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Pbjlover, July 17,  2020  2:27am EST

Husband’s cholesterol alarmingly high

Hello everyone,

I've come here in hopes that there are some of you here to share with me success stories in lowering cholesterol without medication.

My husband just turned 39 years old and has horrifically high cholesterol, but he refuses to take medication.

His total cholesterol is something crazy like 386, and his triglycerides "even higher" as he said, I don't know exactly as I don't have access to his lipid test panel results. 

In January of this year, his total cholesterol was 316. His dr recommended starting him on medication, but my husband wanted to lower his cholesterol levels with diet and exercise. Well then Covid-19 happened and all the stress with it and things went downhill from there, he totally didn't exercise at all nor did he change his diet, which is awful. 

After these alarmingly high cholesterol numbers from the latest check up he still won't take medication. His sister is a pharmacist and I guess she filled his head about how the side effects of the meds can be worse than what his high cholesterol is doing to him now.

My husband is very stubborn person and when it comes to nutrition, he chooses to be completely ignorant.

He "convinced" his doctor to not take medication yet, to start a rigid diet and exercise program and to re-check his levels again in 6 weeks. If there is not significant change at that time, then he'll entertain the idea of starting medication : insert major eye roll here: 

I've taken charge of his diet and cook as healthy as I possibly can with what I know about a heart healthy diet. This man has never eaten a vegetable in his life other than a potato pretty much, but this week I have him grazing on salads. I won't even give him an egg to eat, fruits and veggies it is, and grilled skinless chicken here and there because I can't stand to hear him complain about how he has to eat some meat. He now exercises in the morning and walks 5 miles in the evening. But diet - I am in total control now. He is lazy anyway to feed himself at least 3 times a day. 

He is now... trying. Finally. (We have been fighting about his awful diet for over 10 years now. At least he finally stopped smoking last year)

We have a toddler and another child on the way this November. I am beyond scared about the future and quite frankly angry with him with how reckless he has been with his health and continues to be that way. i don't see him accepting starting medication any time soon, unfortunately. Just yesterday he asked me if he could eat cake, or pasta carbonara :eyeroll:

I came here in hopes that someone will share an inspiring story about how they were able to DRASTICALLY lower their bad/overall cholesterol with diet and exercise alone.

I came here for some hope because right now I am thinking how I will be husbandless soon with two toddlers soon, mid pandemic. I am afraid this will kill him and he just won't take meds. 

Thank you for reading my novel. I guess I also needed to vent. I am so hurt and so scared.

Thank you for listening.

4 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, July 17,  2020  9:52am EST

    I am so sorry that your family is having to manage this. I can share a few Cholesterol Personal Stories with you. We also have a great deal of information regarding cholesterol, healthy eating, and recipes with you. I know this is tough and I understand that you are scared. The hard part is, that at the end of the day, he has to choose a healthy lifestyle. Please know that we are here to listen and share as much information and support with you as possible. 

    Best Katie 

  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, July 18,  2020  9:01am EST

    Hi Pbjlover,

    I had a similar reaction to taking meds and my cholesterol was in the mid 220's at the time. But I refused and decided to accelerate my exercise program which I had been doing for years. One day while on an early morning run, I felt a severe pain in my chest. Fortunately it wasn't a heart attack but I did have coronary artery disease which required a quintuple bypass. If nothing else, it scared me straight. I was told that I'd be on statins for the rest of my life which I accepted without a fight. It's true that there are side effects and the first statins I was on did exactly that so my doctor switched to another one and I haven't had an issue. It's been over eight years for me and I continue to exercise and weight train without any effects from the meds. There is something out there called red yeast rice which is an over the counter natural statin. I took that prior to my heart issue but that made me feel lethargic so I stopped.

    The bottom line is if he really wants to lower his cholesterol with diet and exercise alone, he has to exercise vigourously and have a very strict diet and stick to it! He should tell his doctor EXACTLY what his diet and exercise program is first and make sure he/she is on board. As I said, the statins I'm now on have worked well for me and my cholesterol is in the 130's range. My cardiologist has emphasized the importance of lowering LDL especially for heart patients. In fact, it has recently climbed above the threshold she would like to see and she asked me if it doesn't come down with my next blood work if I would accept increasing the dosage. I told her yes.

    As I once told a co-worker who was making fun of me for eating a salad at lunch as he bit into his cheesesteak, when you get your chest cut open, you don't ever want to do that again, trust me.

    Good luck to you both!


  • Pbjlover
    Pbjlover, July 19,  2020  1:50pm EST

    Thank You for responding.

    I've been checking out the links you provided to educate myself and get some cooking ideas as we navigate this scary new chapter. 
    I am yet to find a single positive story of someone who was able to turn this around BEFORE having their chest cut open.

    I guess I need to slowly make my peace with that happening to us at some point ... 

    @JamesPL I am so sorry you had to go through all that, glad you are better now and doing the smart thing of listening to your doctor!

  • Pbjlover
    Pbjlover, August 24,  2020  2:06pm EST

    I have come back to give hope to someone else who needs it. Last time I was here I was feeling pretty hopeless, and today my husband's results are in and he pulled off a miracle.

    From total cholesterol of 368, 7 weeks later he is now at 176! We still have some work to do, but we are no longer hopeless.

    His doctor kept saying he has to start medication and he refused, many many fights later these are the changes he made:

    - Exercised 30min 5 times a week during his lunch hour working from home. He followed some on demand workout videos at home.

    - Walked at least 10,000 steps every day. Got a fitbit and tracked. Since we are in a middle of pandemic and mostly staying at home, he basically paced around the house and stepped in place while working on the phone with customers. Most days he did 15,000 steps.

    Lost 28 lbs total, so his BMI now 29.

    - Completely cut out ALL read meat, dairy (except 0% fat greek yogurt), eggs and coffee. Not even egg whites were allowed, we needed a drastic diet overhaul. He usually drinks very strong, unfiltered coffee at least twice a day, but he quit cold turkey. He had filtered, weaker "American" coffee from Keurig 5-6times in the course of all 7 weeks on "special occasions", no sugar.

    - We ate a mostly plant based diet. Our daily eggs and cheese breakfast has been replaced with oatmeal with fruit and nuts. Overall, ate lots of beans, avocado, salmon, whole grain breads, veggies and fruits. 2x a week or less we had chicken ******* in some fashion. 

    Thank God that my husband's cholesterol was not due to genetics (although he lost a parent to heart attack so doctor thought it was a very high possibility) and he was able to lower his cholesterol with these lifestyle changes. 
    For anyone in the same spot, I just wanted to offer you some encouragement. Everyone told us medication was necessary, but my stubborn husband proved them wrong. Diet and exercise, the magic formula.

    God bless you and good luck to anyone on this scary journey!

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