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Thread: Cholesterol Testing

  1. #1
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Warwickshire, UK

    Default Cholesterol Testing

    Has anyone had their cholesterol tested?

    I've been vegan just over 10 years and had the chance today to attend a free health screening.

    In it they took 3 separate blood samples from me and tried it in 2 separate machines, trying to get a reading on my cholesterol. They concluded that the machines must be faulty.

    I found the manual for the machines they use online, which says the message they got means that the amount of cholesterol detected was bellow the lowest reading on its scale - not that there was an error.

    Have any other long term vegans had their cholesterol tested? If so, how did you score?
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

  2. #2
    cookey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Bristol uk

    Default Re: Cholesterol Testing

    I havn't had mine checked but I'd love to. What with eating very little saturated fat and exercising regularly, there's not much I could do if it was high except start medication! One of my clients got his down to within healthy range recently which he puts down to coming to 2 exercise classes week instead of one (because he hasn't changed his diet or medication in that time).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cholesterol Testing

    I had mine checked as part of a blood test about two years ago and it was 3.9. I had only been vegan two years at that point and I don't know what it was beforehand though.

  4. #4
    baffled harpy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Re: Cholesterol Testing

    I had mine checked a few years ago (after about a decade of being vegan) and the "bad" cholesterol was a bit too high (though lower than average - think it was 5.something). I took more exercise and lost some weight and it got down to an acceptable level after a few months. I probably should have it done again though :-/

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cholesterol Testing

    I have mine checked on a yearly basis. A few years ago it was over the upper limit of the reference range, my doctor and I concluded that hypothyroidism caused it, she doubled my dose of a thyroid hormone and my cholesterol levels became normal.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Cholesterol Testing

    Had mine checked last week (done once or twice a year due to diabetes which can help increase cholesterol). It was 4, which means its gone down by .7 in six months, think my lowest ever was 3.7 which was before I was vegan (when I didn't eat chocolate, ice cream, cheese or anything with fat in).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cholesterol Testing

    I finally received the results of my cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose levels yesterday from a free health screening through work in February. I had this test done when I was exactly one year vegan. I have a few numbers from pre vegan days to compare to. For both tests my weight was relatively the same (slightly underweight but I had more body fat as an omnivore at the same weight than I do now as a vegan as I can fit into a size smaller now) and I exercised five to six days a week so the only change was my diet. I had eaten healthy before going vegan but did eat a number of eggs and fish, some chicken, little dairy except a lot of yogurt.

    February 2012 (as vegan one year)

    Total Cholesterol: 125 mg/dL
    LDL Cholesterol: 60 mg/dL
    HDL Cholesterol: 56 mg/dL
    Trigylcerides: 46 mg/dL
    Glucose: 83 mg/dL (fasted for 24 hours prior)

    In August 2010 long before becoming vegan, I had had a total cholesterol and HDL tested but did not fast or do the whole shabang. Here are those results:

    total cholesterol 155
    HDL: 62 mg/dL

    So my overall total cholesterol, although still in the healthy range before going vegan, went down by 20 mg/dL simply by changing to a vegan diet. My only concern is that my HDL also went down, although only by 6 mg/dL. I hope that it doesnt continue to drop.

    The only other glucose reading I have to compare to was one I had in 2009 when those results (as an omnivore) were 79 mg/dL and again not fasting. But at that time I was way underweight (bmi 14) and living on far fewer calories so that could explain why that number was lower.

    The interesting thing was I had to take an online assessment to get my biometric results. That meant anwering a series of questions about my health habits. One of the questions was how many servings of calcium I consume daily and the only choices were dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt. There were no options for plant milks, soy, leafy greens, nuts etc. So I lost five points for my "lack of calcium" in my diet which pissed me off. Clearly the assessment was not designed with vegetarians/vegans in mind. Also, when I entered my weight, it kept saying error and recheck weight and after three tries finally excepted my number. I am a few lbs underweight but not by THAT much. Good grief.

    I believe the only reason why my cholesterol isnt lower is because I have hypothyroidism (have for 23 years) and am in surgical menopause but considering I have those two things working against me I dont think my numbers are bad at all! The assessment also did not take the menopause into consideration as I am only 39 years old but I had points deducted for not supplementing with folic acid (it assumed I had the ability to become pregnant). I guess they still don't get that a quarter of women in the U.S. have hysterectomies and ovary removal every year (which I think is also a real problem in my country but that's another thread).

    At any rate I think my numbers are pretty dang good!

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