Let’s Talk Cholesterol

in Health & Wellness May 1, 2021

I have been battling cholesterol for many, many years.

I am generally slim-built, but my cholesterol level has always been a concern.  Due to my young age, in my mid-40s then, my physician refused to prescribe cholesterol medication.  This is because once taken, it will be a lifetime commitment (something to avoid, if possible).  I was advised to have a lifestyle change and eat healthy.

In the meantime, let’s talk cholesterol –

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all the cells in your body.  Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, Vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods.  Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, produced by your liver.  There are two major types of cholesterol – HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein, and LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein.  HDL is sometimes called good cholesterol, because it carries cholesterol back to your liver to be removed.

LDL or the bad cholesterol, if uncontrolled, leads to the buildup of plaques in your arteries.  This condition will raise your risk of heart disease and stroke!

High cholesterol has no symptoms.  A blood test is the only way to detect if you have it.  My total cholesterol reading (in mmol/L) went from 5.8 in 2014, steadily climbing up to 6.4 in 2016.  Anything above 6.2 is considered high, which raises my health risk.  My bad cholesterol hovered around 3.5 to 3.8, over the same period.  I was borderline; not bad but not too good either.

It is true that high cholesterol can be inherited, but it is often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, which means it can be prevented.

Aside from poor diet, other factors that can increase your risk of bad cholesterol include obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, age and diabetes.

For me, I suspect my love of anything fried and teh tarik must have contributed to this.  I tried to mitigate the situation.  I succumbed to the endless advertisements on the radio, promoting BG22 Oat Bran Powder (remember that?).  I ate so much oats, over a period of one year, hoping to lower down my cholesterol.  No improvement. Nothing. Nada.  At around the same time, I had also started my turmeric with fenugreek morning regime.  Not thinking much about turmeric’s effects, I consistently drank it for over 5 years, like a clockwork.

Fast forward to end 2019, I am so pleased to say that my cholesterol is no longer a health issue.  My last medical checkup had my total cholesterol reading down to 4.7 mmol/L, with my LDL reading, also reduced to 2.3 mmol/L.  My physician was amazed at how I managed to fight my cholesterol.  He asked me what did I do different in my life?  My answer was …. the golden one!