Thursday, October 23, 2014
Saturday, January 28, 2012 cnaylor, Community Member, asks

Q: Why is my total cholesterol higher than last year?

I have been trying to lower my cholesterol but seem to have made things worse.  Triglycerides 45 (down from 72) HDL 74 (up from 60) LDL 117 (up from 114)total cholesterol 200 (up from 188).  What can I do to lower the total and get farther from the danger zone?  Female, age 48

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Answers (1)
1/29/12 9:35pm

Hi cnaylor:

Here are the recommendations of the American Heart Association:


Total cholesterol less than 200
HDL cholesterol at least > 40, ideally > 60
LDL cholesterol at least less than 130, ideally less than 100
Triglycerides less than 150


Your triglycerides and HDL are doing great. I can see why you are a little concerned with your LDL and your total cholesterol levels.


Now, there are a few things that can make your cholesterol fluctuate.  As addressed in the Berkley Wellness Letter, "fluctuations in weight shortly before the test, changes in diet, and excessive alcohol intake can affect your test. So can surgery or injury, infection, or severe physical strain. At test time, your weight should have been stable for at least two weeks, and you should have been eating your usual diet and drinking your usual amount of alcohol, if you drink at all. At least two weeks should have elapsed since any surgery, trauma, illness, or physical strain."


Below are a few links to articles discussing ways to lower LDL and cholesterol levels. Usually you can see results in lab work, after you make the appropriate lifestyle/diet changes after 6 weeks to a few months.


4 Steps to Lower LDL Cholesterol

Lowering LDL Articles

Diet Changes to Lower Cholesterol Articles

More Cholesterol Articles


Take care,


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By cnaylor, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/29/12, First Published: 01/28/12