Had my full medical checkup some three weeks ago now.
The bloodwork came back all good news. The Dr, whom had presumably a few minutes ago rummaged through the pages before calling me in, was flicking through the four-page report, pencil-pointing to me the different categories and the corresponding figures and how each were within acceptable range etc.
And then we came to the last page, where he used the word “awful” to describe my cholesterol levels.
I kinda already expected bad news in this area. My family, no- my siblings & my mum, have always had high levels. The last time I checked was in the mid-90’s. Yes I know I have been slack about this. Back then, it was already at 6.3, if I remember correctly.
So, couple with these histories and how I have not really been watching what I eat, I was already prepared to hear the “awful” news.
Alright, I wasn’t prepared to learn that it was that high.
I don’t eat shellfish foods; the only seafood I eat is fish, and the occasional prawn already prepared, like in dim sum, stir-fries, etc. I won’t go out of my way to order huge prawns or crabs or anything like that. Never was into them since young. I think it all started with “what an effort just to get that little bit of meat, when it’s not all that tasty to me anyway” attitude that kinda stuck as I grew up. I do like meat though, like steaks and lamb (shanks) etc. That’s probably why I knew that it would still be on the high side.
But again, never expected it that high.
Was it a wake-up call? Kinda.
Upon seeing another Dr (the panel doctor, to get the medication) he was saying that since my family history is already such, and that my last check was already so high, there is no point changing diet just to see how low it falls- to go straight to starting medication as well as changing my diet.
Kinda tough considering I already don’t eat much seafood, if at all. So I started looking into where else I could modify.
With my understanding, exercise also helps in some ways: Along with “flushing” away fats, the act of exercising also makes the liver produce less bad cholesterols. It has also been a while since I got back into that regime.
Some of you would know that I had started attending Bikram yoga since April/May. I ramped up my frequencies after this wake-up. I had also started going for walks at the Kiara trek whenever I was able to finish work early.
But I think it was also that I really started watching what I eat, and more importantly, how big/small the portions are, in my every meal, that had made the difference.
I won’t bother trying to identify which of these factors helped, but these days I do feel more energetic, and able to chase my 2 little monkeys around a little more
Since it is pretty evident that this is a congenital characteristic that’s literally in the blood (genes), I am also starting to coach Caitlin to avoid high cholesterol foods.
Taught her about good fats and bad fats, by borrowing my own experience when I first learn about cholesterol in my teens. This was my brother in law’s analogy of how to remember them. There are HDLs and LDLs, high and low density lipids. The way to remember which one to reduce, if you spoke Hokkien, is H is for “ho”, as in “good”; and L stands for “lousy”
The human liver produces these lipids. In our case ours basically produce too much of it; and consuming them in foods doesn’t help my/our cause. These drugs basically blocks the liver from producing so much, and it is hoped that coupled with reduced intake in foods, that my levels would be brought down to more favourable levels.
But that doesn’t discount the fact that, since my levels have been so high for so long, I’d probably already have some levels of deposits in my internal blood-tubes…..
Now Daddee has to start taking medications every night, “forever” :-\