6 months and a nice win

(Family, Honor, Freedom) #1

Got back new blood test results today.

In April, I had several bad markers for heart disease in my blood test results.
7% hbA1c - making me officially diabetic.
hsCRP of 9.1 - bad indicator for atherosclerosis.

Due to some really unpleasant symptoms I was having that turned out to be a pleural effusion (lung surrounded by too much liquid) ultimately from coronary artery disease, I finally got serious about health. Since then, I’ve been fighting with myself to not overeat, keep low-carb, frequently IF, and exercise daily.

Today, the panel results I ordered are somewhat different, but they show marked improvement:
hbA1c: 5.9% - within “normal reference range” on some charts, “pre-diabetic” on others.
hsCRP: 2.1 - normal
T: Not tested but my wife says I’m acting like it’s normal. :wink:

Also tested in this panel: cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides.

Total CH is 217 and LDL is 142. Both above the preferred range. But I expected that and am not too worried as there is growing evidence that they aren’t as causal for CAD as once thought. Though I wouldn’t mind hedging my bets and adjusting the diet a little to try to bring those down.

HDL is 51 (over 40 is “normal”). Wouldn’t mind seeing that go up either.

TG is 120 (below 150 is “normal”). Nice that it’s “normal” but I definitely want that lower.

Weight is down 60 pounds from April.

So, in my book, this is a nice win. And I’ve been progressively feeling better - especially over the last month since I added in strength training.

The fight now is to continue denying myself the emotional need to overeat. And I need to learn what needs doing to bring the TG down even further and maybe get that LDL down too. Blood pressure remains a problem; I expect continued weight loss and strength training to help with that - eventually.


Congrats on the improvements! Lots of nice wins here.

50% of the population in the Western world who have high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. This is why it is referred to as the silent killer. I would suggest you start walking every day if possible. Start out small and increase as your time allows. Your BP should have decreased with your weight loss. If exercise or walking does not reduce it, then consider medication. Reducing your BP can reduce your risk, and the sooner you do it, the better.

(Bob M) #3

Great news!

Your LDL should come down when you stop losing weight. Hopefully, your blood pressure will come down too, as your insulin gets lower. What’s your blood pressure?

(Family, Honor, Freedom) #4

@ffskier - I do walk every day. At first, just half a mile. Lately, up to about 3 and a half miles - less if I will be lifting afterward. Also starting to do short, max-effort intervals once a week.

@ctviggen - Stage 2 hypertension, sometimes into “critical”. It has trended down - lower into stage 2. But haven’t yet brought it back down to stage 1 - which is where I was for years before this year.

I only started exercising about a month ago so, while I feel like it’s had some real benefits even in just that time, I expect more to come. Crossing fingers for the BP.

Saw a video recently on a study that compared the effect on BP from different types of exercises (strength, steady state cardio, HIIT, and isometrics). I didn’t find it surprising - thought the reviewer did - that isometrics (planks, wall squats, etc) showed the most BP reduction. It makes sense - holding a muscle in tension increases the BP for the duration. I would expect that to have the greatest effect on lowering it longer term.

I haven’t “officially” added isos into my routine, but throughout the day I’ll do a wall squat just when I happen to have a handy wall. :smiley:

(Family, Honor, Freedom) #5

Here’s the link to the exercise/BP vid

Warning - this guy is not pro-keto. But he does some of the better research among the opposition. In fact, I’d love to see a Munk debate or similar between him (maybe with the True North Clinic guy) and a keto influencer or two.

(Bob M) #6

That’s interesting about the different exercises. I do a lot of body weight training, including plank-type exercises, but I have no idea how these affect blood pressure.

What will hopefully happen is that as your insulin goes down, you’ll retain less fluid, which causes your BP to come down. But not everyone gets normal blood pressure. I don’t know why. But you’re only 6 months into it. Hopefully, your BP will continue to decrease.

(Edith) #7

Healing takes time. I’m sure you will continue to improve. Great work!!!

(Harriet) #8

Your cholesterol numbers will be high if you’re still actively losing weight. Rerun your cholesterol when your weight has stabilized for three months.

(Geoffrey) #9

Interesting, I hadn’t heard that before. I look forward to my next blood test after I’m weight stabilized compared to now.


These are really impressive numbers, so well done! Your attitude seems really well-balanced, too. Not everything perfect but there’s no way everything could have been perfect in only six months, and you’re well on your way. I celebrate your wins with you!

(Bob M) #11

The theory is – I think – that LDL is used to shuttle energy from what you are eating. I think it goes from VLDL to LDL. However, shuttling from body fat goes through a different process, so it doesn’t raise LDL.

