Cholesterol Testing For Kids

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We all know that we are better off not hurting ourselves at all rather than hurting ourselves and then fixing the injury.

We wear bike helmets and seat belts (well most of us do) so that we don’t bang up our heads and have to lay in bed in misery for 2 months. When we feel sleepy or we’re drunk or on medication, we refrain from driving because it’s dangerous. We wear hard hats at construction sites and hot pads when we grab stuff out of the oven.

We take all kinds of precautions to save ourselves from injury.

Why is it, then, that we can’t make some effort to save ourselves from illness?

One of these days humans are going to realize (or not) that it’s not worth getting sick and then struggling to fix it with drugs. Avoiding illness, like we avoid injuries, is the only thing that makes any evolutionary sense.

But until that day we’ll just start testing, younger and younger, for diseases that really shouldn’t exist anyway.

Panel Urges Cholesterol Testing for Kids

“The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said a child’s first cholesterol check should occur between ages 9 and 11 and the test should be repeated between ages 17 and 21. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed the guideline.” Article

The recommendation, as opposed to one that suggests eliminating fructose, 5-10 servings of grains per day, and junk food, is just laughable.

Let the kids get all jacked up by feeding them boxes and boxes of oreos and then confirm how sick they are with a test.

If you eat like that your whole life, you’re fat, and don’t feel very good, shouldn’t it be obvious, even without testing, that you’ve got problems and need to change your ways? What is the testing going to achieve? Confirmation for something that should already be glaringly obvious?

And the fact that it takes a short life time, and not just a day or two, to screw us up seems equally obvious to me. But apparently nobody else has thought of that until now.

“The recommendation reflects growing evidence the biological processes that underlie heart attacks and other consequences of cardiovascular disease begin in childhood, even though manifestations of the diseases generally don’t strike until middle age or later.”

You don’t get high cholesterol and heart disease from eating a few cookies when you’re an adult. Disease takes time to set in! All biological processes leading to disease start in childhood!

“Until now, doctors were advised to check cholesterol in children from families with a history of high cholesterol or early heart disease. But recent studies have found that this guideline misses many who are at risk.”

Really? Studies have shown this? It’s not just common sense that targeted testing is going to miss many who are at risk because with each passing decade more and more people eat like shit? That our food supply is getting faker and faker, sweeter and sweeter, transfattier and transfattier? The diseases quite clearly have very little to do with genetics since nobody 100 years ago had these problems and, well, genes don’t mutate that fast.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

“While broad screening could also increase the numbers of children prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, doctors cautioned against reading the new guidelines as a call for using medication.”

Doctors may caution against it now but as soon as the billion dollar drug companies get their dirty little hands in it (if they haven’t already) prescriptions will be flying out the doors of doctor’s offices like bats leaving their caves at night.

Of course they will, because the foods responsible for the mess these kids and adults are in are sold by other untouchable billion dollar companies – agribusiness.

Rita Redberg, a cardiologist at University of California, San Francisco, is not so impressed with the new testing guidelines but she also missed the mark on how to avoid the condition. “We don’t need to do cholesterol tests to advise children to eat fruits and vegetables, watch their weight and get regular physical activity.”

Eating fruits and vegetables isn’t going to save you!

But that is the prevailing advice in this country, in a country where every media outlet is funded by the enemy – the processed and industrial food industry. Until people are cautioned against eating junk food nothing is going to change. No testing, no fruits and vegetables, and no 30 minute exercise routine is going to save them.

Diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol are modern diseases. Preventing them is as easy as avoiding modern habits.

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29 Comments

  1. The healthcare INDUSTRY doesn’t make any money from disease prevention & health promotion.

    How long before they just pump statins into the water supply and add the cost to our property tax bill???

    • Oh god that’s freaky. Big pharma will be pushing that one. ooh shivers.

  2. Great thoughts Peggy!

    Here’s what I don’t get. Why do the insurance companies not have a bigger vested interest in a healthier alternative to testing? It seems like they have a huge financial interest NOT to go down the rabbit hole of “testing and treatment.”

    There is probably a good reason, but I can’t see my way to it.

