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Old 11-18-2008, 03:10 PM   #1
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Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines?]

Hi,

I'm 46 yrs. old and had been diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease [CAD] last year with 80% blockage in right anterior descending artery and 20% in some surrounding arteries.

Had one Drug-Eluding Stent inserted [Taxus Express Two from Boston Scientific] in the main artery July 2007, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Sent home with 75 mg Plavix and 20 mg Simvastatin. All went fine, back to normal excercise in about 2 wks..Previously prescribed Lisinopril 20 mg for HBP[borderline] about a year earlier. Also on the TLC Diet!

5 wks. later I got blood done and it was excellent.
High trigllycerides and low HDL's are genetic for the family.

Chol.-127 from 230
Trig-139 from 300
HDL-24 could never get this higher and still can't!
LDL- 75 from about 165


7 weeks into statin therapy I had some of the most commom side effects to the drug or drugs. Mood swings, dizzIness, back pain and pain in feet, soreness in leg muscles/ribs, sweating/hot flashes, blurry vision that could last for 3-4 days and so on. Can't live like this. Total BS!

Changed some meds. around like bp med.. so I could isolate my problem. I felt I was having panic attacks 2 hrs. after taking my Plavix, Simvastatin and Lisinopril, oh...and QVAR inhaler,still freaking out!

Stopped inhaler..same problem existed.
Also taking Centrum Silver Multi -Vitamin once daily.

My doc told me it was the statin drug and reduce dose to 1/2 ,10mg. Now I have less protection than before against build-up. I still had problems with the statin and it put me on my *** for about 7 months. No excercise or anything for seven months. I just could'nt work through the medicines side effects. He said take it or die!

I had enough of this b.s. and went off it completely but slowly my BW figures began to climb ''chol 127 to 153. Didn't want to see it rise any further.

So back on a 1/2 dose of statin. I never quit the Plavix and Asprin and am still on it [16 mo's after my stent]. He will take me off it in April 09, so he says. If he doesn't I will go off it myself. I did forget to mention memory problems and leg cramps in both back of thighs and calves...worse than charlie horses I will add. Very, very nasty crap to deal with. My regular doctor said the cramps could be from alcohol [ right].

It's now November and I got fed up with their b.s. and went to RYR. Been on it for 4 wks. and my numbers improved very well.

Chol -175 could be lower
Trig - 138
HDL -22
LDL -125 needs to be lowered

I still have some sweating, mild leg soreness, [less cramps] and still some lock-ups with the short term memory and as for the blurry vision?, I think that kind of left me for the most part. I am still on Plavix, Lisinopril and Red Yeast Rice [Cholestene from High Performance Formulas 1200mg x2 = 2.4 grams/day].

Orginally my doc had me take my Statin at bed time, so I continued the same with RYR.

I've been researching for weeks and have found many people that can't tolerate RYR, are going to Guggul, Policosonal, Beta Sisterol, Niacin...won't touch this and Omega-3's and Omega 3-6-9, have this already.

I've been on the TLC DIET ever since my stent placement, still can't bring the weight down.

I was reading another post here where someone mentioned the RYR had to be the right type, as to steer away from any side effects, and that person mentioned Hypocol? I will check into this. Is the brand I'm currently on any good?

Also, another person mentioned checking to see if the ''manfacturer is USP certified, and does the manufacturing assurance control supersede USP and NF [National Formulary specifications'' ? What does all this mean?

This is why I question if I'm taking the correct RYR product.
I did call the company and they did say they're USP certified. Not labeled on the bottle though. Can anyone give me some professional type of input on any of my questions?

Am I making the right choice because I have a stent, Statins vs. Natural Meds., or does this not matter.

Never had a heart attack, no pain, nothing. They just found blockage and even told me my arteries looked good, are elastic the way they should be and I had a strong heart.

I was taking a physical for Flight School actually. Now my meds are in the way of my dream. Had to return my loan for the training...bummer! Should I try a more pure form of RYR ? How about Guggul or Policosanol? Need to do some more lowering of my BW.

Any known side effects to these two meds.? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Regards,
Dave

Last edited by daveusmc; 11-28-2008 at 10:22 AM.

