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Statins. What happens if I don't take them?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Sanober, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Dougie22

    Dougie22 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    As far as I can see there are at least two completely different schools of thought within the "statin refuser" community.

    School one has decided that the side effects of statins are more important than the cholesterol lowering effects, maybe agree that taking any drug for thirty years is a problem but still think its a good idea to get their levels down if they can by diet etc.

    School two has decided that the whole concept that high cholesterol levels lead to greater mortality rates is flawed and that therefore artificially lowering them by diet is pointless.

    I belong to school two, except that if I could get the levels down I'd have far less intense and painful meetings with my doctor who believes everyone with T2 over 40 should be on statins, regardless of cholesterol level. (which is the SIGN recomendation.)

    My levels freak her out.

    I do agree that it is extremely difficult to persist with either view in the face of such pressure and absolute belief from your doctor.
     
  2. reidpj

    reidpj · Well-Known Member

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  3. HpprKM

    HpprKM · Well-Known Member

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    Well I have now purchased and started taking flaxseed, I will report outcomes when I have my next cholesterol check (combined with a very hard fast diet) in my bid to lower cholesterol without statins. Thanks for the interest and sharing experiences with me (and others) :wink: :wink:
     
  4. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link, reidpj. Very interesting!

    A man after my own heart . . .

    Viv 8)
     
  5. HpprKM

    HpprKM · Well-Known Member

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  6. Dougie22

    Dougie22 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  7. grh1904

    grh1904 · Active Member

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    I've been taking simvastatin since diagnosis as my cholesterol was 5.2, at my last diabetic medical it was 4 point something (4.2) and was told this was good.

    I wasn't aware of any side effects of statins.

    What are they & where can I find out more???
     
  8. reidpj

    reidpj · Well-Known Member

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    Hi grh

    Here are a few (from http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/14046942.php) :

    In the section below I've flagged a couple of drugs that are commonly prescribed to people with diabetes. Many people take them with no problems, other people develop the serious side effects listed. If you believe you are suffering one of these side effects, contact your doctor. If you are brushed off and told not to worry with no other reason given, it's time to look for a better doctor.

    Statins

    Statins are very expensive drugs used to lower LDL cholesterol whose manufacturers invest heavily in research meant to prove that everyone on the planet should take them for the rest of their lives--especially people with diabetes. Whether or not this is true is still subject to debate, but that isn't the topic here.
    The issue here is that statins have serious, even fatal, side effects that many doctors ignore.

    Muscle Damage

    The best known dangerous side effect of the statins is called "Rhabdomyolysis." What that medical mouthful means in English is "breakdown of muscle fibers." As these fibers break down, they release by-products that are toxic to the kidneys. If enough muscle breaks down, you can die.
    Most doctors know about this side effect, but they often fail to warn patients about it. As a results, patients on statins may start experiencing muscle pains and weakness while having no idea that this is a symptom of this dangerous side effect.


    A study that highlights some factors that make the dangerous breakdown of muscle with statins more likely found,

    "The risk of myopathy is increased by: the use of high doses of statins, concurrent use of fibrates, concurrent use of hepatic cytochrome P450 inhibitors, acute viral infections, major trauma, surgery, hypothyroidism and other conditions."

    Statin-associated myopathy. Hamilton-Craig I.Med J Aust. 2001 Nov 5;175(9):486-9.

    Note that hypothyroidism, (low thyroid) is common among people with Type 2 diabetes.

    This study also concludes:

    Statin-associated myopathy should be suspected when a statin-treated patient complains of unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness. Statin therapy should be stopped in cases of suspected myopathy, and serum creatine kinase levels should be checked and monitored. No specific therapies other than statin withdrawal and supportive measures for rhabdomyolysis are currently available.
    So if you start experiencing worsening muscle pains while on a statin drug contact your doctor immediately and don't let them brush this side effect off as unimportant. The heart is a muscle, too!

    Additional statistics from research studies about the incidence of muscle pain with statins is found in this article:


    Bandolier: Rhabdomyolysis with statins.


    Statins are helpful to a small subset of people with elevated C-reactive protein. Their use for all other people, including those with elevated LDL is questionable. Read more about this here: A1c predicts heart attack.

    If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels there is a growing body of evidence that lower carb diets lower triglycerides and raise HDL without causing damaging side effects. Read more about this approach to lowering cholesterol on this page: Studies showing the safety and efficacy of the low carb diet. Here is one study confirming the positive effect of the low carb diet on high cholesterol:

    A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia. A Randomized, Controlled Trial. W.S. Yancy Jr., M.K. Olsen, J.R. Guyton, R.P. Bakst, and E.C. Westman. Annals of Internal Medicine May 18, 2004, volume 140, pages 769-777.

    Brain Damage and Permanent Memory Loss
    There are both anecdotal reports and research studies that show that statins can cause permanent damage to the memory and other cognitive symptoms.
    For an excellent review of the research findings about these dangerous side effects which though written with a focus on the elderly cover apply to all patients taking statins, read:

    Statin Adverse Effects: Implications for the Elderly Beatrice A. Golomb, Geriatric Times , May/June 2004, Vol. V, Issue 3

    Other recently published studies about cognitive problems caused by statin drugs include:

    Cognitive impairment associated with atorvastatin and simvastatin. King DS, Wilburn AJ, Wofford MR, Harrell TK, Lindley BJ, Jones DW. Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Dec;23(12):1663-7.

