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Statins?

smittykitty2011-11-10 21:21:42 +0000 #1
Just wondering what you ladies think about Statins. My husband and I have been on them since about age 49 (now 55). Zocor 20 mg/day.

We both saw our numbers climbing for the 2 or 3 years prior to starting on the statins.

We immediately changed to a heart healthy diet and lost a few pounds when first diagnosed with increasing cholestrol #s. But the #s kept going up.

Both of my parents had heart attacks, but they smoked, ate high sat. fat diets and were totally inactive.

In the last 5 to 6 years I've gone from a total couch potatoe to moderately active. (Biking addiction, joined gym) My DH has always been very active.

Our weight is very good (I'm size 2 to 4 Petite). BP low.

While I never wanted to go on the drugs, I didn't want to die of heart disease either.

I tried going off of them a couple of years ago and my numbers shot right back up. For the last year I've been hit and miss taking them, probably 3 or 4 doses per week.

This summer I felt my legs never really got as strong as they should. Granted, I totally neglected the gym, cuz why go there when you can ride a bike! I'm wondering if the Statins could be playing into the sore/weak leg thing. Or, am I just a wimp who needs to also be hitting the gym in the summer? My quads and calf muscles just always seem to working so hard ie. tired, pain. Hills are really tough. It seems recovery from gym workouts and long rides (50-60 miles) takes longer than years past.

Any thoughts? Also, reading an old post that mentioned Metamucil. I thought maybe that would help in more than one way! I'll pick some up.

Gotta go, looks like the rain is gonna hold off. We're gonna get a ride in today after all


KnottedYet2011-11-10 21:28:04 +0000 #2
High cholesterol is not a disease, and there are several studies that point out we are making perfectly healthy people take statins for no reason than "bad" numbers. Why take a medication for a lifestyle problem?

The breakdown is more important than the total. Exercise raises the "good" cholesterol. Fiber in the diet lowers the bad cholesterol.

For women, in particular, Metamucil appears to have better effect on survival rates than statins. (Statins will lower a woman's cholesterol number, but have no effect on survival rates... useless. Fiber in the diet improves survival rates. The only time statins influence survival rates is if a woman has already had a heart attack or stroke. They do nothing for first CVA or MI.)

If you are already shocking your liver with hit-or-miss dosages 3 or 4 times a week, I would suggest discussing the issue with your doctor. It sounds like you don't want to take it, to the point that you are forgetting to take it. You're just hurting yourself now.

And yes, statins are notorious for messing up muscle.
KnottedYet2011-11-10 21:51:39 +0000 #3
I just gotta rant.

We've been trained to think of cholesterol as this sticky poisonous goo flowing through our pipes, creating clogs everywhere it goes.

That's not what it does.

It's like little packages of spackle. When the wall of a blood vessel is damaged (often from stress, smoking, etc) the little package of spackle opens itself and spreads itself over the damaged area. Just like spackling a cracked pipe. Yes, now the pipe is a bit narrower, but it isn't leaking anymore.

The issue isn't that we have to many spackle packages (we NEED them!) the issue is we have too much damage to our pipes.

Stop damaging the pipes, and they stop narrowing every time they have to get repaired.

Cholesterol isn't the problem. It's what we're forcing our bodies to do with the cholesterol over and over again that is the problem.

Ever wonder why a stressed out person has their cholesterol levels climb? It's because stress is damaging their circulatory system and the body is throwing extra cholesterol in to patch the damage.

There have been some very interesting studies in baboons on social ranking/stress and arteriosclerosis and cholesterol levels.

Stress is the baddie.
AppleTree2011-11-10 21:34:22 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by smittykitty

Just wondering what you ladies think about Statins. My husband and I have been on them since about age 49 (now 55). Zocor 20 mg/day.

We both saw our numbers climbing for the 2 or 3 years prior to starting on the statins.

We immediately changed to a heart healthy diet and lost a few pounds when first diagnosed with increasing cholestrol #s. But the #s kept going up.

Both of my parents had heart attacks, but they smoked, ate high sat. fat diets and were totally inactive.

In the last 5 to 6 years I've gone from a total couch potatoe to moderately active. (Biking addiction, joined gym) My DH has always been very active.

Our weight is very good (I'm size 2 to 4 Petite). BP low.

While I never wanted to go on the drugs, I didn't want to die of heart disease either.

I tried going off of them a couple of years ago and my numbers shot right back up. For the last year I've been hit and miss taking them, probably 3 or 4 doses per week.

This summer I felt my legs never really got as strong as they should. Granted, I totally neglected the gym, cuz why go there when you can ride a bike! I'm wondering if the Statins could be playing into the sore/weak leg thing. Or, am I just a wimp who needs to also be hitting the gym in the summer? My quads and calf muscles just always seem to working so hard ie. tired, pain. Hills are really tough. It seems recovery from gym workouts and long rides (50-60 miles) takes longer than years past.

