From steak hero to LDL (closer to) zero — thriva journals
At thriva, we believe strongly in the value of having the relevant data to stay on top of your health. As co-founders we’ve committed to sharing our test results, challenges and successes over the coming months. Below is my first entry — enjoy!
My health has always been good. Last year I was exercising regularly and eating healthily for the most part. Before the inevitable merriment of the Christmas period and a planned trip to Argentina in the new year, I thought I would get baseline measurements of my health in various areas as part of the preparation for this post. I tested the following:
- Liver & Kidney function
- Iron levels
- Thyroid function
- Diabetes check (HbA1c)
Thankfully, everything came back fine. One thing to note was that my HDL Cholesterol was slightly raised but since this is the ‘good cholesterol’ and my ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL) was comfortably below the threshold, this wasn’t a concern. My Albumin level (part of the liver test) was also slightly raised but my thriva report explained this was common for people my age and nothing to be concerned about.
Exercise levels took a hit over Christmas and like most people, it was something I thought I’d put off ‘til next year. While most people were on their new year’s health kick however, I was in Argentina. A lot of hiking in the first week meant at least I was getting some exercise.
The second half, however, involved copious amounts of eating steak and drinking red wine (for science, of course) and after returning I had obviously gained a few pounds. To be honest, while I was planning to try and do a bit more exercise and eat clean for a while to shed the holiday weight, I didn’t think it would have affected my actual results given that it had only been 6 weeks since my previous test. Unfortunately, I was in for a nasty shock…
I was genuinely surprised that my Cholesterol levels had increased this much, this fast. They were now at a point which essentially put me at a bigger risk of heart disease. It’s easy to imagine myself letting these creep up little by little over time but having the cold, hard facts has given me a bit of a kick up the arse to make sure I get them back down quickly to healthy levels.
Since that, I’ve tried to get back into my regular exercise routine (I aim to run 3/4 times a week) and adjust my diet slightly which should help decrease my Cholesterol. The changes have been fairly simple, and I have avoided any crazy diet plans and haven’t cut anything out of my diet completely.
It’s time for my next test soon so hopefully the changes I’ve made will have had the desired effect on my Cholesterol. I’ll also keep an eye on my Iron level to check it has normalised. Thanks for reading, keep an eye out for my next results!