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ann68675 ann68675

Statins : significant under reported side effects

My husband had been on statins for some years and gradually his feet became numb to the point where he could not drive. I am a (retired) medical biochemist and I started to look into the drug and its side effects and discovered that it blocked the formation of cholesterol but also CoQ10 which is essential for muscle activity. We added CoQ10 to his medication without much immediate effect. He then developed gout and searching through the medical literature I found many reported cases of gout in patients on statins.  By this time he had developed atrial fibrillation and the cardiologist was very keen to keep him on statins although his cholesterol at this point was  3.5 and he was aged 76.  Further searching of the literature found reports of mortality rates of patients over the age of 75 with low cholesterols. Fortunately he had kept records of his cholesterol levels and his symptoms over the years (he is a research engineer by training) and decided to come off the statins.  His gout disappeared immediately,  the numb feet (peripheral neuropathy) are improving with acupuncture treatment and Vit B6 and his only problem now is recovering from the side effects of Amiodarone which was prescribied for his atrial fibrillation.   Ann W3

69 Replies

  • EileenH EileenH ann68675

    Strange - I discussed statins and "cardiac events" with my cardiologist - I had had horrendous muscle problems within 10 days of starting a statin, and that at half dose, so I stopped taking it. As far as she was concerned the atrial fibrillation, which had been the basis for the medics (not the cardiologist) starting the statin in response to a raised cholesterol, did not count as a "cariac event". Here in Italy the primary consideration for a/f is anticoagulation. Mine was sufficiently bad to require medication to control it and BP but that is fine, no side effects I can identify (Losartan, bisoprolol and propafenone).

    If the medics are happy when someone with a REALLY elevated cholesterol achieves 7, why is there such a drive to keep an otherwise relatively healthy 75 year old at 3.5? Which, there is a fair amount of evidence to suggest and as you found, isn't very healthy.

    • ann68675 ann68675 EileenH

      Not just in Italy but everywhere the primary medication for atrial fibrillaltion is anticoagulants - usually Warfarin - because with a/f there is the possibility of blood not moving through the heart valves smootly and this may allow it to clot and thus cause a blockbge.  The anticoagulants prevent this happening.  Some medics are more concerned with treating numbers than treating patients so a raised cholesterol is something they can focus on and do something about whether it is relevant or not.

    • EileenH EileenH ann68675

      Yes, I know why the rat poison (I too was a biochemical medicine person!) - what I meant was that they don't go for the cardioversion first and foremost and everything is kept fairly simple. And the cardiologists were the ones who were least concerned. 

      In the UK I had a few friends who were admitted with rampant a/f episodes - and sent home on, at best, aspirin. They had to push for anything more. Here you don't get out of the hospital until appropriately adjusted on something - as my husband discovered when they found, on his birthday, that he has exercise triggered a/f. He was already on warfarin because of a protein C deficiency so that was fine - they let him home!

    • rob98765 rob98765 EileenH

      Almost anything that alters the heartbeat like caffine, indigestion. Alcohol etc can trigger af. and once you have it it is almost spontaneous as it can cut its own electrical pathway thru the atrial tissue which is close to the vagal nerve and trigger itself

    • EileenH EileenH rob98765

      It was valium that triggered my 5 hour, heavy duty a/f episodes. To be fair it was i.v. and it is a rare but known side effect - but don't ask me to take any diazepam again...

  • usch usch ann68675

    It is truly sad that after so many reports regarding statins; side effects, NICE is continuing to bury its head in the sand.

    The average GP is very poorly trained in respect to this drug and therefore will use their Qrisk assessment forms to decide for them. The whole idea of just looking a total (serum) cholesterol, is rather naive.

    Have a look at this link; there is no evidence that cholesterols 'save' lives.

    The reported side effects are just the tip of the iceberg, I think. Many people on statins do not make the connection between the drug and their aches and pains.

    We need more people like your husband that can use their analytical skills to make sense of the statins invasion.

    • EileenH EileenH usch

      I don't think NICE is burying its head in the sand - that is too kind a statement. It is said that more than half the committee who made the recent statins recommendations have connections that could be described as conflicts of interest. I haven't seen the documents but I can well believe it.

