Monday, July 22, 2019

The cholesterol riddle

Back from the hospital, where I picked up the results of my last cholesterol blood test, I am confronted with a riddle. Compared with the values registered in September 2018, the total cholesterol level is up, so is the LDL one. Tryglicerides are still under control, whereas the HDL is down. This is not good news, but what's worst is the fact that I feel a bit lost when reading such values. Or maybe should I try to thnk more rationally? Let's try.

Let's start with the HDL values, which should be affected by the running mileage. All over the last 4 years, I have experienced that the longer the distance of "quality running" (meaning: running with a  ≥ 5 min/km pace), the higher the HDL tends to become. In 2018 I didn't run so intesively: only 617 km, a poor performance which is for sure not able to produce any considerable change.
And what about the diet? Although I tried to avoid junk food, I was not entirely coherent, as I indulged sometimes in too many beers and unhealthy food. Working and travelling abroad (even if not extensively) did not help. Moreover, I stopped taking the (miracolous?) "red rice pills", a natural statin I took for 3 months before my 2018 blood test (which showed very good results).

Are these considerations reliable enough to plan the next stretegy and solve the cholesterol riddle? I am not sure, but my resolutions for the next months of the year are clear: to run more (and faster), to adjust my diet and to check my blood again in 12 months. If nothing changes, that means that my 250 total cholestorol value is "natural": the diet and running alone cannot change it, so the only way to reduce it is to keep on running, take care of my food intake and start taking red rice (or similar drugs) again. 

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