Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Unexpected Drop in Cholesterol Level

Monday, 07 Dec 2009 08:35 AM


Question: My total cholesterol level dropped from 220 to 162 within a year without diet change or medication. Should I be concerned?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Small variations in cholesterol readings are not unusual, but more than 10 percent variation when not expected strongly suggests a laboratory error. A significant change in your diet coupled with decreased production in cholesterol is also possible. I suggest you use the average of two readings to make treatment decisions. Sounds like time to repeat your lipid level while fasting 12 hours. Cholesterol synthesis is often suppressed at times of illness and even with the presence of some malignancies. The most reliable readings are obtained after fasting and not at times during an acute illness especially a gastrointestinal illness.



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