      The main reason the figures they work on are skewed is that the yellow card system isn't used properly. GPs think that because someone has a severe side effect that is already known they don't need to report it - which removes the whole point of the scheme. Unless EVERY adverse effect in the general population is reported the true incidence will never be known and they will continue to believe it is "only a small number". And, as you say, the connection is rarely made.

      There is a hospital group in either Seattle or Vancouver, I can't remember which just that the person who told me is from one or the other, which has simvastatin on its forbidden list because of the trouble they believe it causes. And it does actually say in the data that one known adverse effect is of triggering polymyalgia rheumatica. Mine wasn't triggered by a statin - but a statin made it far far worse.

    • loxie loxie EileenH

      I found out quite by accident the true facts about why doctors prescribe which statin, regardless of NICE guidance etc.  Once a statin hits the 10 yr mark its off patent and the cost per tablet drops to just a few pence.  Simvastatin is one of those and thus it's dirt cheap, so the first choice of most doctors, regardless of whether it suits a particular individual given their existing health record. They go for it and if the patient is wise enough to go back and complain, they'll prescribe a different (better) type but which is more expensive.  The hope in terms of their practice budget is obviously however that we won't know enough to complain and we'll keep taking the poisonous cheap stuff in blind faith.  Managing their budget is thus more important than their patient's long term health - it disgusts me.

    • EileenH EileenH loxie

      They have always prescribed the substance their last rep was singing the praises of - though they denied it. I've worked in medical marketing covering clinical trials long enough to know that they do it - and the honest ones admit it when questioned in the right way. You see it too in BP medications in the UK - amlodipine is handed out as first line. Loads of patients have horrid side effects but are scared to go back to the doctor and ask for something else. There are dozens to chose from so it isn't rocket science

    • usch usch EileenH

      What can we do about it?

      I have come across many complaints regarding statins on various sites.

      We should be able to set up a pressure group and make a formal complaint at the appropriate level.

    • EileenH EileenH usch

      Not sure there is a lot that can be done until someone comes up with some scientific backing to cholesterol NOT being the big baddie it is representated as.

      Statins DO achieve a reduction in repeat cardiovascular events in women and of first and repeat events in men, there is evidence for that - but it isn't because they reduce cholesterol. It is something else they do and lowering the cholesterol is just a side event. 

      All that is really feasible is to preach the gospel so people become more aware that they DO have side effects that are significant and common and encouraging them to make the link. Memory problems in older patients are also a nightmare - hello, increases in dementia rates anyone??? 

      Encouraging everyone who has had an adverse event to complete a yellow card submission would be a start - because the patient or the pharmacist can do it too. It doesn't have to be the GP. I suppose the best way would be to sue them, have a group claim made against the manufacturers - but I wouldn't know where to start with that. And proving that it was the statin rather than anything else would require some backing.

    • derek76 derek76 EileenH

      Would your GP give you a yellow card? I wonder how often they actually fill one out. The monthly prescribing manual BNF used to have one yellow card in it when my wife used to bring me an old copy from the hospital.

    • EileenH EileenH ann68675

      The research he's referred to is the same as my comments were based on. I have sut sugar and simple carbs drastically - and I'm including pasta, the standby of the so-called "healthy diet" - and eat natural fats in meat and so on as I like. Perhaps the biggest difference to be noted is the AMOUNT I eat - no breakfast except 3 mugs of tea, a big salad for lunch and meat and veg or salad for dinner. If we go out I don't fuss about what is on the plate except for too much carb - but I always have a tub with me to take the excess home. Our village restaurants will pack it for us but that causes more rubbish than a plastic box! I more often than not get 2 meals out of it, in the restaurant and one at home. But I am rarely hungry and if I feel peckish a cup of tea or a few cherry tomatoes or a raw carrot does the job. My husband eats even less but that is historical because of loss of sense of taste due to chemotherapy. He also rarely feels hungry. 

      People eat too much overall, graze all day and eat far too much carbohydrate. The healthiest the UK population was during the war when there was rationing - a lot less of most things. The only flaw was the margarine!

    • rob98765 rob98765 usch

      Lipitor saved my ilfe after a heart attack and bypass in 1998. 8.3 then down to 3.4 now and for the past 18 years. Grafts still in good shape and never felt better heartwise. Arterial schlerosis (blocked arteries) is also one of the major causes of atrial fibrulation which I had big time after years of high cholesterol.