    Statin-associated memory loss: analysis of 60 case reports and review of the literature. Wagstaff LR, Mitton MW, Arvik BM, Doraiswamy PM. Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Jul;23(7):871-80.

    Lowered LDL Correlates with More Blood Cancers and Sepsis
    A study reporting a new and troubling side effect of lowering LDL came out in November of 2007. It looked at a group of 203 patients and found that in this group:
    Each 1 mg/dl increase in LDL was associated with a relative reduction of 2.4% in the odds of hematological cancer (OR 0.976, 95% CI 0.956–0.997, p = 0.026). Low LDL levels also increased the odds of fever and sepsis.
    It is not clear whether this effect stems from the lack of LDL or is a side effect of drugs used to lower LDL.

    Low Serum LDL Cholesterol Levels and the Risk of Fever, Sepsis, and Malignancy.Renana Shor, Julio Wainstein, David Oz, Mona Boaz, Zipora Matas, Asora Fux and Aaron Halabe1. Annals of Clinical & Laboratory Science 37:343-348 (2007)

    A Letter from Drs. Mark R. Goldstein, Luca Mascitelli and Francesca Pezzetta that published in the journal Current Oncology in April of 2008 argues that the statins themselves may be the cause for the increase of cancers, particular in older people with compromised immune systems.

    Do statins prevent or promote cancer?Curr Oncol. 2008 April; 15(2): 76-77.

    In this letter, the authors explain,
    Statins increase the number of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in vivo by inducing the transcription factor forkhead box P3 2. Although that increase may be beneficial in stabilizing atherosclerotic plaque by reducing the effector T-cell response within the atheroma, it
    might impair both the innate and adaptive host antitumour immune responses. Not surprisingly, the numberof Tregs present in many solid tumours correlate inversely with patient survival.

    Statins Increase Insulin Resistance

    If all this weren't enough to make you think twice about taking a statin, a study published in the journal Diabetes in January 2008 found that the statin, Zocor, decreases the hormone, Adiponectin, that keeps people from gaining weight and makes people who take it more insulin resistant.

    Simvastatin Improves Flow-Mediated Dilation but Reduces Adiponectin Levels and Insulin Sensitivity in Hypercholesterolemic Patient Kwang Kon Koh et al., Diabetes 31:776-782, 2008.

    Can the epidemic of misprescribing of Statins have something to do with the huge growth in obesity and blood sugar disorders?


    Hope the above is of help

    Peter
     
  9. HpprKM

    HpprKM · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Statins. WhAat happens if I don't take them?

    In a different post I talk about my ongoing 'battle' with my otherwise well respected GP. Her argument was in how many of her patients take statins without problems. With latest level at 5 7 I s m trying to find alternatives to statin use. I have now added linseed to my breakfast. Have tried to healthily for many years, not overweight. Your post has not convinced me to change my views. If you know of any valid natural alternatives to assist in lowering cholesterol, I, for one would live to learn of them. I acknowledge the fact that you cannot be responsible for any advice that is offered, but I am discerning and acknowledge that any opinions you may offer are not guaranteed to succeed.
     
  10. HpprKM

    HpprKM · Well-Known Member

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    Please excuse some typos in Above as sent on iPhone!
     
  11. reidpj

    reidpj · Well-Known Member

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  12. Dougie22

    Dougie22 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Statins. WhAat happens if I don't take them?

    Me too, if only to satisfy my doctor and eliminate the three monthly hassle.

    I'd emphasise the "natural" though.

    On the advice of my dietician (seen after diagnosis), I have been taking Omega 3 capsules ( which have no known effect on cholesteral levels as far as I can as I can find out) and daily benecol yoghurt drimk (with claimed reduction effects). As you can see from my results below, the effects in the first three months were encouraging, but the second three months went backwards. I'm continuing to my next set of tests and will make a decision after that.

    I'm still well in the obesity class so I'm hoping weight loss might make an impact. Indeed, that may be why my readings fell in the first three months rather than the supplements as I just maintained the loss in the second three months.

    If you set aside the use of statins, almost nothing seems to be known about cholesterol control, apart from a few hackneyed one liners (lose weight, eat less saturated fat) which don't seem to have any depth of understanding behind them.
     
  13. HpprKM

    HpprKM · Well-Known Member

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    I also take Omega Oil, and have taken Benecol in the past when the issue of my cholesterol came up, however, stopped due to the cost but I am going to buy them again - blow the cost - this is my health :D .
     
