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Lower blood sugars but higher cholesterol

Discussion in 'Greetings and Introductions' started by jpen, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. jpen

    jpen · Member

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    Hi all, I have been reading here on and off for a while, but only posted a couple of times before. Now I have a question regarding my latest blood test results.

    I was diagnosed T2 in July 2018. I am a 65 year old female. Since then I have changed diet, cutting out all "white" carbs, eating much more fresh veges, fish etc. I have never had a 'sweet tooth' so not eating sugars was pretty easy. I also try to fast a couple of times a week when I can. I have managed to lose about 9 kilos - down from 107k to 98k. Initial Hba1c was 69, three months ago was down to 47, and results from last week were 37. I am wrapped about that!

    However, on latest test, my lipids have all gone in the other direction! Total chol is up, LDL is up significantly, HDL has also gone up a bit, triglycerides have gone from 2.6 up to 4.0 and ratio is also up.

    I am still quite new to all this - but I'm really puzzled about how I could be eating better, losing weight, lowering blood sugars, yet still getting worse cholesterol results. My only idea at the moment is maybe not eating enough fibre?

    Would be grateful for any ideas/thoughts. Thanks!

    Also Happy New Year everyone!
    Jpen.
     
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  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    Do you have all the numbers? It's easier to see exactly what you are experiencing if we have them all.
    Also if you are in weight loss mode then your lipid levels could well be out of whack and had you fasted for 10-14 hours before the bloods were taken for the test?
     
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  3. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Probably because you’re losing weight. The fats are released into your blood, sort of anyway. Once your weight stabilises these will too most likely. Do a search (box in the top right corner of the page) for cholesterol. There are quite a few threads about it on here. The majority will reassure you that the common “knowledge “ of cholesterol in recent years is not all it seems. I’ll tag @bulkbiker who knows far far more than me about it all.
     
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  4. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Lol he beat me to it!
     
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  5. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    I have an alarm bell that rings whenever anyone types cholesterol or statins..
     
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  6. jpen

    jpen · Member

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    Thanks for reply!
    Numbers are:
    Total chol current 4.4; previous 3.6
    HDL current 1.08; previous 0.94
    LDL current (wouldn't provide an exact number but likely to be over 3.); previous 1.5
    Triglycerides current 4.0; previous 2.6
    Ratio current 4.1; previous 3.8

    I had lost much more weight before previous tests - about 7 kg lost - than before current tests - about 2 kg loss.
    I had milk in morning coffee, but otherwise nothing to eat for approx 15 hours.
     
  7. jpen

    jpen · Member

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    Thanks! I'll go see whats I can find in the cholesterol threads.
     
  8. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    In my opinion it doesn't matter what colour a carb is they are all metabolised in the same way and given time they all end up as energy or fat, and as far as I know fibre has little or nothing to do with lipid values.
     
  9. jpen

    jpen · Member

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    Yes I get that - about the colour thing. All carbs are the same in terms of metabolism. Its just that my understanding is there's generally heaps more of them in the 'white' food than other sources. So by cutting out the white foods, it helps with keeping the carbs down. I'm not wanting to go keto at this stage - just reduce carbs. And for me it's worked in the sense that my blood glucose levels have improved.

    I thought that fibre - (I'm not sure if that's the right term - but I mean the stuff that we can't digest and gets passed through our system) helped to remove fats? But I might have misunderstood about that....
     
  10. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Sorry, are you thinking lipids are removed from the bloodstream by dietary fibre in some way?
     
  11. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    Ok your triglyceride numbers look a bit suspiciously high but the coffee with milk could have had an impact on those so that kind of invalidates the whole exercise. It's better to have a lower Trig/HDL ratio than you currently have but as I said the figures may have been skewed by the coffee. Next time its better to have water only for 10-14 hours before the blood is taken to get a more accurate picture. Did the phlebotomist ask if you were fasted? I'm surprised you got a full lipid panel without it.. my surgery always asks.
     
  12. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    I'm afraid your understanding is incorrect. White bread and wholemeal bread have the same number of carbs for example. Of course, wholemeal is better for us generally than white, but the carb contents are the same. However, you have reduced your HbA1c to non-diabetic levels on your chosen diet, so you must be doing something right. :)

    As for your cholesterol. Your HDL could be a lot better, and will be if you reduce your carbs. It is known that carbohydrate depletes HDL. Your trigs are not wonderful, but that could have been the milk in the coffee. On your next test make sure you have water only, and plenty of it.
     
