View Full Version : high cholesterol
Life of Riley
8th Mar 2012, 11:06
Just had class 1 renewall, being over 40 now, they took my lipids and found my cholesterol to be rather high. Have made an appointment with my GP to have another test. Does anybody know if statins are required to lower my cholesterol, is it an approved medication as far as the CAA are concerned?
8th Mar 2012, 22:06
I think a healthy diet will be enough.
9th Mar 2012, 12:18
Google can be your best friend: statins side effects.
Don't touch them try a sensible diet, it doesn't take much of a change in your lifestyle to see a marked improvement. Good luck
9th Mar 2012, 14:56
Not everyone has any side effects at all except for gradually clearing arteries. That's one of the advantages of long term statin use. Crestor, which is one of the best of them used not to be available on the NHS because it costs a little more but then has less side effects. You could start by taking 5mg of that daily and watching your diet or take 10mg daily and eat what you like.
Almost for certain though, the CAA produce their own list of approved brand name statins for pilot consumption but your AME should have access to that information?
10th Mar 2012, 19:15
Life of Riley, everyone has a "cholesterol level."
In combination with other factors, (age, gender, whether or not you smoke, your blood pressure, whether or not you have diabetes, your family history and a few other things the details of which escape me at this moment), we use this level, to calculate the risk of you dropping dead of a heart attack or stroke in the next ten years. You could have a high level, but when other factors are taken into concideration, it may not be much of an issue. (and vice versa). We use a spreadsheet. (Have a look at "Sheffield Tables" and "Framingham.")- there's loads of stuff on the NICE website to.
The science behind identification 'aint that robust.
Depending on the level of risk, depends on the treatment we offer. Sometimes the treatment consists of just dietary advice, sometimes the level of risk is so great, that a chemical agent (usually a medicine known as a "statin,") is required.
Statin's are not without their problems, (effects on muscles and the liver seem to be the dangerous ones, efects on the tummy seem to be the more frequent ones.)
I'm sure gordon field's advice is well meant, but I'm not sure how qualified his opinion is, and I suspect google isn't always your best friend. I'd be the first to raise suspicion of the claims of drugs companies, but the evidence is overwhelming, these medicines do seem to save lives. So much so, that some of us are of the opinion we should add them to the water !
Let us know how you get on, if your risk figure is borderline (20% ish), you could opt to try some lifestyle changes ( apologies for the assumption) such as losing weight, cutting down on the goodies, truly eating "5 a day" and eating oily fish 3 times a week. :)
Let us know how you get on.
PS, the advice is different if you have established disease (you've had your heart attack) or if your levels are massively out of kilter (you'll already have some idea something is wrong because your male blood line will only be remembered through photo's)
Life of Riley
12th Mar 2012, 08:28
Thanks for all of your advice, I am seeing my gp next week and having some fasting lipids done. I have already changed my diet, eating the anti-cholesterol super foods and taking lots more exercise. It will be interesting to if my levels have changed over the three weeks since my last test.
23rd Mar 2012, 13:24
Common sense would think a healthy diet would be enough, but not for all people. Some people have hereditary issues which diet and exercise alone cannot overcome. If you have a family history of this type of problem, then you need to watch this closely with a well planned diet and exercise program along with doctor prescribed medicine. :ok:
27th Mar 2012, 21:31
Beware. If you still have relatively high cholesterol.
Familial hyper cholesterimia.
I had high cholesterol and went to my gp after my class 1. He put all my data into his NHs calculator and said my risk factor was not high enough even though i was on a low chol diet therefore did not need treating. Less than 3 years later I had a heart attack and lost my class one but thankfully not my life.
I now take statins, a bit stiffer these days but a low cholesterol level.
Don't fall into the same trap.
28th Mar 2012, 07:03
My recent blood screening results were all normal and cholestrol not even mentioned by the doc when I got my results - just a double check on my glucose which proved normal and a suggestion to give her a buzz. When I did call her she explained that my glucose was just over but now normal with my second check. I then asked if all else was okay and she mentioned that it was but my cholestrol was above normal - she then went on to say that they had "moved the goalposts recently" and I would have been normal at 5.8 but now not now however yet she wasn't overly concerned and then gave me some diet advice. At 50 definitely taking more notice!
31st Mar 2012, 18:49
What's in a strand of fat?
