean you will experience heart disease. But it does inidicate that you *maY* be at higher risk than someone with a lower level.

Of course that does not account for some of my relatives who boozed and smoked and ate everything "bad" until their eighties... go figure.

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Personally I have always been of the totally?? unfounded opinion that one's cholesterol level does not come about from the foods one consumes (like don't eat egg yolks and that kinda stuff) but on one's overall health and nutrition and the cholesterol one's body naturally produces. So I don't believe in cholesterol-lowering drugs :o If you cut out eggs and fatty meats and butter, but eat trans-fats and potato chips and burgers, well, hail, what have ye done? If you eat the margarine that they recommended for my dad instead of the butter, you just die sooner. I do not believe that your cholesterol levels rise because you eat more cholesterol-containing products. They rise because you are doing something else wrong. So shoot me down, this is just a personal opinion.

I won't shoot you down, I agree with you. I read somewhere that new evidence is coming out that cholesterol levels are indicative of inflammation, and is actually a protective reaction by the body. Hence, cholesterol lowering drugs do nothing to help the underlying problem, just help the numbers and may put pateints at greater risk. My mom is on these drugs, and they haven't done a darn thing to prevent her from having another heart attack. Just my two cents, but it certainly makes alot of sense to me.

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My cholesterol was in the 240's (with a good ratio) before my gluten sensitive diagnosis and before going gluten-free in Jan. 08. I have it tested about every July and July 07 it was in the 240's (HDL was around 70 and LDL was high). July 08 it had dropped 54 points after being gluten-free for 6 mths - it was around 170 something and the only change i'd made was going gluten free. My guess for me is that i cut out a lot of trans fats - i was eating processed gluten-free foods back then but most all of them contained no trans fats. Also, it could be due to the inflammation in my body calming down a lot. I've been on the Specific Carbohydrate diet since Sept. 08 and July 09 my cholesterol was around 200 so it had gone up a little - my HDL was good (can't remember what it was though). I'm eating more animal protein and a little more red meat on the SCD so that could be the contributor to it going up this year maybe. I think i do have a lot less inflammation in my body since i lost some weight after going gluten-free and after starting the SCD and i believe most of it was inflammation. I have a lot less joint pain now also.

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I haven't checked my cholesteral for a few years. Last time it was 75. But I have really changed my mind about cholesteral and blood sugar since I read this book recommended by another poster. I already was against statins but this changed my opinion about it all and I changed the way my husband and I eat. He just was tested and since eating mostly this way for about 5 months, he lowered his numbers about 10 points and his HDL is up. His weight is also down and so is mine. This is a good read, the introduction to the book I read.

http://www.schwarzbeinprinciple.com/pgs/dr...sp_I_intro.html

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