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Bountyman

Feel better after quitting a statin?

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jwags

I think a lot of people assume these muscle pains are mild. I have a very high tolerance of pain and rarely take any pain killers. The pain from the statins felt like it was ripping my muscles apart. Even a normal 2 mile walk swinging my arms would put me into sore arms for a week. My pains started out mild and over a year worked their way up to very intense. It definitely impacted my life and I thought I was on the road to disability. I have one of those body weight scales at home and I noticed while this was happening my body fat descreased a lot. At first I thought it was a good thing but it went down to 3% even though I was eating a lot everyday (2000 caloreis). Since being off statins for a month I have raised it back to 12% and am hoping to get it higher. Some of my muslces look like they just caved in. I'm in the process of eating lots of fat and protein to rebuild them and get my old muscle strength back.

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art

I started at my DX on lipitor. That gave me muscle cramps. Doc changed me to pravastatin. Used that for about 3 years. Then one day I realize I'm in incredible pain and I can't walk upright. Asked the wife about it and she told me I had been bending over for a few months but thought I realized it.

I was to the point of asking myself if I needed new hips.

Saw a thread here about statins and pain. Stopped the statin . Next morning I was a new guy. It happened that fast.

Still haven't told the doc I quit. He'll find out in November.

There is no way on this green earth I'll take a statin again.

 

Art

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jwags

I just assumed some of the aches and pains were arthritis, fibromyalgia or other things that happen as you get older. When I couldn't carry a laundry basket up the stairs, I knew this was something else. My pain didn't disappear overnight but I do feel better. I think I did do some damage to muscle ligaments and tendons. I think my hips were the worst. I used to do a lot of yoga and now can barely get into those tricky poses. I think I have to rebuild muscle and muscle memory. I'm trying to use whey protein to rebuild those muscle fibers.

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ShottleBop

I just got back my latest lipids panel:

 

Chol: 324 (357 six months ago)

HDL Cholesterol. 68 (95 six months ago)

LDL Calculated 243 (253 six months ago)

LDL Direct 237 (231 six months ago)

Chol/HDL Ratio 4.8 (3.8 six months ago)

Triglycerides 63 (44 six months ago)

 

Can't say I'm happy with the increased ratio of TC/HDL, but my HDL is still over 60, and my Trigs are still under 70, and my Trig/HDL ratio is under 1.0.

 

Looks like I have some 'splainin' to do. My doctor's office just called and wants me to make an appointment so that she can tell me I need to be on statins.

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jwags

Are you currently low carbing? Many times in the first 6 months of low carbing your lipid numbers will go up because your body is purging itself of fat and it is floating around in your blood. After that most of your LDL and Trigs should go down and HDL should go up. In the long run a low carb diet and not eating processed food is the best for cholesterol lowering. If you do decide to go with a statin, do your own research and the minute you see any changes in muscles or just aches and pains, call your doctor. Don't let it go like I did. I assumed it was arthritis or just getting older.

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ShottleBop
Are you currently low carbing? Many times in the first 6 months of low carbing your lipid numbers will go up because your body is purging itself of fat and it is floating around in your blood. After that most of your LDL and Trigs should go down and HDL should go up. In the long run a low carb diet and not eating processed food is the best for cholesterol lowering. If you do decide to go with a statin, do your own research and the minute you see any changes in muscles or just aches and pains, call your doctor. Don't let it go like I did. I assumed it was arthritis or just getting older.

 

I have been low-carbing since May, 2008. See the comments to this "Diabetes Update" entry about low-carb diets and cholesterol for my lipids history; I seem to be one of those people whose LDL does not drop on low-carb. (My view is that my LDL is exceptionally light and fluffy, and therefore takes up a lot of volume. (I can hope, can't I?).)

 

I have no desire to go on a statin.

 

For one thing, the UCSD Statin Effects Study notes that studies show a decrease in total mortality only for middle-aged men who have already had a heart attack or who have established CVD; Dr. Bernstein (in one of his recent monthly teleconferences) has reported that merely having diabetes is no longer considered the equivalent of either. (See also "Diabetes Update" for September 2, "Diabetes Does Not Create Risk Just like Having Had a Heart Attack: Another Drug Company Myth Debunked.") I plan to print those out and take them to my doctor.