    • My health insurance is having us watch videos that promote things like putting blueberries on high-fiber cereal with skim milk, and adding veggies to pizza toppings. Like that’s going to make people any healthier? But if you don’t watch the videos they will charge an extra monthly fee for your health insurance! The system is definitely broken.

    • Funny, I’ve wondered the same. There’s got to be a good reason. Maybe because if everyone were healthy, i.e. real prevention, then people would realize they don’t need insurance. Like me. I don’t have insurance because it’s unnecessary and expensive and drug pushing and invasive…

      • Health insurance is a necessary evil in my opinion; not for disease necessarily, being on a Paleo diet, but for major medical, accidents and emergency services alone it makes sense. A low cost, high deductible PPO to protect against bankruptcy from related Hospital, doctor bills, etc. seems like a prudent measure. No, I’m not an insurance agent although I just realized I sound like one, yikes!

        • You’re totally right though, Josh. (what insurance are you selling, lol) My mom is always bugging me about getting accident insurance, but I really haven’t found one that is affordable for me. I had a serious accident last year in which the hospital bills totally broke my bank. Also, not having insurance made it impossible for me to go back for check ups. It’s a pretty scary thing too because it was my brain that I hurt. I’m doing very well now, but who knows what degenerative process set in as a result of the injury. It’s too bad that I can’t pay a reasonable price for a doctor’s visit when I need one. Just one ER visit cost over 10 grand!

  3. I very rarely (VERY rarely) leave comments on blogs, but yours is of such consistently high-quality, coupled with this post in particular, that I had to let you know how insightful and dead-on correct I think you are. Please keep up your writing and information sharing! You can rest assured that at least one person (me!) gets a great deal of value from what you are doing.

    • Thanks so much for saying so. It’s good to hear that all these articles and all this work is important to someone. :)

  4. Amen! This whole ‘test early to screen for potential future diseases’ thing drives me crazy! It’s not like anything comes of it – doctors just say ‘we’ll monitor the condition’ and wait until you get close enough to full blown diabetes/atherosclerosis/cancer/modern diseases xyz to justify putting you on the ‘appropriate’ medication.

    How many people actually hear ‘you may be at risk for x’ and go out, do their own research, and get truly healthy? Obviously some do – that’s why we’re here – but how many are we? A tiny percentage. And plenty (most?) of us have gotten here without tests, just as a result of not feeling great and wanting to do something about it. But to that vast majority of people who don’t take the same approach, early testing is just going to create years of stress, waiting for the impending disease to set in. At least without that they could lead more peaceful lives.

    And yeah, the idea that eating more fruits and veggies will stop junk-eaters from getting sick is ridiculous, and also grates on my nerves whenever I see idiotic statements like that. Really? How about just saying the truth for once, or better yet, banning that crap already!

    • Indeed. We are a tiny percentage. The rest needs to be guided towards health by a responsible government or community. Sad but true. Most people aren’t trying to save themselves and aren’t capable of it even if they wanted to.

  5. I’m a nurse and I get so frustrated with the medical system sometimes. If a test doesn’t say you have it, you don’t have it, even if you have all the symptoms.

    I’ve been thinking for years that I have iron deficiency anemia. I have cold hands/feet, pale skin/conjunctiva, tingling in my feet at times and I’m exhausted all the time. I’m pretty sure most of the women in my family have it, too. We all have the same symptoms and can SLEEP like nobodies business. We sleep so much that we joke that all the women have the “Ellwood sleep gene”. BUT, my H/H isn’t quite low enough to get the diagnosis and therefore help with treatment. He said I just needed to exercise more and I’d feel better. I know I could have doses iron on my own, but I just believed the doctor that there was nothing wrong with me for YEARS.

    Well, I decided that I wasn’t going to just believe my doctor anymore and I took all my labs to a clinical nutritionist/naturopath. He looked at my iron levels, the same ones that my doctor said were “fine” and asked me how I was still standing.

    I’ve been seeing this new doctor for about 8 weeks and he pinpointed other problems that I was having as well….adrenal fatigue, toxic liver, low iron, systemic yeast overgrowth, hormone imbalance. I’ve been following his vitamin/diet regimen for 8 weeks now. I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER.

    (My diet is basically Paleo with 1 cup of grains/day thrown in so I don’t kill the yeast too quickly. No sugar/gluten/dairy/MSG/sweetners at all.)

