11 answers

Help for 9 Year Old with High Cholosterol

Hi mama's,
We have been dealing with this for about 2 years now. My son has had high cholestorol for at least that long if not longer. Since finding out about it, we have changed our diet substantially. We switched from whole milk to 2%, we are using "smart balance" oil and butter, we switched from ground beef to ground turkey, we eat a ton of chicken and try to hold off on the beef as much as possible. We switched from white bread to whole grain whole wheat with double fiber. We eat tons of veggies. My son would rather have an apple, orange, or bunch of grapes over a cookie or candy. I make the kids drink one glass of water for every glass of milk, kool aid, or tea. We have a salad for dinner as a meal at least once a week, and as a side 2 or 3 times a week.

So anyway, 6 months ago his cholosterol was 199. They want it to be 170 or lower. So we changed our diet even more, got our son more active, and went back for another blood test about 2 weeks ago. I was expecting at least some improvement, but NO! His cholesterol is now 216! His good cholesterol stayed the same, his bad cholestorol went up! I am so lost now as to what to do. We have tried to give him fish oil (the doctor wants him taking 1000 mg per day), but he cannot swallow the pills. They are HUGE. Even I have a hard time swallowing them and I can swallow all 4 of my vitamins at the same time!

Anyway mamas, sorry it got so long. I just really need some help. What else can I do? Now sorry, but I will not drink skim or non fat milk. I cannot stand it! I don't even like the 2% but I do it for my son. Anything other than changing our milk, I can do!

Thanks so much for your help.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you ladies for your wonderful advice. I will be looking at our dressings. I know he likes ranch, so I buy fat free ranch. He also likes Thousand Island. I haven't really looked if there is a fat free version of that. We do eat several eggs, but not so much in my baking. I usually only bake for a BIG crowd or for someone else all together. I think that after dinner we should all go out for a walk, as the sun is going down and it is getting cooler. I am also going to talk with his doctor to hopefully find out why with all our changes his cholosterol has gone up. As to why the doctor tested him, they started a few years back testing every child at their 2 year well child check up because the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that high cholosterol starts in childhood. I do know that his is mostly due to heredity. My father, my husbands father, and grandfather all have or had high cholesterol. The funny thing is that my daughter who eats all the same foods and even more ranch and eggs than my son has perfectly normal cholesterol levels. Go figure.

Anyway, thank you all so much.

Featured Answers

I too have suffered with high cholesterol. With daily exercise (at least 30 minutes of cardio activity) and taking fish oil I have decrease my numbers quite a bit. I would see if there is another form of fish oil that he can take. Somethings up if all the changes had been done and the numbers have gone up. Could someone be sneaking into the cookie jar?
C.

More Answers

Sounds like you are doing a great job, but it is just not working for his body. I would call your doctor in the morning and get an appointment with an Nutritionist. This way she/he can tell you exactly what he needs to be eating.

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't think doctors worried much about children's cholesterol. What prompted them to test your son? I have high cholesterol and my father's is super high. I have asked if my children need to be tested and the doctors said no, not until they're in their teens. I have been tracking mine, but not much else so far. 3 pregnancies and breastfeeding for the last several years seems to keep my cholesterol high and the doctors say to give my body time to get back to normal before we look into drugs.
I can tell you a little about my dads history. He's been going through years of this. He has been on every type of pill and now takes a combination of them with limited success. He tried to control it with diet, but that wasn't his problem and didn't fix it; only made it worse. He learned the more he restricted the bad foods the more his body made up for it, buy producing it's own cholesterol. Exercise is the best treatment. My father walks miles now. It has really helped him.
You have made me think I should do more research into high cholesterol in children. Thank you for bringing it to my attention with your post.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband has high cl. We use a product called red rice yeast. It is an herbal remedy and not subject to FDA regulations but we have had great results with it. You can get it from an online company called Far East Secrets. The fish oil is good too but the pills are huge. Check out a company called Res-Q. They may have a product for kids cl. The smart balance products are the way to go. Also try to stay away from hydrogenated oils. This is a main culprit of high cl. Even if the package says no cl. or low cl. check the ingredients list and if hydrogenated oils are in the first 5 ingredients then do not buy it. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I would reccomend learning about nutrition, there is not a lot you can do about heredity. So change and control what you can. I have done a lot of reading on nutrition. The two authors I recommend are Dr. Andrew Weil - very thorough and easy to read. Dr. Dean Ornish - people have actually been cured of cancer following his lifestyle guidelines (with out treatment) They say a lot of the same things so either author would be good to start with. Which ever is easier for you to read. Your son's life is on the line so take it seriously. I would really consider cutting out processed pre-packaged food and eating organic whole foods as much as possible. Also there is a great Vegan restraunt you may want to try and you can experience how great healthy whole foods can taste! It is called Spiral diner and is in downtown fort woth off of magnolia. I am sorry you are having to struggle with this when your son is so young! It has to be really hard for you (and your family) I will be saying a prayer for you.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J., you have probably already thought about this, but from reading that you like to bake cakes I thought I might add to limit the #of eggs you use in baking. Maybe you could try the "no yokes" brand if you have not already. Sorry I don't have any more to offer, but I hope your son will be okay.

1 mom found this helpful

You really don't have as much to worry about as you think. It sounds like a typical case of heredity. I have it from my dad's side. My average cholesterol is about 370. Almost 600 during pregnancy. It is elevated, yes; but causing him to be too aware of it will make it elevate due to stress.

Just relax and continue doing what you are doing.

Blessings,
P. <><

1 mom found this helpful

Hello J.,

at sprouts they have omega-3s orange flavor in little packets that look like ketchup pouches... check it out. it doesn't taste too bad. it's like a pudding. I was a sprouts once and one guy told me that he puts some in popcorn (lemon flavored fish oil) --it tasted OK. I have not tried that yet. I figured I only eat popcorn 3 - 4 times/year...I'm having butter. LOL!--.
does he like beans? lentils? chili? you could make lowfat chili. Would he eat salmon? can you decrease his carb intake (that includes sugar, potatoes, white rice) switch to brown rice. can you switch to soy milk for certain things? if you eat pasta, check out the barilla plus. sugar/simple carbs will make your triglicerides go up. eat more oatmeal (cherioos?) and avoid french fries.
and about the fake butters... my husband used for years and it didn't help. now we use organic butter and avoid all hydrogenated oils (as much as possible of course). I cook w/ olive oil.

good luck! ~C.~

1 mom found this helpful

Some people (including myself) see more results from limiting high-fat foods rather than high cholesterol foods. If you can't stand milk lower than 2%, try looking for other dairy products that are made with 2% milk, like cheese, sour cream, etc. Look for low fat icecream or frozen yogurt. What about the salad dressings you put on those salads every week? Fat can hide in some of the most unexpected places. You don't necessarily have to cut out beef altogether - just get lean cuts or extra lean ground beef. Have you tried other milk-like beverages, like soy or almond milk? I used to be a 2% only girl, but I started getting skim for cereal and other recipes and 2% for drinking. After a year or so, I was able to drink just skim milk and 2% is just too thick for me now.

You don't mention anything about your son's weight. Is his weight normal for someone his age and height? Carrying around just a few extra pounds can effect cholesterol levels too. If he is overweight, don't put him on a diet to lose unless he has surpassed his lifetime maximum (which I doubt). Any pediatrician would tell you that overweight children should grow into their weight, not lose it.

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