Is my Cholesterol really that bad???

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/22/2006 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,

My Latest Blood work says the following:

Total Cholesterol - 208
HDL - 38
LDL - 151
CHOL/HDLC Ratio - 5.5
Triglycerides - 94

I have reciently been diagnosed with angina.

My Doctors Nurse says these numbers are "Very Bad" and puts me at very high risk of a heart attack.
They want me to start taking Statin and another drug combo to reduce these numbers, and the nurse stated that changes in diet, exercise and any herbal meds will NOT bring these down to a safe level.

Problem is 7 Years ago I was successfully treated for Hepatitis-C a virus I had in my Liver for 25 years that caused damage to it. A Biopsy at the time before my treatment showed "Stage 3 Fibrosis, near Cirrhosis", I have had normal LFT blood work since my successful treatment 7 years ago and the virus is gone, but no doubt my liver is still beat up pretty bad. I can't drink , or take some medication since they seesm to make me sick or run down. So I think taking these "Statin" drugs will take a severe toll on my liver.

So it seems the question is Do I want to Save my heart and destroy my Liver? or Save my Liver and have a heart attack ?
Gads!! What a dilemma ...

I read that Lifestyle and exercize and diet changes will bring numbers down,and I have not tried any of these yet. I get no exercize, and my diet in the past has been fast foods, And what about Herbal products ??

All ideas much appreciated..

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 8/22/2006 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Musicman....your heart is the one organ in your body that keeps you alive.  So your question "do I want to save my heart and destroy my liver?" doesn’t make much sense.  I can understand your aunt has Hep C and has had it for many years (being treated).  First thing I would look at is the things in your life you can control and that is diet & exercise.  Every little thing counts so try to start to change your diet, and get out side and walk a little, get some fresh air.  I have a friend that is 33 and his Cholesterol is in the 400's...It's scary I know.  Let your cardiologist know about your concerns about the statin medications and the possible effects it may have on your liver and let him tell you what they could do.



Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 8/22/2006 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
> changes in diet, exercise and any herbal meds will NOT bring these down to a safe level.

Diet will certainly will bring down your cholesterol. I know many people that went on a healthy diet and dramatically improved their risk factors. You can treat this with DIET alone. Cut out things like bread, pasta and stuff and you will lower your calories by eatings lots of vegetables. Cholesterol synthesis can be inhibited by many compounds found in plants and by simply lowering your calorie consumption.

See this article, or read below

Calorie restriction drastically reduces risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes

"People in the calorie restriction group had total and low-density lipoprotein — known as LDL or "bad" cholesterol — levels comparable to the lowest 10 percent of the population in their respective age groups. "
"Their high-density lipoprotein — known as HDL or "good" cholesterol — levels were in the 85th percentile to 90th percentile for middle-aged men."
"Triglyceride levels — which, when elevated, can lead to atherosclerosis — were even more impressive in the calorie restriction group: They were lower than more than 95 percent of Americans in their 20s, despite the fact that the study participants' ages ranged from 35-82. "
"the calorie restriction group's average was about 100/60, akin to the blood pressure of an average 10-year-old."
"Fasting glucose and insulin — both markers of the risk of developing diabetes — also were significantly lower in the calorie restriction group, with insulin concentrations as much as 65 percent lower"


What you should do is cut out all the junk food, eat at least 10 vegetables a day, upto 3 fruits (berries, apples). Drink Green Tea and go for a run for at least 30-40min a day. Diet will improve your cholesterol the most. . When you eat plant foods they are just as effective as statins, without the side effects. Also eat oatmeal and almonds together in the morning.
CR Blood results
Blood Pressure = 90/60
Total Cholesterol = 109mg (2.8)
HDL cholesterol = 39mg/dl
LDL cholesterol = 58mg/dl
Triglycerides = 53mg/dl
Glucose 81mg/dl

Post Edited (whoa182) : 8/22/2006 3:52:55 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 600
   Posted 8/22/2006 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   

:-)  HI Well, i wonder why she said diet would not change anything. maybe she says that becasue it is hereditary high cholesteral, but i just refuse to beleive it, especially since you are a self confessed POOR habit eater and do no excersize.  changing those two things alone will benefit you greatly.  however as much as i love the diet whoa suggests for you, frankly it will be just too drastic to expect you to follow.Try first to stop eating bad stuff, most stuff you eat out. eat no red meat for awhile, and lower your portions to 4 or 5 oz pieces.  my numbers are worse than yours and i do not take the statins as i cannot tolerate them. i think first thing you could do that would help is start taking fish oil  no more than 3000mg daily, then get raw almonds and walnuts, not roasted, not salted,RAW, eat Only a handful daily , about 20 and do it everyday, it will increase your hdl levels, that is why you are in danger, you need to elevate that number to at least 45.  now go do it and recheck your level again in about 6weeks to 2 months.  also, if you can afford it  go buy Benecol at the grocery store  it is a margerine substitute and if you take it daily in the amount they say,(it costs alot, about 6 dollars for a small tub and that last about 5 days only,) that has plant based stanols that help you r total numbers, go for it and now,please   i am thin and excersize daily always have so it is hard for me to find something to help, but just a few changes should work for you.  frankly, i would rather die than face serious liver problems, that is just me,, not very long suffering


