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Thread: Cholesterol

  1. #21
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Don’t get me wrong, I think modern medicine in it’s most basic form and most researched treatments are wonderful. It’s saved my mother’s life several times over. But I see most of this work done by specialists. The general practitioner seems to have gone through a metamorphosis over my life time. And I think that change has been largely brought on by the drug industry. So when I hear accounts of older people having repeated testing to screen for this deficiency or that condition with an eye toward establishing a regular prescription to bring the number to an “acceptable” level, I get cautious. That caution is born out of the over prescription of practically every drug available. Now if I could look around and see that all this ingestion of chemicals has made our population healthier than other developed countries....I’d think, wow the marvel of the pill bottle. But I don’t see it. In fact, what I see is that the same business models that sell us processed foods to make us sick also sell us medicine to make us well again. Does that seem irrational?

  2. #22
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I suppose most people these days follow up their doctors recommendations with some sort of internet research. My go to site for what I consider mainstream medicine is the Mayo Clinic site. They have a fairly practical evaluation of statin risks and benefits. They claim that not everyone has the side effects and those that do can try alternates. It's sometimes a choice people have to make and I wouldn't totally discount what mainstream medicine has to say just because the pharmaceutical companies are pushing their products. I'd make every reasonable effort to avoid statins, though.

  3. #23
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    In fact, what I see is that the same business models that sell us processed foods to make us sick also sell us medicine to make us well again. Does that seem irrational?
    What's irrational? The business model? Or your perception of its existence? If it's the latter, I'd say no, it isn't irrational.

    In general I am not a conspiracy theorist. But I see (time and again) evidence that the American model of medicine is not serving anyone except insurance companies and the makers of pharmaceuticals and related items. For example, the American Diabetes Association's guidelines for "blood sugar control" is a reading of 180 mg/dL two hours after eating -- even though pretty much any endocrinologist not associated with the ADA would say that a reading above 140 mg/dL by then would cause damage to the body. Yes, the entire home blood-glucose measuring process introduces some error. But you'd think then the ADA would be aiming for control levels even below 140 mg/dL to address that measurement error. After all, that's the same "concern" for a safety margin that had my PCP recommending that I take a statin for cholesterol numbers that (it turns out) were only borderline (under) for health issues (it's "protocol").

    Both recommendations turn into long-term and (frequently) expensive courses of treatment and are ridden with side effects which require further spending. The cynic in me says it keeps the economy going. And that the ever-increasing profit motive is a huge obstacle to ever reforming the American health care system into one where outcomes align with what we spend for them.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #24
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    What's irrational? The business model? Or your perception of its existence? If it's the latter, I'd say no, it isn't irrational.

    In general I am not a conspiracy theorist. But I see (time and again) evidence that the American model of medicine is not serving anyone except insurance companies and the makers of pharmaceuticals and related items. For example, the American Diabetes Association's guidelines for "blood sugar control" is a reading of 180 mg/dL two hours after eating -- even though pretty much any endocrinologist not associated with the ADA would say that a reading above 140 mg/dL by then would cause damage to the body. Yes, the entire home blood-glucose measuring process introduces some error. But you'd think then the ADA would be aiming for control levels even below 140 mg/dL to address that measurement error. After all, that's the same "concern" for a safety margin that had my PCP recommending that I take a statin for cholesterol numbers that (it turns out) were only borderline (under) for health issues (it's "protocol").

    Both recommendations turn into long-term and (frequently) expensive courses of treatment and are ridden with side effects which require further spending. The cynic in me says it keeps the economy going. And that the ever-increasing profit motive is a huge obstacle to ever reforming the American health care system into one where outcomes align with what we spend for them.
    It makes me think of the economy as some meat grinder and I see these cut out representations of people being stuffed into the feed bin of the grinder. You know in a Monty Python cartoonish kinda way.

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  6. #26
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    My own numbers:
    Total cholesterol: 217mg/dL
    Triglycerides: 51mg/dL
    HDL: 71 mg/dL
    LDL: 136 mg/dL

    All my ratios are excellent, whether TC:HDL, LDL:HDL, or Triglycerides:HDL.

    The LDL:HDL ratio is apparently considered the best predictor of heart disease. The higher the ratio, the higher the risk. A ratio of 2.5 LDL:1HDL is regarded as excellent. As my ratio is 136/71 = 1.9:1, I'm not worried by my LDL reading being over the ideal of 100. I don't particularly believe in this ideal anyway!

    I have low blood pressure, good fasting glucose, and excellent bone density. My waist:height and waist:hip ratios are good. I think the whole picture is more important than any single part.

    Edited to add: I do low-carb, high-fat, about 80% of the time.
    Last edited by Suzanne; 10-24-17 at 8:35am.

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