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Cholesterol still high while on Medifast

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Ok before I start, I just have to say I have not had my cholesterol checked in 10 years, so I really have no frame of reference as to where the numbers were before medifast, but man they stink now. Total cholesterol was 244 (bad), HDL 33 (bad), and LDL 183 (really bad). I did have a normal triglyceride level at 139, but it is still not great..

I am so upset, I have been 100% OP for 22 weeks, I think I have eaten eggs 2x in that time frame, and very rarely any red meat. I have used cheese maybe 3x in the last 6 months as my lean. I really just eat chicken, so I have no idea why my numbers suck so bad. Too be honest, I feel kind of devastated-like all my hard work is for nothing. I really don't know how eating so little fat and cholesterol in your diet can leave numbers like this..

The only positive thing that I can glean from this-is that maybe it was so off the charts before, that I was heading for a massive MI or CVA.

Well thanks for letting me rant, and if you have any suggestions on how to lower your cholesterol naturally let me know.....

Comments (140)

I'm sorry you are bummed about your numbers. I would hate to see what they were pre-MF. Did you ask your doc what you can expect as your weight continues to drop?..

Comment #1

Sorry no suggestions (not my area of expertise?) but I just wanted to give you encouragement. I bet the next time you have your blood work done you are going to see a HUGE improvement!! Hang in there, and don't get discouraged! You are doing fan-freaking-tastic! ((((hugs!!))))..

Comment #2

Does high cholesterol run in your family? You may have been alarmingly high before you started MF...

Comment #3

I'm sure they HAVE improved, but you really just have nothing to compare it to..

Way to go on being OP for 22 weeks. You've done your body a tremendous service by losing almost 100 lbs. Keep it up, and your labs will end up ok!..

Comment #4

I'm sorry you got such stressful results. But high cholesterol can sometimes be caused by factors other than diet. For example, my grandfather had terrible cholesterol levels because he had an autoimmune disease, Lupus. And one of my best friends is only 30, eats a low-fat vegan diet, and still has to take cholesterol meds, because it just "runs in her family.".

I don't think you need to worry, but I would definitely investigate further...

Comment #5

Congratulations on your great weight loss..

I too had hopes to lower my cholesterol via Medifast with no luck..

But I did prove to my doctor that it's not what I'm eating it's my body making too much cholesterol and that runs in familys. Being adopted I don't know who to thank for that one!.

Since you don't know what it was before you started you may have brought it way down???????.

I do have to take a cholesterol med but I have the excess weight off and feel great!.

Good luck on your journey!..

Comment #6

I think the real problem is that you have nothing to compare them to. You could have been 40 points higher and then you'd be thrilled with 244. At the rate you're losing and your diet, it really can't help but drop some. Can your doctor check every couple of months to get a better idea of your progress? A few months worth of lowering numbers and you'll know you're on the right track..

Any chance of talking to family members to get an idea if high numbers run in the family? There is a real genetic component to this that can't be ignored...

Comment #7

I would suggest before you get wound up about your present numbers that you make sure you're going back for another fasting test in about 3 months. That will give you a good idea of what kind of changes your body is going through and a better idea of what it might have been pre-MF. You are making healthy choices now. 22 weeks might not be enough for your body. Everyone is different. Without a pre-MF baseline, you should be right you could have been in dire straights and never knew it.

You're making good choices now and those numbers can only improve...

Comment #8

My cholesterol is 244 as well, so I've just been put on lipitor. I'll bet your cholesterol will improve as you continue to lose weight. Don't be discouraged because I'll bet you'll see a big improvement at your next check-up. You are really an inspiration!..

Comment #9

Most high cholesterol has nothing to do with diet, it is genetics and how your liver handles things. Diet can contribute and make it somewhat higher, but some people will have high numbers regardless of what they eat. I have genetically low cholesterol and have been really low (119) even while significantly overweight (300+). But I always have a high morning blood sugar, regardless of my A1C or daytime sugars or weight. It's in how my liver does things (evidently it feels the need to release stored sugar at about 3am). My A1C has improved as I've lost weight, but my morning sugars are always in the 120s (unless I'm stuck in traffic and then it's 130s )..

Repeating the tests is a good way to see how the weight loss/diet changes effect it, but you may just need medication because of it. It's very common and not really something that's your fault....

Emma..

Comment #10

My cholesterol has always been high...no matter what I do (family history). So, I take Crestor even while on this program. So far, it's been around 150. which is where they want it to be. I'm 53, so I guess it's something I'll have to take the rest of my life, unfortunately. I often thought it had to to with weight and diet, but not always......

You're doing great...so continue doing what you are doing!!!..

