Raising HDL levels

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4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 12/16/2006 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm full of questions this morning! I was diagnosed in May of 2005 (type 2) and also high cholesterol and low HDL levels. I have been able to lower the one but am having the HARDEST time raising my HDL (which I know is so important!). I currently take a prescribed niacin (1500 mg a day) and it STILL isn't going up.

Any suggestions on how I can get it higher?

Thanks!
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 12/16/2006 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ruth,
 
Niacin, which is a vitamin B, will not raise your HDL levels.  It dialates the blood vessels and has a "scrubbing" action which reduces the cholesteral and plac in the veins and arteries.  It is an alternative to Statins.  It is usually not as effective as statins in lowering your overally cholestral and as you have seen it is not effective at all in raising your good cholesterol. HOWEVER, it can actually reverse some ateriorsclerosis cases which statin  drugs cannot!  If you can get by the hot flashes and the flushing, its not a bad thing to be taking!
 
scool  Warren

Jeannie143
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 12/16/2006 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I use flax seed oil capsules, 1000mg in the morning, fish oil capsules 1000mg in the evening to help me out. I also use generous amounts of olive oil in all of my cooking from scrambled eggs to pouring it over a submarine sandwich in place of mayonaise. My HDL levels have been improving steadily as my increase in monounsaturated fats has worked its way into my diet. I use skim milk, 90% lean ground beef, peanuts, almonds and walnuts for snacks (18 peanuts, 6 almonds or walnuts is one serving with a one inch by one inch block of mozzarella - Excellent snack with very low carbs.) I use no margerine and only use small amounts of real butter for toast. Oatmeal about 3 - 4 times a week with peanut butter in it. All of this PLUS my 10mg of LIPITOR (a great statin drug for diabetics) has me in the good numbers zone.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 12/16/2006 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, guys!

I'll look into adding those supplements, Jeannie. I take my niacin (1500 mg as of today) at night. I take an aspirin 1/2 an hour previous to taking the niacin and then I go to bed. I do get "hot" but I'm doing the hot flashes thing anyways and am drifting off to sleep ... I think it works ok that way.

One more question ... is there a definitive diabetic diet????
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 12/16/2006 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Not exactly. There are guidelines for eating that follow a certain number of carbs or calories per day but you usually receive this from your nutrition consultant at your food class. They get the prescription from the doctor of your prescribed food plan and you take it from there. If you are supposed to be losing weight you will probably be on a 1500 calorie food plan or possibly a 1200 calorie food plan.

I bought a program a few years ago online called CalorieKing that helped me figure the carbs, fats and proteins of foods as well as fiber for the day. It was very inexpensive... about $15 as I recall. Now it's about $40 so I'm not recommending it any more. You might want to do a google search or dogpile search and look for an online food plan that lets you download the software so you don't have to go online to count. There are some good things about eDiets that I've seen... I guess you just have to pick and choose until you find one that fits your lifestyle.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 12/18/2006 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   

If your HDL levels don't move, ask your doctor about stopping the Niacin and putting you on VYTORIN.  Its a statin with the addition of Zetia, which is specifically targeted at improving good cholesterol levels.

scool Warren

4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 12/18/2006 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Warren,

How long should I give it a chance? I've been doing more reading about cholesterol and given my family history (all the men in three generations have had heart attacks before age 50) I know I'm AT RISK! While NONE of the women have had heart disease, none of them have worked full time either. I do ... of course. Plus, I have a crazy, stress filled life for at least two more years.

Thanks for your input!

Ruth
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 12/20/2006 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ruth,

Where do you currently sit for your overall Cholesterol, your LDL and HDL?? If the niacin has your LDL and your overall at good numbers I'd be content to leave well enough alone for the time being.  If, however, you still aren't reaching the numbers you want on the LDL and overall cholesterol, you might want to give up the niacin and look at a statin like Lipitor or Vytorin.  Even my Endo who is in his mid 30s and looks like he's in great shape takes Lipitor "just because"!  He says in his case, its better to be safe than sorry! 

Soooooo.... don't let your numbers go out of the zone for more than 3 or 4 months ( a good time period to evaluate the efficacy of your dosage and approach) before you change up your approach to pull them back to where they belong.  BTW...Lipitor is one of the most studied drugs out there, next to asprin, and it has a great safety profile!

scool Warren

4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 12/20/2006 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Warren. I have more labs done in mid-January so I'll wait until then ... but if my numbers aren't where I'd like them to be then I'll ask to be put on something. Given my familial history AND the fact that I'm a diabetic makes me not want to take ANY chances!

Edited to add that my overall numbers aren't that great ... and hence, the niacin!
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise

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