  • loxie loxie ann68675

    Thank you Ann for your very informative post.  I had a cholesterol reading of 9 and was scared almost to death by my doctor telling me I'd have a stroke before I left the office if I didnt take statins immediately. Within a few weeks of starting Simvastatin I could hardly walk, so I went back to the doctor very scared about what was happening.   He changed my prescription to Atorvastatin and again a couple of weeks later I was waking during the night in such pain that no amount of pain killers were helping.  I was so frightened one day I called an ambulance as I couldnt drive to get to the A&E department.  They were the ones who told me it was the statins causing it, I hadnt connected it before and my doctor certainly hadnt warned me.  When I went back to my GP after the hospital occurrence he still wouldnt believe my muscle pain had been as a result of statins and said I must not stop taking them otherwise I'd die.  To be honest I wanted to die due to the pain I was in.  I was sitting in his consulting room crying with fear thinking what the heck do I do, if I dont take them I'll die if I do, I'll be disabled and want to die.  I bucked up the courage to walk out and flushed the remainder of the prescription down the toilet.  The pain started to ease off within a week and is improving all the time, although some still remains a year later.  I do however now worry that at any minute I'll have a stroke but I couldnt bear to go back to feeling that bad again, even with that threat hanging over me. The more I read the posts on these forums the more reassured I am that maybe I won't just drop dead due to my high cholesterol.  I don't have high BP or high blood sugar or any other symptoms of heart disease, just the high cholesterol.  Thank you again for such a well written post on the subject.

    • EileenH EileenH loxie

      I would assume someone calling themselves loxie is female. The other point Ann didn't mention, because it wasn't applicable to them, was that for women with no history of a "cardiovascular event" there is no protective effect of taking a statin. There is if she has had a heart attack or stroke, there is for men with high cholesterol whether they have had one or not. 

      But I'm with you - if you felt as I did after just over a week of atorvastatin then the risk of death by cardiovascular event was far preferable. And yes, it took me about a year to get back where I had been before.

      The thought of everyone over a given age being inveigled into taking these things scares me to death. I want to know that EVERYONE who is supporting it does not have shares in their production.

    • loxie loxie EileenH

      Thank you Eileen.  Yes I'm a 59 year old female (just over 57 when first prescribed).  I have no other cardiovascular issues whatsoever, I was very shocked to hear of my elevated cholesterol, particularly as my diet is very low in saturated fat as I don't eat meat.  

      It is very interesting to hear that you have been through a very similar experience, it really does make me feel less 'guilty' about making such a decision against my doctor's advice, the stress of worrying about my actions was probably just as likely to cause a heart attack as my cholesterol issue.  

      I dont mistrust my doctors but I do now check on these forums about health issues and then use the information to make sure I ask the right questions next time I visit the doctor, which I wouldnt have done before.  I feel so much more empowered since I found posts like Ann's and yours.  Thank you both so much again.

    • EileenH EileenH loxie

      Try reducing the sugar and other simple carbs in your diet - that may do the trick. I have lost a lot of weight and am more active than I was able to be at the time of the "cholesterol panic" - I have an arthritis/rheumatism and am on pred as the only useful medication for it which in and of itself can raise cholesterol. But the primary change I have made is no sugar, not even much fruit, and almost no flour. I don't eat wheat anyway - I itch too much for it to be worth it - so it wasn't too much of a change. But there are theories that simple carbs are the devil and it is easy enough to try. Fat comes in the form of olive oil and butter - nothing made in a factory! Cholesterol down to normal - with a high HDL to boot.

    • ann68675 ann68675 loxie

      I am so pleased that something I said has given you comfort and you are to be congratulated on your courage in flushing away the statins.  Cholesterol is just one of the risk factors for stroke or coronary diease and it seems to be the only one you have.  Quality of life is important and we have to make choices but I don't feel that statins should be included in your range of choices given your experience.  There are other ways of reducing your cholesterol and there are lost of diets which you can find on the web.  There are also drugs not like statins but drugs which prevent you absorbing fat.  To be honest my husband tried them and he coudn't tolerate them - not from any pain but because he couldn't enjoy his food. Plant sterols are effective and you can get them in products like Benecol either using the spread - and there are several spreads which say they reduce cholesterol - and Benecol also has a drinking yogurt containing plant sterols which helps and are pleasant to take.  Hope this helps.

