Friday, May 17, 2019

Cholesterol update 2019

Pierini Fitness was recently asked if he still gets his blood tested and, if so, if practicing intermittent fasting (IF) has had any noticeable change to these tests over the years.

This question couldn’t have been timelier because it’s been on his agenda to write a post about it. Heads-up, this is a very long post so if you have acute attention-deficit disorder, you might want to move on and read something else of interest.

Pierini Fitness likes to have blood work done several times a year to see how his health markers of interest are behaving.  Not letting his health insurance stand in the way of deciding when to have it done, he pays on his own and uses an online service to order blood work.  It’s less costly and more efficient.

Today, he’ll share the results of recent lab work starting with when he began his current fitness, health and wellness journey last August 31, 2018.  If you’ve read previous posts, you know that was the day that he embarked upon his mission of reclaiming being the lean and mean middle-aged man fighting machine he desires to be, who he has been most of the past 25 years of middle-age manhood except for the last couple years when he fell off the wagon.

Below are his lab results for cholesterol beginning on August 31, 2018 until the most recent one.  He assumes you understand the cholesterol-related terms because you should.

August 31, 2018 – morning BW of 210.8 lbs.
LDL 131 mg/dL high - 31 mg/dL low – triglycerides 121 mg/dL - total 185 mg/dL

October 31, 2018 – morning BW of 197.0 lbs.
LDL 122 mg/dL high - 36 mg/dL low – triglycerides 77 mg/dL - total 175 mg/dL

November 30, 2018 – morning BW of 190.3 lbs.
LDL 109 mg/dL high - 32 mg/dL low – triglycerides 95 mg/dL - total 160 mg/dL

February 19, 2019 – morning BW of 177.8 lbs.
LDL 109 mg/dL high - 38 mg/dL low – triglycerides 89 mg/dL - total 165 mg/dL

April 18, 2019 – morning BW of 170.2 lbs.
LDL 121 mg/dL high - 43 mg/dL – triglycerides 70 mg/dL - total 178 mg/dL

Some additional information is worth sharing.

As previously mentioned, August 31, 2018 is when he began his current fitness, health and wellness journey and reported to Pierini Fitness boot camp.  It’s also when he resumed keeping detailed journals of his morning bodyweight, eating and workouts.  Every single day since then, he’s kept these journals and every single day since then, he has improved his fitness, health and wellness.  The lesson learned, again, is to keep doing what he’s doing.

He has never experienced weight gain or fitness erosion while keeping detailed journals but has experienced both when slacking off and not journaling.  So, he’ll continue journaling because, for him, it works.

He began IF on September 15, 2018 after being frustrated with the first two weeks of his journey.  Every single day since then, he has I’ve practiced IF with different fasting and feeding durations. 

The October 31, 2018 blood work indicates movement in the right direction with a notable decrease in triglycerides even though LDL and HDL results fall outside the lab reference range of 100 mg/dL or less for LDL and 40 mg/dL or higher for HDL.  Pierini Fitness has a history of low HDL and so does his Mom so, perhaps, there’s a genetic explanation.

His LDL dropped to its lowest during this period on November 30, 2018 and then again on February 19, 2019 as his weight continued to drop.  But it was still above the reference range of 100 mg/dL.  He has accepted that’s the way it’ll be and sees no reason to introduce additional dietary changes or start taking prescription medicine. 

He remembers more than a dozen years ago having his last physical and lab results with an LDL reading of slightly over 100 mg/dL.  The physician commented how he needed to monitor this and perhaps start taking a statin prescription medicine.  This was the last time he saw that physician. 

While some might consider it unwise, Pierini Fitness hasn’t had a primary care physician in over ten years.  That’s not to say he hasn’t visited one.  He has a couple clients who are physicians that he can go to for answers to questions.  He also spends a lot of time reading and learning about middle-aged man fitness, health and wellness to plug the gap. He may have a fool for a patient but thus far his approach has worked for him.  Your mileage may vary.

Pierini Fitness began practicing OMAD (one meal a day) on March 6, 2019, the beginning of Lent 2019, and continued for 45 consecutive days until April 18, 2019, the last time he had blood work.  During these 45 days, he fasted 22 hours a day and had a two-hour feeding window beginning once the sun set.  Also, he didn’t eat meat during this time period.

Naturally, he was curious what his cholesterol reading would be from this and that’s why he again had blood work on this day.  To his surprise, his total cholesterol and LDL were higher, but his triglycerides were lower.  He’s still scratching his head on this one.

Over the years, Pierini Fitness has kept a log of cholesterol blood work results with his first entry going back to June 1, 2001 when he was 46 years young dripping wet.  His cholesterol lab results on that day were LDL 117 mg/dL high - 40 mg/dL – triglycerides 67 mg/dL - total 170 mg/dL.  He knows from memory that he was in tip-top fitness conditioning at that time and probably weighed between 175 to 180 lbs.  Yet, there’s not a significant difference in that lab result compared to his most recent 18 years later. 

Of the 19 entries of cholesterol blood work in his log, only once has he had an LDL reading below 100 mg/dL.  Also, his HDL readings have been below 40 mg/dL for 13 of the 19 recorded entries.  The highest HDL was 69 on February 6, 2013 where he notated that he had been taking a niacin supplement.

Debates about cholesterol can be more intense than people arguing about politics, so Pierini Fitness chooses to not engage in that verbal warfare but to instead be a student of his own health and wellness and have some basis for knowing what it is such as from regular bloodwork. 

He’s previously shared how late last year he had a series of preventative health screenings to detect his risks for heart disease and other conditions.  One screening was to see if there was any plaque build-up or restrictions of blood flow in his carotid arteries.  Another was to assess for peripheral arterial disease and his results were normal meaning that the blood pressure in his ankles are as high or higher than the blood pressure in his arms.

If you’re interested, here’s where he shares about these screenings:

The health markers he follows with regular blood lab work are not limited to cholesterol.  Perhaps, on a different day, he’ll share more.

But, until then, there you have it Pierini Fitness sports fans, a rather long rambling about his current fitness, health and wellness journey and his cholesterol update 2019.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Anonymous said...

Health-wise, this is what I was talking about how we process protein, carbs, and fats differently. Everyone can't eat the same way and expect the same results.


Pierini Fitness said...

Agree Michael and that's why I like to measure to better know my body and how it responds which may differ from some article I read or what is the experience of someone else.