I would like to touch on the basics if anything to help me see it on paper and possibly educate any of those out there who are a bit confused on the topic. I only know what I've learned through my own research so don't take my lousy word for it.
I think there are metric and imperial differences for cholesterol levels so I won't post numbers. I'm only going to touch on the basics LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL is the bad kind and is the one effected by not exercising and eating a diet high in saturated fat. HDL is the good kind which is effected also by exercise and a diet high in Omega fats. You want your LDL as low as possible and your HDL as high as possible. Your elevated LDL is what increases the risk for CVD (Cardiovascular Disease).
Here are some risk factors with how they affect my risk in BLUE. Also some tips on avoiding elevated LDL levels.
You are at risk if:
1. You are male and over 40
2. You are female and over 50 or post-menopausal I am female under 40
3. You have heart disease, stroke, diabetes or high blood pressure Diabetes, yep
4. Your waist measures more than 40" for men or 35" for women NOPE
5. You have family history of heart disease or stroke MAYBE but don't we all probably?
Tips on avoiding elevated LDL
1. Quit smoking I don't smoke
2. Get regular physical activity I get MORE than regular activity
3. Eat a healthy low-fat diet high in fruits and vegetables Healthy vegetarian here, CHECK
4. Limit how much alcohol you drink I haven't touched alcohol since I was 18
5. Reduce fat intake to 20-35% of your daily calories Already eat low-fat
6. Choose healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated I eat lots of avocados, nuts and olive oil
7. Limit your intake of saturated fat I eat a small amount
8. Avoid trans fats Won't touch anything with trans fat in it
10. Use lower-fat cooking methods such as baking, broiling or steaming. Avoid fried food. I almost never eat anything fried
As the years have gone by I have watched my LDL creeping up every 3 months and I am now in the danger zone. It is a stubborn bitch and refuses to react to anything I say or do. As you can see in the blue text, given all my lifestyle choices, there's no reason why I should have such a dangerously high LDL except for the fact that I have diabetes. Unless of course it is just beyond my control. The more I exercise and the longer I eat healthy the higher my LDL goes. That makes NO sense what-so-ever. Blasted thing pisses me off. Here is what I found on how it is effected by Type 1 Diabetes:
"Lack of insulin (and the high blood sugar that results) raises the level of LDL. It returns to normal when insulin is given. People with type 1 diabetes had cholesterol similar to people without diabetes when their blood sugar levels were kept within a near-normal range."
I know, it's pretty vague. This doesn't make complete sense for me personally because my cholesterol has gone up despite me gaining better control and despite me not really having any risk factors at all. Thanks to the insane exercise, my HDL is above the healthy range (which is excellent). I got the "It's just you" response from my endo. Translation: my luck sucks. Dude, yeah, I've come to expect that.
This impending doom of life-long cholesterol lowering medication causes a few issues which are a bit too personal to write here. It's a chain reaction where I have decisions to make in the next 6 months to a year. Some of you PWD will read between the lines so I know you might know what I'm getting at.
I am not too pleased to add more drugs but I was aware that it was inevitable so I'm not playing stupid here. Its also not so much taking the drugs that is getting me down it is the reality check. What is this disease REALLY doing to my body? What's really going on in there? Furthermore, I have always been a firm believer of lifestyle changes to prevent stuff like this. I have tried to change my LDL for many years now and have not only been unsuccessful but the opposite effect has happened. My LDL continues to rise.
I am curious what the consensus is out there with PWD. How many struggle with high cholesterol that is most likely primarily due to just "having diabetes". How many of you guys take meds for it? I remember my endo saying at my last appointment that usually by 10 years it's the norm. I'm going on 9. Which is why I'm not surprised. I was just really hoping that my hard work would really lower my LDL. There is almost nothing I could do lifestyle change wise now that I'm not already doing.
Curious to see that I'm not the only one.
LDL - FAIL