  14. HpprKM

    HpprKM · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this, very interesting if somewhat technical - however, the long and the short is that it seems that my current recipe of Omega Oil and linseed have a good chance of assisting in lowering my cholesterol, and may also throw in some Benecol for good measure (as my GP said they may well be able to help), only time will tell and I have my next check in later January - here's hoping :wink:

    Very glad, though not surprised, to see that many tests carried out in Canada (I am half Canadian), they are really great at medical strides and are very modest with it! I used to live near Guelph (incidentally and not at all relevantly :) ). Banting comes to mind, and I used to live in the city where he lived (London, Ont) and have visited his home (late that is LOL). As I recall, I believe they moved his house from Alliston to London for show purposes, I may stand to be corrected on that though!

    Giving the great man a post here (hope that is permitted) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Banting

    Thanks again for such in depth and interesting research facts - it came just at the right time for me personally!
     
  15. Graham1441

    Graham1441 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I took statins and my feet became so painfull I could hardly stand 18 months after I stopped taking them my feet still hurt.

    Graham :evil: :evil:
     
  16. reidpj

    reidpj · Well-Known Member

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    I buy my omega 3 off eBay. The best value at the moment (550mg of omega 3 per capsule) is £9.99 for 365 capsules (I take 8 per day) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150656373186? ... 1497.l2649

    If you can, try to cut down on your omega 6 (linoleic acid) intake (I have cut out all 'vegtable' oils)
    http://midsectionfat.org/linoleic-acid-foods
     
  17. reidpj

    reidpj · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Statins. WhAat happens if I don't take them?

    You may want to print off the following, and take it with you to your next appointment. From http://www.drbriffa.com (my second favourite blogger )

    Claims regarding the impact of foods on cholesterol are simply irrelevant
    Posted on 6 December 2011

    I got a press release today from the consumer advocacy group Which? informing me that “Misleading health claims to be banned at last”.

    Apparently, European Union Member States today voted to adopt a list of scientifically proven health claims that can be made about food and drink products. Claims for green tea and glucosamine (regarding benefits for blood pressure and joint health) are examples of a couple of things that did not make the cut. On the other hand, it seems the following claims will be allowed to be made:

    •reduced consumption of saturated fat contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels
    •plant sterols and plant stanols contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol
    Cholesterol levels are widely recognised as a marker for heart disease, and so the logic goes that reducing cholesterol levels will help prevent this condition. In this case, cholesterol is being used as what is known as a ‘surrogate marker’. The assumption is that a positive change in surrogate marker levels will translate into benefits for health.

    However, is this actually true?

    Taking dietary steps to reduce cholesterol has not been convincingly shown to reduce the risk of heart disease or overall risk of death. If this practice does not have benefits for health or extend life, why bother? Eating less saturated fat and swallowing stanols and sterols can reduce cholesterol all they like, but none of it has proven benefits for health.

    It is perhaps worthy of note that a PR representative of the Unilever-made Flora Proactiv products commented here that:

    “We absolutely agree that simply lowering cholesterol without making wider positive changes to one’s diet and lifestyle will not make a significant positive health impact.”

    I take this as admission of the general uselessness of cholesterol reduction in terms of its impact on health.

    It can be hard for some to make sense that taking dietary steps to reduce cholesterol is not broadly beneficial to health. However, we should perhaps not be too surprised, when we consider that we have plenty of similar experiences regarding pharmaceutical drugs.

    For example:

    1.drugs called resins reduce cholesterol but do not reduce overall risk of death

    2.the drug ezetimibe reduces cholesterol but has never been shown to benefit health

    3.drugs called fibrates improve the ratio of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol but don’t reduce overall mortality

    4.hormone replacement therapy improves the ratio of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol but doesn’t reduce overall mortality and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

    The situation with statin drugs is somewhat nuanced. In primary prevention (in essentially healthy individuals) statins do not reduce risk of death. In secondary prevention (those who have already had, say, a heart attack or stroke), they do, but the fact remains that even in high risk individuals, the great majority of people who take statins do not stand to benefit from them at all. There is reason to believe, by the way, that the little benefit statins have is not as a result of their cholesterol-reducing action, but due to other effects including anti-inflammatory blood-thinning actions.

    In short, the fact that foods low in saturated fat and/or rich in sterols/stanols may contribute to lowered cholesterol levels is irrelevant. The idea that this translates into benefits for health is simply unproven. My advice? Don’t swallow it.
     
  18. Dougie22

    Dougie22 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, my GP is not open to patients' ideas on subjects like these.

    Even if she were, there are two further problems:

    - An extremely limited patient appointment (8 minutes I believe)

    - SIGN 116 (Scottish Clinical Guideline for dibetes, similar to NICE) which she believs she must follow:

    "Lipid-lowering drug therapy with simvastatin 40 mg or atorvastatin 10 mg is
    recommended for primary prevention in patients with type 2 diabetes aged >40 years
    regardless of baseline cholesterol."

    Someone is going to have to get these guidelines reviewed before any change will take place.
     
  19. HpprKM

    HpprKM · Well-Known Member

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    Isn't this a scary thought :***: The most ridiculous type of red tape handed down from high, can some GPs not think for themselves!!!
     
  20. dib

    dib · Well-Known Member

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    I believe this is because low dose statins have an anti-inflamitory effect on blood vessels regardless of their effect on lipids.
     
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