    • loxie loxie EileenH

      I too have arthritis, ankle and thumb joints and am always looking for things in my diet that have anti-inflammatory properties as my system won't tolerate NSAIDs for the arthritis pain.  I don't eat much sugar, I really dont have a sweet tooth but I'll plead guilty on wheat as I make my own wholemeal and spelt bread which I love and I'm sure I eat too much of it, I'll try cutting down on that.  I also admit to having butter in my diet although I have cut it down to a fraction of what I used to have.  I don't touch margarine or spreads as they just taste like plastic to me, unfortunately even Benecol and the others that claim to lower cholesterol sad, but I'll try the yoghurts - we eat a lot of yoghurt as I use it in cooking a lot as well as for breakfast.  My weight isn't really an issue, probably could do with losing 6 or 7lbs but I'm 5'9 and size 12/14 so approx height/weight appropriate.  I looked into the over the counter fat absorption drugs one can buy but read they cause diarrhoea etc., not something I'm willing to risk I'm afraid.  I have probably become somewhat obsessive in trying to find more natural alternatives to statins and honestly thought I was becoming some kind of new age nutter in my campaign to find my non pharmaceutical miracle cure so it's lovely to find a bunch of like minded people on here.  

    • EileenH EileenH loxie

      Nothing wrong with butter - far healthier for you than that plastic muck and even the doctors are finally realising some of the dietary problems are because of the low fat mantra and substituting good natural products with so-called healthier alternatives which aren't - but they are still in thrall to the food manufacturing industy! If you buy any cakes and biscuits at all or sweetened yogs rather than natural then you are taking in sugar, lots of it. Being allergic to wheat makes you read labels VERY closely, believe me, and the places you find it and sugar in are mind-boggling!

    • loxie loxie EileenH

      I hear you about the hidden sugars.  Because I really don't like sweet food of any kind, I'm continually hunting down stuff without added sugars and it's nigh on impossible.  I buy something that to all intents and purposes shouldnt have sugar in it, then I taste it and think ugh that's way too sweet, check the label and there it is, sugar.  I usually make my own coleslaw but one day I bought some as I didnt have time and one mouthful later I was spitting it out.  It had a HUGE amount of added sugar - for heaven's sake who puts sugar in coleslaw?? It's really difficult finding stuff with no sweetening because even when there's no sugar they tend to put artificial sweeteners in it and I frightened myself to death reading about how dangerous aspartame is.  It's so confusing.  One article I read said tomatoes and peppers arent good for arthritis and I use a lot of them in my cooking, then another listed foods good for anti-inflammatory properties and tomatoes and peppers were right there at the top.  Who to believe eh.

    • EileenH EileenH loxie

      Tell me about it! I buy almost nothing that is ready-made and eating out is a bit risky, especially in the UK. Here in Italy they know what they have put in their food when you buy from the independent stores. Salt is my real problem rather than sugar - a week on holiday and I have put on weight, not from eating too much but from the salt causing fluid retention! We have given up buying the sausages from the butcher as he was very heavy-handed with the salt and other seasoning.

    • loxie loxie EileenH

      You're so right about the salt too.  I dislike salt even more than I dislike sugar.  I can't eat takeaway food any more because the level of salt makes me gag, it's like eating soap to my tastebuds.  I don't eat meat but occasionally I do buy it to cook for friends coming to dinner and I buy it from a local butcher I know and trust.  I bought steak in a supermarket recently and while unpacking it I turned it over and read the label.  There was added salt!  This wasn't a pre-pared meal or dish, it was just a piece of steak uncooked.  Just glad I didn't have to eat it.

    • loxie loxie EileenH

      It was part of the 'flavour enhancers' used - factory farmed meat obviously doesn't have any taste of its own so they have to add some - so glad I don't eat meat anymore.

    • EileenH EileenH loxie

      The beef I buy is expensive, especially mince for spag bol as it is a real piece of beef they mince in front of me. It has had a happy life too, wandering the alms in the summer.

      But to make the meat sauce I use that meat, a tin of tomatoes and onions and garlic. The flavour is wonderful. No Oxo, no sugar, not even salt. I saw a low carb recipe for spag bol the other day on a US site. I was thinking how can meat sauce not be low carb - until I discovered he'd put SUGAR in it! Apparently felt it was needed to take the sharpness off the tomatoes. 


