In true form of my new year’s resolution, in mid January I went to the doctor for a check up. I had not seen a medical doctor in over 6 years. Since my mom was recently diagnosed with Breast cancer and passed two months later, I decided it was time to see where I am at as far as blood tests go. Overall I am in good health, however, my cholesterol came back with sky-high numbers. That’s right, 344 for total cholesterol with a ratio of 6.1. According to the doctor, the healthy range for cholesterol should be lower that 150 and the smaller the ratio the better.
After taking a look at my numbers my doctor told me that I would need to cut down on saturated fats. If no change occurs from the dietary change, she would then prescribe me a statin to lower my cholesterol. With no disrespect, I almost laughed at her. I will explain my aversion to statins in another post.
At that point, I had just gotten into ketosis and it was the first time I had felt consistently good since my mom was diagnosed in August. Cholesterol does run in my family, but changing my diet after finding one that makes me feel good didn’t make sense. But hey, what do I know? I am not a doctor.
Wait a second… Isn’t there something to be said about feeling good, with more energy than any low fat diet I had ever been on? But the doctor knows best, after all she is a doctor, but does she actually know what is best for me? I soon had a mini freak out. What was I going to do, listen to myself, or listen to the professional? So I decided to consult my people.
First I contacted a colleague and functional medicine practitioner, Jonathan Suarez at Wellness Professionals. He suggested to me that based on my numbers, my first step should be to decrease inflammation. This can be accomplished through many anti-inflammatory diets including the ketogenic diet. He also suggested that I incorporate intermittent fasting every day and a 24-hour fast one day per week. This means I will have an eight-hour window to eat most days, and one day a week I will go from dinner to dinner. This will help me to manage insulin resistance.
After a month or two, if my numbers do not go down, I will then need to test for some inflammatory markers, and adjust things appropriately. If there is still no change, then I will take a look at my genetic markers.
I also consulted my Herbalist friend Cherise from Bright Green Possibilities. After filling out a questionnaire, and taking some vitals, she explained to me that my liver could use some herbal support. I’m not at all surprised, since the liver produces cholesterol.
She made me a tea mixture to detox my body, a customized herbal tincture to help detox my liver, and another herbal tincture to help with elimination. Remember, elimination is key when you are detoxing. She also suggested that I eat four celery sticks per day. There is a compound in celery that apparently reduces cholesterol. Who knew?
By the end of the week a solid plan was developed to further improve my health and reduce my chances of heart disease. Best of all my nerves were put at ease.