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Can anyone help me with my cholesterol results?

(20 Posts)
MissisBoote Wed 15-Mar-17 11:58:12

Have a phone appt in a few weeks as when I got my results over the phone the said is have to speak to the gp, but in the meantime I've done some reading and I'm now confused

Results are as follows:

Serum cholesterol 7.02 (was 5.8 in Dec 13)
Serum triglyceride 1.20 (was 1.04 in Dec 13)
Hdl cholesterol 1.99 (1.84 in Dec 13)
Cholesterol:hdl 3.53 (3.15 in Dec 13)
Ldl cholesterol 4.48 (no test done in 2013)

Can anyone help me decipher?

I've had cfs/me for the last 3 1/2 years ago no opportunity to exercise/so any cardio for the duration.

My diet is pretty good. No refined carbs, lots of fish /white meat/veggies. Limited added sugar. Maybe pudding once a week and the odd ice-cream in the summer.
No butter unless on weekly roast chicken or monthly mash. Rarely have cheese - perhaps once every couple of months.

I'm worried as all the results seem to going up.

Pleasemrstweedie Wed 15-Mar-17 13:24:21

If you have a CFS/ME diagnosis and raised cholesterol, ask him to test your thyroid function and antibodies (very important the antibodies).

Raised cholesterol can be a diagnostic for hypothyroidism, which is often misdiagnosed as CFS/ME.

MissisBoote Wed 15-Mar-17 13:37:41

Thanks - I thought they did run a thyroid test but can't seem to find the results on my printout.

MissisBoote Wed 15-Mar-17 13:42:08

Found it.

TSH 1.31
T4 14.8

No antibodies test though.

Pleasemrstweedie Wed 15-Mar-17 19:42:22

Any chance of getting the reference ranges for those thyroid tests?

MissisBoote Wed 15-Mar-17 20:47:52

T4 is 12-22 pmol
TSH is 0.4-4.0 mu/l

MissisBoote Thu 23-Mar-17 09:15:31

@pleasemrstweedie I have a phone consultation this morning. Should I push for an antibodies test?

I also have a goitre on my thyroid. About 5cm long. Scanned - all fine and no further treatment needed unless it gets too big.

Could this be playing a part do you think?

Pleasemrstweedie Thu 23-Mar-17 13:29:11

TSH is almost spot on, but ft4 is in the bottom 30% of the reference range, so FT3 will be correspondingly low, which is what gives you symptoms of hypothyroidism. There's a list here:

You also have a goitre. How much more evidence does your doctor need?

I don't believe you have CFS/ME at all.

MissisBoote Thu 23-Mar-17 15:11:53

Thank you - could I be this ill with thyroid symptoms? I'm a moderate to severe sufferer - classic post viral case. Also have fibromyalgia.

Bettertobehealthy Thu 23-Mar-17 15:56:32

Having read one or two of your posts .... (but not all ) ... have you had your vitamin D level measured ? .... What was it ....?

When you mentioned fibromyalgia .... , there is a possibility that many symptoms of fibro can be be caused by Vit D deficiency... indeed, some people are diagnosed with fibro , when in fact their problem is Vitamin D deficiency. I just wondered if that might be part of your problems ....?


MissisBoote Thu 23-Mar-17 16:14:46

Hi better - yes I've had my vit d tested as my part of the annual bloods - this is the first year its been marked as insufficient rather than adequate.

It's 36.6 so insufficient rather than deficient (range is <25 deficient, 25-50 insufficient). I'm now diligently taking 1000iu of d3.

Bettertobehealthy Thu 23-Mar-17 18:21:58

Missisboote I hope you don't mind then , if I talk about a couple of things. Your vitamin d level is really low at 36.6.

The level that you have called "sufficient" , is only that level which is considered to be sufficient to prevent rickets and bone problems. That is , at 50 nmol/L , it is considered such that you probably won't develop rickets , every other benefit of vitamin D , is not considered in that recommendation. Your actual level of 36.6 means that, if you were a child , you would have a possibility of developing rickets. Yourself , as an adult , rickets cannot develop , you are too old .... ( sorry about mentioning that ....! ) but there are lots of symptoms which may develop in an adult , including those similar to Fibromyalgia. In fact , Fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed when Vit D deficiency is the cause.

