Help understanding blood tests


Apologies if this is not appropriate as its a bit medical, and I expect its been covered here before. But if there are any experts out there who can comment…
Been on keto since february this year but not super strict, carbs under 50g/day.
Have had some blood tests done recently due to all over body aches and generally feeling “off”.
My blood pressure is really high…155/92(ish)…its been a bit high at 140/85(ish) for years and Ive ignored it not wanting to take any meds…was hoping keto would help, not so.
I now have high serum LDL cholesterol, this has never been an issue before…has keto done this? the eating advice to reduce cholesterol involves lowering Sat fat, more wholegrains, fruit etc …carbs! I know what will happen if I follow that, constant hunger and weight gain for me.
And then high Serum Creatine kinase…don’t even know what this is , it was borderline high.
I have yet to see my GP regarding this, that delight is this afternoon, dreading it, Im really against taking any medications if possible.
Any advice gratefully received.


I personally found that being in ketosis (and hence lower insulin levels) keeps my blood pressure down. Many others report the same.
50g of carbs a day is possibly not getting you into, or keeping you in ketosis.
Your doctor will almost certainly want to treat your blood pressure, with good reason as you are at increased risk of cardiac events and stroke. You can go on meds or make lifestyle changes, your choice.

Most probably. High LDL on its own shouldn’t be a cause for concern (your doctor may disagree) but needs to be considered along with other factors. You will find much discussion on cholesterol in this forum, mostly echoing current research which significantly downplays the dangers of cholesterol. Have a read through and if you don’t understand something, ask. But nothing you read here should be construed as medical advice.

My recommendation is that you should listen to what your doctor has to say but not be bounced into immediate medications. Take on board what he or she has to say and think on it for a few days. Read up on the areas of concern pertinent to you and then make an informed choice. Meds may be right for you. They may not.

There are many possible reasons for this: many benign e.g. muscle injury, but it can also be a symptom of a serious problem. You really must discuss this with your doctor. Further tests are probably needed.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #3

I don’t know what to say about the blood pressure. Mine went from 140/90 to 112/70 after a year on keto. I don’t think keto caused yours to go up, but if the diet is not improving your blood pressure, then you need to get checked out to find out what’s going on. Returning to eating carbs doesn’t sound like any kind of answer, since the extra glucose will glycate your haemoglobin and make your blood readier to clot, which you definitely don’t want when dealing with high blood pressure.

As for the cholesterol, a ketogenic diet has been known to raise it in some people. This is not necessarily bad, since a number of large, well-funded studies have shown an association between higher cholesterol and lower cardiovascular risk. This doesn’t prove that higher cholesterol helps cardiovascular disease, of course, but it is solid proof that cholesterol can’t be the cause of cardiovascular disease.

Did you get a fasting insulin done, in that blood work? It would be interesting to know that number. You may be insulin-resistant enough that cutting your carbohydrate intake further might help lower insulin, which should have a beneficial effect on your blood pressure. If you have some means of testing ketones, that would also be helpful, as the production of ketones is a sign of a low insulin level.

You might also examine your diet to verify your actual carbohydrate intake. Sometimes people find that they are unwittingly consuming carbohydrates they were unaware of.


Thanks Gaz3 and PaulL for the input. I went to see a new Gp this afternoon and hallelujah she was an advocate of Keto and fasting having done it herself and got very good results, she said one day the NHS will catch up! I could have hugged her! I realise that my carbs have been creeping up since a holiday in September, things have been a bit off track since then although not badly but maybe enough as you say PaulL. so carbs getting too high (although not actual processed sugar but still some potatoes, crisps and occasional bread) plus high fat is the worst scenario is it not? Doctor said that may nave been enough to elevate my cholesterol as it is sugar that will elevate it not fat, Im still in shock I went to see a doctor who didn’t just totally dismiss me and my weird ideas!..anyway she has given me 4 months and then test again. Blood pressure she wants me to go on medication if my home readings are elevated…I definitely get white coat syndrome in the doctors…I don’t know what to think about that, I guess I shoudn’t ignore high BP…
I didn’t have a fasting insulin done. I had something called HbA1c which was 37
(range 20-41mmol/mol) not sure what that means though, think its blood sugar. It was taken at 8am and I had eaten a hard boiled egg and bulletproof coffee before test!

(Bob M) #5

Eating may have messed up your cholesterol values. Next time, fast about 12 hours or so, and avoid coffee if you can.

HbA1c is a measure of blood sugar over about 90 days or so. 37 isn’t too bad (5.5 in US units), but could be lower.

Your blood pressure should come down on keto, in general.

You have lucked upon a great doctor though.


I know, its the first time in my 52 years that a GP has listened to my point of view!

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #7

My downfall, all of them! Though it often works to implement a suggestion from a forum member to look at that stuff and think, “deathfood!”

What a blessing, eh?

Not a good idea. Let’s hope you’ll see an improvement with the medication.

HbA1C is a measure of the glycation of our haemoglobin. Because red blood corpuscles live more or less for 90 days, it can serve as a sort of three-month average of blood glucose. But the result can be affected by how hydrated (or not) we are when the blood is drawn. The reading can also be skewed if our red blood corpuscles don’t live for precisely 90 days. But 37 is a decent reading, so it sounds as though you are doing well. Unlike insulin and blood sugar, it’s a longer-term measure, so we don’t have to fast before the blood draw for that test. But we get more consistent results if we fast properly before many of the other tests they do. As Bob already mentioned, the results of cholesterol tests are affected by whether we fast or not.


That’s not really high, not ideal, but not really high. Take BP meds, there’s a time and a place for not taking meds you don’t really need, then their’s being stupid. Playing with BP is over the line of stupid. Most BP meds are fine to take, if you can remove them and continue to manage it, cool! But if not, you need to keep it under control, one way or the other. Having your BP too high for long periods will do serious damage to you, there’s no debating it.

The LDL will be Keto, but all those numbers matter, not just serum LDL. Need them all to decide if it’s a problem or not. If it was a standard panel, then all the numbers are useless. If you’re eating the crazy fat all over everything version of Keto, it could be that by itself. High CK can be from muscle damage or when you’re losing muscle mass, some meds can push it up as well, same goes for Creatinine.


Do you monitor at home? I get white coat high readings, always have they are anywhre in the 140s-150s. But I use a monitor at home and they average around 118/70, my dr. is aware. If you can try monitoring at home for a week or so and if still higher, then consult with dr. on how best to get that under control It is extremely important, even if meds are needed. I get not wanting to take anything, but sometimes, it is necessary.

Good luck sorting it out.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #10

A lot of drug stores/chemists now sell home sphygmomanometers. You can get a plain cuff and a stethoscope, or an automatic, battery-powered one. The advantage to the former is the low price, but it can be tricky to hear the pulse correctly. The advantage of the latter is that it’s all automatic and pretty reliable, but of course it’s more expensive.

I don’t know how widespread they are, but some supermarkets in my area have coin-operated blood-pressure machines.


Yes I monitor at home and now its still high, I am under quite a lot of stress, trying to work full time and also caring for my 93 yo father, menopausal and I live alone…mind you I like the living alone bit mainly!:joy: just the thought of having to take my readings raises my blood pressure Im sure, I’m quite a worrier. I’m scared of taking pharmaceuticals drugs, never have done, mainly because of all the horrible side effects , I know quite a few people who’ve tried medication for blood pressure and has made them feel awful…Im trying the meditation and breathing and natural methods route first then I guess I will have to succumb. Thanks for input.