Sunday, January 31, 2016

A document from the past

The other day, searching through the documents stored in a drawer, I found a "relic" dated April 1992: a paper with the results of a blood test I took when I was 16 years old! Let's check it out together.

My total cholesterol level was 195 (23 years later - and before starting running: 282), my HDL value was 52 (the same) and the triglycerides value was 60 (110 in 2015). It is surprising to notice that in this old document there is no mention of LDL cholesterol, whereas the risk range for triglycerides is set between 10 and 170. At the time being, doctors consider risky any value beyond 150. And what about total cholesterol? In 1992, a value of 200 was quite ok, as the risk level was 220, but now the range is 80 - 200. Only the HDL value has remained unchanged.

This brings us to the points I raised in my post about the misuse multinational companies make of such values, in order to maximize their profit spreading panic around this issue. We can ask ourselves: a person with a total cholesterol level of 210 in 1992 had more chances of incurring a heart disease than a person with the same blood level in 2015? 

Second point: the value of 195 is a proof that I suffer from familial hypercholesterolemia (as you know, I am not a doctor, so this is my personal diagnosis), meaning that my cholesterol level is and was high because of genetic reasons (am I looking for alibis?). Back then I used to make sport almost every day (at school or with my basketball team), I ran as only a teenager can ran (sometimes just for fun) and I didn't drink any alcohol (I started a couple of years later), nor I ate junk food. 

My April 2015 high values were the result of two decades of "dietary anarchy", during which I kept on practicing sport but at a very moderate level (and never regularly) and I discovered the pleasure of drinking high quality German and Belgian beer. Three months of intense and regular physical activity, matched with a diet based on fruit, vegetable, fish and carbohydrates, produced a decrease of 10% in my cholesterol level. I booked a further blood test, that I intend to make in some weeks, to monitor my (potential) progress. I am very curious about the result!


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