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Thread: Does anyone use a self-test at-home cholesterol meter?

  1. #11
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    My Mom is on atorvastatin, and the thought of memory loss and confusion side effects with her already having Alzheimer's is horrible to contemplate.
    My total cholesterol runs on the high side, but my underlying numbers tend to be good, so I never worried too much and when I asked my Dr, he didn't seem too concerned. He ordered a cholesterol study when I had my physical in November, but I didn't do it because I'm not going to take a statin, and I'm already trying to get more exercise and eat better so what's the point?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    My father-in-law had a somewhat rare side effect of taking statins over a long period. He developed dysgusia (sp?) which is taste distortions and it only got worse as time went by. Everything he ate tasted bitter. Whatever doc he was seeing felt that taking them was more important than enjoying his food.
    Doc probably got a kickback????

  3. #13
    Senior Member GeorgeParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    Doc probably got a kickback????
    Most likely the doc is just following SOP. High cholesterol is classified as a life-threatening condition medically. Bitter tasting food isn't. If doc takes a patient off statins and patient's health gets worse, doc might get sued for malpractice. So safe CYA thing for the doc to do is keep patient on statins and tell him bitter taste is just an unfortunate rare side effect.

    The Hippocratic Oath says "Do no harm" but the modern legal and insurance industries say "Don't do anything that might get you sued." Doctors who want to stay in business try to do both at the same time by doing whatever they perceive as current SOP.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Coincidentally I just received my test results from my annual physical and again just crawled under any possible statin recommendation by my physician. I must guess anyone in the discussion who doesn't know their cholesterol levels must not get a routine physical since blood work is standard for my annual exams? As I was thinking about it, I noticed my library has an audio book by Dr. Weil called "Mind over Medicine" where he cover most of the common OTC and prescription medications and their uses and risks. I've browsed some of Weil's recommendations for some time. My take is that he is beyond the influence of big pharma and pill pusher remedies without delving too deeply into any new age or undocumented alternative medicines.

    I listened to most of the chapters as I thought it was pretty interesting. He covers NSAIDs, cold medications, antidepressants, etc., and has a chapter devoted to statins. He makes a case that some people at higher risk could benefit from statins and other cases where it is over prescribed or could be better handled with lifestyle changes. I thought it would be a good supplemental reference for statins as well as others medicines.

  5. #15
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    My doctor beat me up each year about the need for a statin. Finally she gave me the "test" of all health conditions, age, sex, etc. to figure out whether there was an increased risk of death or serious illness. Well, she should have done it before (like a lawyer needs to know the answer before the question is asked trial). I had no risk of increased death over the appropriate statistic for my age. I accept that I have made my own decision and will accept any consequences. But I will not be dictated to by a health group practice need for a certain level of acceptance by patients.

    I get all necessary vaccines, exercise regularly and do not have a stress filled life. I even got a heart test at the local hospital that showed zero build up of calcium plaque in my arteries.

    I truly believe that statins are overprescribed.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Now that I have lost 30lbs it will be interesting to see what my cholesterol is.

  7. #17
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    As many of you know, low-carbohydrate/ketogenic diets replace the calories you're not getting from carbohydrates and from copious amounts of protein with ... fat. Oftentimes saturated fat. It sends the dietitians into a swoon.

    But it's great for blood glucose levels and it can be good for lowering future cholesterol-related cardiac issues.

    LDL in the typical lipid profile is not measured directly; it is estimated from the HDL and triglycerides levels. Lower triglycerides levels -- ordinarily a good thing -- mess up the calculation, yielding an estimate of LDL level that is falsely high. Add in modern medicine's penchant for protocols and you can be handed a prescription for a statin (or some other cholesterol-reducing drug) even though you don't need it.

    It's turning out that a better predictor of coronary artery disease is the ratio between triglycerides and HDL; the lower the better. A ratio over 4 has shown to be a strong indicator of future coronary artery disease regardless of the patient's LDL level. In addition, there is more than one kind of cholesterol -- a smaller, harder particle that infiltrates cell walls easily and a larger, fluffier particle that does not. A beneficial tri/HDL ratio strongly correlates with having the larger cholesterol particles.

    My care provider gave me the corporate line on statins; I was borderline with my numbers but "if you're over 50 and diabetic, you get a statin" (and you get a statin, and YOU get a statin...). I knew that, on a high-fat diet, my LDL was not going to look great. But I also had learned that LDL was not the only consideration. I told her I wanted a particle test and that the results of that test and my next lipid panel would determine if I started taking a statin or if we dropped the topic for the foreseeable future. I got the test; big fluffy cholesterol particles and a tri/HDL ratio well under 2. I don't hear any more about taking statins.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  8. #18
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    I asked doctor for a particle test too. She refused me. At the beginning of the year I started with new insurance, therefore, a new doctor. Just did a virtual meeting to have her as my primary. All will have to be done when it is safe to meet again. Hopefully, all is well?

  9. #19
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    I asked doctor for a particle test too. She refused me.
    I was prepared to pay for my own particle test. Fortunately, my primary trusts me. When I finally took my diabetes seriously and managed it my way, with great results, she took using a low-carb eating plan much more seriously. And when she brought up the idea of statins and I compared my labs to the standard-of-care guidelines for who "should" get them, pointing out that my numbers weren't over all those bars, she understood that I do my research, I know what I'm talking about, and I work my plan. So when I told her it would take a particle test "failure" before I would take a statin, I planned to get one whether or not she wrote for it. But she wrote for it. And I'm still doing just fine.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  10. #20
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Steve, I used your formula and my ratio is 2.4 and that’s before losing weight.

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