    • loxie loxie EileenH

      Laughing here.  Reminds me of when an american friend gave me a recipe for 'real home cooked peach cobbler' (their version of crumble) - the 'home cooked' bit was opening a can of peaches in syrup and opening a packet of Betty Crocker Bisquick mix to pour on top, why am I not surprised so many of them have diabetes.  I make spag bol using quorn mince, canned plum tomatoes (which are sweet enough with any added sugar), onions, garlic, fresh herbs and my secret ingredient mushroom ketchup.  low fat, low carb, low sugar but tastes amazing.

    • EileenH EileenH loxie

      i found a brilliant article through one of the online papers last week, probably the Grauniad since it was fairly sensible. They had collected a representative recipe for Thanksgiving from every state. I don't think I found one that I could have eaten happily - there was more sweetness in each than I manage in a year! 

      What was even funnier was that there was another article asking why we eat savoury first and sweet after - which of course is a purely British thing really - but the US only seem to eat sweet.

      And as you say, wonder why they are fat and diabetic...

    • derek76 derek76 EileenH

      Salt is a preservative.

      Google salt again and some as in Trust Me I'm a Doctor ans elsewhere say that it is not as bad as it is painted and much, much less bad for us that sugar.

    • EileenH EileenH derek76

      Neither of us said salt was bad - we said we can't cope with the levels used in restaurant cookery because we don't use salt at home. And good beef doesn't need "flavour enhancers" - trust me, I know! ;-) No meat should be seasoned until you are ready to cook it unless you are marinading it - and either way I prefer to choose what I put on my steak thank you very much. Supermarkets are doing it to flog poor quality tasteless meat at a higher price. 

    • loxie loxie derek76

      I agree Derek. I don't avoid it because I necessarily think it's bad for me, I just don't like salty food and it's a bit annoying to buy what we think is 'fresh' when really it's adulterated with preservatives and flavour enhancers.  As you say, buy meat from a reputable butcher.  My butcher can tell you which farm the meat came from and it's always relatively 'local' so those who have concerns can always go look.  None of his meat is pre-minced or diced, he'll chop it or mince it for you while you wait.  I don't eat meat but at least I know when I do buy it, it's from a source with good animal husbandry.

    • loxie loxie EileenH

      Exactly Eileen, if they have to add stuff to fresh meat to give it flavour, it's probably diabolically reared factory farmed stuff, my main reason for not eating meat in the first place smile

    • loxie loxie derek76

      I love that show, it really helps to debunk some of the myths surrounding food and drink and supplements etc.  I've worried needlessly at times about whether I'm doing what's good for me and I get reassured seeing them state that what I'm eating or taking isn't at all bad after all.

    • EileenH EileenH loxie

      I even occasionally eat veal - because I know that by doing so here the male calves born to milk cows will be raised happily, next to mum for a long time, drinking milk the way it was intended and not slaughtered immediately. The lamb here scampers around the mountains too - and you can taste the mountain herbs. Very partial to venison - and they must be culled or they become overcrowded and die nasty deaths of starvation and cold in the winter. 

      But for those who can't reconcile even that - I'm not going to criticise.

    • derek76 derek76 EileenH

      I have not used salt since about 1983 nor sugar from a few years later. Most everything I eat is bland. I now dislike the taste of both.

      Doing without however did not stop me from getting hypertension in 2000 or T2 diabetes about four years later. There is no justice in this life:-)


    • derek76 derek76 loxie

      When we lived in Edinburgh we used to buy all of our meat at the Farmers Market. We E-Mailed them on Wednesday and collected it from the Market on the Saturday all completely tracable.

      We don't often shop at Morrisons but they say that their meat all comes from their own farms.


    • loxie loxie derek76

      Unfortunately Derek, T2 diabetes isn't always a result of high sugar content in your diet.  There are oodles of risk factors - hereditary factors (genetics is actually the main risk factor), body shape/type (if you carry any excess weight around the abdomen its higher risk), age, ethnicity (asian races are at higher risk at younger age than european races),  Also it's not just sugar per se, its carbs which convert to sugars, so all forms of refined carbs are at fault.  As you say, no justic whatsoever, I have no recognised contributory factors but have a cholesterol count off the Richter scale yet my best friend is overweight, eats all the wrong things and has a reading of just 4.2.  

