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What do my lab test results indicate?

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Posted on Wed, 12 Oct 2016
Question: My cholesterol total is 218; 65--HDL; 17--VLDL; and 136--LDL. I have just started, (3days ago), taking fish oil, artichoke extract tabs and considering red yeast rice supplements because I will not take statin drugs. (I know red yeast rice is like a low dose stating but not nearly as bad as say Lipitor and others which have class action lawsuits due to the large number of patients who developed type 2 diabetes since treatment began. I am 5"1", 120 lbs., exercise 1-2 hrs. daily. Based on information provided, what do you think? Would especially like your opinion on red yeast rice. One additional concern about red yeast rice is whether or not it tends to cause skin rashes because I do have eczema. Please help me if you can.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Recommendations

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I'll preface what I'm going to say that personally I tend to not be overly aggressive in treating mildly elevated LDL (bad cholesterol), especially with good triglycerides (via VLDL) and HDL.

As you pointed out, the statins do have their side effects, and I've seen problems with their effects on muscles and the liver.

I do get more aggressive about treating elevated LDL if a patient has a personal or family history of heart attacks or cardiovascular disease, and especially if a person is a cigarette smoker. Tobacco harms the lining of blood vessels and allows the cholesterol to deposit and form plaques.

I'm not a big advocate of red yeast rice because it can interfere with metabolism of other drugs in the liver and has some of the same side effects as the statins and there are not a lot of guidelines for it's use.

Given your lipid panel, I would focus more on maximizing lifestyle changes rather than adding red yeast rice right now.

If you smoke, it is imperative that you quit.

Your exercise regimen is excellent, so keep up the good work there.

Increase vegetables in your diet (fruits too, but not as much, because of sugar content).

Oatmeal (in moderation) can help decrease cholesterol.

And the fish oil, if good quality, is a wise idea too.

So, make modifications to your diet, and have your lipids rechecked in 3 months to see if you are making progress. Reevaluate then. But no, I wouldn't add red yeast rice at this point.

If you'd like a second opinion, I do know that we have a nutritionist who answers questions on this site from time to time. So you can repost your question but put at the beginning of the first line "For nutritionist".





Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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What do my lab test results indicate?

Brief Answer: Recommendations Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, I'll preface what I'm going to say that personally I tend to not be overly aggressive in treating mildly elevated LDL (bad cholesterol), especially with good triglycerides (via VLDL) and HDL. As you pointed out, the statins do have their side effects, and I've seen problems with their effects on muscles and the liver. I do get more aggressive about treating elevated LDL if a patient has a personal or family history of heart attacks or cardiovascular disease, and especially if a person is a cigarette smoker. Tobacco harms the lining of blood vessels and allows the cholesterol to deposit and form plaques. I'm not a big advocate of red yeast rice because it can interfere with metabolism of other drugs in the liver and has some of the same side effects as the statins and there are not a lot of guidelines for it's use. Given your lipid panel, I would focus more on maximizing lifestyle changes rather than adding red yeast rice right now. If you smoke, it is imperative that you quit. Your exercise regimen is excellent, so keep up the good work there. Increase vegetables in your diet (fruits too, but not as much, because of sugar content). Oatmeal (in moderation) can help decrease cholesterol. And the fish oil, if good quality, is a wise idea too. So, make modifications to your diet, and have your lipids rechecked in 3 months to see if you are making progress. Reevaluate then. But no, I wouldn't add red yeast rice at this point. If you'd like a second opinion, I do know that we have a nutritionist who answers questions on this site from time to time. So you can repost your question but put at the beginning of the first line "For nutritionist".