Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cholesterol - How Low Is Too Low?

This is not an endorsement of the product, I just like the warnings
How low should your cholesterol level be before it becomes dangerous and unhealthy? That was the question I had for my doctor after I got my cholesterol level results last week. After my chest pain episode last August, a routine blood test showed that my LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) had hit 130, which was at its upper limit of normal. So I was started on Atorvastatin (generic for Lipitor) 40 mg. and had been taking it daily for seven weeks. Well, the recent results showed that my total cholesterol dropped precipitously by 100 points in just 7 short weeks of taking the Lipitor. The LDL went from 130 to 44. My HDL (the good cholesterol), which was already good went up about 10 points.  I didn’t even think the huge LDL drop was possible so quickly. I thought maybe the consumption of fresh unprocessed foods in Zamboanga contributed to the decrease, but I’m sure, not by much.

 Of course I checked on the internet before my doctor’s appointment to find out how very low cholesterol might affect the body. Well there’s the increased risk of some cancers, anxiety, and depression. Hmm, none of those I want to experience. So I did what I thought a rational person would do, and that’s to catch up on my cholesterol intake. For the first time in years, I had chili cheese fries for lunch one day. I stopped eating those when my cholesterol started to rise about 5 years ago. I don’t expect to go overboard and start eating all the junk food available, but at least it’s good to be able to indulge once in awhile. In the meantime, my doctor said my levels were still within normal limits, although he ordered another cholesterol level in a month, and halved my dose from 40 mg. to 20 mg. This means I have to split the pill in half thereby saving me some money. If my cholesterol level goes down any further in a month, the doctor said he will decrease the Lipitor to 10 mg.
 When I first tried to split the 40 mg. pill, I thought I may have to use much force especially that it wasn’t scored in the middle. I was surprised at how easily I was able to cut it in half with the pill cutter. The smaller Lisinopril blood pressure pill is much tougher to split even though it’s scored. Well, I’ll let you know in a month’s time what the new results are. In the meantime, can I start eating fried chicken, eggs, and ice cream again?

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