Recently I had "taken a recovery break" from statins to see if issues I were having would go away. They did eventually and I felt great. Then, time for some bloodwork-and of course my cholesterol is up too high. Anyway, knowing all the problems I have had with Lipitor, Zocor and Lescol (I'm not brave enough to even try Crestor) I was put on pravastatin 20mg. Issues with muscle pain the first two weeks. Cut to 10mg....muscle issues and now fatigue with a little bit of ringing in the ears.
I do believe I have become allergic to statins. I'm going to have to contact my Dr. and I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas on a NON-statin drug. My LDL was 239 and I'd like to be at 150 or so. No cardiac issues, no smoking, great blood pressure and I'm working on my diet to eliminate as much sugar as possible.
I feel the same. I had been on statins for about ten years in total and for a while just knew they were gradually ruining my quality of life. At first I think they were fine, maybe for three years or so, but by the end I had been through all the ones you mention and on some level they all caused a reaction, with me it was fatigue. I have been off them for the best part of four or five months now and have more energy than I can remember in years. I have been exercising, losing weight and feel better able to focus for lengths of time, that has to count for something even if my cholesterol has gone up again.
I am taking Ezetimibe from my doctor, Niacin, Omega 3 fish oil and CoEnzyme q10 from the health food shop. I am also trying to eat porridge, made with soya milk, every day and having a single alcoholic drink every day....I am no teetotaller but don't usually drink every day! My diet is only OK, it could be better.
Next week I am due a blood test so will post the results here but if anyone else has any more good advice about things that can help keep cholesterol down without statins I would also like to know but I have come to the conclusion that it is not the be all and end all, a 'not great' cholesterol result with my current quality of life is better than low cholesterol and near permanent fatigue.
It'll be interesting to see what other ideas you all have.
I have to agree-the quality of life is worth a ton. I too was feeling so much better when I was off the statins. Statistically speaking, most of my life is behind me....and some of the toughest years could be ahead. I want to go in to them strong and as pain-free as possible. That's not going to happen if I stay on statins.
Any problems with the Ezetimibe or the niacin? What mg of niacin do you take?
Hahaha! I know what you're saying, and my cholesterol is certainly hereditary so diet will only have a minimal impact. I'm on 100mg of Niacin, which I now feel is a bit wimpish :-) when I get my bloods done next week I'll have some idea of how the land lies. My HDL is the main issue, and that throws out the ratio reading, the LDL is usually not such a big deal.
There are no effective alternatives to statins...sorry.
Perhaps that drastic diet, I forget his name, with no animal foods and <10% fat by calories....aah, ORNISH.
But who can eat like that?
Niacin, if over 2,000 mg/day, can help with HDL but that dose would have me in a coffin fast. Even at 500 mg., the flush, with swollen lips and eyes, feels like death is imminent.
You know I agree-you can't beat statins for lowering cholesterol. If someone with truly high-cholesterol is trying to get their numbers to a range that will please MOST Dr.'s-they are going to have to resort to statins. I say "resort to" because I think statins should be considered only after you have exhausted other avenues to get the numbers in a "comfortable range". I also think anyone considering them should learn how statins do what they do-and learn what else is being modified in their body.
Myself, I'm not shooting for low cholesterol. My research has told me that people with high cholesterol simply live longer. No, I certainly was not told that at my own Dr's-nor would I expect to be. I think most of them get a lot or most of their information from the big-pharma sales reps. That's somewhat of a concern to me.
In speaking to more than a few different Dr's in several different groups, I have been told that it's about 50/50 for ending up on the table with cardiac issues including heart attack. You have 50% with high cholesterol and 50% with normal or low cholesterol.
My concern with statins causing problems with muscles and fatigue-is the heart. The one muscle that never gets to rest-never gets to just take a break.
I agree also on the diet. It's tough sometimes to really keep it on track. But I think the really big thing to watch is sugar and processed foods. I'm still considering niacin-but not a lot of it-those symptoms I'd like to avoid.
Dottydog-on your bloodwork-are you going to get the newer particle test? That one -like the NMR will show you so much more. If you are too high on the small particles (which I understand are the worst ones) you can work on diet modifications that you can live with. From what I've been told-statins may not be much help in the conversion process.....small to large particles.
Flush Niacin will work for increasing HDL. If you want to lower LDL you might consider Red Yeast Rice and CoQ10 supplements. However, the brand of RYR is important. You want one free of citrinin and standarized with a minimum of 1.5% monaclins. With this in mind, Nature's Plus is the best, IMO. I have definitely lowered my LDL cholesterol with this regime. I am now in the low risk category.
Read the book: THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL MYTH by Dr. Jonny Bowden. He was featured in the Dr. Oz show and it was great info. I bought the book 4 months ago and started on his advice. I stopped taking statins completely (after 10 years) and switched to a new doctor that is willing to try his advice. My main supplement is niacin (the one recommended by the book) as Nicotinic Acid. I had very bad flushes until I switched to Doctor's best Real Niacin. I take 2 tablets a day (500mg each) I know people that take more than that; the doctor said it will take a while (at least 4 months). I am at the end of the 4 months next week, so I will be tested and see the doctor again. I hope and pray that this works!!
The answer lies in my most recent post and my posts of years gone by.
Just search for Natures Plus on this board.
How are you doing Yack? I've been on vacation....and managed to stay pretty close to a decent, healthy diet. I've completely cut out sodas (never did drink diet colas-I consider them unhealthy due to the fake sugars) and I've cut all my sweets by at least 80%.
I'm continuing to try to stay on 10mg of pravastatin-but I can certainly feel the effects. I've re-read a lot of your older posts-you have a lot of great advice. I've also been devouring the many books out there now (written by Drs of various degrees) and after reading 8 or 9 books now.....I'm wondering if cholesterol is the "poison" we are being led to believe. In any case, no way are we getting the full story on statin research. I always have a problem with any company who does a "study", provides the funding, controls the results, and also sells the product.
What statins do and how they do what they do-that concerns me more each passing day. Considering that 50% that have cardiac episodes have low or normal cholesterol.....the challenge that myself and probably many other face-is deciding just how risky is statin treatment WHEN you can feel the muscle pain and weakness creeping in. A tough call for sure.