Followers of this blog may remember back earlier this year, when I posted about my detailed bloodwork I even posted a scan of my bloodwork, with all of these fancy blood counts that I had never heard of before.

There were a few scary numbers on that chart.  In particular, there were two numbers that made me really worry.   My trigliceride count was 209, well within the high risk period.  And something I had never heard of, LDL particle count, LDL-P, was at 2164.   I didnt know what this meant, but it was pretty clear that it was bad, since the low risk category was < 1000,  and it only took a score of 1600 to be high risk.  And I was at 2164!

Some friendly commenters after that post pointed me to a great series of posts on cholesterol measures and coronary risk (check out the 9 part series here when you have time !).  That detailed set of posts argues that of all the numbers on that sheet, it is LDL-P which is the most predictive risk factor.  It was even worse.  I thought it was good that my LDL-C was reasonably low.  But the blog post pointed out that made me discordant, and people with profiles like me, with high LDL-P and low LDL-C, are actually at the highest risk for heart disease!

Well, I was already motivated to eat better and exercise more because of my project.  But this solidified it.  I figured I would try some lifestyle changes and measure blood again in 6 months.   My doctor was suspicious and wanted to put me on statins, but I made him a bet…if there was no improvement in 6 months, I’d do it.   Just like this entire project, stating my goals out loud, and putting someting on the line helps me to stick to the program.

Anyway, the results are in…drumroll please….and I have some decent improvement!  yay!  Still got to work on this, but here are the main numbers:

  • Total Cholesterol  : Down from 199 => 190
  • Triglycerides : Down from 209 => 105  (High risk to low risk!)
  • HDL-C : Up from 29 => 37 (that’s good!)
  • VLDL : Down from 42 => 21 (high risk to low risk!)
  • LDL-C : 139 => 140 (still in a good range)

and the newfangled ones

  • LDL-P : 2164 => 1791 (still high risk, but big improvement)
  • small LDL-P : 1855 => 830 (gets me just out of the high risk category, but not by much)
  • LP[a] 39.7 => 47.6 (this is the one bad change that I dont fully understand)

I got to these changes by making some changes in eating, exercise, and general lifestyle.  My next post will be about what these changes are, and what my next steps are.  Nothing incredibly drastic, but definitely something that takes diligence, and that I hope to continually improve on.  My father had coronary problems, starting in his late 50s, so this is something I really want to stay on top of.

Here’s the blood numbers for those who know what they mean: