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Diagnosed with LDL. Is exercising, avoiding wheat, rice, sweet products sufficient to reduce LDL?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 192 Questions
Im 25 year old female, 2months back in my regular health check hyper- LDL was diagnosed. It was 197mg/dL. My weight was 53KG (Height: 5'1). I am pure Vegetarian. White rice, wheat products, sweets, chocolates weer by day to day diets. I had very less exercise in life. I almost work 15hrs a day in-front of computer. Now I have changed my habits and diets. Daily exercising and avoiding white rice, wheat, fatty food. Is this enough to reduce my LDL..? Should I go for medication? because of this possibility of getting pregnant will be delayed?Now after 2months my weight reduced to 49.5kgs. is this a good sign?
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Raja Sekhar Varma 9 hours later
Thank you for your query.

You have outlined your problem well. However, I need a few extra details from you before I can give you specific recommendations.

1) I need to know the full details of the lipid profile test that was done. Total chol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, VLDL values are needed.
2) Was the blood taken in a fasting state?
3) Are there any other health issues like diabetes, hypertension?
4) Are you taking any drugs for any other problems?
5) Are you planning to get pregnant, or are you on any contraceptives?
6) Is there anybody else in your family (parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, etc) with high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes or hypertension.

Your body mass index (BMI) at baseline is approximately 22. It is normal. Increased LDL cholesterol is not the same as obesity. Fat people need not have high LDL and thin people can have high cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol levels can be hereditary or acquired. Diet is important to control the levels (but it can control only upto 30% of the cholesterol). Depending on the situation, diet and exercise alone can be tried for a period of 3 months. You should test your fasting lipid profile again after this period to check the difference. If the values are not yet controlled, it may be better to take a drug to achieve control. Once control has been achieved, you can then try to reduce the dosage and try to maintain optimal values with the help of diet and exercise.

You should remember that the current cholesterol levels will be responsible for the development of blockages in arteries later in life. Thus, the need to control the bad cholesterol is important as a preventive measure.

Kindly get back to me with the details that I have asked for, so that I can give you a more specific answer.
With regards,
Dr RS Varma
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