Comment #11

Hey dont get bummed out about this, I'm sure you will see better results once you have lost more weight! My readings were a bit off the charts too, and well they will get better in time!.

I hope that you stay op and continue to lose weight and you are doing great!!!!!..

Comment #12

My sister takes cholesterol meds and she has a great diet, has for years and she isn't overweight. Her cholesterol is bad, last time I asked, even with the meds it isn't good...

Comment #13

Just calling the dr to check on blood work I had done week ago yesterday.

I tried taking the meds and my joints hurt so bad that I could hardly walk.

Anyone experience this ? I think it was lipitor..

Comment #14

The women in my family dont get sick.

They just drop dead in their sleep !.

Guess maybe strokes..

Comment #15

I have a feeling your cholesterol was quite a bit higher before MF. A few things you can do to improve your numbers. These have all worked wonders for me..

1) Continue to loose weight..

2) Exercise, specifically any kind of cardio exercise..

3) Fish oil. Start taking it daily. I take 3 pills every day (the recomended dose). I usually do two with breakfast and one at night. Per our Dr's, the Walmart brand is just as good as any expensive brand out there. The Walmart brand we use is Spring Valley.



I have never had any issues with "fish breath" or "fish burps" with this brand at all. I have noticed a good change in my cholesterol numbers (both good and bad cholesterol) since I started taking it regularly...

Comment #16

I agree with all the folks that are pointing to genetics. I'm in a similar situation with blood pressure - weight loss can help, but high bp is so darned hard wired (both parents, all four grandparents - only one of the 6 with a weight issue at all) that in spite of the weight loss and increased activity, I will remain on bp meds..

10 years is a long time to go without a cholesterol read - I wonder why your doctor never suggested that before? You just really have to figure that it must have been sky high before and perhaps now you're in a much better position to control the situation comfortably with meds..

Don't forget all the other great health benefits too with your weight loss! This is just a bump in the road and now you know what is going on, you can be more proactive about keeping the situation under control...

Comment #17

Don't you just love when laypeople mete out medical advice?.

Seriously...

Comment #18

I would wager your liver function numbers are a little high as well. It's just having a fatty liver that will improve as you continue to lose weight. Of course, you have discussed your concerns with your doctor?.

Ask for internet advice > Get internet advice...

Comment #19

Don't stress, there are good drugs for this. The statin drugs have been around a long time now. They're cheap and effective and will only kill you a little bit..

But Paul's right, in his own subtle way High cholesterol is something you need to take care of with help from somebody with "MD" after their name...

Comment #20

Paul, I didn't see anything that wasn't just the responders experience with high cholestrol. They didn't "prescribe", just suggested from what worked for them. You sounded a little harsh. all of us have had medical issues and some have found what works for them....K?.

There IS something to be said about genetics. I have been on Lipitor for many years due to that very thing. When I started taking it my cholestrol was over 200 and at that time I wasn't overweight. I am and was very active & ate fairly healthy, But family history made the use of meds a necessity (dad had heart attacks, died at 58, mom had strokes and died at 69). Of course it's never a good idea to go against what a doctor may tell someone, but experience is a valuable tool. I agree with previous posts that after we lose weight, another blood work be done to see what happenes to those numbers..

Happy that you are working on the weight part of your health issues...it will make a difference. God Bless!.

Sheryl..

Comment #21

Unfortunately - sometimes our liver doesn't know when to stop pumping out the cholesterol. Your liver is responsible for 80% of the cholesterol in your blood - which means, only 20% actually comes from the food you eat. SO if your like me, you just might have a stupid liver! When I was 30 years old and weighed 140 pounds, I was put on cholesterol meds, and have been on them ever since (now 50). Don't beat yourself up about it - sometimes it's just physiology..

I've been looking for a good alternative to pharmaceuticals for 20 years, and have yet to find anything that will bring down the number to an acceptable level. Go on the med's and call it good...

Comment #22

Absolutely you need a follow-up in 3 months and I know this has been mentioned but some people just have high cholesterol genetically. My Mom was like that so the jury is still out on if I will be the same. The woman was normal weight and for a year lived on like salad and lean things because of her cholesterol- no improvement. She had trouble with meds, so they had to keep switching hers, but that is rare..

If it goes down some next time I would assume it will continue. That is the test. If it goes up, it probably is genetic or there is another factor and you should look at something to help with them..

There are ways to help with cholesterol naturally, but I encourage you to wait until further tests to see how far the weight loss will get you, otherwise you won't know what helped and what didn't. If it is still up or higher next time, then look at natural things for a while...

