I wanted to find out if anyone else has experienced raised cholesterol after a stint of rapid weight loss, what we think might be causing it and what can be done to get cholesterol levels down without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Over a 12 week period I dropped from 91kg to 70kg, 107cm to 85cm waist and 33.8% to 19% body-fat. Even managed to add a bit of muscle during that period as I combined it with regular cardio and resitance sessions. Feeling really good inside and out, body and mind.
Except… my cholesterol levels went up to 8.8 mmol/L of which HDL was 1.7 and non-HDL was 7.1 The doctor described this as “exceptionally high” which is of course a great worry. I was flummoxed by this as – looking back through MyFitnessPal – my saturated fat content was well below the RDA and I was including a good amount of things like avocado and some nuts. I had also been regulalry training, had completely cut out alcohol and had dramatically reduced my weight – all of which, i kept reading everywhere, where factors that should *reduce* cholesterol.
Prior to this my total cholesterol ranged in the 5-7 mmol/L rangel which is still outside of the recommened <5 mmol/L range. Even so, it doesn’t explain the spike especially in the context of me (unwittingly) doing many of the major things you it turns out you are advised to do to lower cholesterol.
Then I came across a few links (https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/weight-loss-can-raise-ldl-etc.125560/ ; https://www.livestrong.com/article/500114-can-losing-weight-raise-your-cholesterol-temporarily/ ; https://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/06/i-lost-weight-and-my-cholesterol-went-up/ ) which hypothesised that rapid weight loss means that fat cells breaking down and being dispersed into the blood system. Hence the – temporarily – elevated cholesterol levels.
This makes sense to me and I hope is what has happened in my case. My questions to the forum are as follows:
(1) Has anyone had any similar experiences? Would love to hear your stories…
(2) Does anyone have any reference points to scientific studies I can show to my doctor? I need him to reflect on my medical notes that it is a temporary issue (if that is what it is) as this will otherwise affect my application to join the army.
(3) Even if this is a temporary spike for the reasons speculated above, what pro-active measures have people taken. On the basis of HeartUK’s advice (https://www.heartuk.org.uk/ultimate-cholesterol-lowering-plan/uclp-step-1 and also see https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1gwkvHnPHRTlTQgzNrTrndx/the-big-cholesterol-busting-experiment ) I am now including the following daily:
• 1 x benecol with meal
• 2 x large glasses of soya millk (500ml)
• 2 x tbsp of oat-bran (mixed in with the above, warmed up, tastes a bit like ovaltine)
• 1 x handful of mixed nuts
Thanks in advance.