 
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:41 PM   #2
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

Don't give up! I have two stents, placed nearly 3 years ago. Do NOT get bullied into thinking the statin you started with is the one you have to stay with. I complained about the one I was on at first and got an arrogant reply from my cardio. However, I am more stubborn than he is and I insisted. With a great deal of eye rolling and condescension he changed my script. Then, three months later changed it again because I made it clear I would not accept muscle pain as a side effect and the 2nd one was causing pain - it indicates liver damage and contrary to his belief, I was not willing to put up with it. Point is, we eventually found one (I am now here an not sure I can name the product - but it sounds like a common toothpaste name) that works for me without side effects but evryone is different so it might not work for you.

Stick with it and don't give up! There are many choices and options and you will be able to find one that works for you. BTW - my cholesterol is now spectacular and I have lost a great deal of weight on low carb. Honestly I eat little except for cheeseburgers (no bun), eggs, and cheese, and my cholesterol and weight have both improved. Of course the cardiologist cringes but he doesn't argue with the scale or the lab results.

Point is, find what works for YOU! Good luck!

 
Old 11-28-2008, 05:13 PM   #3
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

Thanks a bunch.
My doc told me there were no other meds and that Simvistatin worked the best with the stents. No other drugs was offered. This made me feel like crap. Some help from any of my doctors. Now I feel I've been tossed aside and they don't give a dam. So now of course, I have a worse attitude towards ''these people''. My only choices seem to be what I am reading about on the web. Policosanol,Guggul, Red Yeast Rice and Omega oils 3-6-9 and Salmon oil as well. Only wish I could find a good test kit for home bloodwork. I'm working on this now. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again.
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Dave

 
Old 11-28-2008, 11:37 PM   #4
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

Isn't RYR basically what statins are made from? I'm surprised your Doctor doesn't also have you on Niaspan to increase your HDL and lower your trigs. If you ever try it, be patient. It can take several months before you see results. I get mild flushing occasionally but I've gotten used to it. I also take 1/2 a 20 mg Simvastatin.

 
Old 11-29-2008, 12:02 AM   #5
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

If your doctor wasn't willing to discuss other statins I would have to wonder if I was in the right place. The internet is your friend and there is a wealth of information available. Of course after you discover information you need to be able to question, discuss, and VERIFY it with your (reliable, you hope) doctor.

There are similarities, of course, among the statins but there are also important differences and some folks can tolerate one and not another - hence the need for a variety of products! It is common to have to try more than one before settling on something for the long haul. In the meantime give thanks for angioplasty and stenting - a few years ago we would not have had this exchange.

 
Old 12-01-2008, 12:47 PM   #6
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

I was reduced to 10mg of Simvastatin and still had problems. I threw in the towel on this all together. Now if the main compounds that created Lovastatin were supposedly taken out ouf the RYR, then what makes it work? In my case...can't tolerate it ,so I'm poking around for a dosage on Guggul/Policosanol which many people are on. The Niaspan was never brought up! Neither was anyting else. I want nothing to do with these folks anymore.
Thanks for you input.
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Regards,
Dave

Last edited by daveusmc; 12-01-2008 at 12:49 PM.

 
Old 12-01-2008, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

[QUOTE=arlynsmith;3807322]If your doctor wasn't willing to discuss other statins I would have to wonder if I was in the right place. The internet is your friend and there is a wealth of information available. Of course after you discover information you need to be able to question, discuss, and VERIFY it with your (reliable, you hope) doctor.

My Cardiologist and my regular doctor simply don't want to get involved with Natural Meds. It's not practiced at Kaiser Permanente to begin with, this is the main reason. They just won't budge. I will bring something up I found through researching on the Net and they just turn right back to the Statins. My Cardio told me this ''if you have problems with Simvastatin, you'll have problems with them all. My mother said the same since, she went through this herself.

So, if anyone out there has a dosage for the Policosanol and Guggul to be taken together, please give me a shout out. I'm not sure you really need the combination or not, but any info will help. I just can't seem to find one.

Currently I'm taking 2400mg/2.4Grams of the RYR and have 5 months before my next BW. From what I found, a common intake of Guugulsterones is 25mg 3 times daily. That's all I have for now. Maybe this should be a different thread? Thanks you for your input.

Now I need to shop around for a home test kit for my blood work.
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Dave

Last edited by daveusmc; 12-01-2008 at 01:14 PM.

