Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

23 Oct 2015

Lipids

Early this year I went to see my GP. I had a strange pain on my left side that I had been aware of for a few months and had become concerned about as it hadn't gone away. My GP asked the obvious questions and could make no sense, so he ordered a battery of tests. Two things came out of the tests, the first being elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in my blood, not high enough for medication but best reduced and high blood pressure which did need urgent medication...

I spent most of the summer having more tests: being prodded, irradiated, magnetised, and having more blood drawn (I think doctors still like their leaches...). I also had some pretty horrible alpha/beta blockers to lower my blood pressure.

No one mentioned it but I decided that I should lose some weight - I knew I was overweight, so removed extras from my diet, getting rid of excess salt, fat and sugar. I didn't actually have a bad diet, but I clearly did have too much of it.

Lowering my weight and improving the quality of my diet has reduced my systolic blood pressure by over 1 mmHg per kilo, or about 22 mmHg in total, and my diastolic blood pressure by slightly less, about 18 mmHg. That's pretty good and has drastically fewer side-effects than any medication.

Yesterday I had the result of my lipid tests. My total lipoprotein levels have fallen from over 5 mmol/l to just over 3 mmol/l. They weren't dangerously high, but they were not good, now they are very healthy. At the same time the level of my high-density lipoprotein (HDL) have risen from around 1 mmol/l to 1.8 mmol/l, changing my total cholesterol to HDL ratio from just over 5 (not so good) to less than 2 (very good).

As I've previously said my diet wasn't too bad when I started this change, and I already had plenty of exercise. What I did was trim the extras and snacks, curbed the salt and caffeine, added nuts and more soluble fibre, substituted some of the milk with soya milk and substituted some of my yoghurt with stanols containing yoghurt. Finally I just watched my portion sizes. Nothing radical overall.

The pain? It went away on it's own, still no explanation...! I'm still on calcium channel blockers for my blood pressure, but my GP thinks if I can stick to my diet/activity levels I may be able to come of them too!