Statins, Are You on Them?
By: Bruce Brightman - LifeSource Vitamins
This topic really hits
home with me, as I have had first-hand experience with family members and
friends just what these are doing to us as a population.
A New Study Reveals What
Happens When Patients Complain of Statin Side Effects to Their Doctors.
I have taken Lipitor for several years. I now
notice numbness in my feet and sporadic memory loss, difficulty balancing my
checkbook and using the computer. I have a Ph.D., so this is alarming. My
doctor says Lipitor is not to blame. My cholesterol is great and not to stop.
Is there any evidence that Lipitor could be connected to these symptoms?
I have been on cholesterol-lowering
medication for some time. I had been telling my doctor that my medication was
doing something to my muscles and he would not believe me. I changed doctors
and the new one discovered that my muscles enzymes were 800 (normal is 200).He
took me off the medication and my enzymes came down. When I went on a different
statin, they climbed back up again.
My doctor insists I must take statins to
lower my cholesterol even though I experience pain with all of them. Sometimes
the pain gets so bad that I struggle not to cry when I walk down the hall of my
child's school. My doctor says I should accept "a little discomfort. My doctor says this pain is rare but I know a
lot of people who have had the same muscle pain.
It has been proven that statins can cause numbness in the
limbs, cognitive and memory problems, muscle pain and severe muscle injury.
Nevertheless, many doctors still insist that statins do not cause side
effects. So why would your doctor say
that is cannot be from the statin?
A research team at the
University of California, San Diego, undertook an investigation of doctors'
behavior when dealing with patients who complaints of statin side effects. When
patients provided good descriptions of their symptoms, did doctors acknowledge
the possibility of statin side effects and assist the patients accordingly? Did
doctors submit reports to the FDA? Led by Dr. Beatrice Golomb, the researchers
published their results in August 2007.
The researchers focused on
three types of side effects commonly caused by statins. The first type involved
muscle pain, tightness, cramping, or weakness. In private consultations,
patients described their symptoms to 138 doctors. According to the patients,
fifty-three doctors (38%) acknowledged the possibility of statin side effect. Eighty-five doctors (62%)
dismissed the possibility.
Patients presented symptoms
of cognitive disorders, including impaired memory or thinking, to 56 doctors.
Sixteen doctors (29%) acknowledged the possibility of a statin side effect. Forty doctors (71%) dismissed
Patients presented symptoms
of nerve injuries (neuropathies) including pain, weakness, or loss of function
to 49 doctors. Seventeen doctors (35%) acknowledged the possibility of a statin
side effect. Thirty-two
doctors (65%) dismissed the possibility.
One might ask whether the
doctors received enough information to make a connection between the statins
and the side effects. In preparation for their consultations with the doctors,
patients received materials to help them provide ample descriptions to the
doctors. Indeed, separate analysis of patients' symptoms determined that nearly
80% of the cases met the scientific criteria for a definite or probable drug
After the interviews with
the doctors, patients described their doctors' attitudes about their symptoms. Many doctors attributed patients' symptoms to
age or imagination. Some flatly denied that statins caused any side effects or
that statins caused these specific side effects. Yet practicing cardiologists
know that muscle symptoms occur in about 35% of statin users, even though the
drug companies' claim an incidence is only 5%.
Some doctors in the study
denied that statins caused nerve injuries, yet it has been shown unequivocally
that patients taking statins are 16 times more likely to develop nerve injuries
than similar persons receiving no medications.
Overall, these results
demonstrate that according to patients' reports, nearly two-thirds of the
doctors in this study failed to diagnose obvious statin-related adverse
effects. These findings are disturbing because they indicate a very poor level
of medical care among doctors prescribing statin medications. The implications
for patients are alarming.
On a broader scale,
doctors' refusal to make an obvious diagnosis of statin side effects suggests
that these same doctors would not submit a report to the FDA. The FDA Medwatch
system is our primary means of identifying dangerous drugs and taking proper
remedial steps. Medwatch relies mainly on reports submitted by doctors to
indicate whether a drug is safe or harmful. This study provides strong evidence
that with statin side effects, the number of reports received by Medwatch
represents a gross underestimate of the scope of the problem. This is simply horrible news for us, the
Some know side effects as
stated by the Mayo Clinic:
- Muscle pain and
- Liver damage
- Digestive problems
- Rush or flushing
- Increased blood
sugar, type II Diabetes
- Neurological side
effects… Memory loss or confusion.
Are There Side Effects of Statin Drugs
as stated by WebMD?Most people who take statin
drugs tolerate them very well. But some people experience side effects.
The most common statin side
- Difficulty sleeping
- Flushing of the skin
- Muscle aches, tenderness,
or weakness (myalgia)
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Abdominal cramping and/or
- Bloating and/or gas
also carry warnings that memory loss, mental confusion, high blood sugar, and
type 2 diabetes are possible side effects. It's important to remember that
statins may also interact with other medications you take.
Who's at risk of developing
statin side effects as stated by the Mayo Clinic?
Not everyone who takes a
statin will have side effects, but some people may be at a greater risk than
are others. Risk factors include:
Taking multiple medications to lower your
Having a smaller body frame
Being age 65 or older
Having kidney or liver disease
Having type 1 or 2 diabetes
Drinking too much alcohol (More than two
drinks a day for men age 65 and younger and more than one drink a day for women
of all ages and men older than 65), so basically all men and women who have one
or more drinks a day.
There are supplements that will help you
lower your Cholesterol levels and have no side effects. Red Yeast Rice w/ CoQ10, our Proprietary
Cholesterol Support Tabs, Beta-Sitosterol, Omega 3’s, Psyllium Husk,
Curcumin-Turmeric, and a few others…
If you are taking a statin drug and you
encounter any of these symptoms or any other symptoms that might be a side
effect, research it yourself before you go to your doctor. If the doctor is
more concerned about defending the drug than helping you, find another
doctor. Trust me, finding another
doctor could save your life!
In Summary of all studies combined, for
those who took the statin for 5 years:
Benefits in Percentage
- 96% saw no benefit
- 1.2% were helped by being saved from death
- 2.6% were helped by preventing a repeat heart attack
- 0.8% were helped by preventing a stroke
- 1 in 83 were helped (life saved)
- 1 in 39 were helped (preventing non-fatal heart attack)
- 1 in 125 were helped (preventing stroke)
Harms in Percentage
- 2% were harmed by developing diabetes
- 10% were harmed by muscle damage
Brightman – founder LifeSource Vitamins
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