    We’re still tweaking it all, but my cheeks are pink for the first time in YEARS. It’s amazing how much better I feel…emotionally as well. There wasn’t “nothing” wrong with me! There most certainly was quite a bit wrong with me and it wasn’t all in my head.

    I see kids all the time at the hospital, they are overweight and obviously not doing well, but because their numbers are “ok” we let them go and just hand their parents a diet sheet. UGH. OR we give them meds and the diet sheet. It’s not working. The entire system is broken.

    • Kristen, thanks for sharing that. I am sure most of us were in the same boat – absolutely miserable with no diagnosis to speak of. They won’t tell you anything is wrong with you until you’re nearing your death bed. Could it be that this too is a money maker? Once you’re that messed up you’re going to need their drugs to revive you.

      • I’m not *that* cynical… I really do tend to think that doctors are kind people, even if the pill-pushers maybe less so.
        The problem, I think, is that western medicine is about acute care. If I’m in a car wreck, or break my leg, please oh yes do I want to go to a hospital. Because that’s what they’re good at.
        But it’s utterly flummoxed by chronic illnesses. And so the doctors tend to make you an acute case, so that they know how to deal with you. (See obgyn’s and childbirth. Are they excellent for when there’s those actual life-threatening issues? Oh hell yes. Do they make problems where there weren’t any, so they have something to do? Also, unfortunately, yes.)
        It’s not something, I don’t believe, that they actually do consciously. It’s just terribly difficult to be doing a job that’s about helping people, and feeling helpless. People come to them and say “fix me!” If the answer is, “Well, stop eating crap and move sometimes”, then there’s nothing the doctors can do. So they try to come up with something *they* can do.
        Iunno. Does that make sense?

        • That makes tons of sense.

          Anyone who is labeled a care taker of some kind, be it a doctor, nurse, mother, or public figure feels the need to jump when told to jump whether they’re really prepared to or not. And unfortunately, the people expect it.

  6. I agree with your great article, and I’ll take things a step or two further.

    The link between “high” cholesterol and heart disease is based on a study that has been completely debunked.

    1. eating cholesterol in the diet does not raise cholesterol levels in the blood
    2. high cholesterol levels in the blood do not cause heart disease

    Testing kids and them giving them statins is absolutely insane.

    Check this article:
    http://chriskresser.com/cholesterol-doesnt-cause-heart-disease

    Lots of information out there, unfortunately doctors ignore this and like to sell drugs.

  7. What makes matters even worse is when they prescribe these statins, most doctors don’t advise their patients to then take a CoQ10 supplement as well to prevent muscle wasting. My mother-in-law had her first heart attack at 49 years of age, she is now 67. She was put on statins right after the heart attack, and over a period of years, her muscles were wasting away. It wasn’t until the disease (polymyositis) had gotten so bad and was irreversible that they diagnosed her with this condition. Eventually the doctor admitted it was the statin that caused it and finally took her off of them. She cannot take stairs, has to use a walker to get around and cannot stand for too long.
    My father had his first heart attack at 74 years of age; he’s now 79. The doctor prescribed a statin right away; but within a couple of weeks my father was experiencing leg pains. And whenever he went out shopping, as he walked from the car through the parking lot, his legs would buckle and he could not get himself to walk only after a short period of rest. He took himself off of the statin and within a week his symptoms disappeared. When his doctor found out at his next checkup, he told my dad you have to take the statin–the benefits outweigh the risks. Well, he tried it again, only to experience the same problems; he stopped taking them. At his next checkup he told the doctor he’ll take his chances not taking the statin and that he would rather be able to walk and get around instead. He’s been fine since.
    Just imagine how many more debilitated people we’ll be seeing going forward. Don’t be surprised if most people will need a handicapped sign for their vehicles and a majority of the parking spaces in parking lots will be designated handicapped. This has already increased quite a bit in the past 4-5 years, and it’s not just elderly people coming out of these vehicles.
    Very sad state of affairs.

    • My grandmother went from a spritely 85-year-old who read verociously and was always popping out and “spring cleaning” to an old lady with a wandering mind and no memory when her doctor prescribed her statins.