    • EileenH EileenH derek76

      There definitely isn't Derek - you are right there!

      I don't think I'd class what I eat as bland - love a good curry from a real Indian but not too many of those here in northern Italy! We're off to Innsbruck with our camper van tomorrow - not entirely essential for the husband's work on Thursday but we will go for a Greek meal as well. And maybe wander along a Christmas market - not that we don't have a home grown one along the road. 

      I stopped using salt when we got our first microwave - you should salt vegetables after cooking it advised to avoid dehydrated patches. I always forgot  - and eventually decided not to bother. Don't even use it for pasta now. Just for porridge - salt on them and cold milk!

    • derek76 derek76 EileenH

      That is the one meat that I do not eat. I've seen the unwanted calves bought at Cattle Markets for as little as £3 each, bewildered and alone in the sale ring only a few days old.

      From one animal rights site and I've cut out some of their rants to save space.

      "The veal calf industry is one of the most reprehensible of all the kinds of intensive animal agriculture. Veal calves are a by-product of the dairy industry;.Male calves are taken from their mothers shortly after birth. Some are slaughtered soon after birth for "bob veal." Others are raised in "open pens," a kind of minimum security prison, and even then they are sometimes chained. Most are destined for the veal crate.

      The veal crate is a wooden restraining device that is the veal calf's permanent home. It is so small (22" x 54"wink that the calves cannot turn around or even lie down and stretch. Designed to prevent movement (exercise), the crate does its job of atrophying the calves' muscles, thus producing tender "gourmet" veal."Feeding" TimeThe calves are generally fed a milk substitute intentionally lacking in iron and other essential nutrients. This diet keeps the animals anemic and creates the pale pink or white color desired in the finished product. Craving iron, the calves lick urine-saturated slats and any metallic parts of their stalls. Farmers also withhold water from the animals, who, always thirsty, are driven to drink a large quantity of the high-fat liquid feed.Because of such extremely unhealthy living conditions and restricted diets, calves are susceptible to a long list of diseases, including chronic pneumonia and "scours," or constant diarrhea. Consequently, they must be given massive doses of antibiotics and other drugs just to keep them alive.  The calves often suffer from wounds caused by the constant rubbing against the crates.

      14 weeks after their birth, the calves are slaughtered. The quality of this "food," laden with chemicals, lacking in fiber and other nutrients, diseased and processed, is another matter. The real issue is the calves' experience. During their brief lives, they never see the sun or touch the Earth. They never see or taste the grass. Their anemic bodies crave proper sustenance. Their muscles ache for freedom and exercise. They are kept in darkness except to be fed two to three times a day for 20 minutes"

    • derek76 derek76 loxie

      I tend to argue that I am not Type 2 but glucose intolerant. One GP said that doesn't matter we as we have to treat you in the same way. I have been prescribed Metformin (possibly a worse drug than statins) and two other drugs that I had to stop.

      I have acid reflux and one said remedy for it is to take Manuka honey before meals to put a coating on the esophagus. Later I had some routine blood tests and the doctor asked how long I had been diabetic as I had a reading of 14. I cut out the honey and it quickly went down to borderline levels and try to keep to a decent diet for control.

      My last total cholesterol level in May was 6.3. Last week the nurse asked when I am due to have it checked again. I told her on the First of Never.


    • derek76 derek76 EileenH

      I can't eat curry. We once flew Air India very cheaply to Canada and specified the European menu. We got it going out but on the night flight home they ran out. Although we had not eaten since breakfast we both turned it down.

      Over an hour later the stewardess came along with two European meals from First Class.

      I like Chinese and Greek but don't very often have it.  Last time I had Kleftika I went for an INR test the next day and my reading had shot up from the previous week.

    • EileenH EileenH derek76

      That is factory-farming veal, I know all about that and wouldn't buy veal in a supermarket if you paid me to, The butchers I use here in northern Italy buy their veal from the local mountain farmers who have bred for milk production - only a cow that is in-calf is any use to them, that's how milk is produced. Female calves are kept to grow up for milk production - male calves are kept with their mother in the stall and milk fed until they are slaughtered. They are bought by the butcher - and slaughtered by him in his own facility. They are transported alone and not terrified. 

