May be prescribed statins. Any advice?

Blue Jay

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After a blood test I've been told my cholesterol is too high and I may need to go on statins, something I've always dreaded. I react badly to some medications and I know statins produce side effects in a lot of people. Do any of you take them? Any advice would be welcome.

My diet is vegetarian - plenty of green veg, pulses, nuts etc. - but it's not as good as it was because I have to rely more on ready meals though I try to choose healthier ones. I'm using more energy on caring for my husband - previously all meals were from scratch.

I've been looking at a statguard supplement but it appears to consist of things I'm taking anyway - Co Q10, Vitamin B12 etc.
 

ljimbo423

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@Blue Jay

I've never taken stains , so i don't have any experience with them.

Things like plant sterols, policosanol and pantethine can help lower cholesterol. Me and a friend put together a combination of these supplements in powder form and put it into capsules. He took 3, three times a day for about a month and his cholesterol dropped from 240 to 209.

We did a lot of research and found research that said these things would help to lower cholesterol and they did very well.

Abstract
The meta-analysis of plant sterol supplement studies suggests an 8% lowering of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol for 2 to 2.5 g/day of plant sterols.
link

Pantethine, a derivative of vitamin B5, favorably alters total, LDL and non-HDL cholesterol in low to moderate cardiovascular risk subjects eligible for statin therapy: a triple-blinded placebo and diet-controlled investigation
link

Policosanol has been shown to reduce cholesterol in some studies. Other study have found it not to. So there are mixed results with it.

If you find that supplements help to lower your cholesterol but not enough, maybe you could take a low dose of a statin, instead of a full dose, with the supplements. On the other hand, the right dose of supplemets might be all you need.
 

Blue Jay

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Not everyone gets the side effects. If you get side effects, then you can report this to your doctor, and ask him/her whether it may be better to discontinue the statins.

Intriguingly, one ME/CFS patient found their ME/CFS greatly improved after starting atorvastati
Thanks, @Hip. I took a look at the link and will bear all that in mind. It's good to know statins can have good effects as well.
 

Blue Jay

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If you find that supplements help to lower your cholesterol but not enough, maybe you could take a low dose of a statin, instead of a full dose, with the supplements. On the other hand, the right dose of supplemets might be all you need.
Hello @ljimbo423, some good advice there. I knew I'd come to the right place when I joined PR.
 

Wishful

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My doctor informed me that my good cholesterol was getting a bit low, which was normal for ageing, and gave me the option of statins or omega-3 oils. I did my research, and found that the latest research showed no significant benefits from omega-3 oils, and the statins didn't impress me either. I think both were maybe offering <10% reduction in heart risk. My doctor didn't bother to suggest moderate exercise, which reduces heart disease risk by 75% or more. So, I continued my daily walks, and haven't been back to the doctor. ;)

Do check out the research numbers regarding cholesterol and heart disease yourself. By that I mean the peer-reviewed journals, not the health magazine articles. Some people may benefit from statins, but the industry makes considerable effort to push those onto people who don't need it. Ditto for omega-3 oils.
 

Judee

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I had my cholesterol drop a large amount following a 3 day fast which I modified from a nutritionist's book.
I only ate meats and veggies on the fast using canned beets as my carbohydrate veggie only. All the other veggies were very low carb. It was really hard to do and I could only stand to go 3 days because I kept getting hungrier and hungrier but it did start my cholesterol to dropping up until 2012. I did that fast between the 2/7/06 results and the 5/2/07 results. It did go back up some in the 2019 test but that was also because my HDL went up significantly as well.

*If you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, I would be careful with a fast like this one. Make sure you check with your doctor first before you try it. I get hypoglycemia which is probably why it started to get harder to do the fast even though I ate everytime I got hungry. I used real meats (chicken, beef, pork, fish) though not things like bacon or luncheon meats.

A 1 day fast only and just once a month might also work. If you try anything though, make sure you are also getting enough hydration and your electrolytes like sodium and potassium while on it. I ended up in the ER while on another fast like this because my sodium went too low because I wasn't adding any to my meals.
Also we went gluten free in 2017 so that may have had some impact and we have been eating less and less sugar through the years although I still do consume some.
 

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Blue Jay

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Some people may benefit from statins, but the industry makes considerable effort to push those onto people who don't need it. Ditto for omega-3 oils.
Thanks @Wishful, I spoke to my doctor this morning, on the phone, and his advice is to leave the statins for the time being as I've only been taking medication for high blood pressure for a month. He still thinks I should go on them eventually but we'll see.
 

Blue Jay

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@Judee, @Sushi and @Eastman,thank you so much for all the information. I didn't state that I'm in my late seventies. My blood pressure used to be a typical ME low so, despite my age, it's come as a bit of a shock for it be high. I had a huge spike one day to 270/200 and thought the sphygmo was faulty, phoned the GP who suggested monitoring it twice a day. It's not been that high since but I'm struggling to get it stable.

I've increased my meditation times and am trying to exercise whenever I can but finding it difficult because of caring duties. A fast sounds a good idea but isn't really feasible right now.

I really appreciate all the advice and support.