Funny, when I first started learning about how cholesterol works in the body, what we need it for, how to manage it, etc., I figured that eventually, the current medical dogma would catch up to the functional health perspective: cholesterol is not the demon we once made it out to be. And yet, over a decade later, I find myself having the same conversations over and over again.
Last week I got a rather panicky message from a client I worked with several years ago. She is a young woman in her early 20s who is the epitome of fit and fabulous. Eats healthy, not too much or too little. Does varied exercise, not too much or too little. She's smart as a whip. Oh, and a medical student to boot. So she was quite taken aback when she went in for a physical and was told that she might have to go on a statin if she didn't get her cholesterol numbers under control.
There was no commentary about or question about lifestyle or family history. There were no suggestions to make changes to what she was eating or how she was exercising. Just a flat: "See you in three months." I felt terrible for her. The only upside was that she had a wonderful example of bedside manner NOT to use with her own patients.
After much discussion, we figured out that she was testing her cholesterol when her hormones would have been at their peak in her cycle, which, as it turns out, is when cholesterol numbers would be at their highest. We talked about limiting simple sugars in the diet, like juices. I encouraged her to retest only at the tail-end of her cycle in the future. Lastly, I suggested she read the below article to educate herself further so as to have informed discussions with her doctor in the future.
Attached is an article I wrote for a colleague's website a few years back. Since then, I have sent it out to many friends and clients needing further understanding about cholesterol. I hope you will find it helpful as well. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in learning more or how to apply this information to your unique situation, please reach out anytime!
~Yours in health