Higher cholesterol when "fasting"?

This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  shannon123 5 years, 11 months ago.

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  • So I’ve never had a problem with cholesterol, in fact the stellar opposite – my doctor actually quit checking it annually, doing it every 2 years instead because everytime he did it the report just got better and better – he called me a “genetic freak” because despite being overweight my cholesterol/hdl/ldl/triglycerides are always crazy good (I really do think it’s genetic, my mother is nearly 90 and overweight her whole life, hers are freaky good, too).

    Anyway, I’m a routine Blood Donor – give every 56 days since I was a teenager – and when our blood drive folks take your blood they shoot you a total cholesterol reading by email a day later. The Blood Mobile comes to work and it just so happened to arrive this week on one of my Fasting Days! Well, I had a low-calorie lunch with me, so I ate that and went to give blood. Everything was fine, never gave the whole process another thought until my cholesterol email arrived. My “normal” total cholesterol runs about 189 – the reading I got by email was 221!!!!!!! So I’m freaking out a little bit… okay, a LOT! WT?!

    OF COURSE I got online and tried to figure out what was going on. I read some articles saying that in a fasting state there is actually fat released into your bloodstream, more of it streaming around than normal, so maybe that’s it? I don’t know, but while I’m not due for my annual physical and blood work for several more months, I do NOT want my doctor freaking out on me – along with me!

    Anyone have any clue why this might be happening? Is it a permanent change, a fluke, or ???

    Some people have reported that their cholesterol does not improve or increases on 5:2. As you identified, I guess it could be down to the timing of their test if fat in your system is likely to push it up, as you will certainly be releasing fat to be excreted from the body on a fastday but it could also be a little to do with your food choices on 5:2? A lot of people use eggs as a nutritious low cal, high protein staple on 5:2 but too many eggs are a risk for increasing your cholesterol, along with lots of other foods. Maybe Google around a bit and figure out if some of your regular food choices could be pushing up your cholesterol?

    Unfortunately, I can’t help further as I’d never had my cholesterol checked prior to 5:2 and it was perfectly fine the 2 times I’ve been checked while on 5:2 (neither were on actual fastdays but both were after at least 14 hours of fasting period) but then I don’t really rely on eggs etc. so maybe I’m just freakishly choosing low-cholesterol friendly foods.

    Maybe use the ‘search’ option above & look for older cholesterol threads to see if anyone found their answers. I know there have been several threads of this topic in the past year or 2.

    Eggs don’t cause high cholesterol and I’ve been eating eggs every morning of my life for the last 50 years, including when switching to 5:2. With stellar cholesterol results, until 5:2. The only diet change I’ve made has been 5:2, with its 2 day fast days and 5 days of normal eating, which for me means low carb. So it’s not eggs to blame.

    Hi Smith and welcome:

    There is only a very minor relationship between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol in the blood. You can pretty much eat what you want without worrying about increasing (or decreasing) your cholesterol count.

    However, there is cholesterol in every cell of the body, including fat cells. Once you have lost quite a bit of weight, that cholesterol in the fat cells that have been emptied of fat by the diet is released into the blood stream and cholesterol levels will be elevated until the excess cholesterol is cycled out of the body. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFD2q5iqevY

    This usually happens with people that have lost quite a bit of weight, but varies with individual.

    Here are some tips on 5:2: https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/the-basics-for-newbies-your-questions-answered/

    Good Luck!

    Yeah, that’s what I meant about eggs not causing high cholesterol, I’ve read extensively on that particular topic, know about the myth of your cholesterol is what you eat!

    I’m only at about week 4, lost about 8 pounds, so I’m uncomfortable leaning on “my blood is full of circulating, escaped cholesterol!” theory. The blood drive cholesterol was unsettling. Hopefully it’ll all come out in the wash by the time I get my blood work done next. I’ll be eligible to give blood again before my annual physical, that’ll be another “free” shot at seeing what my cholesterol does.

    Hi Smith:

    Don’t know your age, but current research shows that if you are over 50, your cholesterol level is pretty much irrelevant and if you are over 65, the lower your cholesterol, the sooner you die and vice versa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QetsIU-3k7Y

    Just a thought.

    I am beyond 50 and I’d read those studies some time back but forgot about them! Thanks for the reminder!

    Just came across this thread and thought it might be relevant to my case with blood glucose going up on my first Fast Day and the day after, wondering if this is because sugar has been released after/while fat is being burnt during fasting, which should be seen as a good sign…
    Here’s the entry I posted yesterday:
    “I’m new to the forum and the 5:2 diet, have just had my first Fast Day yesterday. My mother and her family are all diabetic and I’ve been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Before “officially” embarking on the 5:2 diet, I did skip lunch last Friday and Saturday to have a taste of fasting, or hunger and to see how well I could cope with it. My blood glucose of those 2 days ended up to be impressively good, which I thought I have the “mini fast” to thank for. It also encouraged me to give the 5:2 diet a go. However, my blood glucose test results on the first Fast Day and the following day were significantly higher than last Friday and Saturday (where I skipped lunch and had a fasting window for 10+ hours).
    Does anyone have any idea if it is kind of “ketosis”? Should I go on with the 5:2 fasting for another week or two in order to see if the glucose level stablise and/or drop? Or is the raised glucose level a sign that fasting is doing harm to me?”
    Grateful if someone could advise or comment on this topic…

    Grazia, Doesn’t sound quite right to me.
    Your blood sugar normally if you are type 2 diabetic shouldn’t go up when you are not eating…blood glucose level as far as I know is directly linked to food usually and if not eating…unless you have eaten a way high carb load prior to that…usually your blood sugar goes down the further you are from your last meal…except early in the morning which (for many type 2s) often has a peak just before rising and doesn’t drop for awhile.
    As for fasting causing high blood sugar, that is a new one on me and I would be off to the doctor to try to figure that out.

