My checkup: the verdict

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 Permalink

HeartActive is a delicious, 99% fat free milk enriched with plant sterols, which are proven to help reduce cholesterol. Research shows that consuming plant sterols everyday in milk can reduce cholesterol by an average of 10% in three weeks. HeartActive is currently available in a 1L carton with an extended shelf life (45 days from production) compared to regular white milks with a shelf life of 14 days.

I realise you’ve probably been waiting with bated breath to learn the outcome of my medical check-up. (Don’t bother answering that one as I know my life is infinitely interesting to all of my loyal fans readers, so I’m taking it as a given!)

Sadly, as I was sick at the time SOME of the appointment was devoted to the fact that I had a virus of some kind (flu plus rash!) and weird side stitch, so I didn’t get to talk about the scary heart thing I’d mentioned in the previous post. But, as I needed blood tests to confirm the virus, it seemed prudent to flag that I wanted to see how this 45 year old body was coping with life.

Because of the virus I had to return to the doctor later the same week, so the verdict news was delivered quickly – and surprisingly painlessly.

Bizarrely (given my lazy and indulgent lifestyle) my test results were all basically good. My iron count was up (which apparently was most likely because of the infection I had at the time), as was my platelet count (for a similar reason – though it’s tested high on a number of occasions!).

The biggies (I think to do with glucose levels, my liver and kidneys) were surprisingly normal and the big worry – my cholesterol was…. well, it was basically okay.

The ideal cholesterol range is apparently anywhere from 3.9 – 5.5 somethings. Mine was 5.8. Because my doctor kindly gave me a printout of my results (including those from the last few years – which I’ve never had before) I could see that my levels are usually around 5 or under.

Even though it was slightly higher than the norm (high cholesterol ostensibly being a reading over 5.5), my doctor suggested that it was probably because I hadn’t had the test after fasting – which is apparently the best time to do it.

normal1Either way, I’m happy with my overall results, but – as my cholesterol is ‘kinda’ high – I’m going to do a bit more investigating re ways I can lower it.

In fact… I noted it’s recommended that you aim to keep your cholesterol levels around 4 thingys (mmo/L) if concerned about your health. Umm… eek!

Given the issues I raised in my previous post (the fact I have high blood pressure and am overweight), I’m a potential candidate for heart attack (or stroke).

For some reason I’ve always been happy to remain in oblivious ignorance about health issues:

When I was trying to get pregnant I knew little of what was happening to my body during fertility treatments and even now I can barely even describe the science of my coeliac condition to people (ummm… something to do with cells in my stomach?!).

I kinda know there are a lot of misperceptions about cholesterol out there: the good, the bad and the ugly. I vaguely recall that, some of the things you assume would be problematic (ie. vegetable oils) aren’t actually as bad as other things like eggs.

But, hell… at the ripe old age of 45 it’s time to educate myself on this issue and I’ll be back with more to report on how I’m going!

Sponsored Series by Nuffnang Australia

HeartActive is a delicious, 99% fat free milk enriched with plant sterols, which are proven to help reduce cholesterol. Research shows that consuming plant sterols everyday in milk can reduce cholesterol by an average of 10% in three weeks. HeartActive is currently available in a 1L carton with an extended shelf life (45 days from production) compared to regular white milks with a shelf life of 14 days.

* I’m linking up with Essentially Jess and her IBOT team today.
* I’d also like to send my thoughts out to my virtual friends in the US, having woken up (here in Oz) to the terrible news about the Boston Marathon. xxx

  • Char
    April 16, 2013

    My Mum was diagnosed with having high cholesterol (which actually wasn’t very much higher than normal) and put on cholesterol lowering medication. Turns out that her good cholesterol was high and her bad cholesterol was in the healthy range and she never should have been medicated after all. Sometimes I have my doubts about the medical fraternity.

    • Debbish
      April 16, 2013

      I couldn’t see that the doctor had requested the good / bad segregation (also hadn’t requested additional readings for my thyroid levels). I might ask for the breakdown next time!

  • Eleise
    April 16, 2013

    My mum is a health care provider and says there are two types of patients, those that trust Drs completely for their health and those that take a interest in their conditions and want all the information first. I am the later and I get a print out of every test done and will often ask lots of questions to my Dr. I will research every drug before I fill a script. I think health is holistic so we need to look at it from a whole body perspective. Good on you for starting to take control over your health.

