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Atkins Diet Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Moms View Message Board: Let's Get Fit! (Weight Loss Support Group): Atkins Diet Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
By John on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 10:14 am:

I went to the doctor today to get a blood workup before I'm too far into this diet.

Unfortunately, I had eaten breakfast and they couldn't do the test (you have to fast overnight).

So I asked the nurse to do my blood pressure. The last time I had it tested was in June when I gave blood 140/85 (high normal).

It was 130/80 after less than a week on this diet and the nurse said my pressure was GOOD!

I've never had blood pressure that low in my entire life (even in high school).

I'm going back in on Monday to have the blood work done.
I'll post my before and after blood workup once I get the results...

By John on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 10:18 am:

I went in this morning for my blood tests and asked them to run the full gambit including those that Dr Atkins recommends in Chapter 10 of "Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution"

According to the book these tests should include:

HDL Cholesterol
LDL Cholesterol (2 subtypes)
Uric Acid levels
Kidney and Liver enzymes

and the glucose tolerance test
to check for insulin resistance

I got some more good news as I left:
I asked the nurse to check my BP again before I left. She sort of rolled her eyes (since she had just tested it Friday (see above) but then she looked at me in suprise when she said my BP was DOWN even more to 120/78.
The nurse said EXCELLENT.

What's strange is that I had Corned Beef for Dinner last night which is filled with salt and I've been eating salted macadamia's as snacks!

By Melanie on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 10:44 am:

Excellent!! It's amazing how fast the results start appearing, isn't it? Good for you! I look forward to hearing the rest of your results!

By John on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 09:55 am:

Just got a call from my doctor on my latest blood tests.

First my numbers from August 2000
BTW, I was about 10-15lbs lighter than I am now.

Total Cholesterol: 245
HDL: 29 (low)
LDL: 153
Triglicerides: 314 (ouch!)

From Last Week after being on Atkins 1 week:

Total Chlesterol: 165 (Yeah!)
HDL: 34 (Still low but rising!)
LDL: 113 (Drop of 50 points!)
Triglicerides: 88 (Drop of 200+ points!)
Blood Sugar: 88 (Normal)
Kidney, Liver functions normal

I have made no changes to my lifestyle or exercise regimen (as Feona can attest) and I'm actually heavier than I was back then.

I'm seeing my doctor again on September 17 for a full physical and another blood workup.

By John on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:27 am:

I was just reading Atkins (who was a cardiologist by the way) who says that the most important numbers to watch if you want to avoid heart disease are the HDL and triglycerides.

Specifically the ratio of Triglycerides to HDL should be as low as possible (Triglycerides divided by HDL).

He says that long term heart disease research shows that a ratio significantly over 2:1 indicates a much larger risk of arteriosclerosis(hardening of the arteries) and death by heart attack.
Ideally the ratio should be 1:1

Lets see:

For August 2000:
Tryglycerides/HDL = 314/29 = 10.8 : 1 Ouch!

For Last week
Tryglycerides/HDL = 88/34 = 2.5 :1
Improved, but still needs work.

Apparently, reducing your carb intake is one of the quickest ways to reduce your tryglycerides.

Increased intake of monosaturated fats (from nuts and other dietary sources) is one of the best ways of increasing your HDL (a good thing).
Reducing your fat intake (on a low fat diet for instance) will REDUCE your HDL and INCREASE your tryglycerides (because of the high consumption of carbs).

I am not a doctor and this should not be taken as medical advice. All the aforementioned information was taken from the book "Atkins Age Defying Diet" by Dr. Robert Atkins

By John on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 10:25 am:

When I started on Atkins 10 weeks ago I got my blood pressure checked and also scheduled a full physical. Unfortunately since my doctor is very busy I had to wait almost 2 months for the physical.

Well, the date arrived today and I went in to be prodded and poked. He did a full blood workup, electrocardiogram, lung capacity, etc.

While I won't know the blood results for a few days they did check my blood pressure:


This is what happened to my blood pressure over the last 3 months:

June 2003 140/85 (checked when giving blood)
July 18,2003 130/80 (1 week on Atkins)
July 21,2003 120/78 (2 weeks on Atkins)
Sept 17,2003 110/70 (10 weeks on Atkins)

That's a drop of 30 points systolic and 15 points diastolic without medication or change in lifestyle. The 140/85 reading I had less than 3 months ago is considered borderline hypertension but now I'm solidly in the "optimal" range:

Blood Pressure Range
Category_________Systolic BP (mmHg)_____Diastolic BP (mmHg)

Optimal__________less than 120__________less than 80
Normal___________less than 130__________less than 85
High Normal______130-139________________85-89
Stg 1 hyper______140-159________________90-99
Stg 2 hyper______160-179________________100-109
Stg 3 hyper______180-209________________110-119
Stg 4 hyper______210 or above___________120 or above

I do not restrict salt, if anything I've increased my salt consumption. The only change I've made is going on the Atkins diet.

I'll post the results of my other blood tests when I get them.

By Boxzgrl on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 10:57 pm:

Congrats and goodluck continuing the diet! :)

By John on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 04:21 pm:

These results are from Sept 2003 after 2 months on Atkins:

Cholesterol 205
HDL 44 (good up 10 points)
LDL 147 (not good up 34 points)
Triglycerides 70 (good down 18 points)
Glucose 80 (good down 8 points)

C Reactive protein 5.1%

Both my LDL and HDL have gone up on the diet.
From searching other boards I've found that it is quite common for the LDL to elevate at the beginning of Atkins and then decline to normal after 6 months or so.

My doctor wasn't happy with the LDL but said to keep going because I'm "improving my health" by losing the weight (plus the drop in blood pressure etc.)

He wants to do more tests around January 2004.

From other things I've read on the net, the ratio of LDL/HDL is an important diagnostic tool with anything over 4-5 a danger sign:

According to that criteria:

8/2000: 153/29 = 5.22 ouch!
7/2003: 113/34 = 3.32 better
9/2003: 147/44 = 3.34 about the same

Atkins stresses the Tryglycerides/HDL ratio as described previously targeting 1:1 as ideal. By that criteria I've actually decreased my heart attack risk:

For August 2000:
Tryglycerides/HDL = 314/29 = 10.8 : 1 Ouch!

For July 2003
Tryglycerides/HDL = 88/34 = 2.5 :1

For Sept 2003
Tryglycerides/HDL = 70/44 = 1.59 :1

Well, I'll find out more in a few months...

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