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Lisa

Doctor Prescribed Statins

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Hello Everyone,

My doctor, due to family history and high cholesterol, has put me on a generic statin. I have developed some muscle strain and cramping, that I attributed to increased exercise. Although, this muscle strain and weakness never resolves with rest or continued exercise. I have always felt rather agile and now, after sitting in a chair, I get up and limp across the room until my muscles can acclimate to a new position. Sitting on the floor is no problem, getting up is a near impossible. All of this began a few months ago when I began taking Simvastatin 10mgs.

I have done some looking on the Internet and now I am concerned. Many sites indicate that statins can diminish the absorbing of Co-Q10 which can effect the muscles.

Anyone with similar experience? Advise?

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Lisa, it has been shown from various studies (I can find you examples if you want) that it is desirable for older women to have a higher level of cholesterol. First of all, our bodies cannot function without cholesterol. And secondly, women with higher cholesterol levels appear to live much longer than women with low levels (that is not true for men, curiously).

Plus, while statins will lower the risk of heart attack very, very slightly, they cause a much higher incidence of stroke.

And you are right about the coenzyme Q10. It is absolutely essential for heart health, and statins will hinder its absorption.

Personally, if it was me with the high cholesterol, I would not take statins but rather ignore that fact for the most part.

On the other hand, if you want to keep taking them, you need to take fairly high doses of CQ10 for your hearts sake.

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Thanks Ursa.

I also found it curious that studies show that statins offer no benefit for the prevention of plaque in the heart, which is what my brother is experiencing currently, who is eight years older than I. My father passed away at 62 from his second heart attack.

That and my 250 cholesterol is the reason he put me on statins. I don't think it is settling well with me. Perhaps I can work better on lowering my number through diet and exercise and get off the statins.

Thank you for your input.

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Only 250? Anything under 200 is dangerous (contrary to what most doctors think). Putting somebody on statins for a cholesterol value of 250 is ridiculous (in fact, statins are a terrible idea, no matter what, and are of no value to anybody, except for the drug companies).

By the way, cholesterol rich foods will NOT cause high cholesterol. In fact, it has no influence on your cholesterol levels whatsoever (like animal fat, or eggs for instance). On the other hand, refined carbs are the enemy.

Low fat diets cause heart attacks, because saturated fat is essential for life (not hydrogenated fat though, and you can't do well on only vegetable oil, either).

http://www.mercola.com/article/statins.htm

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Oops, double post

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I have to totally agree with Ursa on this and she puts it much better than I could.

One of the best ways I have found to keep cholesterol in check in by copious use of olive oil and garlic in foods. Hummus is one of the tastiest cholesterol lowering foods there is, when I was a chef we had one person I worked with that lowered his just by eating hummus everyday at work. He didn't change his diet otherwise at all and wasn't taking any drugs. It did take a couple of months but boy did he give me an undeserved hug when he got his numbers.

One last note, celiac and the inflammatory processes that we get with it can cause inflammation in the heart tissues. This also can lead to a build up of plaque. My cholestrol has always been extremely low, due to celiac (duh) but when I had testing done not long ago on my heart the results looked like I lived off burgers and milkshakes my whole life. Certainly not the case.

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Can you stop statins immediately, or do you have to ween off as in SSI's? I'm ready to do it asap.

I stopped smoking and I stopped drinking in August. I ride a bike 5 miles a day (most days) and walk a mile. All for better health. And to feel so awful on this drug?

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Lisa,

I have what they refer to as "borderline"--228. I don't plan to do anything drug-wise for it, even though my doctor has suggested it if I don't "get the number down". I notice it's the first thing the doctors tend to jump to. My dad was put on a statin, his cholesterol was always in the 150 range--as soon as it crept up a bit, his doctor put him right on the drug. He has side effects, but is 80, and won't hear of doing anything other than what his doctor says. :(

I also feel that the statins are hard on the liver. I don't know if they can be stopped all at once--I've never heard that they can't be, but you want to be sure about that if you do stop them.

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I think you actually want to keep drinking....

Moderate amounts of alcohol raise the 'good' cholesterol.

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I think you actually want to keep drinking....

Moderate amounts of alcohol raise the 'good' cholesterol.

Yup, red wine is especially good for the cholesterol, but the trade off is that my liver is not a happy camper with alcohol which, in my case, raises my cholesterol to an unhealthy level. Kind of a catch 22, huh? <_<

The statins were prescribed not so much for today, but for years down the road when I may have heart issues.

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Can you stop statins immediately, or do you have to ween off as in SSI's? I'm ready to do it asap.

I stopped smoking and I stopped drinking in August. I ride a bike 5 miles a day (most days) and walk a mile. All for better health. And to feel so awful on this drug?

It does not appear that you need to taper this drug. You may want to check with your pharmacist to be sure. I am enclosing a link you may find interesting, if you haven't seen it already. These folks also want to know about your adverse effects for their study if you care to share with them

http://medicine.ucsd.edu/SES/adverse_effects.htm

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Thank you Ursa, Raven, Patti and Jess. It never fails to amaze me - You ask a question here and it can be answered or an answer found. ;)

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Lisa,

I can see your desire to improve and maintain your health ****(4 stars!!), but if you have not given diet,weight loss and exercise a thorough 6 months trial, please do so! It is too easy to jump into Rx (and some patients WANT the pills and no effort on their part) but there are several other Rx and nonRx products that are generally less side effect prone.

Zetia is a product that blocks absorption in the small intestine of cholesterol...the company has NOT studied the effects on celiacs, but my experience shows it is unpredictable about < or > stools. It is changed by the liver, not vice versa as to any liver involvement. There have been muscle aches reported in ~5% of patients on Zetia.(As compared to 5-20% of statin users...although I personally believe it to be closer to 25-30%)

Welchol is 6 Centrum sized pills a day and does NOT go through any other organs except the GI tract....basically acts like a cholesterol "sponge". It is even rated safe during pregnancy. It has a 2% incidence of muscle aches. More likely to cause constipation or indigestion if any side effect occurs.

The serious muscle condition, rhabdomyolsis, is very rare, thank goodness! Muscle tissue lyses and creates organ failure, most notably the kidneys. If creatine phosphokinase(muscle enzyme) rises, it is wise to discontinue ANY med known to cause muscle problems, and figure out if there was another reason, or just to leave that med out of the mix.

Hope this helps some.....I'd rather see you exercising;toning up;following a low cholesterol diet....consider Concord grape juice(same HDL effect as wine :D ) or using one of the other 2 products. And as always........check with your doc!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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mamabear,

What great information!

Sometimes, I think that we get a bit intimidated by doctors suggestions (well, most doctors ) for the quick RX, that the common sense decisions get lost, as you stated. I think I will stick with the walking and diet for a while.

Thanks mamabear for your common sense. Much appreciated. :D

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