You are taking 1000 IU per day , and in general , that may raise your Vit D level by about 25 nmol/L. So, it is likely that after about 3 months of supplementation , your level will rise to about 60 nmol/L. That is roughly about half the level that you really need for optimum health.

In my opinion , you should make sure that your blood level of Vitamin D approaches that found in healthy humans . That is above 100 nmol/L . To achieve that , you need at least 3000 IU per day.

Please have a look at many threads about this issue here on mumsnet. I have given lots of info about this.

Here are some of the threads. Lots of people with Vit D deficiency , how they supplemented , how they responded , how they are better ,


have a look at those , if you need any more info , just PM .

best of Luck ,


PS. If you get your vitamin D level to where it really needs to be , then other problems like thyroid etc should be addressed with more success.

I have posted quite a lot on this issue here on Mumsnet. Just search for my nick. Bettertobehealthy if you are interested.


MissisBoote Thu 23-Mar-17 19:02:19

I don't mind at all better.
I'll up my intake to 3000/day.
Anything that helps me live a more normal life, the better.

Bettertobehealthy Mon 27-Mar-17 18:18:51

I am pleased to hear that you intend to raise your Vit D level.

If you have read those threads above , you will see that daily doses are much better than weekly or monthly . Also , you may have seen that if you have absorption problems , then it is advisable to measure your level. You should not just assume that because you are taking " a particular" a dose , that your body will absorb it. This is a very important point. recent trials ** ( see below ) have shown that your body can have as much as 6 to 1 variability in response , so, you may have either more or less than the average.

I have not read all of your posts , ... however , if you have any kind of gut absorption problems , such as IBS, IBD, Coeliacs, Pernicious anaemia, Crohn's, Bile problems, Gall Bladder out, etc, etc , then, if you take a supplement , you should check that you are , in fact , absorbing what you are taking . Check you blood level ! Your blood level will settle down to a long term average , after about 3 months of the same dose supplementation , daily.

If you do in fact have gut problems , you should consider bypassing the gut absorption route. By taking a sublingual spray , commonly available , ( preferably 3000 IU per puff ) . I believe there are several available . Choose a quality brand.

In the UK , you may find a doctors resisitance to checking your vitamin D levels , after the first test, mainly because the assumption is , " that if you take any kind of supplement , then it will definately work as expected ". It will not definately work, because of that 6 to 1 variability I have just mentioned.

As above , if you keep your blood level above 100 nmol/L , preferably 120 - 140 , over the long term , try and maintain a healthy diet , with all those other nutrients that you need , then your body will have one of the necessary resources required to improve your health.
Best of luck


** Responses to Supplementation

IF you want to check blood level , you can send for a test kit , from this NHS lab , in the West Mids. Results are emailed back to you within a week. . They will test for the general public, BUT they do charge £ 28, if it is not doctor ordered.


MissisBoote Tue 28-Mar-17 11:53:10

Thanks for the update.

I'm now taking 3000iu a day.

I'm pretty sure I don't have any absorption issues - my gut is one of the only things I don't seem to have problems with!

I'm sure my gp will be happy to re-test in a few months.

Once I get the levels up should just continue on 1000iu/day or just supplement in the winter months?

Diet is good so I don't think I need to make any changes there.

Bettertobehealthy Thu 30-Mar-17 18:19:33


considering that your level of vitamin D was so low , at 36 nmol/L it is quite likely that you will need Vitamin D over the long term. It does depend upon how much you make , and how much you make in stronger sunshine. That means , over the year , you cannot make it between mid- Oct and mid-April in UK . It also means that it can only be made in the midday hours in the summer. So generally between 11 ish and 3 ish ( in summertime) . If you have white skin , then you can make more than a dark skinned individual , at our latitude ( UK ). You have stated that you are rather poorly , so I would suggest that you should really try and make sure that you have a "good " level of vitamin D all year round , it will help you. So yes , I would check what that level is , yes , I would take supplements to make sure your level is sufficient. The supplementation of 3000 IU , is really quite a small dose , when you consider that you can make up to 20,000 IU in your skin , , in 20 mins in strong sunlight. ( if you have low pigmentation )

If I was you , I would measure my level after 3 months supplementation , if it is below 100 nmol/L then increase it , if it is between 100 and 150 , then maintain it , , if it is well above 150 ( unlikely ) then decrease a bit .

