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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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My cholesterol level is 242

I'm 22 and my cholesterol level is 242. Any other young people out there with the same problem? I got a call today from my doctor about my lab results. It seems that I have high cholesterol levels. I m only 22 and I was curious if anyone else was diagnosed at a young age and/or what I can do about it. I know lifestyle changes are in order, but I d like to know if anyone has specifics that worked well for them.
Wed, 16 Dec 2009
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I don't think someone as young as you should go on meds to lower cholesterol without trying to change other factors--like eating habits. Usually when people go on cholesterol lowering meds, they are on them for life. That was my doctor's explaniation for why he wouldn't put me on meds when I was 25 and had elevated cholesterol. We tried changing my eating habits--I visited a nutritionist. I also started exercising more. If your cholesterol is a direct result of poor eating/exercising habits--and you change that, then your numbers should go down. If you change things and the numbers still are high, you may have a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol. I found out that this is my problem. I inherited it from my father, who is on Lipitor. I am 38 now and my doctor still won't put me on meds UNLESS my numbers continue to climb. So far they remain high, but are holding steady. You need to know not just your total cholesterol number, but your number for bad cholesterol (LDL) and good choleserol(HDL). Desirably, you want your LDL under 100 and your HDL over 40. It is also possible to have high bad cholesterol but to increase your good cholesterol numbers to offset. HDL helps shuttle the cholesterol out of your body, which is good because it doesn't have time to stick to your artery walls and become plaque buildup. The best advice I can give you is to talk to your doctor about options and ask to be referred to a nutritionist. Good luck!
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