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Thread: Exp. w/high cholesterol (long post)

  1. #1

    Exp. w/high cholesterol (long post)

    Given that the number one killer of people with SCI is heart disease, my chronic high cholesterol has concerned me for the past 20 years. I'm 53 yrs. old; 33 yrs. post at T11 incomplete and I'm a fulltime w/c user. Part of my problem is genetic, but people with SCI are also pre-disposed to higher cholesterol levels. (Not sure why, but it's in the literature. However, the stress of living with SCI may be a contributor.) I am not overweight and have always been very active. I do not live a sedentary lifestyle. Over the past year, my cholesterol levels have been within the normal range, so I thought I would share my experience. About 3 yrs. ago I persuaded my doc to put me on medication. I could not tolerate Lipitor, Zocor, or Crestor, as they necessitated sudden bathroom stops due to intense cramping. Of the three, I was able to tolerate Zocor the longest before having problems. Here's what worked: I tried and was able to tolerate Zetia, which elevates the HDL's, good cholesterol, rather than lower the LDL's, bad cholesterol. The HDL's serve as Teflon for the arteries, preventing plaque from forming and moving it through the system. The doc also advised me to drink one glass of red wine a day. In addition, I started taking one 81mg aspirin a day. I don't have any side effects at all, unless I dring the wine too fast. Don't do this on your own, obviously. Talk to your doc. This worked for me, but it took a lot of trial and error. I should also note that I made some minor changes in my diet, but not nearly enough. I love cheese, desserts, and meats, although I don't eat nearly as much red meat as I once did. Good luck if you have this problem. Don't get discouraged, as it took me a long time to get it right.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Samuel, I checked Zetia's web site here, and FDA information here. It doesn't say anywhere that Zetia raises good cholesterol, only that it lowers total and bad cholesterol differently than the statin drugs. I was interested because I thought it could be an alternative to niacin. Did your doc tell you that or is that based on your before and after cholesterol testing?

  3. #3
    When I started my HDL's were 30, most recent test-44. I honestly can't remember the doc's instruction, but it's my strong impression that it should raise HDL's. Again, please get medical advice. My experience may not reflect anyone else's. Most discouraging to me was my inability to tolerate the three most popular anit-statins.

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