Stroke Awareness, part 2: Cholesterol

Good evening! As it’s World Stroke Day tomorrow I thought I’d take the opportunity to briefly chat about cholesterol.

Don’t scroll, I won’t pontificate.

The weeks leading up to the stroke, I felt odd, weird, off. I kept checking my blood pressure, weight, BMI, everything you can do at home or at one of those health kiosks some companies have (we had them at JLR, good things they are).

Then one day they did a blood test at Occupational Health that looked at your sugar and cholesterol. I was shocked to hear that mine was high for a woman my age. It was well over 5 mmol/L at the time (a good levels is 3 or under).

I won’t go into details of overall cholesterol, HDL and LDL but there is good and bad cholesterol and the aim is to up your good cholesterol (HDL) and lower your bad one (LDL). A lot of doctors now look at the ratio of LDL and HDL but apparently the jury is out on that one and it’s still not properly understood.

What is understood though is that fatty deposits in your blood can cause a clot and therefore cause a stroke.

So, in easy terms: don’t eat too much fatty food. Meaning: go easy on red meat, cakes, butter, cheese (I know. A life without cheese is it actually a life worth living?!) pies, sausages, everything high in sat fats. And eat loads of the boring stuff, pulses and lentils and broccoli and so on. Mmmpppfff.

After my stroke I was immediately put on statins, standard post stroke procedure. But I really didn’t get on with them. I wish I had as I’m so fascinated by little pills that make you immediately healthier. But I suffered, and got every horrible side effect imaginable, so the doctors decided to try to lower my cholesterol by eating a very clean, pretty much vegan diet.

I got to admit, I felt a lot better eating well but also that I’m human and recently the sweets and biscuits have crept in again…and when it comes to food I have the self control of a lion looking at a zebra. I might have to go back on to the dreaded statins, but if it helps preventing another stroke I’ve got no choice. Just no more cheese platters for me….*slits wrists*

So the moral of this blog post is: go to your GP or pharmacy and check your cholesterol. I know it’s a faff, but if it can make a difference between a having a stroke or not, I honestly recommend you do it.

Prevention is a lot better than cure.

Good night readers x

None of the old Bockwurst either…. meh.

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