 

Also:

  • my HDL is above 60--considered protective. My trigs are under 70--considered indicative that my LDL cholesterol is, in fact, light and fluff. My trig/HDL ratio is less than 1; under 2 is considered excellent.

 

  • 4 or 5 times a week I walk down, and then back up, the stairs, from and to the 24th floor. No heart pain, no wheezing, no stress. 5 or so nights a week, I put in 25 minutes on a stationary bike, working up a good sweat. No heart pain, no wheezing, no stress.

 

  • Mrs. ShottleBop was put on statins a few years back. They gave her muscle pains, and caused weakness. She tried three different statins over a three-month period. She has never regained the strength she had before she took them.

 

  • Statins, to the extent they provide a benefit, appear to do so not because they lower cholesterol, but because they have an anti-inflammatory effect. My doctor hasn't checked to see if I have a C-reactive protein issue. (I'm not even sure that my HMO does them. I know that they don't do a VAP test that tells you whether your LDL is the light and fluffy or the small and dense stuff.)

 

  • The fact that statins reduce cholesterol by interfering with the process by which cholesterol is produced--and at a level in the process that affects the production of several other vital substances, such as Coenzyme Q-10, concerns the bejezus out of me. I would be extremely worried that any dose of statin large enough to reduce my LDL from 230+ to under 100 would be wreaking havoc in other parts of my body.

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Rekarb

Bounty, try taking a Coq10 supplement, if that helps you then you can be pretty sure the statin is messing with you.

 

As far as LDL is concerned, I believe it is the type of LDL. If pattern B, the number will be low but CVD is definitely in the picture. If pattern A then the LDL number will be high but that is large fluffy particles and there isn't risk associated with it. The first thing my endo suggested was a statin, I looked at him like he had two heads. I'm not going that way, ever, because I can't find the science to back it.

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notme

This is where I think moderation really comes into play. I am a moderate low carb person. I do eat meat, whole milk, nuts, butter and cream. Try and stick organic to steer clear of pesticides. I don't eat those foods to an excess. I do eat carbs, but try to keep them in the range of no more than 20-30 for breakfast and less for lunch and dinner. I average about 75 per day or less, sometimes I blow it and have more. Usually my carbs come in the form of veggies, fruit and sometimes flourless bread for sandwiches.

 

I wish there was acceptable science in either direction for what we have chosen to do to control diabetes. What may be good for diabetes, may prove not to be so great for other aspects of living. I truly don't know and am not 100% sure about anything. I do know that the good members on this site are doing the very best they can, not only with their own health, but with helping others try and understand and giving them the opportunity to try something else if what they are doing is not working.

 

Thank you Shottlebop for your constant updates and sharing your concerns and success. You are a wealth of unbiased contribution.

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Bountyman
Bounty, try taking a Coq10 supplement, if that helps you then you can be pretty sure the statin is messing with you.

 

Thanks. I've got lab works coming up October 1st. I'm going to have them mail the results to me as well as my PA. I've been on Lipitor and Lisinopril for 15 months and the only drawback I've felt is some pain in the back of my legs and my lower back at the end of a brisk walk, uphill, for 200 yards. Like I've mentioned, I'm at least 80 pounds overweight...so the walk uphill is like packin' my grandson on my back. I guess I could look at it as 'weight training', huh? I'm not really out of breath when I get there, well, a little, but I attribute that to being 67 years old and abusing my body most of my life.

 

My last blood work showed I was a little borderline on the Lipid Panel:

 

Cholesterol 150 mg/dL [<200]

Triglyceride 110 mg/dL [<150]

Hdl Cholesterol L 33 mg/dL [40-60]

LDLC 95 mg/dL [<130]

 

Those numbers are from last November (4 months after diagnosis), so there will be an 11 month difference, which, I think I'll fall within spec's this time. If my numbers look a lot better, instead of another supplement...I think I'll just drop the Lipitor and Lisinopril altogether. That, or get me an electric bicycle to go get the mail.

