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vvicin02

Increased Cholesterol after a year on GFD-Why?

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I went in for my yearly physical yesterday. I have been on a GFD for almost a year now since being diagnosed with Celiac and thought I was doing pretty well. My blood work including my Ferritin (which was 17 ng/ml a year ago) increased to 62 ng/ml which made me very happy. Also my liver enzymes improved which is a good sign that my GFD is working. However, my overall Cholesterol went through the roof! It was 188 a year ago and now it soared to 252! My HDL is good but my LDL is very high. What the heck happened! I never eat out, I bake all my bread and baked goods from scratch, I eat fruits and vegetables. I don't get it. Is it all the meat and poultry I am eating? Is it the white rice flour that is in my bread and waffles? I reduced the amount of sugar and don't eat any processed foods or snacks. Any idea? My Celiac test results will arrive next week - Lord knows what the heck that will show...lol

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I saw something about this before.  Now that you are absorbing food better, you are absorbing cholesterol better too.  

 

White rice flour doesn't really have any fiber.  Maybe read about foods to lower cholesterol? 

Edited by kareng

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Great news about your ferritin, etc.    Sure signs of healing!  You are now like a normal person — at risk for for higher cholesterol for the reasons Karen gave.  That happened to me too.  

There is a big debate about cholesterol now.  History shows that there is not a lot of scientific evidence showing that by cutting fats, we prevented heart attacks.  Everyone changed their diet and now we are dealing with obesity and diabetes.  So, I just worry about avoiding gluten and dealing with Type 2 diabetes which is in remission, like my celiac disease, because I altered my diet.  

 

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I think kareng probably hit the nail on the head. You are absorbing nutrients better.

And to pick up with what cyclinglady added, for years the medical community villainized fat and we were told to eliminate as much fat from our diets (especially animal sources and tropical oils) as possible. That whole approach is now being called into question and we now know the big driver in our first world obesity and diabetes problem is not really fat but instead, too many calories consumed via carbs. Carbs create a spike in blood sugar followed by quick drop in the same. It is this drop in blood sugar that makes us ravenously hungry. Persistent hunger will win out over time in a culture where food is plentiful and is why the vast majority of people eventually fall off the diet/weight loss bandwagon. 

Fat on the other hand, is metabolized more slowly and does not cause these wild swings in blood sugar levels. Fat satisfies and has more staying power against the "hungries." This is why the so called "keto" diet works so well. 

There is also some evidence that the keto diet has a beneficial effect on HDL cholesterol levels but more longitudinal study needs to be done on that issue: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326320.php. It's beginning to look like that fat in the diet isn't the culprit with regard to cholesterol issues. The real problem seems to be obesity and however we can successfully address that will likely cause correctives in many dimensions of health.

I realize this is anecdotal, but my son and his wife who are in their mid 30's have been doing keto for several years. They both have lost a significant amount of weight and look very healthy. They will intentionally go off of keto for brief periods on purpose to balance out some potential nutritional deficits that may develop since the keto diet eliminates a lot fruits and vegetables (they are high in carbs).

Having said all that, there are those people who have dangerously high cholesterol levels due to genetic factors. These are the people who probably should be on a statin, even though statins have their own set of risks.

I am not a doctor and this input, as Posterboy is fond of saying, should not be construed as medical advice. However, perhaps it will stimulate you to do more research into these issues. And you might do well to seek medical counsel on these matters from a variety of healthcare perspectives. Second (and third) opinions are always wise.

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9 hours ago, cyclinglady said:

You are now like a normal person — at risk for for higher cholesterol for the reasons Karen gave.  That happened to me too.  

 

 

 

8 hours ago, trents said:

I think kareng probably hit the nail on the head. You are absorbing nutrients better.

 

 

See kids?  Sometimes Mom knows something!  Lol 😂 

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Thank you so much for your feedback. I know I will get a call from my Doc to go on Statin which I really do not want to do. Did most of you go on Statin if you were diagnosed with high cholesterol ? Strange thing is that I lost 5 pounds and workout 3-4 times a week. I know I probably eat way too much meat and bread (gluten-free). I guess I will try to eat more fish and go meatless few days a week. 

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44 minutes ago, vvicin02 said:

Thank you so much for your feedback. I know I will get a call from my Doc to go on Statin which I really do not want to do. Did most of you go on Statin if you were diagnosed with high cholesterol ? Strange thing is that I lost 5 pounds and workout 3-4 times a week. I know I probably eat way too much meat and bread (gluten-free). I guess I will try to eat more fish and go meatless few days a week. 

Maybe you could ask to have a chance to change your diet?  Retest in 6 months?

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I was on a statin for several years but it was causing restless leg syndrome, which I was also given meds for. My cholesterol was marginally high. Mostly the LDL/HDL ratio was not what the doctor wanted to see. As near as I could tell, I wasn't having any of the side effects you read about that statins can produce but since there is such a controversy surrounding them and my total cholesterol was not that high, I decided to go off them. Low and behold, the restless leg syndrome immediately disappeared. RLS is not one of the typical statin-related side effects you read about I did find some mention of it in internet searches.

For people with very high cholesterol who can't make a major impact on it with diet and lifestyle changes, statins may still be necessary IMO.

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I think it is an individual decision that is worth researching.  I tend to be a doubter.  Remember the rush to put every older adult on a baby aspirin?  I am allergic to aspirin, so I was not going to reap the benefits of it.  Now, studies have show that it may not prevent heart attacks in those who have never had one.    😲

There is no doubt about statins.   They do lower cholesterol, but will they prevent cardiovascular disease (CV)?  Cholesterol is only one of the risk factors in CV disease.  People tend to forget things like smoking, not exercising, high blood pressure, obesity, and eating a highly processed diet.  All must be taken into consideration.

