My maternal grandfather died of a heart attack when he was 40 and my mom was just 12 years old. He left behind five children ages 5-12. After his death an autopsy revealed he had “hardening of the arteries.” Needless to say, my mom was concerned that she might have the same genetic propensity to have a heart attack so she had her blood work done in her thirties. She had elevated cholesterol levels and was immediately placed on a statin.
My brother and I were also tested. We had elevated blood cholesterol levels as well. Since we were children (ages 8 and 10) we were not prescribed statins. We were told to simply eat a low-fat diet.
My curiosity is born out of necessity. I clearly have something going on genetically (technically, I think it is referred to as familial hypercholesterolemia or FH). My mother is now in her sixties and my brother is in his thirties. Both have spent significant time on statins. I was on statins for a brief period of time in my twenties.
However, now that I have three children I really, really need to know what I should be doing! Thankfully, because it is not medically advisable for a woman to take statins while pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or nursing I have had some time to figure out what to do. Let me just say, I don’t think that everything is as it seems when it comes to this topic and I never have. So, I have been looking for information that isn’t readily available – alternative answers to what causes heart disease and high cholesterol.
I will be posting a series of blogs on cholesterol, statins, and the lipid hypothesis in the weeks to come. Some of you may not care about this subject at all. But, for the people who are facing similar news from their doctor I hope to provide some information and resources to help you make a decision. Here’s to finding out truth!