So a few weeks ago I did my annual blood works ( please please please consider doing this. super informative and an important tool in the prevention of a vast variety of unwanted things!).
I was unpleasantly surprised to find out my cholesterol levels were up this year: last year my LDL levels were 101 and this year they were 112. last year my total cholesterol level was 176, this year 195.
*Oh usual disclaimer here- I am not a medically certified anything- nor a dietitian of any sort. I am a health enthusiast who believes in searching and learning everything can concerning my wellbeing and health. I share what I learn- but this is not professional advice- or any advice for that matter- do your own research- there really isn’t anything more important than your health, in my opinion.
I admit these results are still below the level of concern according to the medical charts that accompany those blood tests, but I wasn’t so happy about the rise of so-called “bad cholesterol”- meaning that wretched LDL -as opposed to HDL- which is considered “good cholesterol”. by the way- HDL levels were up this year as well- from 63 in 2021, to 70 in 2022.
After reviewing the results, I started looking for someone to blame for this.
Since I prepare my food and am responsible for online grocery shopping- the only person I could blame was me.
That wasn’t acceptable- so I looked again.
Since I am vegan- I do not eat butter, meats, fat cheese, and other fun stuff that research tends to correlate with cholesterol.
I thought being vegan was a full-proof shield from high cholesterol levels forever and ever.
Well- turns out that isn’t the case for me.
I did find two possible factors I could blame- (and again this is not medical or professional advice- this is only my opinion based on my search- every body is different ( and unique!). do your own research concerning your own (unique) body)-
#1. my hormone levels indicate that I entered menopause officially.
If you are a male reader and this makes you feel uncomfortable or bored–or if you find this stuff gruesome regardless of your gender- you are free to go read another post or another blog or watch something “funny” on TikTok.
I believe that understanding the mechanism of the human body is useful information, plus I think many men can find it helpful to understand what the women in their life ( sister? spouse? mother? maybe the mother is too much information)are going through. or will go through. because it may affect your life too. (research says some women get really short-tempered when going through menopause- at least that’s my ongoing excuse).
What does that mean?
Again- I am not a medical doctor-I did watch all the seasons of “House” (and loved it! it was the most non PC show ever- but it was equally non PC, which in a (very) strange way made it acceptable in my opinion)+I did watch a few seasons of “grey’s anatomy” until I stopped caring about Meredith Grey’s life choices because I kept thinking”girl! get a grip on your life! what’s the matter with you!”-but I find it hard to believe this qualifies me to give medical advice.
But- I happen to believe that before going to the doctor’s office, I need to be educated enough to be able to follow what she-he says and ask the important following questions right then and there- instead of going home and fretting about a lot of stuff I should have asked.
*By the way this does not mean believing Dr. Google when it says that the cold you have seems it could be an autoimmune disease. (see! I remember something from “House!”).
My research concluded that after a certain age- (45 being the average age- could be later or earlier) when a woman reaches a period of 12 months without her period, it is time to get her blood work done- specifying hormone levels.
The hormones that are good indicators for post-menopausal change are (according to the official charts accompanying my results)- Estradiol -between 1.9-46 (mine were 11.8 this year. last year: 72.3), FSH levels between 20-138 (mine were less than 11.8-they didn’t even bother to write the exact number, wheres last year I had 88.7), LH levels between 15-62 (mine were 41.1, last year 5.9), and progesterone levels between 0.11-0.9 (mine were less than 0.2, last year 0/6).
You can see there is a consistent change in all relevant hormone levels- combined with the no period thing- I believe the situation is quite clear. I also went to the OBGYN and she agreed my conclusions were right. I like it when the doctors agree with my assessments.
Some women experience hot flushes (I didn’t), increased heart rate (did that), irritability (check on that too), and increased anxiety (check-double check come to think of it).
The thing is- apparently when estrogen levels drop=the fat distribution in your body changes, making it more difficult to lose that wretched belly fat, and get your behind back in place.
I know- this is just an excuse- but it’s a valid medically backed excuse.
I am aware that some women keep their bodies in great shape at the age of 70 and 80 -all I’m saying is that it is more difficult than before reaching menopause- because of that Estrogen thing.
In case you find this hard to believe- here is a link to a random article I found:
By the way- I chose not to implement HRT- Hormone replacement Therapy- meaning pills or patches of hormones that are intended to relieve your body of the flushes and night sweats and other symptoms of menopause- because I don’t suffer from those, so I see no reason to put artificial hormones into my body.
*It is my personal belief that my being vegan has to do with the late arrival of my menopause+ the light symptoms I am experiencing. science has yet to back it up but I admit there isn’t enough research on this subject- maybe the vegan worldwide trend will encourage researchers to test this once and for all. what a boost it will be for veganism- if there’s anything that can support the cause is it being declared “the fountain of friggin youth”.
Back to my suspicions: turns out there is a correlation between post menopause and a rise in cholesterol levels-here is the relevant link to the study proving my suspicions:
So nothing- a good investigation never shines the light on one suspect only.
Thorough detective work must be done here before I conclude there is nothing I can do because “hormones and that’s life baby” and all that.
Enter suspect #2: my fondness of vegan cheese and butter spread+ last year’s baking vegan cakes spree: meaning my vast use of coconut oil.
To be continued.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.
I am not a medical/health/emotional/financial /nutrition or any other kind of expert as far as it concerns the contents of this blog, therefore anything written on the blog is not to be taken as any kind of advice, and should you choose to rely on anything I write on this blog- you are doing it at your own risk and at your own responsibility.