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/22/2006 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I appreciate your opinion, however 7 years ago when I battled my Liver Disease, I was painfully reminded that one can not live without a functioning Liver either.
At the time my liver was so damaged that I could hardly get out of bed I was so tired and my body filled with toxins.
Thank God through a painful and dangerous 6 month clinical trial of taking daily injections of interferon and ribroviron I was able to wipe out the 25 year old virus that had nearly destroyed my Liver. But I am very aware of how important your liver is, likely more than most people.
If you have ever seen someone in end stage liver failure its a very sad sight.

So I am not even going down that road of Taking dangerous drugs like Statins, I just can't take the risk.

DreamGirl, I am more inclined to agree with your ideas, as I also would rather die than ruin the liver that I worked so hard to save, and its only running on about 50% of a normal liver, the rest is so scarred and damaged.

The fact the nurse said "I could not lower my numbers by diet and exercise" is arrogant and ridiculous on her part, and I have no family history of high cholesterol in my family.

And what I read is that diet and exercize and some added herbs, Hawthorn, Garlic, and other things like you said Fish Oil, and raw Almonds and Walnuts should bring my numbers down to a healthy level.

My more immediate concern is my newly diagnosed Angina.
And how I can help repair the clogged arteries in my heart.

I am seeing a holestic practioner this week, he is very well known in this area for reversing CAD though Diet, Exercize, and Herbal suppliments.
Hopefully get some results with his direction and guidence.

Thanks everyone for thier thoughts..


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/23/2006 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   

Did you go ahead with the angiogram? Is that how they know for sure that you have coronary artery disease that is causing angina? How many and how bad are the blockages, and where are they? I assume not too bad yet else they would have put in a stent????

I'm asking these questions because, if I were in your position, I would want to know the answers before deciding whether to take statins (or something similar like red yeast rice which can lower your cholesterol but is like a natural statin and I believe can also have similar effects on your liver).

Your triglycerides are good (supposed to be below 150). Your LDL is high if you have confirmed coronary artery disease (it should be below 70 for those of us with heart disease). Your HDL is bad. Should be at least 40, preferably much higher.

Statins will reduce the LDL, but don't always do much for the HDL. Diet and exercise are what will raise that (there is some research to show that a low HDL "good cholesterol" is more of a risk factor for a heart attack than high LDL "bad cholesterol.").

It may be hard if not impossible to get your LDL below 70 without statins, but you should be able to get it down to a more acceptable level with diet, exercise, and natural supplements, and you should be able to get your HDL up to an acceptable level with diet and exercise.

If you have had the angiogram, and they did not find heart disease serious enough yet to put in a stent, I'd be inclined to try to natural way before risking further damage to my liver. I have had to face a similar choice (but my facts are very different). I have a stent due to a 99% blockage in my LAD, and my LFT's started to increase recently. I had a complete liver workup and there is no significant liver disease; the LFT's went down to a more normal level (though still elevated). My belief is that it is the med I take to keep my HDL up that is causing this, but we tried other things for 2 years to get my HDL up and nothing worked except the Niaspan...

I know what it's like to have to decide whether you want to die of liver disease or die of a heart attack...I decided I'd rather die slowly of a bad liver than quickly of a bad heart, BUT it seems to me our risks are heart is worse than my liver; your liver may be worse than your heart.

Good luck; hang in there. I think it's a good idea to see a natural practioner...balancing traditional medicine with natural medicine is a delicate art that requires a lot of soul searching and research.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/23/2006 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   

Here is a link to info re: healthy cholesterol levels that does a pretty good job of explaining it all:

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 600
   Posted 8/23/2006 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)  musicman, the fish oil will keep your arteries 'lubed up' keep them flexabe.  the red yeast rice connie was talking about is the natural statin that is the same as mevacor. but beware, i think it too can elevate liver ##  i want to hear the answers to the questions Connie asked too? have you had an Angiogram?  and all her other questions.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/28/2006 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been on statins for 9 years now since my by-pass surgery. Lipitor had managed to keep my LDL (bad) to just less than 100. I have my cholesterol and liver enzymes checked every 6 months; no ill effects to date

Recent recommendations state that LDL should be under 70. My Doctor put me on Zetia, which has successfully lower LDL to the target range and increased my HDL

ZETIA is unique in the way it helps block the absorption of cholesterol that comes from food. Statins work mainly with the liver. ZETIA works in the digestive tract, as do some other medicines

My total cholesterol is 130, and the doctor and I are both happy about that.

There are alternatives to statins. Good luck
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