High Blood Pressure And Hdl Of 15, Am I Doomed?

Question

Asked by jwortman32

High Blood Pressure And Hdl Of 15, Am I Doomed?

I am 39 and recently found that I had high blood pressure. I am on BP medication now, but also found that my HDL cholesterol is 15 (LDL = 190). 5 years ago, it was 44. Everything I read online says I can hope to raise it by maybe 50%... that is still dangerously low. I am 50 pounds over weight and am dropping that as well as walking daily. Do I have any hope at all of raising it 25 points like they recommend? Has anyone ever their levels from so low?

Answer

Hello jwortman32,

I can almost hear your exasperation! Try not to be too hard on yourself. You are doing the right things by treating your blood pressure, exercising, and trying to lose weight. These are positive steps in the right direction!

Your numbers do need some work. You need to do several things to help your HDL level and lower your LDL. First, you should talk your doctor about whether or not your need to be on a medication like a statin that can lower your LDL cholesterol level. Second, you should consider making changes to your diet, like cutting down on fried and fatty foods. Also, you should add soluable fiber found in some vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (like beans). If you smoke, you should quit smoking. To raise your HDL, you should add sources of omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish (salmon and tuna are examples) and some nuts, like flaxseed and walnuts. Your doctor may consider putting you on niaspam, a prescription-strength formulation of a vitamin that lowers triglycerides and raises HDL at the same time.

Keep your doctor updated on your lifestyle changes and concerns; together you can work out ways to minimize your heart risk. A low HDL is something to be concerned about, but does not mean that you are doomed to heart disease!

To your health,

Neil MD