    • Debbish
      April 16, 2013

      Thanks Eleise and thanks for dropping by.

      I’m definitely the former. I mean, I don’t have complete faith in the medical profession – they’re just like everyone else – fallible – plus they’re independent on what their patients are telling them. I know I hate feeling I can’t properly explain my condition to my GP. Mostly I’ve had normal things wrong with me so diagnosis hasn’t been too difficult. (Not requiring any ‘House’-like investigations!

  • Jess
    April 16, 2013

    Glad everything is relatively well! Good job on taking control!

    • Debbish
      April 16, 2013

      Thanks Jess. I was expecting far worse news.

  • Josefa @always Josefa
    April 16, 2013

    It is so important to know about our bodies and how it all fits together – yet so few of us do! Great to hear all tests results were good and look forward to more updates as they come along
    Josefa from #teamIBOT xx

    • Debbish
      April 16, 2013

      Thanks Josefa!

  • @Kanga_Rue
    April 16, 2013

    Any update on the chest pain? (Yes, I *am* nagging!)

    I was reading recently that gluten-free diets can lead to high cholesterol levels, but something you can counteract through other methods as you suggest.

    Keep happy and healthy!

    • Debbish
      April 16, 2013

      No… I didn’t ask about the chest pain at the last appointment (too many other things to cover!).

      I hadn’t heard that re cholesterol and GF – will have to check it out!


  • EssentiallyJess
    April 17, 2013

    I remember seeing a TV program a few years ago about cholesterol, and eggs actually being really good for it. Something to do with it being a good cholesteral, and lowering the bad one? I have no idea really. But definitely something to look into.

    • Debbish
      April 17, 2013

      Hi Jess and thanks for your comment. That’s exactly my point… I really don’t know and tend to rely on my very-rusty memory when it comes to what is/isn’t the right thing to eat to lower my cholesterol.

      I’ve started my research though!

  • Satu
    April 17, 2013

    I’m glad there was nothing really alarming in your test results. Try to stay alive till Iget an opportunity to come to see you down there. 🙂

    I had good test results in my 40th birthday checkup. I’d like to know how I’m doing now though – because my eating habits have changed since then (for the better) and I’m more physcially active . On the other hand I’m fatter now, I had a menopause and I have several medications…

    • Debbish
      April 19, 2013

      Hee hee Satu, I’ll hang in there and await your visit!

      The strangest thing from my tests (as I got some historical info) is that the only time my glucose levels were high (and they were quite high) was in mid 2011 when I was on a weight-loss program and eating healthily etc. (During the three month period when I lost 19kg!) Most peculiar!

  • Lou Lou
    April 19, 2013

    Glad all your results were generally good. What a relief!

    • Debbish
      April 19, 2013

      Thanks Lou Lou!

  • Kek
    April 20, 2013

    I thought cholesterol tests always included the breakdown of HDL/LDL/triglycerides. Or maybe my doctor is just extra-thorough?

    Given your number, I’d be pretty confident that you can knock your total cholesterol down a bit through some simple nutritional intervention. Look what I managed to do from a starting point of 7.2… 🙂

  • Bruno Cross
    April 27, 2013

    Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables can represent an easy strategy to significantly reduce the incidence of cancer. We recently demonstrated that the flavonoid quercetin, naturally present in the diet and belonging to the class of phytochemicals, is able to sensitize several leukemia cell lines and B cells isolated from patients affected by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), in addition to apoptotic inducers (anti-CD95 and rTRAIL). Further, it potentiates the effect of fludarabine, a first-line chemotherapeutic drug used against CLL. The proapoptotic activity of quercetin in cell lines and B-CLL is related to the expression and activity of Mcl-1-antiapoptotic proteins belonging to the Bcl-2 family. Quercetin downregulates Mcl-1 mRNA and protein levels acting on mRNA stability and protein degradation. Considering the low toxicity of the flavonoids toward normal peripheral blood cells, our experimental results are in favor of a potential use of quercetin in adjuvant chemotherapy in CLL or other types of cancer.

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