Discussions that mention lescol

Weight Loss board

I did it, it worked for me.

Here's an account of it from March of last year:

I've been on Lescol XL (80 mg fluvastatin sodium) about a year to control high cholesterol. I'm not all that great about taking it, sometimes my compliance gets spotty for a couple of days or even a week or two at a time. At some point during the last year, I started asking my wife to be careful how she placed her arm across me, so that weight was either on the bottom of the ribcage or the top of the pelvis ... the abdomen (especially the upper abdomen) was uncomfortably off limits. I also didn't have my usual enthusiasm for exercise (but she's been pregnant since August, and cutting back too, and we usually exercised together).

I lunched on Sunday a couple of weeks ago at a downtown festival-type mall ... unfortunately, this one is now linked by streetcar to the other festival mall where the cruise ships dock. Seems every time we eat there lately, somebody comes down with diarrhea. This time it turned out to be me.

Monday morning, I wake up with a feeling like a fist is pressing just below my sternum. A short time later I'm suffering diarrhea. I take Kaopectate (bismuth subsalicylate, like Pepto Bismol ... the formula changed a few years back [away from kaolin and pectin] for anyone who doesn't know) about 12 hours later when it doesn't let up. Over the next 24 hours, I wind up running a temperature as high as 102.5. Stools were black from the Kaopectate (an expected side effect), and there's also a lot of strange gritty material that sinks (maybe 2000 particles). Later research indicates those may have been one of the two types of gallstones, not stuff that was created by the Kaopectate. I haven't read anything about bismuth subsalicylate that indicates you should expect gritty stools.

There was never any vomiting, although there were a few moments of mild nausea. My appetite went to zero during this time.

As I'm feeling better, getting my appetite back and the diarrhea is abating, I begin getting sharp, jolting pains from one side of my diaphragm to the other (the pain is below the ribcage, above the rest of the abdomen, and a bit more on the right than on the left). A few stools are as pale as (or even paler than) a beige lightswitch or wall socket (to mention something just about everyone would be familiar with). Online research associates them with alcoholism, hepatitis or a blocked bile duct (as in, gallstone lodged in it). The latter seems the most likely culprit since I drink very little and I'm not jaundiced--and fasting can supposedly bring on a gallstone attack, and I definitely fasted. The pain stops and digestion gets back to normal. Around this time, John Ashcroft goes in for gallbladder/pancreas problems, and the news mentions that it starts like stomach flu. Things are starting to add up in my mind.

I did research on the 'net and ran across various things that led me to believe that being on a statin can cause stones to form in your gallbladder, and that the epsom salt flush I read about years ago in Maureen Salaman's "Foods That Heal" is more widely recommended and practiced than I thought.

Last Sunday, I tried an abbreviated version of it, since I still couldn't let my wife put her arm across me and I figured I might still have some gallstones. I took a tbsp of epsom salts in water at about 8pm along with a small can of grapefruit juice. I took another dose a couple of hours later, and 1/2 cup of olive oil, and another small can of grapefruit juice. Diarrhea hit shortly after that, but I did get to bed a bit later.

In the morning, I did one more dose of the epsom salts. At that point, along with the diarrhea were a few (not 2000 by any means, more like a couple dozen) yellow-green floating stones of the type described elsewhere on the net. Just larger than sesame seeds. Later, there's just more diarrhea. Gradually, things get back to normal, digestion-wise.

The kicker is that now my wife can put her arm across me any way she likes, and she says she no longer feels swelling on my right side, under the ribcage. I don't feel any pressure there anymore either ... it kind of snuck up on me over time, but I can definitely notice its sudden absence.

I'm not saying this is safe for anyone else to try, but epsom salts are labeled as a "saline laxative" and this regimen is within normal dosages. Be forewarned the taste is terrible (which is what I think the grapefruit juice is really all about). Drinking straight olive oil isn't that much of a problem either. It just goes right down. I didn't bother mixing it with the grapefruit juice.

I don't know if the first problem was a gallstone attack or a case of salmonella or norwalk. I don't know whether the epsom salts treatment actually did anything like what it claims it does (some on the net suggest that nothing is coming out of the gallbladder, all the treatment does is saponify [turn into soap] its main ingredients, and creates the little floating stones). I do know that by using the epsom salts I got some relief beyond just getting over whatever the attack was.

Just an update based on some research I did while trying to run down another health issue I'm having. My current thinking is that the Lescol (fluvastatin) caused hemolytic anemia, resulting in formation of black pigment stones. I stopped the Lescol and haven't had any problems of that sort since.