Do not assume that the dose you are taking , will change your blood level as expected, , we are all different , by a factor of 6 to 1 .

Have a good read of those threads I have posted above.

GOOD Luck , and I hope this suggestion improves your health outcome. Try to maintain a diet of all those other essential nutrients , i.e. plenty of veg and fruit , I have described in those other threads.
Please allow a longer timeframe for any helpful effects to become apparent , a few weeks or even months might not be sufficient, you have possibly been deficient or insufficient for many years , when you consider that 100 + nmol/L is the best level to aim for.


MissisBoote Thu 30-Mar-17 18:31:59

Thanks BTBH

I spoke to my gp and they agreed that I'd probably need to be taking it on an ongoing basis. I'm olive skinned and tend to tan very quickly so I don't know if that makes a difference to the levels of vit d that can be absorbed.

@pleasemrstweedie I had my antibodies tested a year ago and the result was fine. Gp said they'd be reluctant to retest.

Current plan is to re-do cholesterol tests in 3 mths and then consider statins if necessary.

I don't know if I have a genetic propensity towards high cholesterol as I don't have any medical history.

MissisBoote Thu 30-Mar-17 18:32:52

Forgot to say - I'll try and have a read through all the threads but brain fog and short term memory loss makes it a little tricky grin

Bettertobehealthy Thu 30-Mar-17 19:28:43


YES , it does make a difference , a big difference. The fact that you are olive skinned means that your ability to generate Vit D in your skin is reduced. Melanin ( i.e a tan or pigmented skin ) , is a sunscreen . The deeper your pigmentation , the more protection from sunburn , but also , crucially , the less Vit D you can make from any particular amount of sunlight.

Depending upon your level of pigmentation , you will need in general about 3 to 5 more times the amount of sunlight , to generate Vit D , in your skin cells , than people with whiter skin, to make the same amount.
Also, any chemical sunscreen lotions will reduce the amount of Vit D that you can produce in your skin.They absorb UVB sunlight , preventing your skin cells from making Vit D . Even Cancer Research, and those type of organisations, recommend not using sunscreens for 20 mins , to allow your body to produce Vit D.

If you do read those other threads , please see that it is NOT a good thing to get a sunburn, but it is a really good thing to get limited but healthy sunlight , without sunscreen , on your skin.

From what you have posted here , i.e olive skin , low vit D , Fibromyalgia symptoms etc , I would definitely raise your level. To see if it helps . Nothing to lose , everything to gain. Just to reassure you , in the USA , the Government Academy of Science , Institute of Medicine, has recently said that supplementation with up to 4000 IU of Vit D daily , is No risk , No harm , to any healthy adult. That is their TUIL , (Tolerable Upper Intake Level )

My advice to you, is monitor your level , keep it above 100 nmol/L, with daily doses. Do not be tempted to dose weekly or monthly , that is not nearly as effective.

Best of Luck


MiniMum97 Fri 31-Mar-17 00:28:48

Definitely sounds like it could be your thyroid. Possibly secondary hypothyroidism with low tsh and low t4? I find it hard to believe you would have a goitre and be euthyroid!

Don't start statins until you have further explored the Thyroid issue. See if GP will test your T3 to see if that is also low. If not you can get it tested privately.

If your vit D is low have you also had tested your B12, folate and ferritin? If thyroid is the problem this can cause low stomach acid and there fire absorption problems. You can get lots of symptoms if these are low. B12 should be above 500, folate and ferritin mid range.

Have a look on Thyroid UK website for lists of where to get private blood tests if GP won't do any of the above.

I use Blue Horizon Medicals and their Thyroid plus 11 test checks all of the above.

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