Last year's annual physical was described at Body Maintenance.
Been seeing this same doctor for over twenty years. On this visit I weighed in at 144 lbs. That is what he recorded as my weight in 1992. Over those 20 years, my weight had a high of 165 before returning to the current 144.
I was actually looking forward to this visit. Why you ask. The curiosity was about the blood tests. The overall cholesterol number last year was 285. This year it was 235. With the exception of LDL, the other detailed cholesterol and blood measurements are within a point or couple of points of last year's numbers. The good cholesterol (HDL) has always been about 70 for the past ten years.
What was different was the drop of total cholesterol to 235. Result of changes in my diet. A year ago I was still eating grain products and the sugars that are invariably included in the manufacturing process (breads, cookies, pastries). Beginning early this year, grains had been removed from the diet and my diet essentially consists of meats, fish, vegetables, and fruits. Called a paleo diet. (Paleolithic diet at Wikipedia) My weaning from the "common wisdom diet" was described at Breaking a Habit and Breaking A Habit -- A Follow Up.
Breakfast will vary from day to day. Some days it is a blueberry and yogurt shake. Some mornings it is eggs and bacon or ham. Some days it was leftovers from the previous evenings meal. Lunches are huge salads. Dinners are some meat/chicken/fish with a vegetable side or an original meat dish/concoction that resembles a stew.
Dropping grains and most sugars from the diet dropped the LDL by 50 points. If I were to cut back on the amount of fruits I consume, I have no doubt the LDL number would be lower.
The doctor was pleased with the results although concerned with the high LDL number. Since the other cholesterol numbers were so positive, he was not as concerned about the LDL. However, a heart scan that I had about 15 years ago showed some calcification in some of the heart arteries. Assuming that is still there, he is still concerned about the possibility of stroke or heart attack.
It might be interesting to see what the heart scan looks like 15 years later. However, I have to ask myself would I do anything different. Would I take the statins which he recommends at each annual visit including this one. He wasn't as strident about the statins this time with the blood data that he saw. However, that heart scan remained a concern. He suggested statins. Again. Also suggested taking baby aspirin. Again. Not going to take either ones. (For my search about statin drugs a year ago, check out my post Just Say No.)
No drug comes without side effects. I would rather eat good foods that the chemistry of my body can handle rather than some drugs that the human body has not evolved to handle.
I will take my chances with living. What is life without a little excitement. And if I die of a heart attack, I won't even know it. I will be dead. A stroke is another issue. It certainly will affect living. Will the statins actually eliminate the stroke -- or heart attack. Nope. Not a sure thing.
No "better living through chemistry" for me. I will take my chances living without taking drugs.
An excellent graphic of the paleo diet without too many words.