Friday I went for a follow-up to my annual physical.  I also threw in a mammogram for good measure.  Who doesn’t like some stranger manipulating your naked breasts into a machine that then squeezes them painfully.   It is right up there in my top ten things to do.  But, as breast cancer and colorectal cancer (related cancers I am told) run in the maternal side of my family I bit the bullet, dealt with the humiliation and got it done.

Prior to this exam, I got the results of my blood work from my doctor.  Everything was good – except my

cholesterol.  It had been in the high normal range for a few years now.  Back in 2012, my last reported cholesterol reading was 5, apparently still in the normal range but getting high.  This time my reading had jumped to 7.  My doctor recommended drug therapy.  As my dad has suffered from high cholesterol for many years, earlier onset than my own, I couldn’t argue myself out of my doctor’s reasoning.  As well, my oldest son had his genetic profile completed during a university enrichment program.  Looking up the genes on his profile, I discovered one that was indicative of problems with high cholesterol.  As my dad’s problem could not be helped by diet change, my guess is that I inherited the gene from my dad.  And at least one of my son’s has inherited it from me.  My husband, lucky duck who is five years older than me has a wonderfully low cholesterol reading.  Good for him!

So, to slow the hardening of my arteries I will be taking some form of lipase-reducing medication for the rest of my life.  Good news is my blood pressure is good at the moment.  Right now I’m on a low dose of Crestor.  In a month I’ll get blood work done and see if that reading has come down.  As well, my doctor had suggested I take phytosterols (plant steroids) to help naturally cut my cholesterol.  I had taken them for a few years and did have some success in seeing my cholesterol number come down.  Summer break, work and renovations put a crimp in that as well.  I stopped taking them over 6 months ago.  I plan to add them to my daily regimen again as well.  I asked my doctor and got his okay to do so.

Now, my doctor didn’t come out and tell me to change my diet.  I can’t say I eat an extremely high fat diet but as I am trying to lose weight I suppose I should take this as an omen—reduce my fat intake to change my cholesterol reading and hopefully translate that into losing pounds faster.  I’ll let you know how that goes!

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Do you get a regular physical done with blood work?  How is your cholesterol?  If high, how are you managing this issue?  Let us know in the comments.