For me, the decision was easy.  When I suffered from vertebrae fractures right after my diagnosis (I got sick on gluten free chicken I made, vomited, passed out and had a nose bleed all due to long undiagnosed celiac disease causing some systemic damage and gluttony from gobbling up that fried chicken).  The hospital zeroed in on my very low blood pressure, back pain and a blip on my EKG.  I was admitted and had a full cardio work up.  My heart is great.  No clogs. Nothing.  Good to go for another 50 years.  Of course, my back pain was diagnosed by my GP (fractures and osteoporosis) a week later.  I also re-learned moderation.  Sheer gluttony can get you.  I think I mentioned my kid who recently overdosed on grapes and became ill?  😆

Because I know my heart is fine, avoiding a statin is an easy decision.  Plus, my worst allergic reactions are to medications.  So I worry about every new medication I take.  No one like to get hives and have their face, tongue and throat swell up.  

Do the research so that whatever decision you make, it is the right one for you.  As always, talk to some people who have had extensive medical training.  

Now off to a nice long bike ride with friends to the beach to offset my CV risk.  Of course I had a few cups of supposedly “cross reactive” coffee to help me ride fast!  😏

Edited by cyclinglady

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My doctor prescribed a statin for me but I didn't take it.  I did change my diet a little by cutting out some sugary things that I really didn't need to be eating anyway.  I still ate just as much meat as before.  But at my next test my lipid levels had dropped into a normal range.  They weren't super high to start with but high enuff for a prescription in doctor land.

I thought about taking red yeast rice but haven't tried it.  Seems like I don't need it now anyhow.  Cutting out some sugar did the trick.

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I took a statin for 3 months but had to stop because it felt like a truck hit me and I couldn't wake up. I have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol. My triglycerides are so high right now they can't even measure my LDL. I exercise, eat healthy but eat a lot of red meat. We hunt and the meat is very lean. I refuse to give up eating meat. Giving up good bread and pizza was enough for me.  That's my high cholesterol story.

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On 9/14/2019 at 7:50 AM, vvicin02 said:

I went in for my yearly physical yesterday. I have been on a GFD for almost a year now since being diagnosed with Celiac and thought I was doing pretty well. My blood work including my Ferritin (which was 17 ng/ml a year ago) increased to 62 ng/ml which made me very happy. Also my liver enzymes improved which is a good sign that my GFD is working. However, my overall Cholesterol went through the roof! It was 188 a year ago and now it soared to 252! My HDL is good but my LDL is very high. What the heck happened! I never eat out, I bake all my bread and baked goods from scratch, I eat fruits and vegetables. I don't get it. Is it all the meat and poultry I am eating? Is it the white rice flour that is in my bread and waffles? I reduced the amount of sugar and don't eat any processed foods or snacks. Any idea? My Celiac test results will arrive next week - Lord knows what the heck that will show...lol

Vvicin02,

Sugars doesn't effect cholesterol so much cholesterol as it does triglycerides....when my blood sugars go up so do my triglycerides....

You can always take some Niacin .....never take the slow release form....in higher doses it can cause temporary liver problems.

Find you a 100mg Niacin and take with meals...it can help Cholesterol issues...no more than that can it can cause intense flushing for a few minutes after eating in the first hour if you take it higher than that amount.

The one Vitamin that really helped my Cholesterol issues that no one very mentions is Vitamin K.

Here is a couple links on it.

http://blog.healthybynaturehwc.com/can-calcification-be-reversed/

https://www.secondopinionnewsletter.com/Health-Alert-Archive/View-Archive/13813/Effects-of-Vitamin-K2-on-Cholesterol-Levels-and-Plaque-Formation-.htm

good luck on your continued journey.

I hope this is helpful but it is not medical advice.

Posterboy,

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Because this is a sudden rise in cholesterol, I would think the doctor will want to see if there are any other reasons for it and give the OP a chance to change up his diet a bit.  It seems the original change in diet ( to gluten-free)  or healing, May have triggered it.  So adjusting the current diet, following good plans from a reputable site ( like American Heart Assoc.) seems like a reasonable course of action to me. 

 

Let us us know how it goes.  

 

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Thank you so much for all your feedback! You have no idea how helpful this is. I spoke to the nurse and told her I want to try to make a change in my diet and see if I can reduce the cholesterol without medication. She said lot of people are in denial at first and want to try to reduce their levels without meds. I could tell by her voice that she knew that I would not be able to reduce my numbers by much. I told her I will concede if I fail in my attempt in six months. I have heard of Niacin helping, but I am not sure about playing around with vitamins - though I know it works. We shall see. I plan on cutting back on carbs and red meat. I will go meatless twice a week (that will hurt..lol). I like shrimp but shrimp is high in fat. I guess salmon (costco) is a good choice and/or brown rice pasta. Any ideas on meals for lowering cholesterol? In a way I agree with cyclinglady and I should stay focused on getting gluten out of my system and heal.

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I would caution you about going low fat. Fat is very important to health and metabolism. Focus on the kind of fat you take in rather than reducing it. Substituting vegetable oils for some animal fats is going to be better than trying to drastically reduce fat intake altogether. Avocados and chia seeds are an example of some things you need to look at in that regard. Nuts is another.

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Consider using this tool by the American College of Cardiology to help determine if taking a statin is right for you.  It is recommended by  Consumer Reports:

http://tools.acc.org/ASCVD-Risk-Estimator-Plus/#!/calculate/estimate/

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