High Cholesterol

I need your advice.

My mum has been told that she has slightly high cholesterol (I don't know the numbers off hand) and basically she wants to know how to lower it. She eats healthily, lots of fruit and veg, she grills instead of frys etc. Although she is slightly overweight she walks loads.

I'd be grateful for any suggestions.


  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭
    Hi Pavey, I also had high cholesterol, 6.3. Got it down to 4.5 in 6 months. I started to eat the benecol products, I stopped eating eggs, prawns, pastries, yogs, cheese. I am not saying it will def work but it did for me so its worth a try.
    Have a look here and it tells you what you can and cannot eat and how much.
    Hope that helps Pavey
    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • Hi Wabo - that's brilliant, I'm not sure what my mum's number is but i know she's a bit worried about it. I've had a look at that website and it's just about their test - am I looking in the wrong place for what she should and shouldn't eat?

  • I've also got high cholesterol. 5.? something, I have just tried to cut down on the nice food, like cheese, pasties, no butter in my sandwiches, no mayonaise, no chocolate. Naturally I have not cut these out completely, but I have reduced them.

    I have not since then had it checked. I'm not sure how long it takes for a lower cholesterol reading.

    I am not overwiegh and have a average/normal BMI, but cholesterol is unrelated to this it would seem. And unrelated to fitness and exercise, altough exercise must help to a degree.

    Basically reduce of cut out all the tasty things, which are high in fats :-( which I have failed to do so far.

  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭
    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭
    mine is hereditary Colin, my brothers all have had much higher than me, I am the only one to exercise yet still I got it. a b*gger eh?
    Agree with you about the food, sometimes I yearn for something naughty to eat, and occasionally do have!
    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • 5.? is NOT a high cholesterol by any means CW...........normal range goes to about 5.5 - high is usually classed over 7

    you shouldn't take the cholesterol result in isolation as the risk of developing heart disease is based on many factors not least including what the ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol is - the higher the better.......and heart problems are often related to such things as smoking, lifestyle (exercise, drinking etc), diabetes, family history (genetics) etc..........there are many many factors that influence

    BUT - having a cholesterol around 5 or lower is always better........
  • and you can buy over the counter cholseterol lowering drugs

    pavey - if the quack was concerned about your mum's cholesterol level they would have recommended some sort of intervention like drugs or diet.........slightly high doesn't sound like something to worry about
  • FB is spot on
    how much action you take about cholesterol has to be seen in the context of other risk factors
  • My cholesterol is 6.2mmol/l, or was when it was last measured about 12 years ago, and I'm not actively trying to lower it.

    Cholesterol isn't the final common pathway to heart disease, it is one risk factor and needs to be considered in the context of age, sex, smoking, blood pressure, whether or not you've got diabetes, and family history of heart disease. The ratio of "good " (HDL) to "bad" (LDL, VLDL) cholesterol is also relevant.

    Pavey, your mum may be doing enough already :o)
  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭
    agree with above, my dad had quad heart bypass and high chol.In my case because the blood pressure was fine the doc let me go away and see what I could do with diet, but he did want to make me take statins with chol of 6.3, simply because of family history.
    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • didn't I just say what v'rap did??


    imho - too many people get wrapped up in their "cholesterol number" - there was a BIG movement called smething like "know your number" some years ago - and forget that it's only one factor - albeit an important one when it gets to dangerous levels (hypercholesterolaemia - genetics influenced)......

    in a former life I helped launch one of the very first on the spot cholesterol testing devices (Reflotron - since superceded by other technology) that helped kick start the "know your cholesterol" revolution as it was just at the time that the drug boys were developing the statin drugs so I got heavily involved with Bristol Myers, Squibb, Pfizer etc............they were fun days as at last there was an easy way of testing cholesterol on the spot, quickly and (relatively) cheaply..........

    mine used to be 4.6 in those days but curiously I've not had it tested for about 15 years!! I should really get it done but my diet and lifestyle is much better now than it was then......
  • I have not been concerned about my 5.? value.
    I believe that enjoying life is more important than getting hung up on numbers. Although I was told it was 'slightly higher than average.' so maybe 5.7, but still not high really.

