I've done quite a lot of reading about Lipitor because my Mom takes it, and I have read on some Lipitor message boards that some people feel that Lipitor gave them irregular heartbeat/atrial fibrillation. My mom has atrial fib, she has been taking statins for years and was switched to Lipitor a few years ago. I have been wondering if the statin drugs or her high blood pressure medication caused her heart problem.
Some of the people with atrial fib induced by Lipitor stopped taking it and they say their heart went back to normal. I went to a party last month, and spoke to a person who was on Lipitor for a few weeks, he couldn't sleep because his heart started racing at night, so he decided not to continue it and was looking into natural methods for cholesterol reduction.
Lipitor can weaken muscles, heart included, my Mom's doc reluctantly admitted it when she asked him about heart side effects.
I don't know what he thinks about it, I do not like Mom's doctor, he's an internest/gastroenterologist and I have been after her for years to go to another doctor. His patients are mostly seniors, they even admit they don't like his personality, but say they don't want to switch doctors because he has all their medical records from years ago. The seniors seem to think in this technology age medical records can't be transferred from one doctor to another in this New York City suburb, ridiculous!
I don't think a gastroenterologist should be treating a patient with high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and high cholesterol who is on drugs for these conditions. A few years ago she fainted a few days after he gave her a diuretic for high blood pressure and she was rushed to the hospital. To make a long story short, a cardiologist was called in, and I asked him if he was going to order a stress test for her and he said no!! Well, I told him off, so he ordered one. While she was on the treadmill another cardiologist saw her heart race and immediately got her off the treadmill. and determined she has atrial fib by monitoring her. Her gastro never suspected she had atrial fib, even though she complained of a fluttering heart for a few years, he passed it off as anxiety and gave her tranquilizers!
The same gastro doc treated my father for colon cancer in 2001, never referred him to a cancer specialist until a year after his surgery when the cancer recurred. By that time it was too late, the oncologist said he only had a 30% chance of survival, and admitted my father should have had chemo after the surgery, and couldn't imagine why it wasn't done! A year later my father passed away. I am so upset that Mom still goes to the same doc for treatment, but I don't say anything any longer. She sees the cardiologist who diagnosed her atrial fib in the hospital on occasion, so I figure at least someone else examines her once in a while. I feel very guilty about not doing enough research on-line regarding colon cancer when my father was suffering from it, maybe he would still be alive today if he had the proper care. We thought everything was being done properly at the time, little did we know, that's why I research everything now, and read and post on these boards. If I can save just one person from medical negligence it will make me happy for the rest of my life, even though I can't bring Dad back.
Sorry for venting and making the post get so long, when I read your post it hit a sore spot with me, so I wanted to explain why I don't address any of Mom's issues with her doc, I can't stand him!
Anyway, I did read that high blood pressure medication can cause atrial fib,
but I didn't read it about Lipitor, but people on the message boards think Lipitor cause their atrial fib.
jacal I'm sorry to hear how frustrated you are, believe me, I am in the same boat. I hate taking medications to begin with because I always get some sort of bad reaction from hives, increase of palpitations, heart rate increasing, nausea, you name it!
I've been hearing good things and bad things about Lipitor but I can only assume that I will have a bad reaction to it since I always have bad reactions I WISH the pharmacutical companies would get their crap together and make some medications with less side effects,
Why not give Lipitor a try? Just like you, I am on rx meds, all of which give me side effects. I find that I can tolerate a small dose of Lipitor. It really works! I get awesome results. If your cholesterol needs to be improved, give Lipitor a try. You can always stop taking it, if necessary. I take 10mg a day and it has really worked for me. It's my other meds I am concerned about.
How has it improved your cholesterol? I mainly need my HDL raised a LOT....I have no clue as to why my LDL raised when I've been doing excellent on my diet but someone said it might be because my body needs a higher amount of cholesterol to function.
My perscription is for 10mg a day as well. Could you tell me your numbers before and after flower?
Thanks for your responses to my post which made me feel better. Mom will never admit her doc made a mistake with Dad, even though the oncologist told her my father should have had chemo after his colon surgery, and she will never admit I might have saved her life by demanding the cardiologist give her a stress test. That's how her atrial fib was found, and she has been medicated for it ever since. I had so many arguments with her to change doctors that I was getting sick over it, so I stopped mentioning it, but I do tell her about articles I read that pertain to her conditions. I told her to ask her doctor for a c-reactive protein test, and he tells her she doesn't need it.
She said, "if you don't give it to me, my daughter will never let me back in our house, so he relented and he gave her the test.
I went to an AARP luncheon for volunteers and most of the volunteers wanted to be patient advocates because their senior parents were treated so badly by their doctors!