      I'm not going to get into an argument about this, I know where the meat I eat comes from and have no bad conscience about it at all. If I did I would have to be vegan - I feel no need for that. I grew up on a farm, I live in the country and I wear leather shoes. That is my choice. A good friend is vegan and all that goes with it - I don't criticise her for her choice, she doesn't criticise me.

    • EileenH EileenH derek76

      The best way to deal with diabetes is to restrict carbs - my husband is pre-diabetic as assessed by a glucose tolerance test but his his Hba1c is fine. Why? Because he never eats more than about 50g usable carb at a time. That's his choice.

      But where is the logic in eating carbs that then require medication? Reduce the carbs, reduce the medication required. And before anyone tells me that carbs are essential for life - no they are not. If they were several ethnic groups would have died out long ago, in particular Inuit and Mongols.

    • derek76 derek76 EileenH

      Italy is different I was forgetting your location. I do eat veal in Italy but suerly there they are also kept indoors in semi dark to keep the meat pale?

      I don't have any great concience about the meat I eat apart from 'factory veal, rabbits and chickens'

    • EileenH EileenH derek76

      They are kept in the stall yes but that isn't to keep the meat pale, the colour of the meat is partly due to the all milk diet and partly due to not being older and well exercised. The farmers are half way up a mountain, it is a long way to the meadows and not practical to drive the animals there each day. And in some areas there are wolves and bears, though not here yet! The stalls rarely house more than 8 animals - not far to the door and the openwork walls. There are also 2 different sorts of veal - one is this milk fed sort where the calves are young and with mum from birth to death. The other is more what the Germans call "young beef" - and by the time they are slaughtered they are sizeable beasts but more often than not kept outdoors in stalls but in the open. But you can't keep them outside in the winter hereanyway - temperatures of -10C and lower are not uncommon.

    • EileenH EileenH derek76

      Ah well - temps like that would be welcomed at the moment! Not a flake of snow to be seen! Not even the artificial sort as it simply is too warm - hasn't been below freezing for a week or more, even overnight at the top of the mountain. Not conducive to the white stuff and that isn't a good thing in a ski resort! 

      They will have to introduce winter hill walking!

    • derek76 derek76 EileenH

      The only snow I have been in in Italy was on Mount Etna one February. We had taken a bus up as far as the Ski Station that was closed with some engineers working on it. We could sit on dry rocks warmed by the volcano while it snowed. Then a blizzard started just before the time for our bus back down. I headed to the cafe where the bus was parked and the driver was playing cards with the owner. He told me the bus had broken down and a mechanic would come in the morning and suggested that we walk! We were flying out from Catania the next morning but I was not that desperate.

      A German youth and a Swiss girl set out. I went over to the hotel that was closed and not even a caretaker there. Thankfully the Ski lift engineers were going back down at the end of their shift in their truck and we got a lift from them and stopped for the two snow covered figures who had started to walk.  

    • loxie loxie EileenH

      We in the West do eat far too much carbohydrate in our diet for sure.  My first long term partner was anglo-indian, his family being from the North of India - the wheat growing area.  Their diet was heavy in carbs and heart disease was common.  Some anglo-indian friends of his from Tamil Nadu in the south had absolutely no history of heart problems, yet they ate a diet rich in fats.  My mum's female line all lived into their 90's or beyond and were basically too poor to be picky about what they ate but they ate everything 'in moderation' and lived to ripe old age.  They didn't however have access to any pre-prepared, processed or adulterated food, no supermarkets and no GM foods, makes you wonder eh. 

  • marco marco ann68675

    Thanks for your post as your husband's experience is similar to my own. I'm 79 years old and have been on various statins for about 10 years but not any more. I had muscle/joint pain with all the statins I've taken over that period. I developed PAFib shortly after startng BP medication again about 10 years ago and found that practically all BP meds had palpitations as a side effect that doctors both GP and Cardiac ignored and continue to ignore. I do not take any meds for my PAFib, was on Sotalol but the only thing this did was to lower my pulse rate to scary levels.

