I had another blood test done in June, and was surprised to find that the level was still ‘high’ by the GPs standards. I saw the doctor who immediately suggested using statins to bring the level down. When I pulled a face, he proceeded to tell me of the dangers of high cholesterol levels. I resisted and he gave me the option to see a lipids consultant in the hospital, which I took.
In the meantime, while waiting for the appointment, I began my research into cholesterol. I first came across Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist in London, whose views about the use of statins led me to do more digging. I came across people like Ivor Cummins, Dr David Diamond, Dr Sten Ekberg, and more. In particular, Dave Feldman’s site https://cholesterolcode.com/, which contained so much easy-to-understand information, led me to understand that I was eating incorrectly and that cholesterol is not the evil devil after all.
Just before I saw the lipids consultant in early September, I began my journey on low-carb eating with intermittent fasting. At the time, I did not have sufficient knowledge to debate with the consultant. He used a computer program and worked out that I was ‘at risk’ for a cardiac event due to my elevated cholesterol levels. I believe this was due to the input of ‘family history of heart attack’ into the program. My father died from a heart attack at age 58. I explained that he was stressed, did not exercise, smoked, and drank some. He did not lead a healthy lifestyle. The consultant would not take that into account. He showed me more statistics and information on the computer and then agreed to give me a few more months to bring the level down by a point otherwise I will have to take statins.
Needless to say, switching to a Keto diet, which involves eating more natural fat, kept the level 'elevated'. However, I noticed that the HDL (‘good’ cholesterol’) and Triglycerides were at a good, healthy level. I also learned that LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol’) comprised of good and bad parts. So taking the LDL figure on its own without breaking it down to the different parts (a costly exercise) was not an accurate measure of ‘elevated’ cholesterol.
By the time I saw him in February 2020, I was well into the Keto diet and had lost 7 kgs in weight, dropped a dress size, and was feeling very good. I had not been at this weight since my early 20s and I was so delighted that I could still eat lots of favourite foods without having the fear of piling on excess weight. When I saw him, I explained that I had changed my way of eating to a healthier diet; that I had done a lot of research and learned that cholesterol is not the enemy; etc, etc. He refused to listen to me. He went by the LDL figure which was higher than the previous one, despite the fact that HDL & Triglycerides were at a healthier level. He refused to talk about it. He prescribed the lowest dose of statins and told me to see him again. I took the prescription but did not take the statins.
I had a telephone appointment later in the year. Obviously, there was no change and he told me to persevere. By that time, I had given up arguing with him and continued to do my research. By this time, I had transitioned from a Keto diet to a Carnivore diet and eating just once a day. I had done various long fasts ranging from 48 hours up to 70 hours. My weight was stable and I was enjoying my food and best of all I had lots of energy and felt perfectly healthy.
I’ve now received a letter advising me of a telephone appointment next month. This time I’m going to write to him explaining why I don’t need statins. I’m considering ‘educating’ him by sending him the references I have found. The new book that Dr Aseem Malhotra has just published which will be launched in August has spurred me on to do this. I can’t wait to read his book.
You see, I couldn’t help linking the increased use of statins with the increased incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease. My mother avoided fat most of her life and she had Alzheimer’s disease and joint issues. I believe cholesterol is a friend. The brain needs cholesterol to function. The whole body needs cholesterol to function efficiently. Cholesterol is a natural substance produced by the body. I rest my case.