This post is a once off and I am sharing this story with you because there is a slight chance it might help someone else.
I’m 33 and healthy. I think everyone who knows me would vouch that I am fit AND healthy actually. Fairly sleep deprived but we’re getting on top of that. I exercise most days, I like being active and I see a personal trainer once a week. I am heavily into nutrition and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
I also have a strong family history of early-onset heart disease. My father had a mild heart attack when he was 42 and by the time he was 49 had triple by-pass surgery. His father died at 54 on what was his seventh heart attack I believe the story goes. Heart disease is prevalent in his brothers as well.
Anyways, back to my story. We moved in April and I decided for the sake of convenience we would find a new family GP. My first visit to this GP for myself was a couple of weeks ago for something routine. The doctor started asking about my family history while he filled in little boxes on the computer with all my stats and stopped abruptly when I talked about my dad’s heart disease. Next thing I’m having a routine blood test to check my cholesterol and a few other things. And then there was a phone call asking me to come in to discuss the results.
I showed up to my appointment thinking, wow these guys are so personal how good that they are following up my results in person. It never once crossed my mind that anything would be wrong. But something was wrong. Apparently I have high cholesterol and in combination with my family history, it is worrisome. As age is on my side, I have been given six months to get it down through some lifestyle changes. If I can’t get it down I will have to go on medication to get it down.
I’m only a few days in and have made a few changes to my diet, such as eating oats (as pictured below) and am doing other research to see what else I can change. I’m still a bit shocked but I am lucky to know what I know, and hopefully prevent anything bad happening.
I remember when my Dad had his surgery. We were all so worried. It was a hard time and he was young. I don’t want to put my husband and daughter through that so I’m taking this warning seriously and am committed to making the lifestyle changes to keep my cholesterol down and hardened arteries at bay for as long as possible.
So what’s the point of this post? Next time you’re at your GP, if you have a family history of heart disease, bowel cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, whatever it might be, bring it up with your GP. Ask them if there are any tests you should be doing to make sure you’re on the front foot of prevention.
Your health really is the most valuable asset you have, look after it. Your family is important but you’re no good to them if you aren’t well, or worse.