Comment #23

Please dont take this the wrong way. But, I think those results are very very good considering your still over 300 lbs. Think of it like this, your current weight is probably an average weight for 2 people. I will bet that as you get closer to goal, those numbers will tumble along with your weight..

Your doing a PHENOMENAL JOB! YOU ARE GETTING HEALTHIER EVERY DAY YOUR OP! Know that in your heart!! It WILL GET BETTER AND IS GETTING BETTER-DAILY!!!!..

Comment #24

Hi Sue,.

My dad had this same experience while on lipitor. Definitely should talk to your Doc..

K..

Comment #25

Statins can do that........ some people can't tolerate them..

But, this is just from a "lay person" in case Paul gets offended...... sheeesh!..

Comment #26

You are right, This is a potentially life threatening side effect that about 10% of people who take Statins suffer from..

AND I'm not a lay person I'm an RN and one of those 10% of people who encountered this so bad I could not walk...

Comment #27

My DH who is not overweight and eats pretty well most of the time had numbers well into the 400's. He tried for a few months to get it down on his own. Nothing would work. They determined that it must have been hereditary. They put him on the meds and suddenly his liver studies were always off. After numerous lab tests and co pays later they finally realized that he was allergic to the meds they gave him.

Good luck I hope you can get it down on your own...

Comment #28

Thanks for all the advice, encouragement, and tips. I am a RN as well, so I can certainly discern what is valid "internet" advice. I do like hearing opinions of other people-you never know what you will learn.

Now that I am over the initial shock, I am going to wait 3 months and have it checked again-now that I have a baseline. Then I will decide where to go from there. I am very opposed to statin drugs-I have seen bad side effects with them, so I will try everything else first. And to those who are curious-Ididn't get it checked in 10 years because I haven't been to the MD in that long-fat girls don't go if they can help it, and I was only in my 20's (nothing bad happens then, hahaha). Now in my wiser 30's I know a little better.

Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. If anything, it is a motivation to stay OP and get to goal, cause the Lord only knows what it was before.....

Comment #29

FIRST OF ALL, much of the modern research says that cholesterol has little to do with eating animal fats. Trust me - it's out there. It's much more likely a genetic thing than a diet thing. That said - diets LOW in fat can also lower your HDL... NOT good..

EXERCISE: How much are you getting? One of the BEST ways to raise your HDL is through exercise..

SMOKING: Do you smoke? That can have a harmful effect on cholesterol levels..

TRANS FAT: Cut them all out (I know... easy to do on MF!).

INCREASE MONOUNSATURATED FATS: like olive oil..

Comment #30

Girlie!! I didn't even look at your ticker! I bet as you loose the next 100 lbs. you will see a drop in the cholesterol number too. You're doing great!..

Comment #31

This has certainly been an entertaining thread to read. So sorry that you waited so long to get checked. In the medical world there is so much that can be done if only the practitioners know there is a problem. It is so much better to treat the symptoms instead of waiting for a horrible event to happen, and then treat the patient (i.e. stroke, MI). Prophylactic treatment is the way to go.

The same is true with low HDL's and High LDL's. Those numbers are High. Why would you want to wait to re check them? Do something now. They are at a level that normally requires treatment whether you are dieting or not. It is a silent ticking bomb.

This is your chance to pro-actively discuss this with your physician and make an informed choice. Step up to the plate for YOUR health. You deserve it!!.

Sally.

Family Nurse Practitioner..

Comment #32

Ask for advice on the internet, then you will get all kinds of reply's. No need to come on here and judge people..

Not to mention, you have no clue how many of the people on here actually know what they are talking about. There are probably more people who know what they are talking about then you think...

Comment #33

I never had cholesterol checked, either. (I regret it!) I can imagine what mine is but I just keep working at it. I'm planning on getting the bloodwork done sometime soon..

Really, can you imagine what it must have been before? Keep doing what you're doing and I'd definitely have it checked every few months. I have no doubt if you stick to the plan you will see a change. Otherwise, maybe other factors are to be considered...

Comment #34

Nursgirl, it really does have hereditary components. I know, as you are an RN, that you'll coordinate with your doctor as to the best way to handle this. It will probably also come down somewhat the more as lose..

BTW, I am so impressed with your loss so far. People like you truly inspire me...

Comment #35

I'm sure they HAVE improved, but you really just have nothing to compare it to.

Way to go on being OP for 22 weeks. You've done your body a tremendous service by losing almost 100 lbs. Keep it up, and your labs will end up ok!..

Comment #36

Congratulations on your great weight loss..

I too had hopes to lower my cholesterol via Medifast with no luck.

But I did prove to my doctor that it's not what I'm eating it's my body making too much cholesterol and that runs in familys. Being adopted I don't know who to thank for that one!.

