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Statins

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by noblehead, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Yes the subject of statins once again but I thought I would throw this in the mix! :(

    Last week I spent a few days in hospital with severe chest pains, mainly radiating in the sternum but occasionally down my arms and throughout my chest, been going on for a few weeks now but my gp put this down to musculoskeletal pain after I tripped whilst walking the dog a few weeks before and landed on my front. As the pain got worse he weighed up the pros and con's and decided that I should be admitted to hospital in case this was angina or another heart related condition given I am middle-aged and had type 1 for 30 years.

    Anyways after numerous ECGs, Chest x-ray, full blood counts, Echo-cardiogram and finally a Coronary Angiogram last Friday I was allowed home after all test came back clear and my cardiologist said my heart was healthy and the pain was more than likely a condition called Costochondritis.

    The Thursday night before the angiogram a cardio nurse came to question me about lifestyle, medication and other health related issues before asking me to sign a consent form, during the conversation I was asked about whether I smoked, exercised regularly and ate a healthy low salt/ lowfat diet, after checking my replies she said everything was in order and my lifestyle and diet were in keeping with their recommendations, simply saying that I still needed to lose some more weight which I assured her I was doing at the moment.

    She then went on to ask about statins and did I take one daily, I asked why as I had low cholesterol and my gp has never mentioned this before, her reply was that all long-term diabetics should be on statins routinely regardless of their cholesterol level. So this in mind I visited my gp this morning and asked if I needed to go on a statin tablet, he's reply was absolutely not as my cholesterol was fine and the results of heart tests were very encouraging, he said that up until last year it was recommended that diabetics should be put on statins to prevent CVD but this advice has now changed, only those who are thought to be at risk are offered them and he didn't see why I should take one needlessly.

    Now I am confused, OK I'm fine for now and last weeks results were most welcome but I do wonder about 10-15 years down the line, any thoughts who is right or who is wrong?

    Nigel
     
  2. Gratope

    Gratope · Well-Known Member

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    Strange this one noblehead, as you probably know I was only diagnosed in May of this year ( type 2 ) on my first visit to the diabetic practice nurse I was told that I was to be put on statins. This was to help with my cholesterol levels. She told me my level was at 4.0, I knew this was pretty good and asked why the statins. She said my level was made up of " good and bad " cholesterol and the statins would lower my " bad " level. As I said I'm a bit new at this. Still how low do you go ? :?: :?:
     
  3. Ka-Mon

    Ka-Mon · Well-Known Member

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    Until last year January I had been on statins for about 7 years and a new annual test result was.3.3. I asked my GP if I should stop taking them and he agreed. A couple of months ago a new test gave a result of 4.3, still very acceptable said my GP but then told me that my LDL was higher than the HDL and for that reason alone suggested that I should start taking them again.

    The higher the LDL the more risk there is of clogged up arteries and risk of angina or worse. If the LDL levels is ok and the overall Cholesterol levels are within the "normal" range I don't see any reason why one should take statins but if the LDL is higher than HDL and can't be reversed by diet alone then it's probably best to take them but it's a personal choice where one has to decide to give it a go with diet only or get help in the form of medication.

    Although my total cholestrol level was within the "acceptable" range I could not raise my HDL to be higher than the LDL on diet alone so decided to go back on medication.

    Some people say that statins are useless and some say they help, probably best if you read more about the pro's and the con's and decide if you want to take them or not.
     
  4. Gratope

    Gratope · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ka-Mon, I will indeed read more about them. Please forgive me but HDL / LDL's ? Ok I'm new at this but learning.
     
  5. Gratope

    Gratope · Well-Known Member

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    Its OK !! Found it, Low density lipoprotiens/High density lipoprotiens. Wow, lot to take in. Thanks anyway.
     
  6. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Gratope, here is some avice and information from The British Heart Foundation which will help you understand cholesterol better:

    http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/cond ... terol.aspx


    Ka-Mon, I had extensive blood tests taken whilst in hospital and they said that my LDL, HDL and Triglycerides were all fine, just strange that the cardiac nurse seems to think that all diabetics should routinely be on statins regardless of cholesterol results yet my gp says the opposite providing lipo's are fine! :? I think I'll stick with my gp's advice for now and follow this up with my diabetes consultant when I see him in November and get his take on statins.

