Seeking My Best Self

trying to make sense of my life – and lose some weight

Bad Cholesterol!

on February 5, 2014
Cholesterol-300x300

The effects of high LDL cholesterol

No medical insurance = no medical care. I hadn’t had a medical exam in five years, but thanks to Bryan’s military service we finally have an affordable option (I think everyone should have the same option, but that’s a rant for another blog post)  so I visited my doctor for a complete check-up.

Most things look great. But my bad cholesterol is too high. My doctor says, “Lose 20 pounds. Avoid animal fat.” And, she wants to put me on a cholesterol blocker.

I don’t trust western medicine. It seems that one pill leads to another and yet another as the side effects pile up. I did some research. The most commonly prescribed drugs are statins, which are very effective at lowering bad cholesterol. They also create a life-long dependency, and they come with side effects such as liver damage, muscle breakdown, diabetes, and neurological side effects such as memory loss and confusion.

No, thank you. What are my other options?

Naturopathic medicine is out. Their supposed efficacy isn’t borne out in objective studies. Acupuncture, on the other hand, has gained respect in the medical community, as clinical testing shows positive results for many ailments. But it doesn’t seem like acupuncture could have any effect on cholesterol. Or could it?

I did a little internet research. Acupuncturists claim that their practice can lower LDL levels, and they refer to several independent studies. It seems that acupuncture has positive effects on the liver, which is responsible for processing (manufacturing?) HDL and LDL. In addition, acupuncture assists with weight loss and stress management, which are two major contributors to high cholesterol.

That’s worth pursuing. I’m going to find an acupuncturist, and I’ll report my experience.

In addition, it’s time for a few diet changes. As you know, I already cook from scratch and avoid fast food. But I love me some butter, cheese, and animal fat (a nice, juicy steak. yum!) These are now OFF my food list entirely.

I created a list of foods to eat regularly. Many are already part of my diet, and some I need to eat more often. They include:

  • fruits, especially apples and oranges
  • vegetables
  • oatmeal and other whole grains
  • beans, including soybean products
  • garlic & onions
  • avocados
  • salmon and other sea fish (shellfish is a NO-NO)
  • seeds & nuts, especially walnuts
  • green tea
  • omega-3 rich foods (I eat enriched eggs. Yes, eggs are OK. One a day.)
  • shitake & oyster mushrooms
  • red yeast rice
  • hawthorne berry tea

Acupuncture sites and the Mayo Clinic emphasized that weight loss, exercise and stress reduction are hugely important. I already know all of this. Why is it so hard to implement? That’s the million-dollar question. To find the answer, I’m going to keep an ‘attitude’ journal. I’m not going to beat myself up for under-exercising and over-eating. But I am going to make myself write about it. If I choose to sit instead of dance, I’m going to write down why. If I choose to eat a bowlful of sunflower seeds (rather than a handful) I’m going to write down why. Let’s see what emerges. If I’m brave enough, I might even share what I find.

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One response to “Bad Cholesterol!

  1. ends meet says:

    Hi! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally got
    the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx!

    Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!

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