Sunday, June 11, 2006

Breaking Years Of Cholesterol Indoctrination

My doctor wrote me 3 prescriptions to lower my cholesterol

As regular readers of my blog are already aware of, I have been blogging a lot about the subject of cholesterol lately and my struggle with whether I should begin taking cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins again like I did previously when I was told I had high cholesterol. But like these men who are suing the makers of Lipitor, I too experienced intense muscle and joint pain that was too much to bear and don't want to go through that experience ever again.

To get people up to speed on what I have already written about my experience in recent months, here are the columns about my experience:

- "Cholesterol Conundrum: Do I Statin Or Not?"
- "Doctor Gives Me Four Months To Get LDL Down"
- "Consensus on Cholesterol Is Avoid Statins"
- "My Cholesterol Craziness Continues"
- "Lowering Cholesterol Through Better Choices"

Obviously, I believe this is an important issue to talk about since I have given it so much space at my blog. And the feedback I have received from some of my readers confirms this is something that concerns you, too.

Here is one of those e-mails I received this week:

Dear Jimmy,

I have been following your blog for a while. I am in a similar situation to you with Atkins/weight loss/high cholesterol numbers. My weight went down from about 240 to 165 and then slowly up to 175-180. I seem to have a low tolerance for carbs and I needed to stay close to induction level (20g/day) to achieve weight loss.

It took me about a year to lose the weight and I have kept it off for about 2 years. I never had a blood test until recently and I just got the results yesterday. My lipid profile was very similar to yours with total at 340 and LDL around 220.

My doctor is not much of a doctor and only saw me for 30 seconds. All I had the chance to say was "I'd like to try to change my diet," he said fine and handed me the basic low-fat plan flyer. He said to come back in 3 months for new lab work. I am trying to read up now on the whole thing and I am trying to decide on how to handle the situation.

Oh, I'm having deja vu all over again reading this man's e-mail because that's EXACTLY how I felt after seeing my high cholesterol numbers. The years and years of cholesterol indoctrination we have become accustomed to can make it difficult for us to grasp that cholesterol is not the big problem our doctors have made it out to be.

I just received my copy of Anthony Colpo's book "The Great Cholesterol Con" in the mail on Saturday and I look forward to reading and reviewing it for you very soon. But another independent researcher who has been widely-published regarding the subject of cholesterol and heart disease is a man named Uffe Ravnskov.

After recently sending him an e-mail about my cholesterol situation, here was his response to me:

Dear Mr Moore,

If you have read my book or my homepage, then I can't understand why you are so worried about your cholesterol.

Best wishes,
Uffe Ravnskov

LOL! Short and sweet, to the point. Fair enough, although I wouldn't say I've been "worried" about my cholesterol. But as a layman who has not been medically trained, even people like Colpo and Ravnskov have to admit it's a hard pill for most people to swallow that we have been sold a bill of goods regarding the dangers of cholesterol. How do we convince our family doctors that THEY ARE WRONG when it comes to cholesterol?

My doctor listens to what I have to say, but he's someone very rooted in his medical beliefs. I'm not sure how you can tell somebody like this that they have been mistaken about cholesterol without insulting his intelligence or making him angry at your for questioning his medical authority. Any suggestions anyone?

Nevertheless, with all of that said, I'm beginning to believe people the cholesterol myth more and more everyday.

Ever since I was given them six weeks ago, I've held off on getting the Zetia, Wellchol and Niaspan prescriptions filled because I just haven't feel right about taking drugs to lower my cholesterol. As a low-carber who has seen tremendous weight loss success and the results of my LipoScience cholesterol test showed that I have lots of the large "fluffy" LDL particles which is considered good for you and very few of the small "dense" LDL particles which are the dangerous ones, I feel that I have no need for these drugs at this time.

So here's what I've done:

Ripped 'em up...

Grabbed 'em in my hand...

Thrown 'em in the trash can...

And said GOOD RIDDANCE to them...FOREVER!

Bye-bye cholesterol-lowering drugs! You're not gonna harm me and my body anymore. I've stopped being so concerned over my cholesterol and I've just kept on livin' la vida low-carb just as I have always been.

A trusted low-carb expert recently told me that people who follow a low-carb diet have a different standard with their cholesterol than people who eat a "mixed" diet consisting mostly of carbohydrates. This is a very difficult concept for people to understand, especially because we have always been told high cholesterol can lead to heart disease.

Breaking all those years upon years upon years of cholesterol indoctrination can be hard, but it can and must be done.


Blogger Kelly in Southern CA said...

Way to go, Jimmy! I plan never to go on a cholesterol-lowering drug, should my doctor say I need one, at least none of the statins or other drugs around currently. My doctor said he wanted me to go on an anti-osteoporosis med because I'm past menopause and that's what the guidelines say, but I've read so much about side effects of those that I had already decided not to. I just smiled and thanked him for the scrip, then never filled it. It seems most docs are so concerned with following the published (by whom?) guidelines, and maybe worried about lawsuits, that they prescribe automatically. My husband says it best - doctors are great if you break a leg, but be careful with letting them get too close when you're feeling fine. (This is not to say I don't go for regular checkups and preventative tests, like mammograms, etc. - I just don't automatically take what they want to give me without looking into it very thoroughly first.) I'm glad you tore up your three (!) scrips.

6/11/2006 6:38 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Too low of too high cholesterol does have a higher/earlier death rate. I flipped through Dr. Eades' Protein Power book that I recently ordered and he showed a graph where the lowest and highest cholesterol numbers had a higher/earlier death rate than those with numbers in the 200 range, give or take a bit.

6/11/2006 6:50 PM  
Blogger LCforevah said...


I have the hard cover 1995 copy when it first came out, and the irony of it is, that Drs Mary Dan and Michael Eades where the first mainstream doctors that I had encountered, who said not to worry so much about lowering cholesterol.
The chapter is after all, entitled "Cholesterol Madness".
Their second book, "The Protein Power Plan" gives even more detail, as it is published years later when more info on cholesterol is available.

6/12/2006 1:01 PM  

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