Do you take statins? Do you know why?

Greymalkin

Member
Messages
9
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
I had an auto-generated SMS text message from my GP when I turned 50, asking if I'd like to start a course of statins.

I had barely heard of statins so I don't know why it was left to me, to decide. That was some years ago and I still don't know. GPs here are woefully hard to be seen by.

I understand that statins reduce the likelihood of heart trouble among those that take them. I'm active, there's no heart trouble in my family, and I don't foresee it as more likely than not, to affect me.

I don't really want to start taking more medication which once begun, isn't something I can stop taking later...

...but it still feels like an unknown quantity. Is it really advisable, especially for Type 1 diabetes patients, or was it only suggested for me because of my age?
 
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Nicola M

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I think the standard now is to offer them to anyone over 50 even to those who are considered to be "healthy". As diabetics we are at an increased risk of having heart disease so statins can be even more beneficial to us. At the end of the day it is completely up to you whether you want to take them or not.
 

Art Of Flowers

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,103
Type of diabetes
I reversed my Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
My GP keeps trying to push Statin on me, but I have always refused. The reason is that there are some very negative side effects that many people get including memory loss, tiredness, nausea and it also raises blood sugar which is not great for diabetics.

There is a good film which explains some of the downsides of Statins - Statin Nation (also Statin Nation 2)

 

ElenaP

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Type of diabetes
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.... Is it really advisable....
I would recommend that you first read as much as you can about statins and side-effects, and then make up your own mind. I had read about side-effects before an Endocrinologist suggested, some 20 years ago, that I should start to take statins. I refused, and I am still refusing whenever statins are suggested.
I think that Dr Malcolm Kendrick explains well about statins in his books "The Great Cholestrol Con" and "The Clot Thickens".
This is something for you to decide.
 

jaywak

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I was put on statins about 20 years ago for the reason of i'm at high risk from heart failure and stroke because of diabetes , there was some bad publicity a few years ago about all the side effects so I then stopped taking them , I was then persuaded by my gp a few years later to start taking them so I took a lower dose than previously 20mg Simvastatin , about three months ago he told me that was not enough and increased it to 40mg of Atorvastin , boy oh boy did I feel bad I ached everywhere and didn't feel my old self , I've stopped taking them and gone back on my original dose of 20mg which I had left in a drawer , I haven't told him yet . I'm now thinking of stopping the Losartan tablets I take for the same reasons , I am 65 years old had type 1 for 49 yrs my blood pressure is always the lower end of normal and my cholesterol is the same , I keep asking myself should I really be taking these drugs that could in fact be doing me more harm than good .
 

In Response

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3,620
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NICE guidelines are for everyone with diabetes to be offered stations when they are over 50.
When I was first told about this, I was told it is based on the additional risk of heart disease for people with diabetes and the reduced risk was based on an old study of people who are overweight and do no exercise.
As I am a healthy weight and exercise most days, I declined but get asked every year.
This year, I was told that people with diabetes experience BG that goes higher and lower than someone without diabetes and the BG swings put extra strain on our hearts. This made me think a bit more about them but, as my BG is in target 85% of the time, I declined again.
 

becca59

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Messages
2,918
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
I have resisted statins for 10 years. However, they are now really high on a very good diet. Monday I had my consultant appointment. After 10 years and very good care I have been transferred to a new guy. Young, enthusiastic and although he impressed that the decision was mine and no way would he force me to go on them, he laid out some interesting arguments for. He felt my diet was exceptionally good and had little room for manoeuvre. And the difference in needs between a type 1 and 2 is poles apart. Diet can improve cholesterol as a type 2. Type 1s are much more hampered by the nature of the disease and its effects on the levels.
It was a phone appointment and he expressed that he would like to actually meet me in person at my next one. Which I liked. Also mentioned the new technology coming through. Although not at the top of the list as I’m apparently in the top 1% of well controlled his aim is to ultimately have his patients on it if they want to. All sounds good to me.
 

Antje77

Oracle
Retired Moderator
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19,705
Type of diabetes
LADA
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Insulin
Diet can improve cholesterol as a type 2. Type 1s are much more hampered by the nature of the disease and its effects on the levels.
As a T1 (LADA, diagnosed 7 years ago), all my lipids levels improved from out of whack to within the normal zone after changing my diet to a mostly LCHF type. Why would it be harder for T1's to change their diet than for T2's?
 

becca59

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2,918
Type of diabetes
Type 1
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Insulin
As a T1 (LADA, diagnosed 7 years ago), all my lipids levels improved from out of whack to within the normal zone after changing my diet to a mostly LCHF type. Why would it be harder for T1's to change their diet than for T2's?

