Diagnosis: High Cholesterol
Treatment: Lipid Management
Newly retired last July, Doug Throckmorton had a long list of things to do during retirement.
When those plans were sidetracked by the detection of a heart condition, a new EvergreenHealth service helped him get a fresh start and a new outlook on life.
Doug's cardiologist recommended he visit the EvergreenHealth Lipid Clinic (now Pharmacist Provider Services) to get help managing his high cholesterol and the other factors that put him at risk for heart disease.
“Physicians have so many things to discuss with patients during their appointment time,” explains Julie Cromer, one of the pharmacists. “When they refer patients to us, it gives us a chance to really focus on the risk factors affecting their heart health.”
They begin with a thorough consultation, with blood work and an overall assessment of each patient’s heart health. Then together, they come up with a plan that might include medications, which is monitored with routine blood work.
Doug came to the clinic with high LDL, the bad cholesterol, mostly because he wasn’t able to tolerate his previous medications. The pharmacists were able to find a lower dose of statin that worked.
They also addressed Doug's low HDL levels with exercise, supplements and changes to his diet.
He kept a food diary so they could understand every aspect of his diet and come up with an individualized plan that fit his specific circumstances.
As a typical go-go-go professional…Doug lunched out at restaurants and consumed lots of vending machine snacks. His new eating plan replaced the saturated fat and trans fat with healthier mono- and poly-unsaturated fats.
Doug learned a lot about the food he ate. “You think eating yogurt would be healthy,” he says, “but I found out I was eating the wrong kind of yogurt. It had way too much sugar in it.”
His wife was with him at every appointment. “She makes sure our house is full of heart-healthy foods,” he says. “It’s her way of making sure I stick around to enjoy retirement with her.”
In just nine months, using a three-pronged attack of healthy diet, exercise and medications, Doug Throckmorton’s total cholesterol dropped from 241 to 159, his triglycerides were down from 247 to 132, and his blood sugar stabilized at 92. He’s also lost 40 pounds.
“I feel better. My quality of life is better,” he shares. “Thanks to them, I’m healthier and getting better all the time.”