This is one reason the so-called LMHRs (lean mass hyper-responders) have very high LDL: they are getting the vast majority of their energy through food and little through body fat.

I guess combining these two means that initially you’ll get more LDL due to getting more energy from fat you eat. As time goes on and your insulin resistance subsides, you’ll get more energy (relatively speaking) from body fat.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #12

Congrats on your stats. Excellent news.

I did something similar after being diagnosed with diabetes. And like you the blood pressure is a harder nut to crack. But it’s early days. We are doing the right thing



I hope it only gets better and better!

(Dan VanDeRiet) #14

Like others have said–way to go. People say that low carb/keto is powerful because it reverses so many diseases; I’m in a little different camp. I think low carb/keto is the normal diet and the current western diet is just that harmful.
Chiming in with my 2¢:
–Statin. Not a big fan of them, and I also don’t think LDL is an independent risk factor; but since you have CAD and haven’t completely got back to normal metabolically they might be helpful. Shawn Baker had a recent podcast interview with David Diamond that is really good. Watch it on YouTube if you like graphs, but all the info comes across fine on just audio. For secondary prevention (someone already has damage from CAD) in someone not metabolically healthy, they do have some benefit. Apparently they don’t do much even for secondary prevention if you are metabolically healthy.
–Think about getting a CAC (coronary artery calcium score). If not familiar, this is a quick CT scan of the arteries of the heart that looks for calcium which indicates plaque. You can order these on your own and cost isn’t too bad–where I live it’s $150. Since you have CAD your first one will have a high score, but then get another in a year. If the score hasn’t gone up much (<15%?) your risk of a heart attack is pretty low.
Congratulations on turning your health around.

(Family, Honor, Freedom) #15

@danvdr - I saw that video with Baker and Diamond; it was quite good. I’ve been anti-statin for a long time. Anti-drugs in general - though I do make exceptions.

I did have a CAC scan a month or two ago. Wasn’t good for my age - 139.

To everyone - thank you very much for the encouragement and advice. I’m sure you know: it really helps.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #16

Hey, I’d say that if you’ve made it to 139, there isn’t too much left to worry about.

What? . . . . :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Seriously, however, 139 is not a bad score. You have some cardiovascular risk, but a lot depends on whether the score is rising, stable, or declining over time; a single score doesn’t tell us much.

How long you’ve been keto is another factor. We recently had a thread in which the OP’s CAC kept going up for a while on keto before it started to come back down.

Calcification is an end stage of arterial damage, so this kind of lag is normal. It’s like counting the scars on our skin—they’re a marker of past damage, essentially. If we’re no longer wrestling wild aardvarks and getting new cuts, the number of previous scars isn’t so relevant. So if we are no longer eating in a way that promotes arterial damage, perhaps we don’t need to worry so much about our calcified plaque.

(KM) #17

:rofl::rofl::rofl::roll_eyes:. :grin:

(Kirk Wolak) #18

I would assume you D3 levels are probably low (or at least were) as they go down with inflammation. When you are inflamed… T and other things are NOT important. No time to reproduce, so to speak…

You have made positive steps. ONE trick to pushing the cravings back is to REALLY Step up the Protein/Fat (ie, eat a bit more fatty meat, BBB&Es, etc). I find that my cravings for OTHER things drop off a cliff when I am well-nourished.

Do something to ensure good sleep, and reduction of stress. Sunlight is valuable, but I still supplement with D3. I like my levels at or slightly above what is considered HIGH, but that’s my personal choice after decades of Low D3 and NOT ONE DOCTOR suggested “it could be inflammation”.

Finally, your BP issues COULD be inflammation, or simply stress. Or a “process” problem. Please make sure you are sitting, relaxed for 5 minutes. Breathe with a 2x exhale for the time it takes to inhale during that time. Feet should be flat on the floor. Your arm should be straight out, AND supported. Also, test both arms. Be willing to do 2-3 tests. TAKE the best score. Doing these things, my neighbor was able to come off of his High BP Meds.

3 Things raise my BP:

  1. Stress
  2. Carbs/Caffeine
  3. Allergens (Stevia!, Pepperoni, pork, mushrooms, etc. etc. etc)

Fasting fixes my BP. But it takes 3-5 days. which is what led to me to testing/discovering what the root cause was.

The TGs will come down after your weight stabilizes, IMO.
Also, I need a 16hr fasting window for a good TG reading. 12hrs isn’t enough!

You are doing great. I hope you find something in here you can use!