Yesterday was a big day for me as it was the much anticipated (by me anyway) visit to the doctor to receive the results of the previous three months journey without my cholesterol medications except for the Niaspan. I had stopped taking the Crestor and Tricor because my blood tests had shown that I was having signs of muscle protein loss in my blood which can be a sign of a side effect often shown as related to statins and statin use.
With amount of weight that I’ve lost to date and the fact that I’ve stayed very consistent with my weight loss exercise regimen, it seemed to me to be a great time to re-establish a baseline for my current health state. To be honest after 10 years on statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs, I was anxious to say the least about not taking them. I am having a difficult time accepting that I might not actually need them in the future.
Just as a reminder for the newer readers who haven’t perused the archives, it was 10 years ago that I found myself in for emergency surgery for a 75% occluded left carotid artery and 100% occluded artery to my left arm which was a sub-clavian bypass. Basically as I fondly now refer to it…a “roto-rooter job” on my carotid and a bypass. I will say that at the time I was scared to death but have trusted God and cholesterol medications since that time to stall or even reverse my arterial disease which had obviously at that time progressed heavily for someone only 37 years old. Also add to this that this past January I told that I now had type II diabetes as well. This brings us to today.
You can imagine my stress at not taking these life saving drugs even for three months. Well the results are in! I must say that I was pleasantly surprised and now even cautiously optimistic after receiving my latest results. The diet and exercise regimen I have been following for the last 9 months can be found in this blog so I won’t rehash that now.
So here we go…
Sugars/Glucose levels - Normal! Yipee! No diabetes meds required! Total cholesterol (non medicated except for Niaspan) needs to be <200, I ’m 194 so I snuck in just under the wire! Triglycerides <150 and I’m at 90! HDL >40 and I’m 45. Still not where I’d like to be but not terrible none the less! LDL <100 and I’m at 131, BUMMER! Well 4 out of 5 isn’t bad! We decided to leave out the other cholesterol meds for the next three months as well, but I’m going back to the full 1000mg dose of the Niaspan to try and help drive down the LDL to something more acceptable. I will probably modify my diet some to help that as well so stay tuned for that in later posts.
One last good note from my visit to the doctor was my blood pressure. I have for the past 10 years also been in the mildly hypertensive range about 130/80 and on BP meds for the last 4 years. My BP yesterday was 115/75. My heart rate which is normally in the 70’s to 80’s is now in the 50’s and 60’s (I think the exercise is helping this) so we dropped my BP medication as of today. I have to monitor my BP over the next week to see where I’m at, but I’m hoping that I can stay off those meds as well.
All of this was fantastic news to me and I guess proves that diet and exercise “can” greatly affect your health even with hereditary cholesterol issues so I guess I might just have to stay on this “healthy lifestyle” that I’m now on track with. I feel great and I’m going to save about $280 a month in prescription co-pays too! I’ll be adding more on this very soon so stay tuned!
My new goal is medication free by 2009 although I think I’ll probably be on something for the LDL in the future just to help combat my family gift of a body that manufactures cholesterol, but we’ll see when I go back to the doctor in January for the next quarters follow up.