    Apologies for being off topic!

    Hi Matrika,
    Thanks for your input.

    I must say my case isn’t really that straighforward as far as diabetes is concerned. I used to be slender (if not skinny per Western standard: 163 cm, 50 kg)until I was put on high dosage steroid for a prolonged period after a brain surgery (to be precise, a craniotomy) in 2002, where I gained 36+ kilos(!) within 3 months. Since then I’ve been overweight and blood glucose has remained marginal and at times high. I lost no more than 10 of those excess kilos after my steroid ordeal ended in early 2004.

    I confess that having experienced all the side effects and consequences of steroid, I lost confidence in Western medicine and seek help instead from TCM and alternative therapies such as cranial-sacral therapy (CST). According to my TCM doctor and CST therapist, my liver has been overloaded and impaired by the prolonged treatment of steroid in high dosage, not to mention all those other drugs I needed to take, my liver function is therefore compromised and fails at times to regulate the functions of pancreas and bile etc. So no matter how little carbs and sugar I eat, if at all, my blood glucose remains higher than desirable. the situation won’t improve until/unless my liver resumes/restores its functions.

    That’s also a major reason why I want to try fasting to help clear up the stored fat and sugar in my liver.

    As said, if the release of sugar from fat burning into the bloodstream (hence the elevated blood glucose level) works in more or less the same way as cholestrol level in the process of weight loss like simcoeluv discussed/explained above, then I should perhaps be happy to see an elevated (hopefully a temporary, transient one)blood glucose level…

    What do you think?

    Well, I don’t know cause I am not qualified to give an opinion. Personally, I cleared a fatty liver with concentrated lecithin and zero sugar and carbs for a short time, along with high dose sustained release vitamin C (1 Gm) and psyllium. The vitamin c and psyllium are very necessary when taking the concentrated lecithin to safely transfer the gunk that gets released (dissolved) by the concentrated lecithin, out of your body rather than being reabsorbed in bile, which gets recirculated and if it iis ful lof rubbish…you don’t want that…hence the vit c and psyllium. At the same time I did that I took Sandra Cabot’s Livertone Plus, which contains Selenium and Silymarin (I think it’s called) and Taurine…a few Liver protective things.

    I don’t think you should be fasting til you have cleared your liver…because fasting and low carb or low calorie eating does release stored fats from your body…and if there are toxins in the fat…then the liver needs to process it. So personally, I think you start with the liver (I did) and move on from there.

    Actually, no doctor can believe I have only a slightly fatty liver because I am very overweight and type 2 diabetic…which usually means REALLY fatty liver.

    I found the info on how to clear fatty liver in an old Atkins diet book (I think it was) where he was describing 4 stages of diabetes.

    I am not qualified in any way to give advice… but personally I would be talking to your naturopath rather than a TCM person for a western liver…and if your liver is cleared first, then it is much much less challenging to let go of weight.

    Very best wishes to you. You can do it! 🙂

    There is a book…”Fatty Liver You Can Reverse It” by Dr Sandra Cabot who is a Western GP with a combination approach I think.

    Shes got another book “Diabetes You Can Reverse It”.
    She’s Australian but her books are available overseas I believe.

    Reason I woudd go for a naturopath ovr TCM if you are western is that I believe there are more ckecks on western herbs than on TCM…and westerners are not always able to rea the info r checkthe sources of TCM herbgs…there is amssive range in suppliers and quality and contamination.

    Just my opinion and as I said…not qualified. Just a consumer who has had to wade through a lot of info to try and regain my own health. 🙂

    I used TCM when I lived in Asia but not in Ozwhere I am now for the reasons I mentioned.

    Very best wishes to you and I look forward to reading of your successes.

    Hi Matrika.

    Thanks so much for your recommendations.

    I’m glad to tell you that my blood glucose level began to drop and has become more or less stablised after my second fast day and the initial fluctuations during the first 2 or 3 days.

    And I’ve lost 1.25 kg since I started the diet this Monday. The weight loss is a good start and right direction for blood glucose control. I think I’ll try for another week to see how it goes. I don’t feel any adverse effects up to this point.

    Thanks for your encouragement too 😛

    Just thought I’d add something here as I just had my “fasting” cholesterol tested (in the period of a 36-hour fast).

    My LDL levels were well up, to the point I was a little alarmed (as a medical professional.) However, I was reassured when I read this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10539776

    The summary is that if you take your blood tests while actually doing a prolonged fast, the results are probably NOT valid. This paper shows that after a 7 day fast, LDL and total cholesterol are both statistically significantly raised.

    Same with me too. My mom and day are over-weighed.
    I am 220 pounds facing childhood obesity.
    Even though I am obese I had my levels normal.
    But doctor assisted me to lower my weight as quick as possible.
    I am planning to undergo lipo this month.

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