In South Africa where a diet rich in meat, fruit and vegetables is the norm for those who can afford it, the top of the range for total cholesterol is 4.9. It seems as though any failure to reduce a cholesterol reading to a proximate level within six months or so results in statins being prescribed for the patient.
It also seems as though many of the reported side effects of statins are obviated because of the quality of statins available in South Africa which are not permitted in Britain under the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) financial constraints.
The philosophy in South Africa, generally speaking, seems to favour quite aggressive preventative medicine. There is a distinct emphasis on early diagnosis which can lead, as in the case of bowel cancer, to routine colonoscopies and endoscopies being used as diagnostic tools long before symptoms of that cancer require such examination by which time, large sections of the intestines may have to be removed. The climate too dictates that dermatological examinations are conducted at reasonable intervals either by a GP or a dermatologist and that is a sensible requirement for all skin colours.
Bob the Doc
2nd Apr 2012, 13:49
Statins are usually allowed under mil rules so I would expect CAA to be OK as well. They may, however, require you to have a period off flying P1 until it has been established that you haven't got severe side effects. A bit of stiffness is usually bearable but very painful muscles is rather different. Check with your AME or your licence issuing authority if there is a specific list of approved statins. It may not be the same as the list your GP has!
2nd Apr 2012, 22:59
In my experience statins are no problem with the CAA
Muscle pains occur over time and are not debilitating. Liver issues are picked up on blood tests initially at 6 months which is why statins need to be prescribed. However they are outstanding. They reduce the risk of sudden death in those with normal risk, reduce risk in patients with increase factors for cardiovascular disease, may reduce cancer of colon and Alzheimer's. The more we know the more the benefits become clear. That is why many doctors with normal cholesterol levels are on statins. Conspiracies apart, there can be few better recommendations
If you get side effects the drug can be discontinued usually without long term sequelae
4th Apr 2012, 04:50
I've been blessed with the low chostelerol gene so I'm one of
the lucky buggers, but mates who've blown the lid all report
better numbers just by sticking to 2 meals of rabbit food per
day and easing up on the booze and exchanging red plonk for
beer where possible - and of course aerobic exercise.
4th Apr 2012, 06:42
Isn't low cholesterol associated with higher overall mortality rates?
4th Apr 2012, 06:54
Only inasmuch as those with lower cholesterol are probably not eating and drinking absolutely everything and anything that the higher cholesterol brigade on statins are consuming. Those, that is, who have the higher tolerance to statins to be able to take a sufficiently high dose of the little cholesterol cleansing bombers to offset the excess consumption which in turn leads to comfortable digestive contentment and a longer life?
4th Apr 2012, 07:03
4th Apr 2012, 08:05
Isn't low cholesterol associated with higher overall mortality rates?
Only when we shag too hard Bertie! :E
Seriously - I average about 3.4 on the Richter scale and am
still alive half a censh after birth. Can't say I've ever done a
thing to deserve such a reading (the missus does put me on
a rabbit food diet to make me lose weight but chostelerol is
not taken into account. Besides even if she didn't my reading
would still be the same based on my mmol thingy history).
4th Apr 2012, 14:22
There was a paper showing a higher mortality due to suicide in patients with low cholesterol but my recollection is that these were patients on silly diets and not on statins. I have never seen the data confirmed.
You guys can eat rabbit food if you wish, and obviously high fibre low fat food is better for you than a fry up but although your risk may fall, the bottom line is that whatever your cholesterol reading, statins will reduce your risk of death.
That is why statins seem to be beneficial regardless of your reading
4th Apr 2012, 17:40
I like this!
whatever your cholesterol reading, statins will reduce your risk of death.
Last I heard that was definitely miracle country.
5th Apr 2012, 06:39
...statins will reduce your risk of death.
Good! Order me enough boxes of 'em so I can live to be 120! ;)
5th Apr 2012, 20:39
Strange reply from a couple of pilots
Sudden death - ie a myocardial event or a massive stroke - remains one of the commonest causes of death under 60. In a ten year study of many thousand fit middle aged people statins reduced the number of deaths
Given the navel gazing that happens on this site about rare or inconsequential medical issues it seems amazing that you are quite so blaze over a chance to safely reduce risk. A current thread is about paying thousands of pounds on insurance policies......
Of course Mr Osbourne is delighted as sudden death is cheap and occurs before people draw their pension of become dependant on the state.
