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I'm female and 64 years old. The last time I had a test for high cholesterol the total was 10.8. At that time I was overweight, a heavy smoker, had a high-fat diet and little exercise. I was prescribed simvastatin but in the night after taking the 2nd pill I woke up with breathing difficulties. My doctor changed to Lipitor, saying that had few side-effects. Within 30 minutes of taking the 1st tablet my face was numb and tingling, I had joint pains, just about every possible side-effect, all severe. So I was prescribed a new non-statin drug (forgot the name) but stopped taking it after reading research showing it caused narrowing of arteries. I was then given high-dose Niacin, in 3 months my total cholesterol had dropped by 0.2, triglycerides had dropped from 2.5 to 1 but HDL cholesterol had also dropped and LDL increased. At that time I'd just started a diet and exercise. I stopped the Niacin after reading that heart attacks were more likely to be fatal in 25% of patients taking niacin.
Since then I've lost almost 3 stone, exercise regularly, have a low-fat diet and have cut my smoking from 50 a day to 5 to a maximum of 10 a day, using ecigs. I have no idea what my cholesterol is now as my Dr says there's no point testing if I'm not taking drugs. When I was younger and total cholesterol was 6 he said there was no need to do anything. My GP is due to retire soon and his replacement would try every available statin in the hope that he finds one I don't react to. I hope my levels have improved due to lifestyle changes plus eating a lot of porridge oats and having Benecol daily.
Because my total cholesterol was so high 3 years ago, should I try to find a statin I can take? I have normal blood pressure but it is very difficult to find a vein that will let anybody draw blood, the reason, I think, why my GP has done no more tests. He has to draw blood from my foot, no other Dr is likely to, and phlebotomists just can't find decent veins.
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