What Is High Cholesterol & What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You– Part 1

Do you have high cholesterol? Looking to lower it? Maybe you aren’t satisfied with what the doctor recommends?

You aren’t alone.

I have this friend who discovered insanely high cholesterol at 24. Healthy, active, primarily plant-based diet, she would have been the poster child for health and wellness.

So, how did this happen? What went wrong? Turns out, popular cholesterol myths… are wrong.

What Is Cholesterol & Why We Aren’t Being Told the Truth.

Cholesterol does three big things for us:

  1. Hormone production
  2. Builds and repairs tissues
  3. Aids bile digestion

These functions seem so small, but they are some of the most essential ones in our body. Your hormones dictate everything in your body.

Cholesterol is the primary building block of your body.

But, there’s more to this story – the HDL and LDL confusion.

Did you know that HDL and LDL are actually proteins and (not cholesterol) at all?  They wrap around the cholesterol and transport it and other fats to where they need to go in the body. The proteins act like buses to get the cholesterol to where it needs to go. What HDL & LDL tell the doctor is how the cholesterol is being used.. Don’t be fooled by high HDL’s.  If you have elevated HDL cholesterol, this may be a sign of something else going on.  So more is not better.

The markers for inflammation call for cholesterol to repair damage. In the short term, that’s good because it can help repair an injury fast. Once the damage is repaired, the inflammation is gone.

But chronic inflammation causes problems. The cholesterol rushes to repair the inflammation, but the cholesterol has nowhere to go. It builds up and causes fatty deposits in your skin, arteries, and organs.

So, Why Is Your Cholesterol High?

Chances are – it’s inflammation – your body thinks it’s being injured over and over again – mainly by your poor diet, stress or other lifestyle choices.

The biggest hit to your body is eating a diet filled with processed food, chemicals, dairy, wheat, and sugar – basically, the Standard American Diet, day after day.  Most people feel the warning signs. You get repeated indigestion, cramps, gas, and pain. You get constipation and gain weight. And that leads to more problems – namely inflammation.

Research shows inflammation is both a symptom and cause of many health problems. The body’s natural reaction to being injured is inflammation; any time you become inflamed, your body rushes the cholesterol to build new tissue.

Other causes of high cholesterol include:

  • Liver Issues
  • Poor Gut Health
  • Autoimmune Conditions
  • Sugar
  • Dairy
  • Overabundance OR Lack of Exercise
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Medication

Of course being overweight can cause high cholesterol but it’s not from the cholesterol in your diet.  It is from a history of eating unhealthy, inflammatory foods, stress, lack of sleep, and other lifestyle factors.  All of these put your body in a stressed state, hence high cholesterol.

Fortunately, when you stop hurting your body with these poor choices, not only do you drop your cholesterol, but you can drop your weight as well. That’s what I help you with – figuring out what’s going on and how to make the right lifestyle choices so your body can heal itself.

What Does NOT Cause High Cholesterol

The media loves a good headline, and blaming fat for all our health issues is easy and common.

But fat and cholesterol in your diet does not equal the fat and cholesterol in your body.

Here’s why…

When you eat food that has healthy fats and cholesterols, your body recognizes them as building block material. Cholesterol goes to our endocrine organs to produce hormones, and other fats go to the liver to be used for building cell walls and protective barriers.

Cholesterol metabolizes into dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, testosterone, estrogen. Those are the feel-good hormones. They control our hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin, leaving us feeling hungry and unsatisfied. So, is it any wonder why people on low-fat diets who deprive themselves of these building blocks are miserable, cranky, and tired?

When you’re cranky, your body turns to sugars and bad foods. That’s the real fat and fluff that’s around your waist.

Now there are exceptions to this. The highly manipulated and industrialized hydrogenated fats and cholesterol, the brominated fats, and the overly processed vegetable and canola oils contribute to trans-fats in your diet. These cause all sorts of health problems, like blocking the arteries to your heart and that’s a whole other issue.

Why Statins & Other Cholesterol Reducers Are Actually Harming You

Statins make your number look good on paper, but they don’t address the actual problem. And because you’re manipulating the liver, pancreas, and hormones in your body, other secondary problems emerge.

While the amount of cholesterol your body produces is reduced, the cause isn’t addressed. What’s worse is that you can have upwards of a 45% increased risk of diabetes. It’s suspected that statins cause more inflammation in the body, increasing the risk to people with autoimmune issues, arthritis, and other health issues. This inflammation risk was seen acutely during COVID, where people taking statins had an increased risk of mortality (death).

In fact, if you don’t find the actual cause, you could delay treatment for a severe problem. For example, my friend from above, instead of high cholesterol, her body had systemic inflammation caused by an autoimmune disorder. Had she taken the medication, the problem wouldn’t have been discovered.

Fortunately, a holistic approach found the real cause. And once the proper diet and medication to control a severely overactive immune system were used properly, her cholesterol naturally came down.

Check out my next article if you’ve been faced with the dreaded medications and some tips on improving your diet! If you have high cholesterol, give me a call and we can talk about some specific tips that can really help.