5th Apr 2012, 21:21
Have you had your Thyroid Function checked as there is a collar action between Thyroid Function and Cholesterol levels, in that, poor Thyroid function leads to an increased Cholesterol level.
5th Apr 2012, 22:01
remains one of the commonest causes of death under 60
Phew! got past that hurdle then!
6th Apr 2012, 05:48
Dunno if these wondrous statin thingys are all beer and skittles -
Mayo Clinic - statin side effects. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/statin-side-effects/MY00205)
Bob the Doc
6th Apr 2012, 16:49
Statins do reduce everyone's risk of death. Only the risk of death due to atherosclerotic disease though. If your risk from this is tiny then the benefit is even smaller, hence the need to take everything into account in deciding what the risk is. They may, in some limited people, have a higher incidence of causing death by side effects than their improvement in your coronary risk and so in that case, your total risk of death goes up. Simple maths and statistics when you drill it down
That said, simple statistics will tell you that the average human has slightly fewer than one breast and one testicle and that 50% of all doctors are below average!
6th Apr 2012, 20:50
If this is all due to large wads of clog floating round the blood system does anyone here know why we don't get sclerosis in our veins?
6th Apr 2012, 21:24
This bloody thread's starting to make me hypochondriacal! :uhoh:
7th Apr 2012, 07:00
"arterycloggingsaturatedfat"................. Follow the money!
Time for breakfast; 4 egg cheese omelette!
I am only asking for opinions here! My partner is in her late 70s, her cholesterol count is 6.2 and I think she may have a genetic tendency to elevated cholesterol levels (not Caucasian). She is taking statins (10mg) and is racked with joint pains. I am wondering if she needs to look at the risk balance between being pain free (giving them up) or living longer with pain (take them)
Additionally, her GP told her that if she did give them up she was at a high risk of suffering a heart attack. Is that a proven risk?
7th Apr 2012, 16:45
Two years ago I had to start taking a new medication for a condition that I've had for 20 years (ankylosing spondilitis; inflammation of the joints) and I have to have regular blood tests to ensure that the meds aren't harming my liver. At that time my cholesterol was 6.1 which is on the high side but both my parents had high cholesterol.
Recently I had another blood test and got a letter from my GP saying that it was now 8.1 and is very serious.:eek:
I sent him this:
I was quite shocked to hear that my cholesterol has gone up so much!
I do not and never have smoked.
I take regular strenuous excercise (squash three times per week)
I eat fairly healthily avoiding junk and fried food and always discard the
fat from any meat.
I eat very little in the way of cream, cheese, margerine etc.
I consume alcohol only occasionally and then mostly red wine.
I have consumed more salad in the last two years than I have in my whole
life and am two stone lighter than I was two years ago and quite frankly
have never felt better!
It is somewhat demoralising therefore to find that I must take steps to
curtail even further such excesses that I might allow myself!
Perhaps the fact that both my parents suffer(ed) from high cholesterol
means that I am genetically pre-disposed to the condition?
I fear that further modification to my dietary intake might render me
susceptible to other more serious medical conditions such as hunger and
I was disappointed not to have recieved a reply!
10th Apr 2012, 06:22
Just did the 5 yearly OZ Class 1 and got an email from my GP, saying that i might be interested in coming in for a chat about my HIGH CHOLESTEROL LEVEL! I cannot wait to see him!
Bugger, i guess this means that my 500 gram steak dinners with all the fat left on, bacon and five egg breakfasts are all over. Was wondering how long this high protein, low carb eating was going to last?
Oh well, it looks like a lot more fish and rabbit food from now on!
Oh, i swim a km/day and walk 3 km/day as well. I guess, no matter how much excercise one does, if one eats enough of the bad stuff, its got to catch up on day. In my case, it took 45 years!
Slasher, have another red wine mate!
regards to all
12th Apr 2012, 12:00
In my case, it took 45 years!
So c3 your were wolfing 500 gram steak dinners with all the
fat left on and bacon and five egg breakfasts since you were 6? :confused:
You shoulda been having your Fruit Loops and a teaspoonful
of Agorol like the rest of us mate. But then we was poor and
couldn't afford any of them real posh brekkies and dinners -
which probly helped in having lower chostelerol in me later
13th Apr 2012, 03:31
Lol Slash, in my case, the age 51 is a little bit of vanity plus a few! Oh that oil we used to be forced fed....i think we might be of the same era?
