I Have Mental Whiplash From My Lab Results

I had a lipid panel done at the end of April.  Looking back at the numbers (below) from the past 6 years made me dizzy!  Up and down they go – like a roller coaster ride.  I have a theory – not scientific, just personal experience – that the hormonal fluctuations of menopause are often mirrored by similar swings in lipid levels before all things settle down.

If I ever do any research, this is something I would LOVE to study.  I haven’t been able to find much in the way of research on the subject.  There is a general agreement that numbers can change significantly after menopause, as women tend to have increased heart disease risk factors at that time, but I have not seen anything that examines what happens in the process of getting to a more settled place hormonally.  My highest LDL number was at the peak of my hormonal fluctuations.  Coincidence – I think not.

Also interesting to me is the fact that my triglycerides stay amazingly steady, and my ratio of total cholesterol to HDL does as well.  (The ratio is one measure of overall risk.)

I really haven’t changed my lifestyle in any major ways.  I continue my nut habit (a good handful of walnuts daily) and lots of vegetables.  Exercise is a part of my regular routine.  I am working on controlling stress and I think managing it well. What else is left to do but just enjoy life?!

As a side note, I did have a cardiac calcium scan done at my doctor’s request, to help evaluate my situation.  That test revealed “0” calcium in my coronary arteries, an indicator of the amount of plaque there.

Total Cholesterol

2007 – 204,  2008 – 217,  2010 – 221,  2011 – 201,  2012 – 244,  2013 – 222

LDL

2007 – 114, 2008 – 134, 2010 – 139, 2011 – 116, 2012 – 156, 2013, 134

HDL

2007 – 81, 2008 – 73, 2010 – 73, 2012 – 80, 2013 – 80

Triglycerides

2007 – 45, 2008 – 45, 2010 – 45, 2012 – 41, 2013 – 42

Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio

2007 – 2.5, 2008 – 3.0, 2010 – 3.0, 2012 -3.0, 2013 – 2.75

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2 responses to “I Have Mental Whiplash From My Lab Results

  1. Interesting side note. If you were 20lbs over what the Dr charts indicate, would the Dr requested the scan.

    Also after reading the blog I wondered if men have hormones that take a radical change like women’s do?

    • I am sure a doctor would not recommend a heart scan for someone just because they were 20 pounds over the chart “ideal weight”. My doctor was taking into account my mother’s heart disease and my higher than ideal LDL cholesterol. She just wanted another piece of information to assess whether or not to do anything with medication.

      The hormonal changes are very obvious in women in their 40’s and early 50’s (sometimes even longer). Since men don’t have an obvious shift with such obvious symptoms, I doubt they experience the same sort of hormonal fluctuations over such a short period of time. Women’s risk factors often increase after menopause. Men’s risk factors do not have such an abrupt age-related change to my knowledge.

      I’m holding fairly steady – If I look at the overall picture. I hope that can continue. I think I’m healthy. I also think there is so much we can control with lifestyle. Genetics is small in comparison (for most people).

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