Bloodwork Results - Oh WTF

  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Aug 26, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    So I received a copy of my bloodwork from back in May when I had it done and I've come across some rather odd yet startling figures mixed in with the results. I'll illustrate as follows:

    AST (Aspartate transaminase): 50 HIGH (Range: 15-46)
    HDL Cholesterol: 38 LOW (Range: 40-60)
    LDL Cholesterol: 109 HIGH (Range: 0-100)

    Mind you, this is a bit odd for me. I'm not sure if these are skewed because I'm working out and what not or I just picked a bad day to have bloodwork done, but it doesn't sit well with me. My doctor kinda just shrugs it off that "I'm young, in great shape, eat healthy" and I shouldn't worry. Basically there are early warning signs of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) associated with the LDL cholesterol. That, and I'm sure high blood pressure runs in my family, and I've done everything humanly possible to reverse it.

    I'm wondering if I should lay off the eggs for a bit and see if my cholesterol goes down... that may be while it's so high (as I eat a lot). Has anyone else received a contrary report to what they thought?
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    Aug 26, 2011 5:45 PM GMT
    kuroshiro saidSo I received a copy of my bloodwork from back in May when I had it done and I've come across some rather odd yet startling figures mixed in with the results. I'll illustrate as follows:

    AST (Aspartate transaminase): 50 HIGH (Range: 15-46)
    HDL Cholesterol: 38 LOW (Range: 40-60)
    LDL Cholesterol: 109 HIGH (Range: 0-100)

    Mind you, this is a bit odd for me. I'm not sure if these are skewed because I'm working out and what not or I just picked a bad day to have bloodwork done, but it doesn't sit well with me. My doctor kinda just shrugs it off that "I'm young, in great shape, eat healthy" and I shouldn't worry. Basically there are early warning signs of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) associated with the LDL cholesterol. That, and I'm sure high blood pressure runs in my family, and I've done everything humanly possible to reverse it.

    I'm wondering if I should lay off the eggs for a bit and see if my cholesterol goes down... that may be while it's so high (as I eat a lot). Has anyone else received a contrary report to what they thought?


    I had a similar result for my lipids profile... also a family history of coronary heart disease. It was almost 3 years ago though, before I quit smoking.

    Should be better now, but it's a good warning that it really can happen to anybody, not just the morbidly obese.
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    Aug 26, 2011 5:51 PM GMT
    Looks like someone needs some more Cheerios

    Cheerios-Cholesterol-Lowers.jpg

    What kind of stuff do you eat anyways? Steak and bacon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Aug 26, 2011 5:52 PM GMT
    That's what freaks me out is that it runs in my family... and I'm like the ONLY person that takes care of themselves and watches things like a hawk. :/ Trying to reverse the inevitable is moot I guess :/

    As for the cereal:

    Cheerios cereal have soluble fiber from whole grain oats. This type of soluble fiber acts like a kind of "sponge," soaking up some of the cholesterol in the body so that the body can get rid of it naturally.

    I can get that from any cereal that has soluble fiber (which I do).
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Aug 26, 2011 6:09 PM GMT
    I've had low HDL before as well, along with low blood phosphorus levels. Both were very close to the acceptable ranges, so the doctor suggested I tweak my diet a little bit; raisins helped with the phosphorus, and the HDL came up after I added more oily fish and after I started having a regular drink (two drinks maximum) with dinner. (Extra bonus: I can now say "but it's medicinal!" without being tongue-in-cheek.)

    Not sure what to tell you about the AST reading, since I'm not your doctor.
  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Aug 26, 2011 6:10 PM GMT
    Well that's what I was worried about... I can't tell if my elevated cholesterol levels are from egg consumption or not... I average around 6-8 a day :/ (with yolk). I have a couple ebooks of the Paleo died and... I just don't eat some of that stuff so it wouldn't work for me. Plus I love my cottage cheese with a tablespoon of jam in it icon_biggrin.gif
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Aug 26, 2011 6:17 PM GMT
    kuroshiro saidI average around 6-8 a day :/ (with yolk).


    icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif I don't go through that many in a week!

    From everything I've seen - and I've done a fair bit of research, since I also have a family history of cardiovascular disease (on both sides!) - the low HDL levels are more significant than the high LDL. Apparently, low HDL is dangerous even if LDL is on the low end as well.

    Curious, though: on the day you had that blood drawn, were you on any medications (prescription or not), or had you been on any sort of dietary supplement? Sometimes those can skew results.
  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Aug 26, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    Nope... I haven't been on prescription medication in forever. I rarely if ever go to the doctor for anything. I never get sick or have any ailments of any kind (watch me have some sort of silent killer now). The only reason why I had this bloodwork done was to establish myself with a new doctor to have a PCP.

    I've never taken a dietary supplement lol
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Aug 26, 2011 6:22 PM GMT
    kuroshiro saidWell that's what I was worried about... I can't tell if my elevated cholesterol levels are from egg consumption or not... I average around 6-8 a day :/ (with yolk). I have a couple ebooks of the Paleo died and... I just don't eat some of that stuff so it wouldn't work for me. Plus I love my cottage cheese with a tablespoon of jam in it icon_biggrin.gif



    The whole egg thing is very, very controversial as some people state that that type of cholesterol isn't absorbed and bound so easily...etc...But, the general consensus: WAY too many eggs. That is probably elevating your LDL. Now, for your HDL, I wouldn't worry but so much - you do a lot of exercise, which is great for that. As many suggested, you could try upping your omega fatty acids. You could try some fish oil supplements or (better, probably) replace some of those eggs with fish (you get your protein and your healthy fats without so much cholesterol).

    As for the AST, I wouldn't worry. That's so close to being normal, a glass of wine or a few beers could do that :-P....Anything that even slightly upset your liver (high fat diet, tylenol [acetaminophen or paracetamol for you Euro folks]) could do it as well.
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    Aug 26, 2011 6:23 PM GMT
    6-8 eggs is too much. I love eggs too and much prefer whole eggs (with runny yoke) but I limit to 2-3 eggs a day.


    Remember 1 egg has 70% of your daily cholesterol intake. So 6-8 eggs is 420%-560% of your daily cholesterol intake. Way too much.

    Also I read that vitamin d helps convert cholesterol into testosterone so I take a vitamin d pill everyday after eating my morning eggs (in addition to my multivitamin.)
  • joxguy

    Posts: 236

    Aug 26, 2011 7:01 PM GMT
    Ok did you really not eat for 12 before the test, I mean nothing. Your LDL is affected by working out, specially cardio.
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Aug 26, 2011 7:06 PM GMT
    joxguy saidOk did you really not eat for 12 before the test, I mean nothing. Your LDL is affected by working out, specially cardio.


    Eating before a lipid panel isn't going to make much of a difference except for in the triglyceride level. Interestingly enough, some studies have shown that eating before a lipid panel may give you a triglyceride level that is more accurate in predicting cardiovascular disease....but, that's still in the works.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Aug 26, 2011 7:34 PM GMT
    6-8 eggs a day. You must have never worked in a restaurant. I like eggs and on the surface they come across as easy food, but that is way to many.
    I try to split my breakfast up eggs one week 1 and 1 white is my max at a time, and then something more grainy or oatmeal the next week.
    Cut down on the eggs, go back for more tests.
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    Aug 26, 2011 7:55 PM GMT
    My doctor has told me not to worry about my egg intake of 4 to 6 eggs per day. My last blood pressure was 122/68, which I was told was excellent for a 50 year old man. My doctor told me that I should be more concerned with the HDL to LDL ratio more than just the LDL numbers.

    Here are a couple links you may find interesting:

    http://stronglifts.com/cholesterol-saturated-fat-how-many-eggs-daily/
    http://www.askmen.com/sports/foodcourt_60/66_eating_well.html

    I can't find anything on it, but I once read, a few years back, that when the craze about eggs being bad (in the 1950's) began, no studies had been done and only recently, have studies been performed. However,... in that article I read, it stated that although the egg and dairy consumption dropped drastically in this country, heart disease continued to spiral (in relation to per capita).

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    Aug 26, 2011 8:04 PM GMT
    What was your total? I'm guessing in the 150s-160s? Your total to HDL ratio is important. If you divide the HDL into the total and it's beneath 3.5, it's not too bad. Also, some labs have different values for the LDL cutoff. If you've got any family history of hypercholesterolemia, if you're diabetic, etc. the LDL should be under 100. Without risk factors, the cutoff is 130 mg/dl, unless that's changed in the last couple years.

    Sustained cardiovascular exercise will increase your HDL. A bare minimum of 20 minutes per session. The longer, the better. Also, oatmeal should be your best friend.
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    Aug 26, 2011 8:05 PM GMT
    kuroshiro said
    HDL Cholesterol: 38 LOW (Range: 40-60)
    LDL Cholesterol: 109 HIGH (Range: 0-100)


    No comment on the eggs, but it's all a matter of perspective. Your levels are a bit better than my last tests, and I think I'm doing pretty well - given that at one point I had total cholesterol readings of over 250.
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    Aug 26, 2011 8:17 PM GMT
    kuroshiro saidSo I received a copy of my bloodwork from back in May when I had it done and I've come across some rather odd yet startling figures mixed in with the results. I'll illustrate as follows:

    AST (Aspartate transaminase): 50 HIGH (Range: 15-46)
    HDL Cholesterol: 38 LOW (Range: 40-60)
    LDL Cholesterol: 109 HIGH (Range: 0-100)

    Mind you, this is a bit odd for me. I'm not sure if these are skewed because I'm working out and what not or I just picked a bad day to have bloodwork done, but it doesn't sit well with me. My doctor kinda just shrugs it off that "I'm young, in great shape, eat healthy" and I shouldn't worry. Basically there are early warning signs of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) associated with the LDL cholesterol. That, and I'm sure high blood pressure runs in my family, and I've done everything humanly possible to reverse it.

    I'm wondering if I should lay off the eggs for a bit and see if my cholesterol goes down... that may be while it's so high (as I eat a lot). Has anyone else received a contrary report to what they thought?

    I certainly wish you good health, and hope these are not bad results. But I know from my own bloodwork that there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. and lots of other factors involved. I simply bottom-line my doctors -- do I have a problem, and what should I do about it?

    But frankly, my dear, don't ask US. Ask a certified professional health specialist who has your full records & tests. And who can order more tests as needed. This is really not a good question for an online site.
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    Aug 26, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    I have really high cholesterol. My body produced it naturally so no diet works. I am on lipitor so I eat what I want now.
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    Aug 26, 2011 8:53 PM GMT
    Best way to think about this: "normal values" are statistically derived, i.e. from a population of "healthy" people, they take the range where x% (something like 95%) of people's values are in, and they call that the "normal range." (This explains why different labs have different ranges).

    If you do enough tests, you're bound to have some values that are out of range.

    What matters is not the individual test, but the trend. (e.g. if your AST were to continue to rise)

    LDLs of 100-130 are considered acceptable unless there are strong reasons to push for a lower LDL (e.g. preexisting coronary disease, renal disease, etc).