    Thanks

    Nigel
     
  7. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all.

    I have been reading a fair bit about statins since I arrived here and I am concerned about the dosage of Simvastatin my daughter is on, could do with advice.

    As I have mentioned elsewhere, she is type 2, on Metformin 1000x2 daily, Novorapide 30 at brekkie, same again at lunchtime Novorapide 30 and 28 units in evening. She is on Lantus 30 at night. She also has Hormone Replacement Therapy and Levothyroxine 75mcg daily.

    Her dosage of Simvastatin is 80mg which I believe is fairly unusual, her last reading was 5.2mmol.

    She is under the care of the Endocrinology team at the hospital and was also being cared for by our GP who put her on this dosage. Her learning disabilities nurse was concerned about how much Simvastatin she is taking and thought it excessive, our GP disagreed.

    I am now wondering if this dose IS excessive..is there anybody here on the the same?
     
  8. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

  9. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Catherine thanks..I think I am going to go back to the GP to discuss this. He has been very supportive but my daughter has enough to contend with in her life without anything else added into the mix so we need to get this dealt with.
     
  10. BrianSkye

    BrianSkye · Member

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    I had a read of the side effects of statins on the pages and in the forum.

    Thing is, I've been on them 10 years and I get severe cognitive impairment ( can't read more than a page of a book, fall asleep every time there is a progress bar :( ), muscle pain, muscle weakness, cramps and I'm depressed. Unfortunately I also have spinal stenosis with three prolapsed disks and a whole range of neuropathies together with the diabetes and hypertension. Accordingly I'm on pregabalin, tramadol and tizanidine for pain, sotalol (for a heart arrhythmia), and tamsulosin (for prostate problems) all of which produce similar side effects to the statins.

    All this is in addition of course to the gliclazide, Victoza, and metformin for diabetes, losartan and co-amilofruse for hypertension and lansoprazole for acid reflux.

    How in the world would I ever know if the statins were to blame for my side effects?

    Brian (who rattles when you shake him)
     
  11. clearviews

    clearviews · Well-Known Member

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    Brian, I am not sure how you would check out the side effects of your statins.
    I did it by reading as much as I could, then considering the risks chose to stop taking them. I had drastically cut my carbs prior to this and the first medication I cut out was Nexium (esomeprazole)for reflux. I had been taking anti-reflux meds for about 10 years and was amazed that it just dissappeared.
    I made the connection with the dissappearance of strange dreams and terrible arm muscle pains months after stopping the statins.
    After an initial small rise in my total cholesterol all the figures have headed firmly in the right direction simply by cutting the carbs and increasing the fats and good oils.
     
  12. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    TBH- the only way to know whether the statins are causing these effects are by 2 things....

    1) Findiing out date you went on them, and when these other complaints occurred or
    2) Stop taking them for a while. My pains diminished significantly within days...

    Brain function...I had significant brain problems from something....but I am now on Duloxitine for pain and my brain is the most alert it has been in the past, I really reckon 15 years. I had been on all sorts of antidepressents and pain relief tablets until these which are I believe quite widely available and recognised as being good for diabetic neuropathy as well as fibromyalgia. The only impact these tablets have had on me have been my BG levels rising 2-4 hours afterwards...however this is easier for me to manage as I am on a pump.

    I was on simvastain needlessly, then I had bad memory, depression and pains. Despite me saying for years I thought it was the statins nobody listened to me. I have permanet muscle pain now and although initially I was also given incorrect diagnosis of pernicious anaemia and palindromic rheumatism...now I firmly still believe my permanent pains came from statins. I came off them myself. I still had pains, then went through all the variances of tablets until duloxitine. Pain and brain hugely improved.....then I was put back on another different type of statin...and the pains came back with vengeance and also the restless legs at night....now I have been told by Consultant to come off them immediately.....and already feeling pain diminishing substantially again. I know I will never get rid of the pain permanently....and I have no proof at all that it was statins....but I am totally relieved that this consultant told me to come off them again immediately.......
     
  13. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    We have a friend who completely lost his memory due to statins - didn't even know his family! His memory did come back to a certain extent eventually but he is not the same man he was before - he also suffers with awful joint pain.