Since you don't know what it was before you started you may have brought it way down???????.

I do have to take a cholesterol med but I have the excess weight off and feel great!.

Good luck on your journey!..

Comment #37

I think the real problem is that you have nothing to compare them to. You could have been 40 points higher and then you'd be thrilled with 244. At the rate you're losing and your diet, it really can't help but drop some. Can your doctor check every couple of months to get a better idea of your progress? A few months worth of lowering numbers and you'll know you're on the right track.

Any chance of talking to family members to get an idea if high numbers run in the family? There is a real genetic component to this that can't be ignored...

Comment #38

I have a feeling your cholesterol was quite a bit higher before MF. A few things you can do to improve your numbers. These have all worked wonders for me..

1) Continue to loose weight..

2) Exercise, specifically any kind of cardio exercise.

3) Fish oil. Start taking it daily. I take 3 pills every day (the recomended dose). I usually do two with breakfast and one at night. Per our Dr's, the Walmart brand is just as good as any expensive brand out there. The Walmart brand we use is Spring Valley.



I have never had any issues with "fish breath" or "fish burps" with this brand at all. I have noticed a good change in my cholesterol numbers (both good and bad cholesterol) since I started taking it regularly...

Comment #39

Don't stress, there are good drugs for this. The statin drugs have been around a long time now. They're cheap and effective and will only kill you a little bit.

But Paul's right, in his own subtle way High cholesterol is something you need to take care of with help from somebody with "MD" after their name...

Comment #40

Paul, I didn't see anything that wasn't just the responders experience with high cholestrol. They didn't "prescribe", just suggested from what worked for them. You sounded a little harsh. all of us have had medical issues and some have found what works for them....K?.

There IS something to be said about genetics. I have been on Lipitor for many years due to that very thing. When I started taking it my cholestrol was over 200 and at that time I wasn't overweight. I am and was very active & ate fairly healthy, But family history made the use of meds a necessity (dad had heart attacks, died at 58, mom had strokes and died at 69). Of course it's never a good idea to go against what a doctor may tell someone, but experience is a valuable tool. I agree with previous posts that after we lose weight, another blood work be done to see what happenes to those numbers.

Happy that you are working on the weight part of your health issues...it will make a difference. God Bless!.

Sheryl..

Comment #41

Unfortunately - sometimes our liver doesn't know when to stop pumping out the cholesterol. Your liver is responsible for 80% of the cholesterol in your blood - which means, only 20% actually comes from the food you eat. SO if your like me, you just might have a stupid liver! When I was 30 years old and weighed 140 pounds, I was put on cholesterol meds, and have been on them ever since (now 50). Don't beat yourself up about it - sometimes it's just physiology.

I've been looking for a good alternative to pharmaceuticals for 20 years, and have yet to find anything that will bring down the number to an acceptable level. Go on the med's and call it good...

Comment #42

Absolutely you need a follow-up in 3 months and I know this has been mentioned but some people just have high cholesterol genetically. My Mom was like that so the jury is still out on if I will be the same. The woman was normal weight and for a year lived on like salad and lean things because of her cholesterol- no improvement. She had trouble with meds, so they had to keep switching hers, but that is rare.

If it goes down some next time I would assume it will continue. That is the test. If it goes up, it probably is genetic or there is another factor and you should look at something to help with them.

There are ways to help with cholesterol naturally, but I encourage you to wait until further tests to see how far the weight loss will get you, otherwise you won't know what helped and what didn't. If it is still up or higher next time, then look at natural things for a while...

Comment #43

Please dont take this the wrong way. But, I think those results are very very good considering your still over 300 lbs. Think of it like this, your current weight is probably an average weight for 2 people. I will bet that as you get closer to goal, those numbers will tumble along with your weight.

Your doing a PHENOMENAL JOB! YOU ARE GETTING HEALTHIER EVERY DAY YOUR OP! Know that in your heart!! It WILL GET BETTER AND IS GETTING BETTER-DAILY!!!!..

Comment #44

Statins can do that........ some people can't tolerate them.

But, this is just from a "lay person" in case Paul gets offended...... sheeesh!..

Comment #45

Ask for advice on the internet, then you will get all kinds of reply's. No need to come on here and judge people.

Not to mention, you have no clue how many of the people on here actually know what they are talking about. There are probably more people who know what they are talking about then you think...

Comment #46

Nursgirl, it really does have hereditary components. I know, as you are an RN, that you'll coordinate with your doctor as to the best way to handle this. It will probably also come down somewhat the more as lose.

BTW, I am so impressed with your loss so far. People like you truly inspire me...

Comment #47


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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