What a difference

I recently went in for my annual check up with my doctor. Because my cholesterol had been high the last two times I had it checked, I asked my doctor to recheck it this time. I wanted to see whether 43 weeks of healthy eating and exercise had affected it. Did it ever. I have made a chart highlighting the changes. The first set of values were back when I was a wine drinking, computer gaming, book reading non-exerciser with a penchant for macaroni and cheese. The second set of values were after 6 months of walking 1-2 miles two to three times a week and cleaning up my diet a bit. This weeks blood draws were after 43 weeks of following the Body for Life program with a bit of extra running thrown in. I have added a column with recommended values as well. My cholesterol levels are now excellent. I have lots of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and have significantly reduced my LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and my triglyceride levels.

Desired July 2002 March 2003 June 2005
Total Cholesterol < 200 288 216 177
HDL >40 71 85 80
LDL <160 200 115 83
Triglycerides <150 83 82 69
6 comments on “What a difference
  1. Kyra says:

    That is AWSOME!!! Ya know, I still haven’t had mine all checked out. I only got a total cholesterol once and it was 70 or something insane… which I guess could be really bad because you need the good stuff too? I have no idea…LOL My Dr won’t run the tests on me tho, seems he only thinks if you are in a nursing home he needs to check it.
    THAT is SO GREAT! You have some hardcore proof from the inside on how great you are doing! Was your Dr floored????

  2. Cathy says:

    Thanks Kyra.
    My doctor drew blood to humor me (my HDL was high enough before that he wasn’t overly concerned about the level of my total cholesterol) & to make sure I didn’t have something weird going on. I get some weird cramping in my feet where the muscles contract but won’t relax & I have to manually release the contraction. He told me that this was “common in people who are very active” and that they often never find the cause. But he did want to runs some other tests to rule out anything bad. I have been trying to correlate to diet, hydration, activity, Na+, K+, Ca+ but really it’s a hit or miss thing. Fatigue seems to be the biggest issue for me. But anyway, he just sent a letter with the results of the blood work so I’m not sure whether he was impressed or not. Since my BMI was always within a normal range (even tho’ I started at 35% Body Fat), I never set off any red flags in the doctor’s office. But yes it is terrific to know that my new found healthful ways have had dramatic effects inside & out.

  3. Julie says:

    Wow, it is wonderful to see hard numbers showing your progress. The cramping in the feet: I was experiencing the same and found that I was low in potassium. Once I brought my level up, the cramping went away.

  4. Shawna says:

    COOL! That’s such a wonderful validation that your body appreciates what you’ve been doing! Hopefully the feet will come along to a nicer place soon too!

  5. Irene says:

    It’s nice to see the numbers working for you. I had issues with foot cramps several years ago, but in my case it was part of a hormonal issue. I was thinking potassium, but it looks like Julie already suggested that. Fatigue… You’ve been extremely busy lately. Do you need a break or vacation? Just a though. Take care.

  6. Cathy says:

    Julie, Shawna & Irene,
    Thanks for the feedback. I joke sometimes that given that choice I want to die from a heart attack rather than some long, chronic disease. But I am not looking for one this soon. So, I’m glad that I got my cholesterol back into the safe & healthy range.
    Julie I’ve been trying to up potassium but I think that it might have made the cramping worse actually. I’ll try again. I did a bunch of reading and the foot cramping thing is often caused by Na+, K+ or Ca++ channel defects. There are just a handful of genes involved. Since I run a genetics lab, I briefly considered checking that on myself but really even if I found the specific problem there isn’t a treatment that I’d be willing to take (some of the seizure meds can be used if it’s really bad which mine isn’t).