Saturday, 4 October 2008

Help!!! Cholesterol is killing me

Life has been tasteless for the past few days, tasteless not because I lost my taste buds, tasteless because I lost the right to eat without thinking. Doctor said I have high cholesterol, my HDL reads 1.96 and my LDL reads 3.8, so the total cholesterol is 6.1, which is way above normal range of 5.2 (what a disaster@#*&!)

First thing I reach home is to study what on earth is LDL and HDL and how do I get rid of it soonest possible to redeem my “makan” right, oh no!!!!! I cannot imagine how life would be without beef, lamb, squid, crab, egg, cheese and the list go on and on without stop. So what else is left to be eaten? Oat, fruit and vegetables, arghhhhh!!!!

Although cholesterol is very widely heard in our daily life, but now only I found out that cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is made in the body by the liver. Cholesterol forms part of every cell in the body and serves many vital functions. Our bodies need cholesterol to:
- Maintain healthy cell walls
- Make hormones
- Make vitamin D
- Make bile acids, which aid in fat digestion

Sometimes, however, our bodies make more cholesterol than we really need, and this excess cholesterol circulates in the bloodstream. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can clog blood vessels and increase the risk for heart disease and stroke.

There are 2 main types of cholesterol:
- LDL is "bad cholesterol." It can clog the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Optimal number: Less than 2.6 MMOL/L
- HDL is "good cholesterol." It attaches to bad cholesterol and escorts it to the liver, which filters it out of the body. So HDL reduces the amount of bad cholesterol in the system. Desirable number: 1.04 MMOL/L or higher.

Total cholesterol is the sum of all types of cholesterol in the blood. It should be less than 5.2 MMOL/L. (I have more than enough of the good and bad cholesterol in this case here)

I’ve also checked online for the causes of high blood cholesterol and I could not believe how on earth did I get high cholesterol for I am not over weight, I exercise regularly, I am not under stress but.. erm.. ok la!!! I like to eat high fat meats, especially “fei cha siew”, fatty lamb and cuttle fish.

So I get myself the following cholesterol lowering plan:

- I bought myself Quaker’s oatmeal for breakfast ( I hope I can stand the tastelessness of it) . Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces the bad cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes. Soluble fiber appears to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. Ten grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber. If I add fruit, such as bananas, I'll add about 4 more grams of fiber, and that’s enough for a day.

- I also bought myself Salmon Oil tablet for daily supplement of Omega-3 fatty acids ( I also hope I can stand the strong smell left in the mouth). Research has supported the cholesterol-lowering benefits of eating fatty fish because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids also help the heart in other ways such as reducing blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — significantly reduces the risk of sudden death.

- I tell myself to stick to Pilates class ( I hope I can stand the boringness of it) Pilates is an exercise method, designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance. Based upon an anatomical understanding of the body's muscular and skeletal systems, the Pilates use exercises that integrate the whole body to re-educate and restore it to optimum muscular and skeletal function. There’s no link between pilates and cholesterol, it’s just something I picked up recently:)

Please give me moral support for the cholesterol fighting plan and do not tempt me into any high cholesterol food. I shall update you with the results in 3 months time. For those of you who have no idea what is your cholesterol level, please go and make appointment with the nearest clinic, you never know (huh, suddenly become so health conscious).