    I was particularly interested in your mention of peripheral neuropathy as I developed this about 2 years ago and also suffer the dreaded numb feet. So far lots of tests and diagnoses but as yet no treatment. I found a lot of info. on peripheral neuropathy on the Cleveland Clinic website and one of the meds. mentioned as a possible cause was statins. When I discussed this with my consultant she discounted it straight away. In the absence of any treatment so far I will give acupuncture a try and possibly Vit B6.

    Thanks again

  • marco marco ann68675

    Correction. I take 5mg Warfarin for PAFib.

    • ann68675 ann68675 marco

      My husband has had very good results from his acupuncture therapist -  she describes herself as practising Traditional Acupuncture.  I hope you can find a good one locally  - might be a good place to start.

      The vit B he uses is Vit B Complex which is a mixture of all the B vitamins.  This was recommended by the neurologist he went to see but who said he could not help until my husband got much worse!!!

      Good luck!


  • usch usch ann68675

    I have submitte a Yellow Card myself.

    • derek76 derek76 usch

      You sound NEARLY as bad as me. I get stuck into them all. Hospital managements, Consultants, Drug manufacturers, company CEO's, MP's.

      With the internet you can find anyone. I even found the direct line number for the BT Chairman but did not get beyond his PA. I once proved to the Halifax that they had ovecharged my mortgage interest one year and to my ISA provider that their way of calculating interest on Free Cash had been wrong.  They actually repaid all people affected.   

  • alzheimer alzheimer ann68675

    My dear Ann... I am so sorry I did not get this report until this morning and believe me I have complete sympathy with your husband.....and fully appreciate what you have gone through.  

    I truly believe that nobody fully realises how awful the side-effects of these statins really are...until they are faced with sometimes progressive and irreversible symptoms.

    I have a very good friend who has peripheral neuropathy such as you describe and she is in agony especially at night  - so I am very interested therefore in your acupuncture treatment.

    She already takes vitamin B6 and Ubiquinol the refined form (which is suppose the more accessible to the system) of Coenzyme Q 10.   She is in actual fact attending the pain clinic and her neurologist again this week as her neuropathy has now extended halfway up her calves despite her stopping the statins six months ago.

    In my own instance I have developed "total motor block" as a result of being on statins for just six months - some two years ago believe it or not.  My neurologists of course do not want to know about the connection with statins... But my orthopaedic surgeon informs me and I believe him sadly  - that my not unknown -  but very rare side-effect is both progressive and irreversible and indeed I have just ordered myself a powered mobility chair - so I may continue to "walk" my dogs - something I could do without any problems 3 miles a day before breakfast every day prior to going on the statins.  So far around the house I manage - principally because I have a cluttered cottage  - LOL - with so much furniture I can hang onto everything as I progress - ever more slowly.!!

    I look as though I have the "freezing of gait" syndrome associated with Parkinson's disease but I do NOT have Parkinson's disease - TG.   However any medication which has been tried with me has proved totally useless but of course I was warned -  when I complained that I was not improving after many weeks of trial - that the success rate is very poor in such cases as mine.

    I will be very interested to learn how  your husband progresses and sincerely trust that the coenzyme 10 therapy will help him -  as well of course as his acupuncture.

    Thank you so much for posting..... And one of these days as I am so prone to saying on this forum "Big Pharma" will be held to account - eventually, when it is realised that these statins are seriously dangerous drugs.... with profound side-effects.

  • rob98765 rob98765 ann68675

    Hmm interesting. Just developed gout after 18 years on statins following a heart attack and bypass in 1998 but have noticed numb feet for some time. Will drop them for a few days and see what happens. My foot circulation definitely needs improvement at 75. I had an operation to cure

    My atrial fibrulation at same time as my bypass but they gave me amiodorone for a short while after my operation to settle my heartbeat and it nearly killed me.

  • karla 80633 karla 80633 ann68675

    Very interesting. I Wonder what all of us are supposed to do if we have high cholesterol some dangerously High but we can't take cholesterol meds. I'm 55 years old and in great shape but hereditary got in my way . My cholesterol is 2.9 and I cannot take cholesterol medication because of constant pain in my calves at rest and this cause me to not be able to sleep at night. So then I'm up worrying well if I get off cholesterol medication then what do I do just wait for a heart attack or stroke? I tried the red yeast extract and since it had Statin in it even at a small level I had the problem still. I speak for all people that cannot take statins what are we supposed to do just wait and die early?

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