Heart Health in Endurance Athletes: Five months of Statins

It’s been a bit of a highlight-lowlight kind of few weeks. There’s been some absolutely stunning riding weather here, and I had a fantastic weekend away doing some work at Ironman Tasmania, but that’s all been overshadowed by the news of Jon’s death, and then his funeral.

I think Jon’s passing hit me quite hard for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve lived a fairly blessed life where as an adult I haven’t had to farewell a friend before. Secondly, it hit close to home as he suffered a cardiac arrest while out riding.

Jon was a health fanatic, eating well, spending a lot of time on the bike, completing 5km Parkruns, climbing mountains, and hiking through the Tasmanian wilderness. Whether he was aware of his heart condition beforehand, I do not know. Ever since I found out I was at a very high risk for future cardiac events myself, heart-related issues have certainly been playing on my mind.

RELATED: Heart Health in Endurance Athletes

I had my check-up and second round of blood tests the other week to see if the medication has been doing it’s job. I was put on a dose of Statins, as well as a blood pressure lowering medication. Thankfully, the Statins seem to be doing what it they’re supposed to be doing, and I haven’t really noticed negative side effects (possibly they’re all in my head). My cholesterol levels and blood pressure have both come down, with a significant drop in LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.

Cholesterol before: 5.4 (over 4.0 is high)Now: 3.0

LDL / bad cholesterol before: 3.8
(over 2.0 is high)Now: 1.4

My cardiologist is very happy with those results. That is almost entirely down to the medication (Statins). I didn’t make many significant changes to my diet. My current diet is almost the perfect cholesterol lowering diet as is, so I only cut out the few coconut products I was using in my cooking. Oh okay, perhaps a few less cafe treats as well…

If you are getting towards a certain age (I am “only” 42) and you’ve read this far, consider this a reminder to get tested. You might come back absolutely fine, then at least you’ll know for sure. Then again, you might find out some very important information about your health, and that might prolong or save your life.

Part 1: The start of my Heart Health journey
Part 2: What’s up, Doc?
Part 3: A whole rack of Blood Tests
Part 4: The Scan & Test Results

Part 5: At what cost?

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Doug McNamee says:

    Sorry about the passing of your friend and during a bike ride. That really is tragic and terrible. Sounds like he was super healthy, but our bodies betray us all the time. That was the case for my dad, a very healthy guy but his immune system betrayed him and he died from mesothelioma.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear the statin is working. No need for quotes around “only”42, as you’ll understand if you read my post in a few hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I wasn’t expecting such a drastic drop in my levels, so I guess the drugs really do work!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This winter has been especially eventful as far as friends dying goes. Nearing 70, it seems more and more old classmates and friends are passing. Some healthy to the sudden end, some not. I get my annual tests done and the doctor as he said last time, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. I count myself as very lucky on that spectrum of the good gene front.

    It is good to read your monitoring your condition and your body is responding well. I’ve had less successful training winter, but on the good side health wise I’m good. Slowly improving my diet even if exercise primarily revolves around chasing a 4-year old grandson. Now I’ve finished a few tasks, I should be able to get out for a pedal tomorrow and the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear your health is strong! I guess at the end of the day, you can only do what you can do. Have you got your grandson a bike yet? 😎


  4. Steve says:

    I’m sorry your friend died. Yes, it’s also a reminder to look past the fact we’re active, and get a medical expert’s review and advice. Almost 63 here, hoping to stay on the bike a long while yet!

    Liked by 1 person

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