It’s not about changing the diet, though that would help enormously obviously. It is to do with the actual differences of the disease. The fact that a type 1s pancreas has stopped working probably, and we manage it artificially. Don’t ask me the ins and outs it’s all too scientific for my brain. I have tried diet only and still am pretty low carb. My cholesterol is still going up. Every year for 10 years. It wasn’t a problem before diabetes. It may also not be an issue for other type 1s but for many it will be and at the end of the day I was losing heart. At nearly 65 I am now in the danger zone for strokes especially.
 

sninge

Well-Known Member
Messages
85
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Pump
I was offered them when I turned 40 and have also declined for 10yrs, turned 50 last year and I also got a message from surgery suggesting them and saying I could reply ' yes' or request to talk to someone, I asked to speak to someone and had a very informative chat with the surgery pharmacist ( probably better than a gp! ) she looked at my overall risk, explained why type 1s are higher risk ( as previously commented, highs and lows on heart ) between us we decided to try 6 months on cholesterol lowering yoghurt and see if they reduced cholesterol (5). I then had appointment with my consultant and talked with him, he felt strongly they would be better as yoghurt would probably only drop by 0.5 and mine has raised +1 in last year. However both agreed I didn't need the 40mg suggested on the text so I am about to start on 20mg.
You just have to question the people in the know and make your own decision. Had I not done that would have been started on twice the dose.
 
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jaywak

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If our cholesterol is on the low side anyway , as mine is according to my consultant my good cholesterol higher than than the bad stuff for which he said I should thank my parents , is there any point in trying to lower it ?
 

sninge

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85
Type of diabetes
Type 1
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Pump
It is your choice, probably watch the videos, I watched one years ago and they do explain things better, its all about balance because we do need cholesterol for our brains. I found it a difficult choice. Ask your gp for your overall risk factor, they like that to be below 10. That includes all your risks ( or not ) not just being a less young diabetic!
 

Greymalkin

Member
Messages
9
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
My thanks to you all for replying.

Your answers make me wonder how I've survived this long. I've taken some liberties with my wellbeing over the years.

My diet tends to vary between extreme self-denial, dominated by sliced carrots and other raw stuff with hummous and a little fruit, but with uncontrolled descents into M&S sourdough and whopping doses of Humalog to deal with it.

I badly need to lose some weight and your posts here will remind me how much it matters to keep a grip on my intake.

The statins question is one I'm glad I asked because it seems the jury is still out. But I feel I'm in good company, wondering. :)
 
Messages
23
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Yes, there are reported side effects, but they are nothing compared with the threat to life or side effects of a heart attack or stroke.

By all means make an informed choice and if you can control cholesterol using diet and exercise all the better. However, if you can't, don't dismiss out of hand a whole class of drugs because not all of them suit all patients. If you do dip your toe in the statin waters and you have side effects speak to your GP and have the type or dose changed to find a suitable one for you.

I'm speaking as a T1 that has been on statins for over 10 years with no side effects and am married to someone that had a heart attack at 38 years old and have seen for myself the life limiting effects of one.
 

CheeseSeaker

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People arguing over silly stuff
Statins is a hot topic on t'internet.

For me they reduce my cholesterol to a healthy level, where restricting fats in my diet (fairly healthy one, but not just surviving on lentils and Brussel sprouts) made very little difference (as predicted by my GP of the time)

Have had issues with Simvastatin and cramps, but nothing since being switched to Atorvastatin (it works well for me with no side effects)

Do they do anything? Yes - reduce my cholesterols

In the long run will it make any difference? Who knows, but worth hedging my bets (for me at least)
 
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holdem

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132
I take them more out of the fact im quite obedient. But i feel i need to look into it more.

I have horrendous memory but i am not sure if this is a factor.

I know i could google but since a topic is here.. what is the actual sort of science behind statins?

Do they thin the blood?
Do they they lower cholesterol? Mine is not out of range?

I see you diet mentioned. Is it to combat bad diets?

I feel many people are passionate one way or the other and the balance is prob somewhere in the middle. I will look at the videos above when i get a moment.

thanks
 
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eventhorizon

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Messages
491
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
I get statins recommended every year and I'm sure on Thursdays diabetes review I will again politely decline. The 3% reduction of a cardiovascular event is, for me, not worth it.
 
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MissMuffett

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Messages
1,158
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
I get offered them every year and have always decline and will continue to do so. I value my brain (I think someone before me has said the same.
It occurred to me only the other day that heart attacks were almost unheard of until President Eisenhower had one in the 50s. This was blamed on his saturated fat intake although his chain smoking and love of fast food was ignored. Our great grandparents and grandparents consumed lard, butter and cream so what’s recently happened? Vegetable oil and processed food.
If you have the time what this YouTube video with Dr Paul Mason. I love his opinions (probably because they match mine lol!)

 

Jaylee

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Retired Moderator
Messages
18,303
Type of diabetes
Type 1
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Insulin
Interestingly even though I have no markers suggesting so, other than T1.
Then having to run the gauntlet every check up for the last 15 years being suggested I “will die in 10.”
Also never having extensive tests to find out if I personally have an imminent risk.

I’m now told in a letter reporting my last check up which just involved my endo just looking at the Libre’s daily patterns over the last 90 days (seriously, they didn’t even take blood.) as stating “significant cardiovascular risk!”