The day before Thanksgiving I had some labs drawn as part of a healthy living promotion that my health insurance does—get some labs and get $10 off your premium per month.  Well, I got the results in the mail yesterday and I was very pleased with my HgA1C (a measure of how well controlled your blood sugar is), since I had previously failed my fasting blood glucose with my primary care physician.  My total cholesterol and triglycerides were good, too; but on taking a closer look I saw that my HDL (good cholesterol) is low.  Boo!

Having low HDL puts you at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, as well as considerably higher risk for heart disease.  Now, my lipid panel looks almost exactly like my dad’s, so I know that it’s hereditary, but that doesn’t mean that there are not things that I can do to improve.  So I immediately did a quick google search to see what I could do to improve my numbers, and the first link I clicked on was from the Mayo Clinic.

When I opened it up and got to the part about action I could take, I thought it was slightly comical that I was advised to

Don’t smoke… Lose weight… Drink alcohol only in moderation

I don’t smoke, my BMI is perfect, and I rarely consume alcohol.  So “Ha!” Mayo Clinic!  But, I can follow their other tidbits of advice and consume healthier fats (i.e. resume taking my fish oil supplements) and get more exercise.  Hopefully my numbers will improve by February, which is when I’m due for a physical.


2 thoughts on “HDL

  1. I have to laugh at this. My experience 8 years ago was similar. Low HDL caused my doctor to write on my lab work – watch your weight and exercise more – sounds familiar – the punch line is that I had just completed the Detroit Marathon a month before the blood work and I had trained the previous 6 month by running between 25-50 miles a week. My BMI was in great shape too. So perhaps the lipid from your dad – the HDL from your mom’s side – sorry. I would recommend marathon running but it didn’t work for me!!

    • Ha! That is funny. I can definitely step up the exercise… I’ve been remiss in that area, but it’s really crazy how much genetics play in the numbers game.

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