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Hack my labs: LDL and Total Cholesterol have gone psycho on Paleo/Leptin/CT

Discussion in 'The Epi-Paleo Diet' started by Dan in Utah, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Dan in Utah

    Dan in Utah New Member

    Hey all,

    I'm freaking out a bit about my latest labs.

    Quick sketch: I'm 45 y.o. without major medical issues, eating paleodiet for 6 months, VLC x 1 month (mostly meat, fish, butter, eggs, coconut oil, occasional cream, dark chocolate, etc. no grain, no sugar, some veggies and fruit occasionally, but very little carbs overall< 50 grams/day. I've been doing CT daily. I'm up to 45 minute baths in 50 F water daily for the past 10 days, and cold air exercise for a month prior to that.

    Here's the good I've seen so far: weight down from 185ish to 165ish, body composition much improved, mental health much better, sleep is better, I work out with a kettle-bell 4 days a week, hike, sprint, garden, etc. I feel good!

    I'm cool with the following: TGs 58, HDL 55, DHEA 5.8, HS-CRP 2.2, cortisol, magnesium, CBC, CMP, TSH all normal, Vitamin D 39, HBa1c 5.6.

    Here's what I'm a bit freaked about: total LDLp increased from 1587 to 3076, small LDLp increased 534 to 869, total cholesterol shot up from 224 to 343, and LDL went from 153 to 276. This change is from 6 months ago. This is from a Lipid NMR test.

    I've been very strict on my diet because I really wanted to see what it could do for me, and for the most part I'm totally happy about my progress, but I'm a bit nervous about my LDL, TC and LDL particles now. They are nutso high. I can't imagine what a cardiologist would be putting me through if I went in with these...well actually I can, but I digress.

    I'm a family doc and have been recommending a paleodiet for some of my patients that want to give it a try. I follow everyone's progress closely with the above set of labs. Honestly, everyone has done great, so I don't plan on bailing out on this whole paleo/primal/leptin idea. There is just too much going right for my patients with it, but seriously...a total cholesterol of 343. I don't think I've seen one that high this year...and it's mine! Ahhhh.

    I'm thinking I might have a wacky Apo E genotype, low copper, or maybe CT is just killing all my fat cells and just dumping their contents into my blood.

    Today I don't no whether to laugh or cry. Other than the wacked cholesterol, I'm totally good with where I'm headed, but I don't want to be a poster child for the paleo-critics, so hack my lipids gang!
  2. LisaAPB

    LisaAPB New Member

    I'm not a doctor, but I've been reading a lot of paleo type forums for a while now. My observation, fwiw, is that the cholesterol goes up when first adopting the lifestyle, but it eventually comes back into range. I can't tell you how many times I've seen posts about increased cholesterol. I sometimes will point a person to Chris Kressers "I have high cholesterol and I don't care vlog" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_7u7aPkUQ0[/video]][video=youtube_share;0_7u7aPkUQ0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_7u7aPkUQ0[/video]
  3. colleencoble

    colleencoble New Member

    Did you do more than a tsh? that's useless to detect thyroid. And often a low thyroid results in high cholesterol. I think that's maybe the reason for the way cholesterol can increase at first on a VLC diet. It depresses the T3 for a bit. But if it continues, I'd get free T3 and free T4 run. Your vitamin D is still too low and your hs-CRP is too high. Mine dropped from about your level to .1 in six months on the leptin reset.

    My husband's cholesterol dropped 100 points in a very short time on Armour, just to give you an example of what that can do. So take a closer look at your thyroid at your next labs. Great weight loss though!
  4. Owl

    Owl New Member

    I agree with Colleen. The "normal" lab ranges are not optimal, far from it. She's an expert here on thyroid problems, and has helped me with mine. My TSH was in the normal range, but FT3 and FT4 were low, ReverseT3 was high, so it would pay to test yours too.

    Optimal Vit. D according to Dr. K is 70-100. Dr. Stasha Grominak says people with sleep apnea should aim for 60-80. Below or above that, sleep is worse. Her video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7cbBB1c0IM[/video]][video=youtube_share;h7cbBB1c0IM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7cbBB1c0IM[/video]

    Hs-CRP ideally should be under .5.

    HA1c is high, it translates to an average BG of 114. Ideal fasting BG should be in low 80's, so to have an overall average of 114, your BG must be high a lot of the time. With your weight loss/VLC diet, it should come down over time, since A1c is an average of about 3 months.

    Hopefully someone else will help with your cholesterol. I'm not an expert on that at all.

    Dexter or Dr. K, where are you?
  5. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest


    Take a look at my labs... I had an NMR done last august and again this Jan... my TC went from 296 to 340!

    Labs (NMR) http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn155/Shijin13/LAB%20Work/labscomparisonpg1-1.jpg

    Labs comparison pg 2: http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn155/Shijin13/LAB%20Work/labscomparisonpg2.jpg

    Labs comparison pg3: http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn155/Shijin13/LAB%20Work/Labscomparisonpg3.jpg

    So now that you've looked at mine - let's look back at yours:

    hsCRP - HIGH - you have chronic inflammation!