Any thoughts? Also, reading an old post that mentioned Metamucil. I thought maybe that would help in more than one way! I'll pick some up.

Gotta go, looks like the rain is gonna hold off. We're gonna get a ride in today after all

My mother (although in her 70's) has had a terrible time with statins making her feel tired and achy all over. She just quit her 2nd round of them and swears she will never take another statin. I guess it affects people in different ways. I have heard a LOT of home remedies for high cholesterol. Pom juice, fish oil, cinnamon, turmeric, and of course, excercise.

SmittyKitty, hope you get your ride in today! We are headed out to the Centennial Trial, looks like the rain is going to give us an unexpected break today, hooray!
Thorn2011-11-10 23:18:08 +0000 #5
Thanks Knotted for your rant....spot on.

I am thorougly convinced that statins killed my mother. She went on the drugs early in their usage when the muscle damage was poo-poo'd. They left her on the drugs for several years claiming it was an auto-immune disorder related to arthritis. No heart disease in the family, she was very fit when she started taking the drugs, and she spiraled into heart failure. She died 5 years later of heart failure, 20 years younger than her parents at their deaths.

Now I realize that that is extreme, I'm biased based on an unscientific statistical sample space of one, but there is some evidence that statins mess with muscle tissue even in asymptomatic patients. I wish I could find the source. My guess is that it was on NutritionFacts.org (all video so very hard to skim, but an interesting source). Search for statins -- he has 5 videos on the subject.

As Knotted says, healthy lifestyle that includes keeping the stress low (and lovin' the oatmeal doesn't hurt, either).
Crankin2011-11-10 22:39:51 +0000 #6
Well, I am going to give the other point of view. I don't disagree that statins have horrible side effects for some, and I hate to see people who lead very unhealthy lifestyles think that taking a pill will make their risks for heart disease go away, but...

My DH has a family hx just like the OP. He was very thin until he was in his mid forties and then started gaining weight, despite a fairly good diet. He had been moderately active, but no real aerobic exercise (tennis, golf, walking). He started cycling at age 43-44? When he was 48, he started having the classic pain in his jaw/neck, when he and I were running in the winter. He went to the doctor, got put on a high blood pressure med. and Lipitor, as his numbers were bad. He had a stress test with the dye and nothing showed up. At this time, he was cycling 3-4,000 miles a year and he is strong. A year later, the pain was getting worse, to the point where I could ride faster than him up hills. Nothing showed up on later stress tests with the dye, so he pushed for an angiogram. Tah-dah, he had two 80% blockages. Stents went in and he was riding 5 days later. This was in 2005.

He has been on an aggressive regimen of Zetia and Crestor since 2006, along with aspirin and a tiny dose of a blood pressure medication. His numbers are great and there are no side effects. He doesn't think twice about taking these drugs. Both of his parents died horrible deaths from cholesterol related illnesses. Yes, they didn't have the healthy lifestyle we have, but they were not overweight. 3/4 of his grandparents had more than 2 heart attacks. While I think that if he had started riding and eating a bit better in his twenties or thirties, this may have been averted, I am not sure. Family history is a powerful risk factor. We have to fight the insurance company every couple of years to pay for the Zetia, as they think Lipitor, or its generic will work this well. It didn't. It's quite likely he would have been one of those guys that dropped dead shoveling snow, if he hadn't been a cyclist and noticed the increasing pain from angina as his intensity increased. This is not stuff to fool around with.
tangentgirl2011-11-10 22:37:03 +0000 #7
KnottedYet2011-11-11 00:26:31 +0000 #8
People who actually have heart disease DO benefit from statins. There's no disputing that fact. So Crankin's DH is the perfect example of someone who should be on them.

A healthy person who has no signs of heart disease and whose only reason for taking statins is "numbers" is not going to benefit, as studies have shown repeatedly.

If someone comes in with heart palpitations, is the doctor immediately going to burn out her AV node and hook her up with a pacemaker? Or is the doctor going to look at her lifestyle and tell her to stop drinking her customary 3 pots of coffee a day? If she has a malfunctioning AV node, surgery and an implanted pacemaker would be appropriate. If someone has heart disease, statins are appropriate.

But just as the numbers of someone's heart rate don't tell the whole story, nor do the numbers of someone's cholesterol. We are told over and over again to treat the patient, not the test result. IMHO statins are over-prescribed because doctors know their patients aren't going to change their lifestyle and they are afraid of being sued when the patient gets ill if they haven't done SOMETHING to treat the "problem."

Irresponsible patients and terrified doctors in a profit-driven system are a bad combination.

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