So I got my new blood lipid analysis results back from the doctor yesterday, not the best, but a definite improvement.
Not only have my LDL levels have dropped by 0.8 mmol/L, which is not massive, but it's more than the 10% my previous consultant had said I would be able to achieve in 6 months (bear in mind it's only been 3 months!), but my HDL level has increased too, taking my ratio down by 0.66 or a 23% reduction.
Interestingly, my GP was not very impressed and still wants me to go on statins. The conversation got a little bit heated, and with both children with me I decided to back down and just not respond to anything else, although I have agreed to go back and have the thrombophilia screen done again in half term. I personally think it's a crazy suggestion, as I bruise like a peach and take a long time to stop bleeding if I cut myself, so the suggestion that I may clot to easily seems bizarre, but I'm willing to do it if it helps to give people peace of mind.
Even that seems like a total shock considering how needle phobic I was a year ago. GAPS seriously has changed my life. I didn't find the last screening particularly pleasant, but I went and did it without being doped up on diazepam and needing someone to hold me down!
Now some of you might be wondering why my cholesterol would be up, seeing as my weight loss is massively slowed now and I'm convinced that eating cholesterol doesn't give you cholesterol. It's something I have puzzled with too.
Chatting to some other people who are doing the GAPS diet, there seems to be a consensus that if you had ME/CFS when you started GAPS, your cholesterol raises during GAPS. Why on earth would that be?
I have a hypothesis. One of the big problems for sufferers of ME/CFS is lack of vitamin D. In fact, one of my friends entirely cured herself of ME that had plagued her for twenty years with just vitamin D supplementation. It's a cruel fact, because most ME sufferers struggle to get outside, which means they get less sunlight to help synthesise vitamin D, and hence it becomes a self-perpetuating disease.
Why is this relevant? Because of HOW vitamin D is synthesised. You don't absorb it from sunlight, sunlight reacts with cholesterol to produce it. So, if during this process of healing, my body discovered itself to be woefully low on vitamin D, what would my liver's response be?
To produce more cholesterol.
Some of my closer friends may remember that we used to have a sunbed in our bedroom to help me get through winter without too much fatigue. I got rid of it shortly after starting GAPS having decided I was so much better that I didn't need it anymore. Unfortunately, I think I may have made that decision a little prematurely! I'm going to try and work on getting out a bit more, continue to take my liposomal vitamin C supplement and exercise more consistently.
It's also worth noting that your body uses LDL cholesterol specifically to bind to free radicals and reduce inflammation, hence why LDL cholesterol levels shoot up after a tooth extraction or surgery. Similar to a Herxheimer's response to antibiotics, if my body was rapidly healing and dealing with years of toxin build up, it would quite rightly be producing more LDL to bind those substances.
If you want a (very) brief overview of how cholesterol works in our bodies and why statins are a terrible idea for a girl my age, then you should watch this short segment from Dr OZ.