    HbA1C - HIGH - another indicator of chronic inflammation

    Vitamin D3 - LOW (too low) last august I got my Vit D3 up to 117, using both mid day sun and 10000IU of D3/day - I backed off the supplementation from august to the time change - then 5K/day - until I got my Jan labs back - now I'm back at 10000IU/day

    When I found my new PCP (who's a paleo doc) she sent me in for Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT); based on the fact I have a history of familial hyper-cholesterol - this might be the case w/you (do you know what your parents lipids look like?) FHC isn't necessarily a bad thing - it just means you body produces more cholesterol than the *CW NORM*... and based upon new research - high cholesterol helps protect against diabetes, Alzheimer, dementia, etc - not necessarily a bad thing...


    CIMT is a new noninvasive ultrasound test that is being recommended by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology to screen for heart disease in apparently healthy individuals ages 45 or greater. CIMT stands for Carotid Intima-Media Thickness.

    This test verified that I have chronic inflammation - even though my hsCRP is LOW! here's the results http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn155/Shijin13/LAB%20Work/20120228CIMTresutls.jpg

    I'm 38 yrs old - but this shows that I have the arteries of a 51yro - lots of inflammation; fortunately no plaque

    My PCP thinks the inflammation is a result of dairy consumption - all dairy except ghee is out for me now... I'm even considering kicking eggs to the curb as well...

    Now...I think you need to run the remaining hormone labs - pregnenolone, DHEA-S, Testosterone (Total, free & %), alderstorone , psa, & the estrogen that should be tested for men (I forget which one), and a full thryoid panel: Free T3, RT3, T4, Thyroid antibodies TPO & AB; plus salivary cortisol w/dhea-s

    I'd gather a guess that you've got some pregnenolone steal going w/your LDL's jumping...

    As for your trigs - they are ok. How long have you been paleo/grain free?

    You HDLs need to come up - so for the time being - you should skip all night shades until you get them above 60!

    And you NEED to bring your VIT D3 up!!!!

    Keep working on the diet - my PCP told me she expected that my inflammation and LDLs will continue to come down the longer I'm on the Paleo diet. She expects it will take at least another year of paleo for my body to turn back the inflammation - I expect less w/the CT.

    One things she's going to do is run another set of labs on me at the end of april - she's going to send me in for a berkley heart lab http://www.bhlinc.com/pati_results.php

    Its pretty comprehensive -test that includes all genetic markers.

    For however long you've been paleo - you were CW for far longer - it will take the body a while to repair the damage done!

  6. MamaGrok

    MamaGrok New Member

    ITA with colleencoble's analysis of the paleo/thyroid/LDL connection. My LDL, too, has gone up, while HDL & trigs have continued to move toward AWESOME, inflammation down, etc., The longer I've been paleo & LC, the worse my thyroid has gotten, until last month when I started taking a dessicated thyroid that is nothing but gland & herb (thyrogold). Since then, energy is finally turning around - I expect my LDL will, too, over the next year.

    Most concerning to me is your small dense LDL going up. Any suspicions on why that might be? When were your previous labs, compared to when you started paleo? Are you 100%, or do you have a 10% non-paleo allowance?
  7. Dan in Utah

    Dan in Utah New Member

    Chris Kresser is great. I've watched this video. I think Chris has changed his tune a bit I think in regards to very high cholesterol levels. He discussed this in his Paleo Summit talk. Anyway, I think the sweet spot for cholesterol is probably 200-240. This is high controversial of course, but the WHO mortality data seems to bear this out. See here:http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=3836

    Thank you for helping me out.
  8. Dan in Utah

    Dan in Utah New Member

    Hi collencoble,

    I'm running free T3, T4 now. Maybe a reverse t3 too. Already doubled up on the Vitamin D. I was taking 4000IU daily prior to this test, so I was a little surprised it wasn't a bit higher. The CRP bugs me too, but I'll get that nut cracked too eventually. Like Dr. Kruse says, I'm not going to be satisfied with anything but an A+, so I'llget there eventually. Thanks for chiming in!
  9. Dan in Utah

    Dan in Utah New Member

    I'm definitely up-ing my D dosage, plus I'm going shirt-less to hike, garden, etc. I'll get to 70-100 eventually. I'll recheck in in a few months. Totally agree about the CRP and A1c.

    Sleep has been an issue for me since medical school, residency, ER call...wow, 20 years of crappy sleep.

    Thank you for the link to the Dr. Grominak video. Very helpful.
  10. Dextery

    Dextery New Member

    Dan, You should also read this paper about rt3 dominance to go along with what Colleen said.


    If you will marry the Leptin Reset Prescription with the Leaky Gut Protocol along with ColdThermogenesis you will heal yourself.

    And you have another job. You need to pass along everything you have learned about optimal health to your family practice patients. You can be the Family Practice in Utah clone of Dr. Kruse. LOL But I am not laughhing...I am serious.
    rlee314 likes this.
  11. colleencoble

    colleencoble New Member

    MamaGrok, I bet your cholesterol will drop faster than you realize now that you've upped that Thyro-gold. :) My Dave's dropped 100 points in about 3 mos. :)
  12. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest

    So Colleen now that I'm the liothyroine sr - I should see my LDL drop - once we dial in the dose... I'm not certain 10mg is the right dose) - just sent in my update to Dr. Dzugan... It will be interesting to see what changes on my next lipid panel...w/the T3...
  13. Dan in Utah

    Dan in Utah New Member

    I will check into these other labs and post them.

