Annual Physical #illumedati

Hey everyone, it’s Medicine Mondays again. This will just be a short post about my “Annual Physical“.

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Annual Physical

I had my annual physical this last weekend. Last year my Cholesterol was inching higher so I was supposed to be watching what I ate and exercising more. Yeaa…. not sure that really happened.

As such, I was expecting my lipid panel to be borderline again this year. However, to my surprise, my cholesterol actually was a little better. I’ve talked about Cholesterol, HDL, and LDL before.

Here are my results:

  • HDL went up a little
  • LDL went down a little
  • Total cholesterol went down a little

Overall, that’s pretty good. For some reason my triglycerides seem to keep coming up, but are still in the “normal range”.

What happened?

So I was trying to figure out why my cholesterol improved so I did some reflection:

  • While I have made a conscious effort to eat out less, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’ve been watching what I ate.
  • In terms of exercise, I have been trying to use the stairs more both at home and at work, but I don’t have an exercise regiment or anything.

Could the above small changes have made a difference? I guess it must have for me.

The guys at work tend to make fun of me since I’m not exactly a healthy guy, and probably the most unhealthy amongst them. However, I think this highlights the small lifestyle changes can make a difference over a long arc of time. Things as simple as eating out less and taking the stairs more, as long as you’re consistent about it can help.

Let’s not get carried away though. Overall, I’m still very unhealthy compared to my high school cross country days. However, I think it’s more important (for me) to make small changes I can stick to. Baby steps.. right?

Anything else?

Not really. My fasting glucose was fine.

I have transitioned from using Splenda to using Stevia/Monkfruit (Whole Earth) as a sweetener for my coffee. I don’t know if this changed anything, but the reason I did that was because of some research that Splenda caused different responses than other sweeteners. The article is from Washington University School of Medicine and reported in the journal Diabetes Care.

It can be found here: Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load.

The TL;DR is that patients who were given sucralose (Splenda) and then glucose 10 minutes later which demonstrated:

  1. a greater incremental increase in peak plasma glucose concentrations (4.2 ± 0.2 vs. 4.8 ± 0.3 mmol/L; P = 0.03)
  2. a 20 ± 8% greater incremental increase in insulin area under the curve (AUC) (P < 0.03)
  3. a 22 ± 7% greater peak insulin secretion rate (P < 0.02)
  4. a 7 ± 4% decrease in insulin clearance (P = 0.04)
  5. a 23 ± 20% decrease in SI (insulin sensitivity) (P = 0.01)

(this is over a control of just water) (results were paraphrased with my emphasis)

So basically, Splenda may cause an “enhanced response”. This may prime your body to eat more (or store more) after consuming Splenda.

Of course, correlation isn’t causation, and we don’t know if any of this really makes a difference. However, it was a relatively simple change to make, so I did it.


My HDL went up and my LDL went down.

Small lifestyle changes can make a difference over a long arc of time. Baby steps.

I’ve been using Stevia/Monkfruit instead of Splenda now.

Medicine Mondays Sensei


Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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