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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 55502
Experience:  GP in the United States
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As a 'normal' person who wants to monitor my good and bad cholesterol

Customer Question

As a 'normal' person who wants to monitor my good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides with a meter/sticks I brought with my C'mas bonus. How often would you advise I test? I'm thinking 3 monthly.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for this question.I think that is reasonableI wouldn't do it any more often than that.That is quite often enough
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Your answer surprised me in one way because a British GP wouldn't agree. I'm pleased you do but in order to get my £18's worth, could you justify it?! I follow the rules of the site of course and wouldn't try to use any info you supply to me other than for my own interest and NOT for medical health reasons or public sharing.
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
Sure no problem. Yearly monitoring is minimalistic and generally what insurance will pay for in the USHowever, there is no evidence of to why it is done yearly. There are no studies to support that.It takes about 2-3 months for cholesterol to change with diet and exercise. So why not check every 3 months if you are wanting to monitor closely.Any longer than that, you can miss changes.Any shorter and you won't give enough time.Really 3 months is ideal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That sounds good to me. Any thoughts on the old triglycerides, what they do over a three month period? I appreciate you may not be able to back it up.
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
triglycerides change rapidlyover the course of a week or two evenNo amount of monitoring can accurately keep track of these so 3 months is adequate overall
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Are you thinking I'm wasting my time testing them without some sort of symptom showing a need?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
Not really. It may be a good motivation to track progress
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Same with the cholesterol, yes?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
yes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Maybe cheating, but is there anything else you think I should be asking/you could be telling me on this subject? I can google the correct levels etc so no need for that and I would obviously seek real life advice if my first results were off the wall consistently.
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
just keep in mind that a lot of this is genetic. So you can change a lot with diet and exercise but not everythingmediterranean diet plus 30 min cardiovascular exercise per day at least
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Personally I'm recently 'high fat, low carb' but I'm with you on the 30 mins daily cardio exercise - my pedometer gets me there (most days)! I'm 7stone 10 and 5 feet 1 inches so just a little tubby but have consistently lost that extra 6Lbs since starting. I digress.Thank you very much for your thoughts, they could not come from many British GPs unfortunately and I feel lucky to have had your thoughts. I wish you and yours a highly healthy and prosperous new year.
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
thank you and the same to you :)cheers