Friday, April 16, 2010

And the doctor says...

I'm doomed.

Well, she didn't really say that and I suppose we all are doomed in that we shall all perish and make our way towards the pearly gates or the hell fires or the worm food or become one with the universe or whatever one thinks may happen when the eyes close and the soul departs.

She did say that the outlook according to my blood work simply is not pretty. So I feel doomed.

High blood pressure.
High cholesterol.
High bad cholesterol
Low good cholesterol.
High triglycerides.
Low potassium.

On the plus side my thyroid and sugar look good. Yay for me.

This is a hereditary thing; my brother has the same issues, and all of my mother's family has high blood pressure. My father's family is in California and while they are old folks I don't think any of them are in good health.

I worry more about the high blood pressure than I do the other issues, but the other issues obviously are a concern.

Last month I switched doctors. For many years I saw an old gentleman named Max Bertholf. He was a great doctor. He would pat you on the head when that is what you needed, kick you in the butt when that was what you needed, give you drugs when that was what you needed. He retired in 2005 and unfortunately my health care has suffered in the last five years.

The doctor I was seeing in the same group is nice enough, but I didn't feel cared for. The doctor never asked what I did during the day or what I did for a living or anything that might add to stress or other concerns. The doctor gave little information about diet or exercise and what was provided was no better than reading a book (which simply does not work for me, I need something else but I don't know what), pushed pills, and seemed to take a very hands-off approach to health care.

The last straw was over my blood pressure. Back in the winter the doctor changed my drugs. I started having mood swings. I looked up the drug and it said it could cause mood swings and to call your doctor immediately.

I called the doctor.

The doctor said the drug didn't cause mood swings and since my blood pressure wasn't where it should be, the drug should be doubled.

I didn't take the new dose. Instead I sought out a new doctor, who seems to be listening to me, if nothing else. She changed the blood pressure drug and then I had a physical with her last week.

Aside from the bad blood work, the blood pressure, and the fact that I am way too fat, the physical turned up nothing else.

This is quite frustrating because I don't drink or smoke. I drink soft drinks infrequently. Mostly I drink water. I walk on a treadmill 4-5 times a week for at least 20 minutes, frequently 30. I do Tai Chi twice a week or so. Obviously not a lot of exercise but not nothing. I eat too much chocolate but I am working on cutting that out of my diet completely.

I take fish oil and flax seed oil.  I don't eat much red meat. I cook with olive oil or safflower oil if I use oil at all. I eat very little bread, usually only when I eat out.

Still, I must be doing something very wrong.

Nothing like a little doom to ruin a lovely day.


  1. My advice to you is to start drinking heavily ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist that's a running joke in this house.

    Hang in there my husband had trouble with his blood pressure meds too (dr. said the side effects couldn't be from it) so he stopped it. He put him on a new one which he didn't start until we got back from NY (just in case). I bought a $15 blood pressure machine and check him three times a day. His pressure has come down dramatically, unlike the last one. So far so good, no side effects but the real bad side effects didn't hit him last time until 2 weeks so we'll have to wait and see. HIs dr. was honest and said it was hit and miss because everyone reacts different so maybe that's what's happening w/you.

    I have all the bad stuff you have too but not high blood pressure so my dr. didn't seem too concerned and gave me 6 months to bring down my cholesterol levels without meds. We'll see.

    Good luck!

  2. Good sugar and good thyroid are two big positives! Your lifestyle sounds good, too. These changes take time and the trick is not to get discouraged. It's better to lose weight slowly with those lifestyle changes rather than crash dieting which fails every time. I'm glad you found a doctor you like!

  3. Sorry to hear this...sounds more genetic than lifestyle. Not sure what to recommend....

  4. Sorry your blood work showed some problem areas. Don't get discouraged. Continue to eat healthy food and exercise.

    I hope you will continue to like your new doctor.

  5. You are obviously doing a lot of things right, including changing doctors. As other commenters have said, it sounds like you should just keep doing all those positive things you're doing---maybe even a bit more exercise. I have an agonizingly slow metabolism (which I inherited from my daddy), but have found that when I hike more in warm weather, even my resting metabolism speeds up so it's a bit easier to lose weight.

  6. I've never had a doctor that made me feel cared for. I lowered by cholesterol by 10 points by taking a small dose of thyroid. It wasn't clinically low but low for me (comparing past tests). I haven't had any experience with high blood pressure but I know from my herbalist friend that some herbs can help, just can't remember which ones.

  7. Hey, Anita, I'll bet your thyroid replacement dose is too low and thus the weight thing. US doctors aren't very good at dealing with thyroid disease. (I should know.)

    When they prescribe statin drugs for lowering cholesterol, do some research before taking them. They can have devastating side effects. Doctors also routinely state that leg pain, fatigue, memory problems, etc. are not side effects!

  8. I have the same problems so I completely understand your frustration. I got the bad cholestrol report last year and the year before it was high blood pressure.

    I also had to change docs after a bad reaction to my meds and a doc that wouldn't listen. My new doc is wonderful and found meds that work for me.

    But it's still frustrating, especially when you do everything right and it still doesn't help. Keep going! You are doing great things for yourself and you are taking care of your health. My mother had super high BP all her life (one time it was 230 over 210)and she is still here at age 70. I believe if it runs in your family and they all live a long time then you inherit the arteries to deal with it too!


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