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jwags

I was on statins (prevarastatin) for over a year. At first I just had mild twinges of muscle pain. I noticed when we would hike or backpack I would be out of breath very quickly. I have always been a person who has exercised and was in pretty much good shape. I also seemed to be susceptible to colds and viruses. It wasn't until this summer when the muscle pain hit my whole body. At first I thought it might be fibromyalgia since lots of D's seem to have it. The pain was very different than normal muscle strain. If I walked around the block my muscles would ache for days. The pain would move throughout my body. The worst thing was I was unable to sleep. After a few months of this my body fat went down to 3% on my body fat scale. I realised my muscles were disappearing. I always had nicely toned muscles. That is when I did some research and found statins caused this in many people. I stopped the statins in early August and now about 90% of the pain is gone. I am slowly trying to rebuild the muscle strength. It is difficult. I have most of my stamina back but my tennis game is slow to come back. I guess once that muscle memory goes, it is a long time.

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cls

Bountyman, I thought I would cut and paste this from another thread. It is about my experience with Zocor.

 

Quote Originally Posted by jwags View Post

I have lost 85 pounds and am down to 114. BP is in the low 100s. I eat a very low carb diet ( 30 carbs a day). I exercise 1-2 hours a day usually walking 4-5 miles and lifting weights. Even with all that my bgs are difficult to manage. I rarely go below 100. My last HbA1c was 5.9 but that is because I take the maximum amount of metformin. I remember one thing my CDE told me 3 years ago, never consider it a failure to go on meds or insulin. The important thing is you do what you have to do to get fastings under 100 and after meal under 120-140. Metformin is one of the safest drugs out there.

 

Bountyman, below is my reply to jwags:

 

 

Unfortunately, I cannot exercise like you do. I got muscle damage from taking a drug to lower my cholesterol. I took Zocor for 6 years and developed tendonitis (elbow and shoulders) from my job (or so I was told.) I quit the job, was prescribed P/T, which included free weights, machine work, and resistance bands with a lot of reps, I always got worse. On the 4th round of p/t in 2 years, I developed tendonitis in my biceps that I didn't have before. They toned down the pt and 3 months later, I still had pain, the type you get when you first go to a gym, but it goes away in a few days, mine didn't. I saw the ads on TV for Lipitor and heard the phrase "unexplained muscle pain or weakness, talk to your doctor." I googled that phrase and learned a lot about statin drug damage. I asked my doc and when I went off the Zocor, the pain I had for 3 months started to go away in 3 days.

 

Even walking for 8 blocks caused pain in my upper thighs for weeks, I couldn't understand why. It has taken me over 3 years to get close to what I used to be and I am just getting back to walking any more than a few blocks, but at least that's something. I read on-line that some people have a genetic predisposition to muscle damage from those kinds of drugs, they eat your muscles and the breakdown causes muscle fibers that clog your kidneys, with eventual kidney failure and cause death at it's worst. Google Baycol, it was removed from the market after causing many deaths.

 

At age 56, and with this in my past, I will probably never be able to do vigorous exercise. That same doc prescribed the Zocor. I guess you would suggest I change docs but, I don't think any docs around here would promote a high fat diet for me.

 

Connie

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cls

Sorry jwags, I didn't see this post before I replied about exercising. I guess you know what I meant about muscle damage and statins.

Connie

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art

I think I'm in the same boat as cls.

My legs still are killing me.

Seeing the Doc soon. Take it from there.

 

Art

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ant hill
Mine gave me several months to improve things. I guess he figured I wouldn't die in those three months without it.

 

Well Nancy, I have been without a statin for more than 12 months or more an I am much better on my feet as I walk more often and physically I can walk a long way!! :) So I would enjoy your dogs and live an active life. ;)

 

I guess that's the key is to be physically active!!

:D

 

Bountyman, I would keep going to your letterbox and create sweat and enjoy the fresh air. I am off to do some shopping with walking to do. :):D

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dorramide7
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I have taken several different statins over the years: lipitor, pravachol, crestor. I never had any side effects from any of them that I could tell.

 

But, I decided that they aren't worth the risk after reading everything I could get my hands on about them and about cholesterol.

 

I stopped taking them about two months ago. I guess I'll know in another two months what impact the change has made. So long as my HDL remains high, I will not take them again.

 

I had terrible aches with Lipitor. I felt a lot better when I quit taking them. I have been told by my endo that I need to be back on them, but I refuse. Quality of life (however much I get) is worth it to me. Talk to your doctor about trying a different one, bountyman or do like I did and take your chances and quit.

 

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