My Doc Rocks.

A couple of weeks ago I had some blood work done at the request of my family physician.  Last week I got a message from the doc asking me to come in for a chat about cholesterol.  This morning I was pretty certain I’d be leaving her office with a prescription for statins of some sort.

Now, this won’t come as a surprise to regular readers, but I regard Big Pharma with about as much skepticism as Big Ag.  Which is to say, I’d rather, where possible, keep them out of my life.  I do have a couple of ongoing prescriptions, and they are absolutely quality-of-life enhancers, but somehow the prospect of taking three prescription drugs every day at 45 years of age seemed … wrong.

I have had, in the past, family physicians whose first response to anything is to write a prescription.  I have many friends and family for whom that is not only an acceptable option, but what they expect from their doc.  Clearly that is not what I expect.

My cholesterol, it turns out, is not so good – not awful, but not where it ought to be (let the record show that my blood sugar, heart rate and blood pressure are all “outstanding”).  The “good” is not quite good enough, the “bad” is too high and the other stuff could be lower.

“So we have three options,” she said.  “Drugs will fix the problem, but there are always side effects.  I don’t like side effects, so let’s talk about the other options.”

And that’s why my doc rocks.

The other options are a couple of supplements (fish oil, which I’ve done on and off – mostly off – for years, and red yeast rice) that I promptly picked up at the local health-food store and, you guessed it, losing weight.  She says five or ten pounds will make a big difference.

I did not share with her my goal of losing down to 207 eventually, nor did I tell her about Skipping Dessert … yet.  My plan is to easily breeze past her goal and farther before I go back in three months.  And then I’ll insist that she not only read Skipping Dessert, but that she prescribe readership to all her patients.

It’s all about the blog, friends.

I’m relieved that drugs were not her first stop, and very pleased to have made a good choice in physicians.  And this will help me keep my eyes on the prize moving forward.  I damn sure don’t want to go back in 90 days and tell this person I failed.


Tomorrow – bonus Thursday blogging!  Thanks, as always, for reading.  Remember, you probably have friends who haven’t read Skipping Dessert.  They’re depending on you to introduce them …

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4 responses to this post.

  1. My mother used red yeast rice for a long time and it worked.

    Reply

  2. Posted by edward on March 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Harv, please look at these products..ALL NATURAL..more research than you(prob) care to read..but it is there. I take bp meds..and yes they do work..but I am in the idea of getting away nd off of them..check out http://www.qivanaproducts.com and look at specifically the Core, and Prime products..also the metabolic product is great too(more on that one once I can prove to you it works..let me know if you have any questions..I am doing this comment on my phone so please forgive the errors. Thanks for allowing responses.
    Ed McCormick
    352-275-6237

    Reply

  3. Good for you and your doc for looking for alternatives! I too had high cholesterol, over 300, but it was right before my breast cancer was diagnosed so my GP put it down to my body’s stress response to the cancer. Six months later I also ended up with a blind spot in one eye, side effect of my heavy metal chemo when combined with one of four other factors: diabetes, too low or high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. The optic neurologist (oh, those puppies are few and far between) latched onto my cholesterol as the other factor, not my extremely low blood pressure, and wanted me on stats, ASAP. Luckily, my GP disagreed as did my cardiologist who thought my cholesterol was fine because of my ratios and high HDLs. BUT I wanted to lower my overall number anyways. Red yeast rice was the first thing I latched onto only to find out from my GP that it is what all statins are now evolved from (in the weird world of pharmaceuticals that is). Then I added the omegas and fish oils via supplements.

    Other goodies you may want to investigate for their high omega-3 fatty acids are chia (yes, as in chia pets!)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica) and flax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flax_seed#Flax_seeds). I buy them whole and organic then use my coffee grinder to grind my daily dose of them up and add to my steel cut oats, yes another good source of fiber to lower your cholesterol. (Think the less processed the better in lowering your cholesterol. So steel cut oats, not rolled, quick cooking, etc.) And I grind my own seeds because of how quickly they go rancid if you buy them pre-ground.

    The last thing I did was recommended by a nutritionist: an app you can download free called “Calorie Counter”. Don’t let the name deter you because it will count anything, like cholesterol, protein, sodium, carbs, fats, etc. I just cared about the cholesterol and ignored the rest. I was shooting for 200mg a day. In three months I was down to 200! Wahoo! Everyone is happy and, hopefully, no more blind spots!

    Enjoy your column and keep up the good work on your weight loss! ~D.

    Reply

  4. ‘Shell here: Hey honey…TOTALLY agree with you. I only take drugs if a doctor tells me that it is medically necessary to my survival…the last time was 2005. And last year, I probably took a dozen Advil and about four doses of Nyquil when needed. Other than that…nothing. Hate drugs. Love your new Doc!!!

    Reply

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