Sunday, December 14, 2014

Statin Side Effects

 A few years ago, I had really bad bilateral golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) after doing some biceps curls which still mildly affects me.  Summer before last developed Plantar Fasciitis in both feet. totally ruining walking for me for the whole summer (thank goodness for bouncing on a large stability ball).  Just read that statins can trigger both conditions!  For as long as I can remember, I also have had many weird twinges especially in the feet, ankles, knees, shoulders, back, hip, etc.  I didn't go to the doctor for these acute strange twinges and tendon flares.  Thankfully Arnica gel made most go away if not tolerable.  However, it wouldn't have mattered because I complained plenty to the doctor during each quarterly exam, mostly about feeling hypoglycemic (light headed, weak. dizzy) which he just ignored.  This hypoglycemic feeling hit me every morning before lunch and sometimes was debilitating.  It made me afraid to go to stores with bright lights which seemed to make it worse.

Then in the few months before making the statin connection, the bouts of weakness became longer, endurance when exercising dwindled, daily morning headaches and brain fog developed.  Last but not least, a tingling in the feet spread to my calves then thighs.    Then the news hit about how many women got type2 diabetes because of a statin.  My fasting blood sugar had been higher than 100 at least once and my Triglycerides always on the high side but ridiculously high at least once. Also, it didn't seem like eating less and exercising more affected my weight at all, eating a low fat diet.  So I started digging on the internet.  Once I made the connection of all of my adverse conditions to statin use and avoiding saturated fats, I starting taking Lipitor every other day and added CoQ10.  Almost immediately, the brain fog lifted and all other conditions seemed to improve.  My next blood tests were ok except the LDL crept upwards a bit but was still in the acceptable range.  Again my doctor shut me down when explaining what I had been feeling and doing.  Called CoQ10 a placebo.  Soon afterwards I was also diagnosed with cataracts which can also be a statin induced condition.
So after more reading online and not finding any sound evidence that Lipitor prevented heart disease or a first heart event in women, I decided to just stop Lipitor altogether.  I did it slowly though but could have done it cold turkey.  My next blood tests were bad (rebounding effect from stopping Lipitor) so my doctor prescribed 5 mg of Crestor every other day and to keep taking my CoQ10 which was no longer considered a placebo.  I found the study online that my doctor probably read about taking Crestor less often and CoQ10 to limit side effects.   Just one dose of Crestor kicked in the extreme peripheral neuropathy, vertigo, and ear buzzing which had improved after stopping Lipitor. So that was the final nail in the statin coffin for me.

Since then, I have added Alpha Lipoic Acid which has given me much more energy and have started to lose weight slowly.  I now eat more saturated fat and avoid carbs without fiber.  More recently, I have added Vitamin B12.  I don't care what my cholesterol or LDL values are.  My heartrate is still considered very fit for a woman my age.  The stress of dealing with my doctor and letting bad science control what I eat and what drugs to take are over. I fear diabetes much more than the mythical benefits of a statin.  Since then I have read that statins increase the risk of breast cancer.  Thankfully, bouncing on a rebounder without a bra may have protected me from that path and Arnica gel kept me moving.  Has anyone ever been recommended to try Arnica gel by a medical professional?  For that matter, how many statin users were recommended CoQ10 by their doctors?  Doctors are no longer healers.  They fill their offices with people aging before their time coming in for quarterly blood tests, ready to add drugs for diabetes and hypertension as the metabolic disease progresses. Not only do statins not prevent a first heart event, but more patients with higher cholesterol survive that first event. Eating healthier and moving more is much more beneficial.  Statin users may not be as careful about their diet and the fatigue and aches from statin induced deficiencies may prevent moving more.  Also statin users avoid sunlight so may be Vitamin D deficient. Of course, cholesterol, itself, is an essential element!  Aging slows down the process of making essential elements by our bodies.  Adding a statin to these aging bodies and minds is criminal. Congestive Heart Failure debilitates and kills many patients , most of whom are on a statin without CoQ10. Congestive Heart Failure is not included in the statin studies as a heart disease.  Also anyone who shows an immediate side effect to a statin is excluded from these statin studies.  The stress of paying for prescriptions and doctor visit copays is not healthy either.  If someone does have a heart event, hemorrhaging from a blood thinner can be even more deadly than another heart event. Prescribing drugs becomes a vicious cycle.  Even my doctor takes a statin so he can have an occasional Chinese meal (his words, not mine).

OK here is irony at its finest....
most of the time when I complained to my doctor about vertigo and various aches, his response was I feel that way too.   Maybe one day he will make the statin connection himself.  Who knows, maybe he is now taking CoQ 10!   I wonder if he put his 20-something son on a statin as he tried with mine?  
(I never contacted my doctor about not taking Crestor after one dose and canceled my next quarterly. I did schedule my next annual in the Spring with the young new partner on my doctor's day off LOL)

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