High Cholesterol - What you haven't been told
High Cholesterol we are told is BAD and causes disease such as heart disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease (reduced blood flow to limbs causing pain).
The notion that high cholesterol is BAD is heavily marketed to us and we are immediately encouraged to take a pill to get rid of cholesterol as quickly as possible. We are then left on these pills for life in what is called 'set and forget' as the cause of the high cholesterol is never addressed and as soon as you come off these pills your cholesterol goes back up again.
We can see this in the below test results. In 2018 and up until January 2019 this patient of mine was on Cholesterol lowering medication and as you can see her cholesterol was low. Under the supervision of her GP she ceased this medication to see what would happen and by May 2019 almost 4 months later it was elevated, the LDL (bad cholesterol) nearly tripled from 1.3 up to 3.5. This patient then wanted to try my approach to lowering cholesterol rather than going back on medication and as you can see after only two months levels are all in range, not too low or too high.
You can see in some other patients of mine that the levels of LDL are quite high and we can see great results in only one month.
In this one the LDL was at a very high level of 5.15 and was consistently this high for many years and in only one month came down to 3.94.
In this one the LDL was 4.60 and in one month came down to 4.09
Often my patients bring in their previous tests to show me and then we test again after starting and we get to see the great results.
WHAT WE ARE NOT TOLD
- Not all "BAD" cholesterol (LDL) is actually bad. There are 7 subfractions of LDL and only some of them put you at higher risk
- Cholesterol is essential to making hormones like oestrogen and testosterone
- Cholesterol is needed to make adrenal hormones
- Cholesterol is needed to help your metabolism work effectively
- Cholesterol is the building block of human tissue
- Cholesterol assists in bile production - which is needed for absorption of fatty vitamins A, D, E, & K.
When we take a closer look at the "BAD" (LDL) cholesterol we can fit the subfraction levles into two patterns. Pattern A = Good and Pattern B = Bad
Pattern A contains larger particles which are more buoyant are filled with antioxidants in particular Vitamin E which protect you.
Pattern B contains smaller particles which are more dense and contain hardly any antioxidants.
The downside of the Pattern B is that these small particles can fit into smaller gaps which is usually the lining of the blood vessels and they get stuck there. This is where the damage is done. As there is next to no antioxidant protection in them they are susceptible to being oxidised (going rusty) and this is basically aging you from the inside out. They are also involved in developing the dangerous plaque connected to heart disease.
Some of the damage caused by these guys being trapped in the blood vessel wall linings can lead to:
- high blood pressure,
- hardening of the walls,
- higher risk of blood clotting,
- sleep apnoea,
- heart attacks and
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Cholesterol, collectively, does not cause heart disease, only a smaller subfraction of cholesterol is involved.
- Cholesterol is essential, it's about finding the causes of the increase in bad cholesterol and reducing them. Such as poor gut health including digestive issues and bacterial balance, constipation, inflammation, insomnia, eating the wrong type of fats.
- Your LDL levels may be low or "in range" however, it may be Pattern B and silently damaging your blood vessel walls.
- Many people who have heart attacks are on cholesterol lowering medication, showing that it is not just about lowering cholesterol as a whole, it is the subfractions that have meaning.
- A combination of inflammation, oxidised cholesterol particles, and high triglycerides that does the most damage. More changes that only lowering cholesterol are needed.
It is important to test the subfractions and find your Pattern, below is an example of a thorough cholesterol test which show that the LDL Pattern is Type B
Tests can be done and changes to diet and lifestyle can be made to reduce your risk of heart disease. It's all about the subfractions.
How do I get great test results in reducing the cholesterol? The major factor is through fixing gut health through nutritional and herbal medicine, in addition to dietary changes, plus a few more things. Once my patients have begun treatment and are going through the stages of gut repair we begin to see reduction in inflammation and the bad cholesterol. Improved sleep and resilience to stress.
Who am I?
I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body and reducing metabolic inflammation. Major areas for improvement include gut health, thyroid, kidney, liver, weight loss and mental health. Conditions such as fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, irritable bowel conditions, depression & anxiety. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation.
Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Appointments can be made for in our clinic as well as through our video chat software. I help people all over the country and post their products out to them. I can help you too.
To book an appointment click here
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- Tags: Blood pressure, Cardiovascular disease, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Gut, Hormones, Inflammation, Liver, Nutrition, Obesity, Stress