Anyway, I worked hard on changing my diet, because my LDL was 190 and my total was 300 and the cardiologist gave me Lipitor. It was a wake-up call for me, I didn't want to take it, so I consulted a nutritionist at a vitamin store regarding alternatives. I was surprised that my HDL went up 17 points to 67, that's why my ratio is good, my LDL is 150 from my last reading about a year ago. About six months after I started the diet and supplements I went to a supermarket test for cholesterol and I tested at 176 for total cholesterol, but I haven't been as strict with my diet, I eat chocolate, ice cream, and other sweets more than I did when I first modified my diet, that's why I think my LDL is 150. I did read that cholesterol readings should be taken more often than once a year to get an average reading, like blood pressure, but insurance won't pay for it. I did have my own moniter, but the company went out of business so there are no test strips available for the machine.
I read that most women in their 50's have total cholesterol of 250, that's what mine is. If I eat a meal with fat, like a piece of meat, I take a plant sterol pill to block the fat. At night I take two Policosonal pills, it's natural sugar cane, it blocks cholesterol production, thins the blood like baby aspirin,
and raises HDL. I don't know if my diet, the supplements, or both gave me the good HDL result, but I am going to keep up the same protocol since it's working. My neighbor has been using Policosanol for years and his total cholesterol is 172 amd he's 76 yrs. old.
You are doing what you can to help your mom. That's all you can do! She appreciates it more than you'll ever know. You've come to see that rather than changing her way of thinking about the medical care she receives, (or lack of it) it's best to work with the current situation. By making her aware of
the research and information relating to her condition, you are helping her tremendously.
I did read that cholesterol readings should be taken more often than once a year
I am sure they should. I have mine done often because I have a very high risk of CV problems. The medical covers the cost, luckily. I think every six months is the norm in a healthy person. It should be more often if cardiovascular problems. You seem to be doing all the right things and getting good results. I could use a higher HDL but don't quite know how to go about it. I don't want to start taking anything else (supplements or meds) over and above what I am already on. I have enough meds and supplements already.
Good luck to you and keep up the good work.
Mom has this thing about not wanting me to control her life. She keeps saying she's taken care of herself for 78 years, and doesn't need anyone else to do it. I had to go so far as to tell her that's an ignorant attitude, and I'm not trying to control her life, I am just keeping her informed regarding my medical research. She is not an ignorant woman, she has a boyfriend and belongs to a few social clubs, and can speak intelligently about many subjects and current events.
She did ask me what happens to the seniors who don't self educate themselves about their conditions, who don't have access to the internet. etc. I told her she knew the answer to that question already. Sometimes I don't think she wants to accept that some doctors may not have the patients best interests at heart any longer.
Mom is on Lipitor, she can't take some of the supplements I take because she is on Coumadin also. She is the one who brings all the sweets in the house, and I can't resist them when they are right under my nose, so it's hard for me to eliminate them.
Did you read my post about 1/2 onion daily raises HDL levels 25% in most people? That's a better percentage than Lipitor. I'm going to start eating them more often. they are good for bone density too!
Thanks for the good wishes, and I'm so glad we can keep each other healthy via the advice on these boards.
Eating an onion is not as bad as it sounds. Especially when the onion is the sweet type. Unfortunatelly, they are available only in summertime as they do not keep well. We often have a tomato/onion salad with a bit of vinegar and olive oil. That's one good way to eat onions. I can't think of any other way to eat it, especially raw. Somehow I cannot picture myself sitting down with an onion in my hand and taking bites out of it...
My husband often crushes a few garlic cloves, adds olive oil, a bit of salt, takes freshly baked bread and has a feast. I wish I could get used to the taste. I am sure in its' natural form it is much better for us than the garlic supplements I take.
What other ways are there to consume onions? Do they still have the same nutritional value when cooked?
Last edited by flowergirl2day; 08-19-2007 at 01:45 PM.
Below is a list of HDL raisers (food only) that I found on-line. How about a daily salad with lettuce, raw onion, tomatoes, nuts, and any other raw veggie you like, with an olive oil, orange juice (calcium fortified for stronger bones), mustard dressing with any other spices and/or herbs you like? I actually eat a salad containing most of these ingredients almost daily, and it's become my one of my favorite meals I look forward to eating. It just tastes so good and fresh and feels so healthy to eat, especially since most of the ingredients are increasing the number of HDL's going after all those nasty LDL's!
1 raw yellow or white onion - HDL increase 30%
Foods containing Niacin - HDL increase 8% in 3 months
Oranges - HDL increase 21%
Macadamia nuts - HDL increase 8%
Olive oil (with high polyphenol content works best)