Bugger me,(no pun intended) Lipitor huh? I hope it doesnt have the same side effects as Xenical= yukky orange coloured oil (suposedly fat) when released via the plumbing. I cant bear to go through that slippery path again, (pun intended).
The levels were indeed high. I got a 13 according to my doc and apparently if i had gotten any higher, the CASA boys would demand a STRESS ECG!
Well, i am sufficiently scared, and am doing something about it. Vegetables (5 of them) daily, and white meat only...still swimming and walking..another lipids scheduled in two months......I must admit that in 1 week, i have lost a half kilo, so if anything, my vanity is being pleasured!
Oh yeah, your not poor anymore Slash. I remember you telling me on pprune chat (i was known by another pseudo then) many years ago that you were beginning to accumulate AUD with your hard earned USD....I wish i had have listened to your advice (not that you offered) because since then the AUD has well and truly almost doubled against the USD! :O
13th Apr 2012, 11:22
Oh that oil we used to be forced fed..
..Yeh that would've been cod liver oil mate - taken before bed
so you went off to sleep with your mouth tasting like a bloody
fish trawler that hadn't been cleaned out in years. Agarol was
the white muck (and equally foul-tasting) that helped us shit
normally during the day.
Fruit Loops helped clear your mouth of that early-morning stench
of fish before it was assaulted with Agarol, which caused you to
guzzle down the school milk that'd been left out in the sun to rot
Am still holding them AUDs too - bought up more shitloads in
16th Apr 2012, 09:21
Bloo*y Minefield, that's the problem with drugs like this. Some say the doctor's are peddling them because of the kickbacks they get from the drugs companies.
Then you drill down into the maths of the statistics. Yes they do save lives, but about 0.1% of all those at risk are saved. 3% of all those on the drug suffer unacceptable side effects.
Then you look at the level for almost compulsory taking of statins in England (5.2 or greater) but for Wales it is greater than 5.0.??? What happens if you are 5.1 and live in Cheshire:ugh::rolleyes:
I have worked my way thru all of the statins with my 5.2 level (living in Wales) and everyone of them gave me side effects: Mainly aching joints, but almost all of them gave me "woolly thinking". Not able to focus clearly / always a little clouded with my decision making (not good whilst flying, I would suggest). When I stopped taking them, the memory/thought processes recovered insantaneously. The annoying thing with all of this was that when I went back each and everytime to explain these effects to my GP (each time was a different GP), they either dismissed the ailments or told me they would settle. They didn't so I came off them of my own accord. Working hard now to take the edge of my results with dietry change, but struggling.
I think overall there is merit in taking them, but the jury is still out about the true benefits Vs the side effects.
Atleast - in Wales, they are free!:ok:
16th Apr 2012, 10:46
Thomas coupling,TC, apt moniker abbreviation for this subject!
I often wonder which 'hat' those total cholesterol figures are pulled out of!
The graph in the link below shows figures from 2005 WHO statistics from 164 countries, plotting TC against mortality. Curiously the 'best' TC level relative to all cases mortality seems to be between 5.2 and 6.2 (200-240)
(click on graph to enlarge)
16th Apr 2012, 20:28
If you think you have slide effects stop the drugs. It is a free world. Luckily most people either don't have them or find alternatives
The cholesterol level is irrelevant. Health administrators with no medical training may need them for targets but scientifically they are of little value around the normal range
But please don't be silly and suggest doctors get kickbacks from drug companies. That went out 20 years ago. Nowadays any drug company or doctor found breaking the rules would be unemployed for life. I just find it offensive coming from someone like you
17th Apr 2012, 11:14
I suspect you are a doc, you act like one (righteous and supercilious).
One: Read carefully - I did stop taking the drugs.
Two: The TC level is not irrelevant, it has become a religion for doctor's to practice with. It is dispensed like sweets. Over a third of the population takes it - very few understand it....believe me it is NOT irrelevant.
Three: By kickbacks, I mean gifts/hospitality tricks these drug companies get up to to assist the practice to dispense one drug or another. It goes on - don't tell me otherwise.
And this coming from "someone like"...me.....what does that infer then doc?
17th Apr 2012, 12:02
And it gets personal.......click