    Because he has implicit faith in his GP he is still on them.....

    All this hype about cholesterol gets me going. Try reading Malcolm Kendrick's 'the great cholesterol con' or other informative publications on it. Cholesterol is nothing to be scared of. It is there to do a job. Cholesterol is needed all over the body for different functions and for repair.

    If you have inflammation in the body, cholesterol will be floating around trying to repair the damage. The more inflammation, the higher the cholesterol. If you want to lower your cholesterol, the safest way is to do it through diet. It's the processed and refined foods we consume, whether carbs, fats or protein - that are in forms the body can't deal with properly - that trigger the inflammation. The body tries to use this 'food' for different purposes, but because it isn't the right stuff - and we aren't giving it the right stuff, it sets up inflammation.

    We assume that because it's 'edible' it must be ok, but food has to interact with other chemicals within the body to be effective. If the body can't get the right stuff it will grab the next best thing, which may not work as effectively, and might even cause problems.

    All drugs are toxic to a greater or lesser degree, and in the long run can often just make things worse.

    Those who take statins obviously do so at their own risk, but we shouldn't assume that our best interests are at heart when we are prescribed them - sometimes it is more likely to be in the best interests of the pharmaceutical companies......

    I was offered them, but told the Diabetic 'Specialist' where they would do the most good - in the bin. :roll:
     
  14. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Nice post, Ali.

    The problem with statins, is that when prescribing, HCP's believe that the side effects are extremely rare. We know that is not the case.

    Certain statins (Simvastatin, anyone?) won't be around much longer. They are horrible, horrible drugs.
     
  15. anna29

    anna29 Type 2 · Well-Known Member
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    Hiya, why wont simvastatin be around much longer? Anna.x :?
     
  16. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Given the amount of drugs you take on a daily bases Brian I would imagine it would be extremely difficult to say which is to blame for your cognitive impairment, could you not discuss this with your gp and ask for his professional opinion?

    Nigel
     
  17. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    It all relies upon people that have side effects using them to yellow card the MHRA and report the side effects.....HCP's should do this (but my GP has never reported and side effects I have had with any medicine!!!)

    Unless people report to the MHRA in the UK...I personally can't see statins going
     
  18. ClaireG 06

    ClaireG 06 · Well-Known Member

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    I was on them for awhile put got awful muscle cramps. My father in law ended up in hospital as Simvastatin was making him so poorly that at first he kept falling over and then couldn't stand up.
     
  19. smitha48

    smitha48 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm relatively new to Diabetes, however i was placed on a plethora of drugs in Nov 2010 (before being diagnosed as a Type 2), for Coronary Heart disease............As someone who previously had not had any 'medical' problems except for a few breaks and cuts etc, i signed up to a website called Mediguard, which allows you to input all the drugs you are on and it then shows you the interactions, if any, between them.

    Any way to the point they have today sent me an 'Alert' which i've pasted below:

    New Study Suggests High-Dose Statins May Cause Diabetes
    A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that taking higher doses (80mg) of two types of widely prescribed statins - simvastatin or atorvastatin - increases the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes over five years, compared to taking moderate dose statins (20mg or 40mg).

    The researchers remain unclear about how statins work to trigger diabetes in some individuals. It could be possibly related to how statins affect muscle or liver insulin activity. Another explanation for increased diabetes in patients on high dose statin therapy may be because more patients at risk for diabetes are surviving due to the benefits of statins. More research is needed to confirm this study's findings.

    Atorvastatin is available under the brand name Lipitor. Simvastatin is available as a generic product and under the brand names Zocor, Simvador, and also in the combination product Inegy.

    For more information, please visit:
    http://www.mediguard.org/r/0oLbich4udw


    Don't know if this is helpful, but may be worth discussing withg HCP's.

    Regards All

    Tony
     
  20. clearviews

    clearviews · Well-Known Member

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    I do think that people should be mindful that just perhaps the adverse side effects might be triggered by low doses of statins not just high doses. Found my unused strip of Crestor which was prescribed to me when I refused to take Lipitor and the dosage on it was 5 mg once a day. I don't remember the Lipitor dosage but it would have been the equivilant.
    I still ponder whether women on statins suffer more adverse effects as we have on average, smaller muscle mass and could therefore be more susceptible.
     
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