 
Old 12-09-2008, 05:54 AM   #8
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arlynsmith View Post
.... Point is, we eventually found one (I am now here an not sure I can name the product - but it sounds like a common toothpaste name) that works for me without side effects but evryone is different so it might not work for you......
Hi Arlyn, Wondered if you eventually remembered what that statin was, and how well it is tolerated now?
Everyone is different but not THAT different that we can't benefit from your experience.
I have a prescription due soon and thought about trying another statin. I get muscle soreness and if I get a knock of any sort on my leg or arm it swells up. That's on Lipitor 40mg. Can't tolerate niacin at all.
Thanks
Beefsteak.

 
Old 12-09-2008, 04:44 PM   #9
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveusmc View Post
I was reduced to 10mg of Simvastatin and still had problems. I threw in the towel on this all together. Now if the main compounds that created Lovastatin were supposedly taken out ouf the RYR, then what makes it work? In my case...can't tolerate it ,so I'm poking around for a dosage on Guggul/Policosanol which many people are on. The Niaspan was never brought up! Neither was anyting else. I want nothing to do with these folks anymore.
Thanks for you input.
Dave:

Since many of the medicine side-effects are dose-related, why don't you ask your doctor if you can further reduce the Simvastatin dose to 5 mg instead of 10. You will still get a very substantial reduction in cholesterol especially the bad (LDL) without the side effects that you have been experiencing. I have read that the difference in the LDL % reduction by taking 10 mg vs 5 mg is really not that much.


Beefsteak:

I think Arylin was referring to Crestor statin. She indicated in her post that it sounds like a common toothpaste name (which is Crest). I believe that she was not sure that we are allowed to post the name of the medication.

Also, the same source that I referred to in my answer to Dave, indicated that you can get a very substantial reduction in LDL with only 10 mg Lipitor (even 5 mg) . So you can ask your doctor to try reducing your dose to fit your own needs and what percentage of LDL reduction you really need, without suffering the side effects of a very high dose, which 40 mg certainly is.

Depending on each patient's needs and medical history you can start on the lowest dosage possible that will effectively reduce your LDL levels to the minimum acceptable range and gradually up the dosage if needed.

 
Old 12-09-2008, 11:39 PM   #10
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

nosa47,

While I think your comments are valuable you are making them without any knowledge on the backgrounds of many patients on this forum. The dose adjustments you mention are very pertinent in mostly white European descendant populations, but can be detrimental in Asian populations ESPECIALLY South Asian populations whose risk of coronary atherosclerosis far exceeds the risk of the general population. I think your advice about statins is very valid, but I caution you to make sweeping recommendations about dosages when there are a lot of South Asians who visit this forum who do glean a benefit from higher dose statins. This benefit seen in the South Asian population from statins is far in excess of that seen by non-South Asian populations. The AHA is actually considering adding South Asian background (especially far South Indian) to the already 5 established major Framingham risk factors for coronary artery disease. I think it would be a shame for confused South Asians with coronary artery disease (and there are a LOT of them out there) to come to this forum, read your comments, and then purposefully reduce their dose in an effort to avoid side-effects while simultaneously losing the benefit obtained by statins in reducing both myocardial infarction as well as stroke events.

Last edited by harka; 12-09-2008 at 11:43 PM.

 
Old 12-10-2008, 11:01 AM   #11
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
nosa47,

While I think your comments are valuable you are making them without any knowledge on the backgrounds of many patients on this forum. The dose adjustments you mention are very pertinent in mostly white European descendant populations, but can be detrimental in Asian populations ESPECIALLY South Asian populations whose risk of coronary atherosclerosis far exceeds the risk of the general population. I think your advice about statins is very valid, but I caution you to make sweeping recommendations about dosages when there are a lot of South Asians who visit this forum who do glean a benefit from higher dose statins. This benefit seen in the South Asian population from statins is far in excess of that seen by non-South Asian populations. The AHA is actually considering adding South Asian background (especially far South Indian) to the already 5 established major Framingham risk factors for coronary artery disease. I think it would be a shame for confused South Asians with coronary artery disease (and there are a LOT of them out there) to come to this forum, read your comments, and then purposefully reduce their dose in an effort to avoid side-effects while simultaneously losing the benefit obtained by statins in reducing both myocardial infarction as well as stroke events.
I agree 100% that one should never make sweeping recommendations and should not self-medicate. Of course I have no knowledge of the patients' medical backgrounds other than what they post. That is why, if you read carefully, in my answer to both Dave and Beefsteak (and to others who read it) I made sure to advise them to ASK THEIR DOCTOR if they can reduce the medication and see if they get the benefit without the side-effects, and "depending on each patient's needs and medical history you can start on the lowest dosage possible that will effectively reduce your LDL levels to the minimum acceptable range and gradually up the dosage."

