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    Old 08-25-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
    filly1
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    scared of statins

    Hi all: My cholesterol has been high for a long time and I fear drugs so i haven't taken statins; now my cholesterol is 280, HDL 80 and LDL 172; I dont' eat that bad really so it is probably genetic; i eat oatmeal, lots of salads, too much chocolate probably but all in all my diet isn't awful; i don't eat fast food often; anyway, I am scared to death to take statins; i am very sensitive to meds; a lady i was talking to and telling her about my high cholesterol really scared me saying that I was heading for a stroke if i didn't take something; she may be right but listening to so many people complain of all the potential side effects from these meds has scared me away from them. I am trying to improve my diet, add legumes, cut down on margarine and red meat; i do exercise 30 min every day as well. I just don't know what to do about the high cholesterol. Niacin causes awful flushing; i think about Red Rice Yeast and wonder about that. I just don't know w hat to do; any ideas are really appreciated. Also, with an HDL of 80, doesn't that really offset to some extent the high cholesterol and hi LDL????

     
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    Old 08-25-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
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    Re: scared of statins

    I know what you mean. I had high cholesterol, too, but I got off zocor and went over to zetia at night---just 10mg. In the morning, I take cholest-off from the grocery store over the counter. It is a plant sterol which also lowers cholesterol. Red yeast rice is like a statin with some of the same side effects. Statins are based on red yeast rice and are reductase inhibitors. You can't have grapefruit if you have statins or red yeast. Plant sterols are safer and zetia works through the intestines instead of through the liver like statins do. Go to a health food store and they will help you find the plant sterol pills. The spelling may be wrong but polycosenol are little white pills that come in tiny glass cylinders in a paper container. Zetia is a prescription drug and rather new. You can try these and stay off high fat foods and fried foods. Lower your portions and eat a balanced diet. Walk every day or do some exercise. Your cholesterol should come down. Exercise helps with the HDL, the good cholesterol which you want to be high. I found that the statins lowered the bad cholesterol but also made my good cholesterol go down, too. It was hard for me to raise that. I also had side effects from the statins and my GGTP went up with them. I have had trouble getting that liver enzyme to go down the way it used to be. I guess I have sort of a fatty liver now and that is why it won't go as low as I wish. Anyway, my cholesterol was 164 total last time with the zetia and plant sterols.
    mtngal

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 04:54 AM   #3
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    Re: scared of statins

    I've never heard that you can't eat grapefruit if taking RYR. What is the theory behind this?

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 05:00 AM   #4
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    Re: scared of statins

    filly,

    With the flush niacin you need to start VERY slow. Get the lowest mg. you can find (like 100) and quarter it. Take one quarter a day and very slowly, over weeks or months if necessary, build up to larger amounts. Eventually you will be able to take 1000 to 1500 mg. a day with no flushing, but only if you follow this slow, ramp up measure. People give up on Flush Niacin because they aren't informed how to properly take it. Luckily, I had a nurse practitioner explain the procedure in detail for me. It is the flushing effect that is effective to raise HDL so the non flush is not going to be useful.

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 08:03 AM   #5
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    Re: scared of statins

    Filly,
    I think you should stop stressing over your cholesterol. Your HDL is excellent LDL is a little high, but just try to exercise some more and cut down on some fats. You didn't mention your triglyceride number. Studies show an equal number of people get HD and stroke regardless of cholesterol numbers. A balanced diet and life are the most important things. Do some research on cholesterol from both points of view (pro and anti) and decide for yourself but don't let people scare you into taking meds. I wish you well.

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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    Re: scared of statins

    High cholesterol is genetic with me, too, however, I found that zetia at night and cholest-off in the am has so far done well for me. My family on my mother's side all have heart problems or angina, etc, but I so far have avoided that by following a good diet and using zetia and plant sterols from the health food store.
    mtngal

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 12:27 PM   #7
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    Re: scared of statins

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jenj770 View Post
    I've never heard that you can't eat grapefruit if taking RYR. What is the theory behind this?
    Grapefruit has an enzyme that can effect the absorption of some prescrption drugs. With statins, it can increase chances of getting the bad muscle problem that statins can cause in some people. Grapefruit may increase the danger of the muscle damage. It has a big name that starts with an "r" and I never know how to spell the thing unless I can see it somewhere. Just look up the statin drug and read the contraindications and it will mention grapefruit. It doesn't say anything about other citrus doing anything.
    Mtngal

     
    Old 08-27-2009, 05:50 AM   #8
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    Re: scared of statins

    thanks for your response; i don't know my triglyceride number but presume it is ok since my doc didn't mention it was high. I know that people who have normal cholesterol also have heart disease. I am trying to cut down the fats and make some dietary adjustments. Again thanks for your input.

     
    Old 08-27-2009, 09:09 AM   #9
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    Re: scared of statins

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filly1 View Post
    thanks for your response; i don't know my triglyceride number but presume it is ok since my doc didn't mention it was high. I know that people who have normal cholesterol also have heart disease. I am trying to cut down the fats and make some dietary adjustments. Again thanks for your input.
    The kind of fats consumed is important.

    Trans-fats from hydrogenated oils are the worst fats for your blood cholesterol levels (raise LDL and lower HDL). If you have high LDL, you also want to try cutting back on saturated fats common in red meat fat, dairy fat, and coconut / palm oil.

    On the other hand, unsaturated fats from nuts, avocados, fish, and non-hydrogenated vegetable oil (other than coconut / palm oil) may help lower your LDL level.

    In addition, if you have excess body fat (e.g. waistline > half your height or waistline > 0.8 of your hip for women, 0.95 of your hip for men), losing it will likely help lower your LDL level.

     
    Old 09-14-2009, 11:29 AM   #10
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    Re: scared of statins

    According to JAMA, June 2002 ,the lower a person's cholesterol , the higher their risk of stroke.

     
    Old 09-14-2009, 12:22 PM   #11
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    Re: scared of statins

    <removed>

    Tweak your diet, learn what to eat and what to avoid. Don't risk your future on a pill that can ruin your life should you be one of the "few" of us who can not tolerate that drug. Believe me, it is not worth it. Cholesterol is the building block of every cell in your body, hormones, brain, nerves, muscles and more. You can do it naturally, without drugs.. I did and I have the genetic high cholesterol.

    Last edited by mod-anon; 09-14-2009 at 01:04 PM. Reason: do not refer to commercial websites.

     
    Old 09-14-2009, 09:31 PM   #12
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    Re: scared of statins

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chrispy1 View Post
    According to JAMA, June 2002 ,the lower a person's cholesterol , the higher their risk of stroke.
    Title and author(s) of this article?

    What I can find in the JAMA is an article on September 18, 2002 called "New Evidence for Stroke Prevention" by Straus, Majumdar, and McAlister. That article appears to say that the use of statins reduces stroke risk, which seems to go against what you are arguing.

    Other articles and sources indicate that:

    * Lower (total or LDL) blood cholesterol is associated with lower risk of ischemic stroke, but higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
    * Lower HDL blood cholesterol is associated with a higher risk of stroke. (HDL is commonly known as the "good" blood cholesterol.)

     
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