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Old 03-17-2003, 06:43 PM   #1
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Post Niacin and joint pains- HELP

I can not take any statins due to leg cramps and my numbers are high so I am looking for altenative ways to lower choles. and trig. So I have been taking guggul lipid and non flush niacin (1500mgs) Anyway, around two months ago I developed a terrible pain in my knee joint and after going to 4 orthos., they told me that it was wear and tear of my miniscus. The MRI that I took showed nothing and finally, the drs. are saying arthritis. This came from no where and I have been trying to figure how I developed this pain. Then I read about one or two of you that mentioned that they had joint pains from niacin and I thought back and realized that my knee pain started around the same time that I started niacin. I would never have thought that this could be the cause, but I need to hear from any of you if it could be before I go to my ortho., dr. and get cortisone shots. I am very distressed over this and if I stop the niacin, then I will have to try something else. I am considering red rice yeast - Please I need your help on this ASAP- Thank you

 
Old 03-18-2003, 03:59 AM   #2
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Sarah:

I take niacin also. Quite honestly, I have never seen any linkage/implication that niacin can cause the same kind of muscle discomfort that statins can. Your first indication that its probably not related to any oral medications is the isolation of the pain to only one knee (described singularly in your post). It sounds like more of a musculoskeletal issue than one of oral meds. In your place, I would keep on with the niacin if you can tolerate the flushing, and if your hepatic profiles keep coming back with everything looking normal.


 
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Old 03-18-2003, 04:13 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply- I just do not know what to do. My profile was not great- choles. 253 Tri. 238 HDL 51 That is taking 1500 mg of niacin and 1500 guggl lipid too. SO, now, that I read about the joint pains, I just feel that maybe the niacin is not working and may be giving me knee pain. I did read it somewhere on here that someone had this reaction So, my question is, should I stop the niacin and see if it is doing this to me, and if I do, what do I do now? I need a plan and I don't know where to start- can anyone help me??

 
Old 03-18-2003, 10:13 AM   #4
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Sarah:

If you are taking it, for example, as part of prescribed treatment by a doctor, then I would consult with your physician first. I take my niacin by prescription. I did have to discontinue mine for a month due to elevated bilirubin. I just restarted on 500 mg a few weeks ago.

Anyway, if this is on your own, then you can give it a try without needing anyone's blessing. I take Niacin to help my HDL increase slightly and shift the LDL and HDL particle size averages to a higher value.

Your 51 HDL is pretty good. Your 238 mg/dL triglyceride reading is one that I would be concerned about. Knowning what I know now, and having been through this, I would take action to reduce that to <150 mg/dL. That contributes 48 to your 253 mg/dL total cholesterol, meaning that your LDL-C is 154 mg/dL. With exception of your HDL, the other values put you at a higher risk for heart disease.

The most effective way to reduce triglycerides is by reducing your intake of sugars/simple carbs. I once had >400 mg/dL triglycerides, but dropping the carbs back down to reasonable levels, weight loss, exercise, has consistently put my triglycerides in the 34-60 mg/dL range.

Ulrich

 
Old 03-18-2003, 04:52 PM   #5
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Hi well I am really worried about all of this. I am taking the non flush niacin s it is not quite as strong as the RX form. I am going to try red rice yeast now and hope that this will help me. I am almost desperate enough to go back on the zocor and have my numbers drop easily and fast. I just can go around with all this stress about my numbers. THe niacin is apparantly not helping me, is it? I take 1500 mgs so now, am I suppose to take more? My doc said to increase it if I feel good, but I am afraid of side affects. I am also concerned with my joint pains coming from this too. I wish thatI could hear from more people on the board about this issue.

 
Old 03-18-2003, 04:53 PM   #6
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Hi well I am really worried about all of this. I am taking the non flush niacin s it is not quite as strong as the RX form. I am going to try red rice yeast now and hope that this will help me. I am almost desperate enough to go back on the zocor and have my numbers drop easily and fast. I just can go around with all this stress about my numbers. THe niacin is apparantly not helping me, is it? I take 1500 mgs so now, am I suppose to take more? My doc said to increase it if I feel good, but I am afraid of side affects. I am also concerned with my joint pains coming from this too. I wish thatI could hear from more people on the board about this issue.

 
Old 03-19-2003, 04:02 AM   #7
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Sarah:

I hope someone else will also provide some opinions. However, I don't think I would be so quick to go to Zocor. See if there are some dietary or exercise improvements that you could make? Another supplement to consider is addition of omega-3 EFAs to your diet. I take those and they have been demonstrated to have a beneficial impact on triglyceride levels.

Ulrich

 
Old 03-19-2003, 04:33 AM   #8
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If you can take red yeast rice then you can take a statin.The rice is a statin in natural form.

 
Old 03-24-2003, 04:08 AM   #9
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Sarah --- Every cell (those tiny little wee things) in your body must have cholesterol to function properly. Perhaps your pain is coming from a lack of, or not enough, cholesterol in that area of your body. I was taking 1000 mg of non-flush niacin to lower total cholesteral. As soon as I started the niacin came down with a miserable cramping of leg muscles. When I stopped niacin -- leg cramping left!!!! Again I started the niacin -- and again the leg cramping started. Eventually the leg cramping subsided, however, have decided not to beat myself up worrying about an arbitrary number the medical community established.

