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 running, blood pressure, and cholesterol
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:46 pm 

Rustyboy's scare the other day got me thinking that just because you think you live a healthy lifestyle doesn't make you immune from health problems. I have to admit, I'd kind of assumed that since I'm fairly young, slim, and athletic, and don't smoke, rarely drink, and eat a healthy diet, I didn't need to worry about heart disease and things like that. So I was surprised when I measured my blood pressure two different times yesterday, and got bordline results once and high stage one the second time. Then I went and dug up the paperwork from the last time I had a blood test (2002), and found the my cholesterol level is borderline-high as well, although the doctor never remarked on it.

How that can be the case when I live the life that I do is a mystery, but I'm glad I discovered it now rather than later. I made an appointment to go talk with my doctor about it and see if it's a serious concern and if I should do anything differently. So like Rustyboy said, if any of you other youngish healthy types out there think you don't need to worry about getting regular checkups and monitoring your health, just do it anyway. You can find a free automated blood pressure tester in many drug stores, and a routine checkup is just a phone call away to your doctor's office!

Now back to your regularly-scheduled running conversation...


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:37 pm 

Nothing wrong with checking in on your body. Even if you drive a Ferrari, you need to take it into the shop now and again.

I saw my doc for a followup today - he took more blood (I had some left, apparently) and said that he needs a couple of weeks to look at all of my test results to make a determination about what exactly happened. When I asked him, "Can I get back to running (i've run 9 1/2 miles since I came home from the hospital)?" he chuckled and said, "Can you *exercise*? My God, of course you can! It's the best thing for you!" Needless to say, I felt a little stupid asking, but I wanted to check to make sure I wasn't overdoing it.

I've shifted my diet to zero red meat (never really ate much anyway), very little sodium, and nix on the deep fried stuff (oh, how I'll miss those salty french fries for lunch after a run) and will continue my regular running agenda, albeit at a slower pace to start.

If you have any doubts about your health, just get a checkup. Trust me: The hospital BLOWS, and NOBODY looks good in those gowns. Yech.


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:02 pm 

Rustyboy wrote:
NOBODY looks good in those gowns. Yech.


Speak for yourself, I look damn sexy in one of those babies!


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:40 am 

Bricks wrote:
Rustyboy wrote:
NOBODY looks good in those gowns. Yech.


Speak for yourself, I look damn sexy in one of those babies!


Whoa, whoa, sorry. I forgot about you, Brick. Everybody else *but* you , I meant.


Machforce1


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 9

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:16 am 

Richshaw, the next time you have a cholesterol test ask the doc (the lab) to measure the components of the total panel. A high cholesterol reading means absolutely nothing unless you know the breakdown of the panel. Some people have a high total cholesterol simply because they have high HDL levels which is a very good thing. Some people, on the other hand, have high cholesterol because they have elevated LDL levels, which isn't a good thing. Please post your numbers when you find them out.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:49 pm 

Hmm, that's a good point. How large of an HDL level is considered high? Here are the numbers from the test I had a few weeks ago:

Cholesterol 200
Triglycerides 100
VLDL Cholesterol 20
LDL Cholesterol (calculated) 115
HDL Cholesterol 65

I'm also 5'11", 145 pounds, and in general good health.


Machforce1


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 9

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:00 am 

That's an excellent panel!!! Your HDL is outstanding! You have a very low level of risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease. The 'typical' or 'normal' person has HDL levels of around 40 to 45ish. Studies are starting to show that HDL levels are more predictive of heart disease than anything else, even LDL levels. Even more important than total cholesterol is your cholesterol ratio and your HDL/LDL ratio. Your overall ratio is 3.07 and your HDL/LDL ratio is 1.77. Both ratios are very excellent and prove that you are in fantastic cardiovascular health. Your tris are really low too. Anything under 150 is super.

Keep up the great work! That's awesome!


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:50 am 

Thanks that is reassuring info! I've been unable to find any kind of detailed cholesterol discussion like that anywhere online-- everything just talks about a total of 200 being the beginning of "high". My doctor simply said that my results "looked OK", but that didn't mean anything to me other than that I wasn't in imminent risk of death. Can you recommend a reference where I could learn more?

Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 10:54 am 

so, i had a physical last week and they just called me with the cholesterol results. the numbers mean absolutely nothing to me, even after reading this thread (in fact i'm more confused). they gave me 2 numbers: 125 Total Cholesterol and 46 LDL. They said 'everything looks fine' so i'll presume i'm good to go....

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: running, blood pressure, and cholesterol Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 8:27 pm 

Based on what I've read, total cholesterol = VLDL + LDL + HDL. A total cholesterol number over 200 is "high". Also, of the three types of cholesterol, LDL is "bad cholesterol" and HDL is "good cholesterol". So you want your total cholesterol to be low, and your ratio of HDL to LDL to be high (much more HDL than LDL). So I think your panel is outstanding.

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