This is a long post (my first on this forum) and I’m NOT looking for medical advice but I’m hoping to get some information from someone who may have had a similar experience about high total cholesterol and LDL numbers on results on my first post-keto blood work. I had the blood work done for an upcoming physical this week.
I’ve been eating Keto for almost a year. I haven’t methodically tracked what I’ve been eating, but can say that for the most part I’ve been very conscientious what I’ve eaten. I’ve experienced many positive results including better mental focus and acuity and less anxiety and depression. About 3-months ago, I was feeling better than I had emotionally in a long time, and weaned myself (very slowly) off anti-depressants which I’d been taking for decades.
Although I wasn’t particularly overweight when I started the Keto diet (I’m 6’ 2" and weighed 180-lbs or so), but after I hit an all time high on the scale at 185 and was starting to carry some new belly fat, I wanted the trajectory for my weight to improve.
After almost a year of Keto, while weight loss wasn’t really a primary goal of the diet, I’m back down to around 170 pounds which I consider to be a much better weight for me. Before I started doing a sedentary job 20+ years ago, I weighed around 165 which I’m guessing is where my body may reset if I continue on this Keto journey which I very much want to do.
I have a history of cardiovascular disease in my family with both my dad and his Dad dying from heart attacks, although both were overweight and smokers so I’ve always tried to maintain a healthy diet, but the definition of healthy has shifted for me over the past year.
My total cholesterol for the recent blood work was 341 mg/dL where it’s almost always been under 200 in my past results. The calculated LDL result was 249 which was 100 mg/dL higher that it’s ever been. So, I was rattled and upset when I saw those unexpected numbers.
Before he ordered the tests, I thought about asking my doctor to order a more detailed lipid panel for particle counts and for Lipoprotein(a) and Lipoprotein(b) which from what I’ve read would be good to know, as well as the particle counts, but I wasn’t expecting my LDL’s to be so out of whack. In retrospect, I wish I had done that and will discuss this with him next week as an option.
Interestingly, other markers look good. My triglycerides were 63 mg/dL, and HDL was 79 mg/dL which is almost 30 points higher than what I’ve averaged over the years. And finally, while this isn’t a lipid panel result, my C-reactive protein result was under 3 mg/L which is significantly lower than what had been in previous blood work.
I’m trying to stay calm, but I started the diet without consulting with my doctor (in retrospect probably not a great idea) whom I like very much , but I’m concerned that rather than partnering with me to try to figure out what’s going on, he may push me to drop the diet, or worse still, push statins or other drugs.
I think it’s far more likely that I’ll figure this out with the support of my doc once we get to talk, but I’m hoping to find some information here to help point me in the right direction. And to be honest, I’m hoping someone can help talk me off the ledge a bit and deal with the anxiety surrounding the results.
This isn’t a question that can be answered definitively on a forum, but I’m wondering if I might be one of the small percentage (1-2%?) of people who don’t do well with a high fat / low carb diet. I hope that’s not the case because there have been so many great benefits that I’ve experienced, but it’s a little scary right now…
Any similar experiences out there? And if so, what did you do and what were the results?