I do appreciate your concern and your posts reflect an extensive medical knowledge. However, I left no room for misinterpretation or confusion and nothing in my post suggested reducing a patient's medication WITHOUT A DOCTOR'S SUPERVISION.

Hopefully this exchange will further highlight the importance of each patient working hand-in-hand with their doctor in trying to manage their condition and the best way to do this is to learn as much as possible and not be passive about their treatment.

 
Old 12-10-2008, 09:49 PM   #12
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

I see what you're saying nosa, but here's the thing:

You're planting seeds when you are saying what you do, and covering your bum by saying "do it in conjunction with your doctor". While your advice may be excellent for certain people, if a South Asian person or a Sri Lankan person read your dialogue, he may be tempted to ask his doctor to lower his statin. Perhaps his doctor does that (because surprisingly the high risk of coronary artery disease in South Asians is not recognized by many doctors--especially those who don't live in areas with large numbers of South Asian people)...well, the LDL lowering effects are seen, but you are forgetting one HUGE thing: the effects of statins are pleiomorphic....in other words, their effects reach beyond the lipid lowering effects. They have an anti-inflammatory action which can stabilize both soft coronary plaques (which are prone to rupturing and result in an ST-elevation MI) and also to reduce inflammation on harder plaques which tend to roughen and cause acute narrowings and thrombi resulting in NSTEMIs or Non ST Elevation MIs.

With most drugs which need to be titrated up, doctors work by the "start low and go slow" rule. Even 10mg of Simvastatin or Atorvastatin is NOTHING. There are people out there on 80mg daily and derive significant benefit from it without the rhabdomyo- or hepatic toxicity.

I am not saying this to attack you, but just to point out the fact that your comments may have unintended effects on people who may not know as much about coronary artery disease as you do. I do agree with you, though, that it's important for patients to NOT be passive in their care and to really know what is going on.

Last edited by harka; 12-10-2008 at 09:50 PM.

 
Old 12-11-2008, 04:21 PM   #13
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

No offense taken. I did not feel that you were attacking me at all. I have learned to differeniate between constructive criticism and knit-picking. I have also learned as part of my stress management to put the male ego aside and really try to understand the other person's point of view. They say that money is the root of all evil. I believe that misunderstanding is not too far behind, if not equally so.

I gave a valid advice (based on what I have read by a medical doctor) to specific individuals on the board who were asking a specific question and to do so under the supervision of their doctor taking into consideration each patient's specific needs. You saw a potential loophole where some specific segment of the population, i.e. South Asian, might interpret what I said the wrong way and end up decreasing their statin dosage on their own or with the consent of a doctor who is not familiar with that group of patients. Your post alerted that group of patients to the potential harm of following a general advice that might not apply to them. End result of this exchange is that a larger group of people can benefit from what has been said. Great result!!

I am aware of the inflammation-reducing effects of the statins over and above the LDL-reducing benefits especially after reading the results of the recent "Jupiter"* study. That is why I was interested in the subject in the first place and was asking my cardiologist if I should start taking a small dosage of Lipitor even though my cholesterol has been very well managed by diet and exercise alone. Will make that decision on my next appointment.

Again, every patient is different and they react differently to the same medication or treatment. My older brother has been taking 80 mg of Lipitor for years with no side-effects and my younger brother who was started on
20 mg of the same medication could not tolerate it and the dosage was reduced to 10 mg.

*P.S. For those who are going to research the "Jupiter" study, please do not self-medicate based on the findings of that study. Otherwise, we will have to go through this all over again.

 
Old 12-12-2008, 11:44 AM   #14
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Re: Coronary Artery Disease and Stents [Statins or Homeopathic Medicines]?

Well said nosa.

 
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