 
Old 06-02-2003, 03:15 PM   #10
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I have posted before but am getting no response. I am very scared! I got a message on my answering machine telling me my Cholesterol was 280, and my triglycerides 819!!!!!! Don't know my good or bad cholesterol as I guess I am lucky I got this message! Told me to increase my Lipitor to 20mg. I do not want to be on the statins as I already have elevated liver enzymes! I do not feel this is my diet as I eat very little of anything due to stomach problems. I have been under a great period of stress and wonder if this plays a part?? I have started to take polycosanol, omega-3, niacin, and lipitor 10mg. I fel like I am a walking time bomb! Can anyone offer any help?? Thanks!

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Old 06-02-2003, 05:14 PM   #11
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Trish,

Normally, you aren't going to get astronomical triglycerides unless your intake is heavily weighted towards carbs. Any chance you can cut down on your carbohydrate intake? Another effect that I have noticed in my transition downward in weight, is that the lower I have kept my weight, the lower the baseline triglyceride level. It goes without saying that what you eat just before the draw will have the largest impact (I still find it humourous that Zip2play posted about having 2 Manhattans just before the draw and had TG in the 900 range--I never imagined the impact could be so bad as to put you into orbit).

Finally, if the rest of your lipids are fine (LDL and HDL), then I am at odds as to why you were prescribed a statin rather than a fenofibrate, which has a larger effect on TG reduction?


[This message has been edited by ubernier (edited 06-02-2003).]

 
Old 06-03-2003, 01:48 AM   #12
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Thank you for your input! Do you think the supplements will help? I lost 20 pounds in the last two months from sress. Do you think sress is a factor? My weight is stable. I do snack on crackers but don't feel it would give me these numbers
Thanks!!

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Old 06-03-2003, 02:39 AM   #13
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I don't know what to do! Almost every food has carbs or high fat! What am I suppose to eat! I do exercise. This high triglyceride numbers is really making me nervous!! I am getting so frustrated!
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Old 06-03-2003, 06:28 AM   #14
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sarah,

I've come upon several references simialr to this one:

Quote:
With high doses (of niacin)

Diarrhea, dizziness or faintness, dryness of skin, fever, frequent urination, itching of skin , joint pain, muscle aching or cramping, nausea or vomiting, side, lower back, or stomach pain, swelling of feet or lower legs, unusual thirst, unusual tiredness or weakness, unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
If I were you, I'd stop the niacin for a while...check the knee and start again. The "re-insult" will provide some useful info.

p.s. If I took 1500 mg niacin in any form, I'd need a waiting ambulance outside.

PARIS,

Why not try eliminating all sugars from your diet fo awhile. There are many popular and easy diet plans that incorporate this method of eating. Sometimes just this change will drastically change the triglyceride picture.
BTW, the reason you don't have LDL's in your result is that they can't calculate them in the presence of sky-high triglycerides (over 400 I believe, and I think even at 300 the LDL's get misleading.) I'll bet if you eliminate only sugar for a month, you'll get consistent trig's below 100!


[This message has been edited by zip2play (edited 06-03-2003).]

 
Old 06-03-2003, 07:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by parismoon:
I don't know what to do! Almost every food has carbs or high fat! What am I suppose to eat! I do exercise. This high triglyceride numbers is really making me nervous!! I am getting so frustrated!
True on the carbs, but you can choose them wisely, but the percentages...well, let me give you an example of my typical day (yesterday):

Breakfast, 1/2 cup fiber one, 1/2 cup mueslix, 1/2 cup soy milk, 1 medium banana

Snack: fiber bar (sometimes I eat a balance bar).

Lunch, 1 cup of my salad (leftovers)* (similar to what I eat at dinner--except this one had smoked salmon from the day before), 1 can of Healthy Choice soup (Fiesta Chicken yesterday, but I alternate)

Afternoon snack: Two tbsp of mixed nuts/seeds (sunflower, cashews, pumpkin...) plus 1/4 whole weat pita, 1 tbsp hummus, 1 slice each of "textured soy" salami, "textured soy" turkey and soy cheddar cheese

Dinner, Salad: 2 cups mixed greens, 1 cup alfalfa sprouts (love em), 1 oz raw onions, 6 baby carrots, 1.5 oz shredded soy cheese (feta flavor), 4 oz mushrooms, 4 Tbsp Fat Free Caesar Dressing, 1 3 oz packet of tuna, 1 small tuna sushi roll, 1 packet soy sauce, 1 tsp wasabi, 7 oz red wine.

Snack: 3 wheat thins, 2 baby carrots, 2 Tbsp salsa

I might have forgotten some things, but the the typical intake is around 55% cals from carbs (I minimize but don't completely cut out sweets), 25-30% fat, aiming again to minimize sat fats, and 15-20% protein. I try to make sure I have a minimum 63 g protein, and try to keep my sat fats under 20 g. My diet is a 2400 cal one to maintain my weight at 155 lbs.

Granted this is just an example. I use ****** and approximate things as best I can.

Let me know if I can be of more specific help?

Ulrich

 
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