  13. jpen

    jpen · Member

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    Yes. I thought I had read that somewhere. Not sure of the mechanism. Was just looking for any possible explanation.
     
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  14. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Having thought about it, I have an awful memory, I vaguely remember a boffin mentioning a link but for the life of me I cannot remember who it was or what they said. I'm not being much help here but perhaps other members could help out.
    One thing I do remember is that women in particular and as we age tend to live longer with slightly higher total cholesterol. Now, because of the way parameters are set, how high that number should go (taking into account the breakdown) is debatable.
     
  15. jpen

    jpen · Member

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    Yes - I thought the trigs number looked weirdly high. And the trig/HDL is worrying too. I wasn't expecting to get blood tests done that day, but had just visited the drs nurse to get the blood test request and we realized that that day was gonna be the only time I could get it done due to closures over the Xmas/NY break. Over here (I'm in NZ) blood tests are not done at the Dr's surgery. So it was a last minute decision to go. I wasn't asked about fasting by the phlebotomist. But I will make sure next time that I'm properly fasted. Having said that, I probably wasn't fasted for the previous test either (can't quite remember at this point). But it's the big difference between the two tests, with the 2nd being AFTER having made significant dietry changes that I find so weird and puzzling. In fact the *two* previous blood tests (ie including the first test done that identified the diabetes I didn't know I had!) showed trigs at 2.6, and now suddenly a rise to 4.0. Its kinda worrying - and puzzling.
     
  16. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    Cholesterol levels similar to blood sugar levels can be all over the place. They are certainly not constants and will be up or down depending on what you have eaten what you have done and many other factors. The fact that doctors prescribe life changing (and not usually in a good way) medication based on a snapshot of levels in time seems criminal to me..
    That's why its always best to get the test done when fasted so at least your levels are relatively stable in terms of food. .. that's one variable removed. As @Guzzler says women over a certain age exhibit greater longevity with higher total cholesterol levels so I wouldn't worry too much. Not sure how easy it is to get the test redone in NZ but if you can I'd try and get another arranged then let us know the results.

    In the meantime you might like to delve further by reading this thread..

    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/cholesterol-and-statins.156985/

    You'll need a coffee... there's a fair bit of info gathered together in one place!
     
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  17. jpen

    jpen · Member

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    Thanks bulkbiker. Yes - that was one thing I thought I would do - suggest to the dr that I repeat the test. I am seeing him this afternoon - so will be interested to see what he says. I am already on a statin and it wouldn't surprise if he doesn't want to up the dose or something. So much to navigate through - and I feel like I'm still so new to it all! I'm slowly looking through that thread - there's so much to take on board! I think that maybe the 'public health' approach to T2 over here is a bit behind the times? Eg the consistent message I have got from all my medical people has been 'this is a degenerative disease, it will only get worse over time, best we can do is manage it'. I've been a bit in shock I think since diagnosis.
     
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  18. jpen

    jpen · Member

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    Yes my use of the term 'white' carbs was a bit of a short cut I guess. Its how I try to explain to my family what I do and don't eat. So the diet I'm on is no flour, rice, oats and most other grains, (so no bread wholemeal or otherwise :) no pasta, pastry etc), no potatoes and limited root veg just the occasional carrot, no fruit apart from blueberries and absolutely no added 'sugar'. I don't actually count my carbs - but I'm guessing its fairly low. At this point I don't really want to go much further with that if I don't have to. And given that - as you say - I've managed reduced my blood sugars to non-diabetic levels - its just a real puzzle about what has happened with the lipid tests. I've also upped a HUGE amount of my oily fish, olive oil, avocado intake too - so HDL results are completely unexpected. Anyway.... onwards and upwards....
     
  19. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    To be honest its mostly pretty much the same here in the Uk apart from a few notable outliers.. My own surgery are hopeless.. even though one of the GP's fasts and the practise head low carbs herself they seem very unwilling to apply these therapies to their patient group... it's almost as if they want us to be ill.. sometimes I despair.
     
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  20. togram

    togram Type 2 · Member

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