Statins? Yes or no.

Posted , 6 users are following.

hi,

i am reading all about statins atm and i am more confused than ever. was prescribed atorvastatin but had to stop as i was suffering from restless legs. the gp gave me pravastatin bur i have not started them yet. my cholesterol readings are: total 6.0

serum triglycerides 2.18 (0.3-1.7) HDL ratio 2.9 and LEVEL 2.04 . se non HDL 3.96.

after reading horror stories on here, i i bought the pioppi diet book and am tempted to try it. any advice from people who have tried that diet or is it just a fad. i am female, 65 and slightly overweight. thank you.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Couple of points to raise here.....diet isnt always the major factor, particularly if high cholesterol is hereditary (ie family history). If you feel your lifestyle could be improved then nothing to be lost by improving diet, exercise, stop smoking, etc etc., but unfortunately it isnt always a factor. My hubby is a non smoker, non drinker, vegetarian, no saturated fats, no junk or processed food and is not particularly overweight. He just had a heart attack and it was found his LAD artery was over 80% blocked and he has at least four blockages. His cholesterol levels were never very high previously but he was on medication for high blood pressure. Both his parents had high BP and his father died of heart disease. He has been put on high dose atorvastatin (80mg), changed to beta blockers and also blood thinners. He now has diabetes, which we feel is a direct result of the meds, and is almost unable to walk due to foot pain - we are sure caused by the statins. He is awaiting multiple bypass surgery and they wont consider reducing the meds until that has been done but realistically the problems being caused by the meds are now becoming quite devastating. His last blood test also showed issues with liver enzymes (due to statins) - we have pushed for a meeting with his surgeon, who we havent been able to meet with previously and have been given 15 mins tomorrow, at which point I will be very assertive about reviewing his meds because to be honest the heart attack is now the least of his health worries.

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    • Posted

      Loxie, I feel as if I know you because of our statin discussions. I have 2 blocked arteries. One is a medium level blockage and my LAD is also about 80% blocked. Surgery wasn't required and I'm so pleased to say that my angina is markedly improved now. It cannot be a coincidence that it's improved due to me stopping the statins. Plus the muscle cramps have just about gone and I feel so much better in general. I do hope your husband gets his surgery soon and I send my best wishes to you both.

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    • Posted

      Glad to hear your angina is improved susan without the need for surgery. I'm not at all happy that my husband has been told he has to have multiple bypass surgery and is on the ubiquitous NHS waiting list for it. Plus during my research I've discovered that here in the UK the sternum repair is still done by using wires - a technique developed over 50 yrs ago and which can cause major health risks post surgery, including infection. There are better techniques out there including sternal talon and even bone glue but the UK seems to be very slow to catch up with medical advancements. I'm glad to have heard of your non surgical situation, I'll raise it as one of my questions with the surgeon tomorrow. Thank you so much.

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    • Posted

      Update - saw surgeon, who wouldnt discuss meds at all, pfffft. Adamant hubby has to have bypass rather than stents, even though he stated the difference in outcome is just a question of percentages, with survival of 10yrs being only 15% difference with stents but risks associated with bypass surgery are high, particularly now hubby has diabetes due to meds problems. Our lives in their hands and we dont have a choice unfortunately. Got told surgery would be end July approx as he's just about to go on holiday then back for a short time then away again. So we just have to wait. I insisted hubby tell GP he was going to reduce the statins dose and reluctantly GP agreed he could halve it. His cholesterol has gone down to just above 3, which I think is a tad too low particularly as he is showing signs of liver enzyme issues but hey ho, he's petrified of going against their wishes in case they refuse the surgery. Surgeon told him he needs to lose weight and exercise to get diabetes under control, fat chance when until he has his surgery he's unable to do much except walk to the loo and back without getting fatigued and the pain from the foot etc., prevents much movement anyhow. His diet is already good, but I'm trying to ease down his portion size but realistically without being able to exercise losing weight isnt that simple. Just get the feeling they like to lay blame on lifestyle without looking at the damage some meds create.

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    • Posted

      Let us know how he gets on, really sorry the surgeon will not consider stenting as it is a much quicker recovery. I am sure he will be fine when he eventually gets operated on.

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    • Posted

      Stents are really only used to open a vessel while having a heart attack or just after. Its not a substitute for CABG. I think cholesterol of 3 is ridiculously low. i also think that he needs to take the drugs until after his surgery and then make an informed choice about what to do. I hope he gets it done in July and can then get on the road to recovery.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jen and Susan. Luckily he's been told by quite a few of our acquaintances in our age group that either have had bypass surgery or know someone who has that the outcome is mainly good. Just me being a nervous ninny about such major surgery I think. I agree Susan about the cholesterol thing. His cholesterol was never really high, never more than around 5 or 6. Mine was 9 last time I was tested but I have super normal BP and normal range blood sugar and excellent lung function (tested after I'd recovered from a chest infection and bad cough, as my GP insisted I had COPD, which I didnt), so my view was that statins werent a healthy option for me, as when I'd previously been scared into taking them, I became so ill I couldnt function and honestly felt my body was giving up. Good advice I think to take all the meds as recommended until after the surgery then review it all - I have to get over the anger I feel about his meds induced diabetes, which has increased his surgery risk exponentially, necessary evil I guess.

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    • Posted

      Ive nursed lots of patients having open heart surgery in years gone by. Ive also had some major neurosurgery myself and I find that relatives worry far more than the patient does. The patient just lets the surgeon do their best because its out of their control. I never worry about things that are outside of my control because there's nothing I can do about it. So try not to worry Loxie. My friend had CABG x 3 done a year ago and he's fine. They've been doing them since I was a student and that was 50 years ago. They're very good at it. So chin up, stay calm and just be supportive. xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you Susan, that helps. Sorry Armelle for somewhat taking over your thread but I hope all this extra discussion will help you in understanding the perils of statins.

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  • Posted

    I stopped taking stating 11 months ago after taking them fir over 8 years. I Follow the Pioppi Diet and my lipids are coming back down again. My cholesterol was 9.6. Your triglycerides are high. Follow the diet and that will come down easily. A side effect of the diet is that I'm losing weight. YES!!!

    I was given statins because my high cholesterol is familial so they were supposed to prevent me getting cardiovascular disease (CVD). After 5 years, I got CVD but had to carry on taking them. After 8 years (3 with angina) I started to research statins. There is some evidence that says statins can cause CVD and catarhacts. I also, now, have catarhacts. So I stopped taking statins and my GP has been supportive of my diet approach to it. My angina is getting better so I'm aiming to reduce my angina medication as well. Your problem is with your triglycerides. Follow the diet. Eat lots of eggs etc etc. Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Armelle,

    Everyone is hung up on cholesterol, all we hear about is HDL LDL etc., everyone has been brainwashed about cholesterol being bad for us for about 40 years now. 75% of cholesterol is made by the liver only 25% comes from food therefore, surely by taking tablets to stop this natural production of cholesterol you are making the liver work harder. Cholesterol will go up and down just like every function in the body during the day depending on what we a doing at a particular time.

    Everyone's body is different therefore it makes no sense that everyone's cholesterol should be the same, something doctors via pharmaceutical companies are telling us. I don't believe getting obsessive about numbers these numbers is healthy for anyone.

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    • Posted

      JEN, what you say is so true. i followed a low fat diet and my cholesterol went up plus it was so boring. i need to move more, stop drinking my 2 glasses of white wine a day and follow the poppie diet. some of the recipes in the book are so tasty.

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