    I've have zero grain for about 5 months.

    Both my parents have had "high-ish" cholesterol.

    I took a statin about 5 years ago...I lasted 3 days. It wasted my muscles.

    I looked at your labs. The 1st link (which I'm assuming has your lipids) didn't work.

    Thanks for responding. I've followed your story a bit as I've read through comments on Dr. Kruse's blog. Very inspiring.

    All the best in your quest for optimal!
  14. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest

    If you've only been grain free fro 5mths... its probably one of the reasons your HDL and Trigs are where they are at. I've been Gluten free for close to 7yrs now... grain free for close to 1 & 1/2 yrs... It can take a while to clear inflammation - I've still got major inflammation - and trying to figure out how to kick it to the curb... :)

    keep following this wol - you'll see the benefits in the long run, but its not going to happen over night...especially if you've been following the CW mantra of Low fat, High carbs & grains. Consider this - if you've been Low fat - high carbs - you've been starving your body/brain of essential fatty acids needed for basic body function...so when you give it the good stuff its gonna "binge" on it, and if the signals arent' working properly - it may not know what to focus on first...

    I'll see if I can fix the link... don't know why it didn't work... course using the other links you can back out to the main page for the jpgs - to look at them all. :)
  15. Dan in Utah

    Dan in Utah New Member

    I'm going to look deeper into the thyroid side of things and also look at my APO E genotype. Looks like certain genetic types can have this sort of reaction to VLC. The real question is, is it "bad" or is it an acceptable path to OPTIMAL?

    There's also an interesting post with comments here about wacky lipids on the PaleoDiet. It appears Dr. Kruse has some ideas: http://www.trackyourplaque.com/blog/2011/07/the-exception-to-low-carb.html#comment-23777 Haven't read it all yet, but looks like there might be some gold there.

    Congrats MamaGrok on your progress to optimal. Thanks for your comments.
  16. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest


    the following link - was when I had my AHHHH HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA moment! Btwn the pregnenolone stea, and the lack of conversion of T3..... it all made sense (Especially why I was cold in the middle of a DC Summer - wearing cashmere sweaters!)


    especially after reading Jack's response to Paul in the comments... I went to my PCP at the VA - she listened but sent me to endo - who blew me off... finally have a new PCP who's paleo, and using DzLogic to address the hormones, including T3 in BHRT form.
  17. Dan in Utah

    Dan in Utah New Member

    I read it. Interesting. Dr. Kruse accepts the whole reverse T3 idea. It might have some merit.

    I'm thinking of coughing up the cash for a reverse T3, telomeres, and salivary cortisol. $700 bucks or so. Damn there goes my new snowboard...

    I admire Dr. Kruse's synthesis. He's tied a lot of evolutionary biology and brain chemistry together. I have patients that have done amazing things in just 3-6 months of paleo/leptin reset etc. I'm learning a lot myself. All my training is in "acute" care. We don't get a ton of training in chronic disease, nutrition, etc. so I'm reading like a student again. :)

    RE: Utah Dr. Kruse: His approach is novel, somewhat unique, and un-tested really, so I'm picking my spots to try it, namely with a N of 1 on myself, and a few receptive patients I know well and have excellent rapport with. My wacky cholesterol labs are the 1st hiccup I've encountered, however. Everything else has been dynamite.
  18. I think if we really are inducing fat cell apoptosis with CT, there will naturally be a lot of FFA, cholesterol and other cellular debrise released into the local tissue and eventually into circulation. (hence, bruising, soreness some get. macrophages get recriuited to come in for clean up, note that the fat loss occurs gradually over a period of 2 to 3 months!) Read the Zeltiq coolsculpting website regarding the explanation of how the fat loss occurs. There will be a temporary inflammation happening as part of the clean up process. Maybe labs should be scrutinized once fat loss is done any your body has stabilized 6 months or so.
  19. Owl

    Owl New Member

    Dan, you didn't put what the range was for your DHEA, but you want that at the top of the range. Low DHEA will destroy your sleep.

    And good idea to get salivary cortisol. My sleep was crappy too. I was a night owl, staying up till 1am, waking up a few times each night, and never feeling rested in the morning. I found out my night and morning cortisol was sky high. I was on daily Asmanex, a corticosteroid asthma inhaler which raises cortisol. With the permission of my doc, I went off of it. I also started taking phosphatidylserine at night, which lowers cortisol. It has helped tremendously - I am in bed by 11 and sleep through the night till 6 or 7am.

    I started on the leptin reset last summer, and have done everything I can to reduce inflammation, and therefore cortisol and asthma, since then. I have some lung congestion right now, mostly due to seasonal air pollution here in Phoenix. But I haven't needed albuteral yet, so I'm happy I'm off the Asmanex.

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