Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Test Results Are In...Told My Doctor to Take a Hike!

So, I finally got my annual blood work done - the full workup with a cholesterol screen as well as a Vitamin D test. According to my doc, I failed both. I'll give her the Vitamin D botch, I mean it's the dead of winter and I haven't seen the sun in months, but not the cholesterol screening.
Here's something interesting I learned about Vitamin D. Most of us are deficient these days. It's hard to get the required amount from food (milk, eggs, fish, cod liver oil). The best source comes from when our skin converts sunlight into a usable product. Vitamin D is absolutely necessary for the growth and development of bones and teeth, since it is required for the proper absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus in the body--both also essential to the health of the skeleton. Without adequate levels of vitamin D in childhood, bone deformities can develop--a condition known as rickets. In adults, lack of adequate vitamin D can reduce bone density, leading to osteoporosis and an increased risk of bone fracture. Scientists are also investigating vitamin d's role in preventing a slew of cancers and MS.
My doctor wanted me to take a prescribed dose of 50,000 units per week for 12 weeks. I asked what the pill was and found out that it's a synthetic drug with fillers and artificial colors. Blech! That's exactly what I'm trying to get away from. I'm so happy that my neighbor, Amy Butchko at Wellness Works for You, stepped in and told me to ask about the drug. She recommended I look for a food-grade-based vitamin D3. I found one on that was even on sale!  My doc is letting me try this route for a couple of months to see if it helps.
Now, the cholesterol...I've always had a slightly elevated cholesterol level (due to hypothyroidism). It's hovered around the 200-229 range. My breakdown this month was this:
224 overall
66 HDL - Up 13 pts since last year!!!   This is GOOD!
145 LDL - Up 4 pts since last year - not so great. Should be below 100, or so they say.
64 Triglyceride level - well below the range of less than 150!!!
And with those numbers, my doctor wanted me to go on those nasty statin drugs. I said "hell no!" I've only been on this new path for 5 months (with a 2-week break over Christmas) and exercising a few days a week. I still want to try for 6 more months and see if I can make a bigger difference in those numbers.  I read a great article on Dr. Mercola's website about the real truth behind our cholesterol numbers and that eased my stress a LOT!!  Read this!!

It may require you to sign in, but you can opt out at anytime, but I love the daily newsletters and health info. I'm not trying to give medical advice here, but you may not want to blindly trust your doctor. Talk to them and ask them if there are other options. Some offices are so pill happy and some even get kickbacks for prescribing certain medicines. You can make a difference by making some simple changes to your diet.
I'm happy about the 13 point increase in my HDL's. That just proves that I'm doing something right and making a difference with my health!
Ta-ta till next time and remember to READ THOSE LABELS!!

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