Since my twenties my total cholesterol levels have been over 240 mg/dL. I always had high healthy HDL levels and a low to medium triglyceride count. Therefore, learning and understanding cholesterol became important to me since my very first test.
Let’s start by sharing what happened to me last quarter 2021.
I ended up in Urgent Care in October. I had been experiencing discomfort in my chest for two or three weeks. The irritation was at night when lying down. Were decades of elevated total cholesterol telling me something?
One night, the heart pressure and palpitations were strong, and I could not sleep. Of course, having some anxiety did not help either.
The next morning, my husband drove me to Urgent Care. After several hours of testing and monitoring, the doctor sent me home.
The release papers showed seven or eight reasons that can cause heart palpitations.
Having a list of potential reasons to check out was helpful. Because I could use a pendulum to find out the culprit.
One by one, I checked each reason with a pendulum to get a Yes or No answer. Finally, my pendulum confirmed Yes on bruised ribs. Suddenly, it all started to make sense.
I had injured my back while trying to learn how to surf the prior month. What I didn’t realize is that I injured a couple of ribs too. And I had big bruises below my right breast to prove it. Could this be causing my heart irregularities?
My doctor was worried about the heart palpitations because of family history and cholesterol levels. So, she referred me to a cardiologist and I welcomed the idea.
Optimal HDL Levels Having a Back Seat to LDL?
The cardiologist reviewed the urgent care test results and didn’t find anything alarming. She suggested I wear a heart monitor for a week.
My cholesterol history came up in the conversation. The cardiologist suggested that I get an angiogram to see any plaque buildup in the arteries.
Have you ever had a CT angiogram test? This was my first and I didn’t know what to expect. Though this is the summary of my results, it is good to see what this test measures. This test was performed on February 3rd, 2022.
You can see how all my heart arteries are completely clean and there’s zero plaque. Also, the calcium score is 0. Not bad for someone with decades of elevated total cholesterol.
The total angiogram procedure lasted about two hours. It included preparation, exam, and time to normalize the system from the drugs received. The drugs are used to keep your heart rate under a certain number and to clearly visualize the arteries.
My new doctor was concerned with my October cholesterol numbers and suggested retesting in 3 months. So, I had another cholesterol test done a few days after the angiogram.
My latest total cholesterol was 250 mg/dL (previously 268 mg/dL). LDL, ‘bad’ cholesterol’ was 137(previously 160). HDL, ‘good’ cholesterol was 97 (previously 86). Triglycerides were 82 mg/dL.
There you have it. I guess everybody’s body is different?
Healthy HDL Levels: The Higher the Better?
Did you know that half of heart attacks happen to people with cholesterol of under 200 mg/dL?
HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. Then, the liver flushes it from the body.
I read (somewhere) that high levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. You may want to research that.
HDL under 40 for men and under 50 for women are considered risky. Please, know your numbers. It is that important!
Why does Western medicine focus on total cholesterol or LDL levels? Why not focus on increasing the hdl or good cholesterol?
Enjoying good health is one of our greatest wealth, one that needs to be valued to enjoy life.
This experience has shown me once again how important it is to be the captain of your health.
Heart Health Check
Working with a pendulum brings peace of mind. And it helps understand your health better. Who knew that injured ribs can cause heart palpitations!
A friend went through a similar situation. Coincidentally, she had a CT angiogram a week before I did. Weird, right? She has been taking statins for a few decades.
Her angiogram was more extensive than mine. One of her arteries was 99.9% clogged. The doctors performed a balloon angioplasty right away saving her life that day.
Besides one very clogged artery, she has a few arteries with plaque. Her HDL cholesterol is on the low end and she’s taking something to increase it. Did I mention she is vegetarian?
Heart disease is the #1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Check your heart health.
It kills over 375,000 people every single year. That is almost the entire population of New Orleans.
Thank you for taking the time to read, Is Healthy HDL Levels the answer to Cholesterol?