    I'm still interested to know how long it would take for a change of diet to be refected in the readings.

    PH, you on for Jersey then??

  • Colin-oh so, so tempted

    I still dont know what i am doing work wise
  • can you get your cholesterol tested without seeing your gp?

    my gp's a bit of an a%se so don't see him unless i really need to

  • why do you want to
  • just out of interest really, never had it done b4
  • unless you have risk factors or a strong family history of heart disease-its only another thing to worry about
    you can have a test in boots-tho that isnt so accurate
    or you can pay for a private test
  • yes you can get your cholesterol tested without a GP - some branches of Boots were offering this a while ago when one of the cholesterol lowering statin drugs (Zocor) went OTC so it was a sort of tied in promotion.........don't know if Boots still offer it though

    you can also get home cholesterol tests - see here - if you want.

    there is an issue relating to home tests and that is accuracy - a badly performed test performed by an untrained person can give misleading results so these things are often best done by professionals (labs) or knowledgable individuals............

    it's a bit like diabetics doing home glucose tests - done well, they are accurate but so many patients don't do them well so get poor results........

    if you're worried about your cholesterol, go see the GP first (even if he/she is an arse) as many clinics now offer well-man/woman clinics that will look at basic health factors like cholesterol and test you for nothing or a small fee.........alternatively get a health screen from BUPA or similar - costs a lot more, but looks at a lot more
  • I only had my check done as part of an overall Health Screening that my employer paid for as I'm now an old man apparently (over 40!). I would not have even considered it otherwise.
    I also found that I have an 'abnormal heart'. Abnormal that is for sedentary couch potato types, 'normal for an athlete' though! And my lung capacity was off the scale, so balanced with the slightly above normal cholesterol I have not concerns.

    The problem with taking a single result out of the context of lifestyle, etc is that is is only compared against the average of the population.

  • old at 40??


    strange employer you have there CW but if it's paid for, take it!
  • Thanks everyone - this has been really helpful. I think I should probably have a chat with my mum and find out what the doc said. We have got a history of heart disease in our family (along with every other disease known to mankind!!) so that may be why she was concerned.

  • FB,
    yes it made me smile as well.

  • "We have got a history of heart disease in our family"

    you need to check on what side as well Pavey - most genetically inherited heart problems related to cholesterol affect males - familial hypercholesterolaemia - rather than females - hence incidences of men dying young through undetected FH.......females tend not to be affected so much by dietary/lifestyle heart problems until they get past menopause as the female hormones seem to give some protection................

    she could be worrying for nothing so needs a chat....
  • FB i don't have any contact with my father or his side of the family so all the diseases we have (mostly diabetes, cancers and heart disease) are from my mum's side of the family - but I don't know if the heart disease was related to cholesterol - I suspect it may have been more stress-related.

    I'm just waiting to hear back from my mum, so I'll let you know what the doc said to her.

  • FB - my mum has been prescribed enalapril and her number is 6.6. But she hasn't been given any advice about lowering her chol level.

  • OK - she's been prescribed an ACE inhibitor so it seems that she is being treated for some hypertension.........

    cholesterol of 6.6 is a little high (I don't know your mum's age so this needs to be factored in) but nothing to warrant too many worries yet...

    for interest - my mum who died last year at 82 was also on enalapril and a statin to lower her cholesterol - I never understood why her GP gave her the statin as ahe was also being treated for type II diabetes, hypothyroidism, she was taking aspirin daily and was on warfarin (she'd had 2 minor strokes), had survived bladder cancer, had osteoarthritis, and smoked liked a bloody trooper!! given all that, cholesterol was the least of her problems!!! she rattled when she walked.....

    btw - I am no medic - this is just an area I've had experience in from a commercial perspective so please don't take what I write as gospel....
  • pavey
    if shes got high blood pressure too then i would be more aggressive about treating the cholesterol, and would be more inclined to use a statin if her diet is already ok
  • Hipps - what I was thinking but I'm not qualified to make that comment.....
  • not sure i am FB;)
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