A lot of patients who struggle with weight also have high serum cholesterol levels.
So is it the cholesterol that is causing the weight, or the weight causing the cholesterol?
Today we are going to bust the facts open and discuss the drivers that results in these two issues!
Which starts first?
It’s not clear which one between high cholesterol and overweight occurs first. Even many times, the increased scale of weight and increased level of LDL can run together.
Overall, both can affect each other. There are many risk factors that can put you at high risk of obesity also can increase your risk of getting raised LDL.
And I know obesity is a horrible word. But did you know that the weight range for this is probably lower than you realise. A person is obese if their body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30 kg/m.
How to calculate YOUR BMI
There are heaps – I mean HEAPS – of online calculators. Check your phone – most have a Health app with a built in calculator.
Otherwise – here is the manual calculation to discover your BMI.
- Multiply your height by itself. (Using meters eg 1.76m)
- Divide your weight in kilograms by the value calculated in step 1.
Sarah’s weighs 150kgs and is 1.8m tall.
1. First we multiply her height by itself: 1.8 x 1.8 = 3.24 ²
Next we divide her weight by his height in meters ² just calculated: 150 ÷ 3.24 = 46.3
Sarah’s BMI is 46.3
Compare your range:
Under 18.5 – you are considered to be underweight.
18.5 to 24.9 – you are considered to be within a healthy weight range.
25.0 to 29.9 – you are considered to be overweight.
>>> Over 30 – you are considered to be obese.
Please note – BMI is not always accurate for everybody. It doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle, so people who have a large muscle mass will often have a high BMI, even though their body fat is in the healthy range.
Back to cholesterol!
Do you want to know the six underlying causes of high cholesterol and how to address them?
They are listed soon….. I promise!
Is Cholesterol BAD?
Cholesterol gives cell membranes a certain amount of required stiffness. The glands of the endocrine system use cholesterol as the raw material for making most of your hormones – such as estrogen, progesterone and cortisone. Vitamin D is made from cholesterol and the liver makes bile from cholesterol. Plus 25% of our brain is made up it!
Food MYTHS Busted!
Despite this being resolved over a decade ago, there is still a belief that foods high in cholesterol are bad for your cholesterol… This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Only about 20% of the cholesterol in your bloodstream comes from the food you eat. Your body makes the rest.
We now know that diets high in sugar, grains, processed foods, and trans-fats contribute more to your cholesterol levels than actual foods that contain cholesterol. This is why the Mediterranean diet made such a splash back in the 90’s. It was discovered that a diet full of fresh produce, good oils (olive oil), eggs, nuts and non-processed foods was heart healthy.
High Cholesterol is a SYMPTOM – not a DISEASE.
We view high cholesterol not as a disease but as a symptom.
What is it a symptom of? Well, there at least six key underlying processes that can lead to high cholesterol levels:
- Metabolic dysfunction – adrenal hormones, liver function, blood sugar regulation
- Chronic infections like H. pylori or even latent viral infections
- Gut dysbiosis permeability of the gut wall – very common
- Poor thyroid function. In fact, back in the ’80s and prior to that, before statin medication, doctors used to use low doses of thyroid hormone to treat high cholesterol even when the patient had relatively normal thyroid numbers.
- Environmental toxins, especially heavy metals.
Although your body can make cholesterol, once made it cannot break down, so you can see that it is easy for an excess to occur.
Cholesterol can only be removed from the body by the liver in the form of bile. A healthy liver will pump cholesterol with the bile, out into the intestines; however, if dietary fibre is absent, over 90% of the cholesterol and bile acids are reabsorbed from the bowel back into the liver.
This form of recycling overworks the liver and may cause high cholesterol levels in those on a low-fiber diet.
Liv had high cholesterol levels for the past 7 years, but refused medications from her GP. She came to The Lucy Rose Clinic to help with her fatigue, low libido and brain fog.
She had great results after 4 months of treatment, with her original goals rectified, and when she had her routine testing done by her GP, her cholesterol levels were in the healthy range for the first time in more than 7 years! She was so excited to report that to her practitioner.
What does the THYROID have to do with it?
Thyroid function is responsible for the speed and efficacy of all the cells in your body. It is found in larger quantities in our muscles, our heart and our brain. If thyroid hormones are low, everything slows down, including liver clearance. This can allow for a ‘backlog’ of hormones, toxins, and cholesterol, driving the levels up in the blood.
Sub-optimal thyroid symptoms are generally ignored, and the normal ranges in a blood test only pick up people with overt disease needing medication or surgery.
However, there is another way! If you have 3 or more of these symptoms consistently, you could have a thyroid problem.
- Tiredness & sluggishness.
- Dryer hair or skin.
- Sleep more than usual.
- Weaker muscles.
- Constant feeling of cold.
- Poorer memory – brain fog.
- Puffier eyes.
- Difficulty with math.
- Gain weight easily.
- Thinning outer third of eyebrows.
- Clumsy – unsteady gait.
- Irregular periods.
- Carpel Tunnel.
- Heart rate fluctuations.
Thorough Testing = ANSWERS
To identify the true causative factors behind your elevated cholesterol, we need to identify all the functional issues that could be playing out – listed at the start of the email.
We help you with diet modification and changes that support healthy liver function and bile flow. We assess if your thyroid is out, and why. We look at your blood sugar markers, to check for metabolic syndrome. We screen you for signs of hormone imbalance, inflammation, pain, nutrient deficiencies and toxic accumulation.
When we know exactly what is out of balance, we can formulate a treatment plan that is very specific to help improve your health, reduce the need for drugs, and get you as healthy as we possibly can!
I hope you gained some insights today around cholesterol levels, weight gain, and the thyroid connection.
Are you interested in knowing more?
Simply book in a FREE 15 MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATION with one of our practitioners to see if we can help you: CLICK HERE