Friday, September 21, 2012

Primal Update

It is now a week and a half since I began my 30-day Primal diet and I just picked up my blood work results.

Without further ado, here are the numbers:

Current weight: 129 lbs
Total Cholesterol: 244
HDL Cholesterol: 71
LDL Cholesterol:  158
Triglycerides: 73

Other numbers I want to share include:

C-Reactive Protein: < 0.4
Vitamin D: 19

So, truth be told my first instinct was to look at my TOTAL CHOLESTEROL number and panic!  My total Cholesterol has never been above 220, so seeing that 244 number was a bit alarming.

However, if you buy in to the entire Primal lifestyle you need to accept that Cholesterol is not the enemy.  Rather, it is an essential metabolic nutrient and there is little to no relevance to heart disease risk. Cholesterol is only dangerous when oxidation and inflammation occur.

How do you know if you're suffering from chronic inflammation?  That's where the C-Reactive Protein (CRP) marker comes in to play.

The 'normal' reference range for CRP is < 0.5.  Anything above this would indicated systemic inflammation (this may include pregnancy) and if you're above 10 mg you likely have acute inflammation.

“Normal” CRP levels are supposedly 10 mg/L. You want to stay well below 1; you don’t want “normal.” Between 10-40 mg/L (and perhaps even 1-9 mg/L, too) indicates systemic inflammation (or pregnancy), while anything above that is associated with real acute stuff. Note that exercise can elevate CRP.

With a CRP of 0.4, I feel that I'm in a pretty good spot considering that I have an inflammatory condition in  Meneire's disease. 

As for the rest of my numbers:

Weight: I'm down 3 lbs in 10 days

HDL Cholesterol: Ideally, whether you're a man or a woman you want to strive for an HDL-C of > 50.  The higher this number, the better your cardiovascular health.

LDL Cholesterol: The reference range for LDL-C is < 130, so I have some work to do in this area.  LDL-C is almost entirely controlled by diet, so how this number changes over the next several weeks will be a clear indication of how my body is responding to the Primal diet.

Triglycerides: The reference range for Triglycerides is < 150, but anyone following a Primal or Paleo diet is likely well below 100.  Interestingly, I somewhat carb loaded going in to this 30-day test phase so go figure.  The lower the better when it comes to Triglycerides, so this will be another interesting metric to re-visit when I have my blood work re-done.

Vitamin D: My reason for sharing this number is to help make people aware that there is an alarmingly widespread epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency.  The reference range for Vitamin D is 30 - 100.  With a marker of 19 I fall in the "insufficient" category (< 10 ng/mL is considered 'deficient').

As of today I'm beginning Vitamin D3 supplementation.

TO ANY OF MY READERS SUFFERING FROM A VESTIBULAR DISORDER, note that there is some indication that symptoms such as Hearing Loss, Tinnitus and Vertigo may be exacerbated by deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D and calcium.

This is something that is certainly worth addressing with your physicians and I'll be curious to see how my Vitamin D levels impact my Meneire's symptoms.

I've received a few emails from folks asking me for diet specifics.  Sorry that I haven't been able to post much but work and the holiday's have kept me pretty busy.  I promise to start posting some daily Primal menus soon!

If anyone else has been following a Primal or Paleo diet, I'd love to hear from you to see how it is working for you!!


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3 Responses to "Primal Update"
  1. Caron said...
    September 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Susan - are you going to be sharing weekly updates or just final results? Cant wait to see and hear!!

  2. Susan said...
    September 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Caron, I would have like to have been posting more than I have, but between work and some health issues popping up I haven't been able to provide as much detail as I would have liked.

    I promise to start posting more about my daily menu. Also, I'm probably going to postpone my next blood test for an additional 30 days as my health issues have caused me to veer a little more off goal than I would have liked.

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