      We have finally got her off them, but older people … they have been brought up to believe doctor knows best.

      • I believe my dad was destroyed by a massive cocktail of drugs served to him for various minor complaints. He’s totally mental now with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s sad.

        • My parents are both on statins, my mom is a fairly recent type-2 diabetic. I fear this is their future as well. Trying to educate them as best i can.

  8. This is the kind of stuff that is really starting to scare me. I simply cannot believe that we have got to a point where people are even suggesting prescribing statins to children.

    These mentalities that seem to be taking root in the Western world — statins for kids, anti-depression meds for kids — are becoming really terrifying. Sometimes, I wonder if these people’s brains have been taken over by an alien invasion force of pod-people.

  9. Thank you so so much for posting this just now. I’m working on a letter to my school principal to address the sheer quantity – and lack of quality – of food that is served in my kids’ school OUTSIDE the lunchroom! I’ve already gone to nutrition data.self.com to compare nutrition info on McD’s cheeseburgers vs the pizza they insist on getting for each and every excuse for a party in the hope they’ll see just how much cr@p is in one piece of pizza compared to fast food. It surprised even me! :-( The letter was getting hysterical so I decided to spend a few days on a blog post and email my principal the link. LOL I’ve bookmarked this entry to use in my blog if that’s OK. :-)

    Thanks for fighting the good fight. It’s days like this that I really REALLY need to know I’m not alone in this.

  10. I promise that I am NOT a conspiracy theorist (even though my comment will sound like it)… but, I have to wonder about the “timing” of this new study and suggestion for cholesterol testing of kids, since the Lipitor patent just expired and generics will be available shortly. The makers of Lipitor are, no doubt, working on a way to prolong their revenue from the development of Lipitor–could it be a “child-safe and child-tested” version???

    Drug manufacturers work similar angles all the time and they’re called enantiomers (think of Prilosec and Nexium).

    • The insurance companies could care less about your health. They are a company selling a product, that needs to answer to their shareholders and make a profit. It’s no different than any other product. They have no obligation or incentive to keep people healthy other than to achieve some good publicity with the intent of getting more sales. The burden isn’t theirs to change society or “heal the world”. Everyone is responsible for their own health and, I would suspect everyone reading this blog understands that, otherwise they would be watching Jerry Springer right now with a bag of Twinkies and a Coke instead of scouring the internet for ways to better their health/life.
      The system is broke and won’t get fixed until the general public wakes up to what’s going on. Sadly, millions will pay with their health/lives until this happens. Just my opinion. Great blog, by the way.

    • Ha! Conspiracy abounds when it comes to big business. Half of the studies we read are paid for by them. What you say is interesting. They pay people big bucks to recognize hurdles like these and to find ways around them. Maybe they’re not deliberately trying to hurt us but they certainly will do whatever it takes to remain in power.

  11. I know this was about kids and cholesterol, but the dialog re: insurance and healthcare “industry” is on point.
    It used to be (in the good old days) you went to the hospital for major health crises (accident, injury, the occasional birth/death). There wasn’t any need to go for anything else and there wasn’t any insurance. Now, we are constantly at the doctors with all of our ailments and insurance has indeed become a necessary evil.
    My question is: do the insurance companies make MORE money when we’re sick or when we’re healthy? If its the former, then it would behoove them to keep us unhealthy and always in the hospital. If its the latter, you would think they would do their damnedest to determine the OPTIMAL way to keep us healthy and prevent illness and reward people for doing it/penalize people for not. Right?
    “Living well is the best revenge.” By going Paleo, I feel like I am having my revenge on the Health Care system as a whole. Its like a giant F U to the Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies.
    We are the future, via our ancestral past.

    • In one sense they make more money on us being sick because if we weren’t so damn sick ALL the time we wouldn’t bother with insurance. No one would and there would be no business.

      I’m not big on revenge but I’d have to say I’m with you on that one. The system f’d me and all my loved ones – I’m happy I stick it to them by being uninsured. ;)

  12. I think I found your site via Marks Daily Apple. You have some great things going on here. I want to checkout that pemmican as well as your article, Paleo From Childbirth.

    Very cool. Keep up the awesome work, your site looks great along with the content!

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