Statin disaster

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I received a comment today that I feel compelled to post in its entirety as a cautionary tale for anyone contemplating going on statins (or any other drug, for that matter) for no good reason. This reader describes in much more detail than I ever could the agony of drug therapy gone wrong. And the realization that it was unnecessary drug therapy in the first place makes the experience even more devastating. I hope enough of you who are readers of this blog now realize that simply having an elevated cholesterol level is no reason to go on a statin.

The comment below demonstrates in vivid detail what happens thousands of times per day all over this country. People are prescribed drugs for the flimsiest of reasons. These drugs cause side effects. These side effects are treated with more drugs, which themselves cause more side effects. Which are treated with yet more drugs.

When patients go to a doctor for symptoms, the doctor feels the need to treat the symptoms. Often the symptoms can be treated by having the patient discontinue the drugs that caused the symptoms in the first place. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a variation of what happened to this unfortunate commenter. The symptoms are simply treated by prescribing another drug designed to quash those symptoms.

Let the story below be a warning against taking any drug for minor symptoms. And don’t take a drug for a lab value that’s a little out of the ordinary and not even causing you symptoms. Remember, in the vast majority of all people, statins have been shown to provide no benefit in terms of decreased all-cause mortality. And in those where some benefit has been shown – men under the age of 65 with a history of a heart attack – the benefit isn’t all that great. Don’t let yourself in for a lot of trouble by taking a drug that provides you with no value.

I want to share a statin experience. I apologize for the length of the comment, but I think that the detail is necessary to give the whole picture of what the real consequences can be from simply being prescribed a billion dollar “wonder” drug.

My life was turned inside out simply because of a routine checkup.

Baseline stats: I am (was) a 56 yr. old male, sedentary (design at computer all day), normal libido, from the south, laid back not given to excitability, 6′, 212 lbs., long term smoker, genetic longevity, decent lung capacity, mean Blood Pressure 118/65 sitting and standing, pulse 64, no special diets (typical southern foods), no supplements, no problems other than occasional bouts with back spasms, no allergies, good EKG, good EEG, blood count normal, thyroid panel normal and liver function normal.

BUT, a test said that I had “high” triglycerides 287, total cholesterol 149, HDL 37, LDL 55, glucose 89.

I was put on Vytorin 20 mg =Tri. 175, TC shot to 214, HDL 40, LDL shot to 139.
Then Vytorin 40mg = Tri. 199, TC 144, HDL 40, LDL 64.
Then Crestor 10mg = Tri. 98, TC 141, HDL 45, LDL 76, glucose 103.

I complained of losing energy and libido. I was told to exercise, I did and maintain 2 1/2 mile brisk walk each AM for nine months now.

I complained of greater loss of energy and libido. I was put on Effexor XR 75mg (taking Crestor 10 mg)

I complained of jittery feeling and restless sleep, increased Effexor to 150 mg and added Benztropine 1mg, Lorazepam 2mg (taking Crestor 10 mg).

I reported no significant change, increased Effexor to 225mg, Benztropine 2mg, Lorazepam 4mg (taking Crestor 10 mg).

I started having muscle and joint pain, added Darvocet to the cocktail, which curbed the pain, but had less energy and no libido (taking Crestor 10 mg).

I was switched to Cymbalta 60 mg, Lorazepam 4mg and Darvocet (taking Crestor 10 mg).

I started having anxiety and panic attacks (something that I had never experienced in my life), I had to cancel a business trip, because I panicked about being on a plane (I have flown my whole adult life), the doctor added Seroquill 100mg, increased Cymbalta to 90mg, Lorazepam 4mg and Darvocet (taking Crestor 10 mg).

There was no significant change, so I was switched to Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Lorazepam 4mg and Darvocet (taking Crestor 10 mg).

I had constant anxiety, no panic attacks, sweats, temperature sensitivity, weakness in legs, no libido, intermediate insomnia and started losing appetite and thus weight. Joint and muscle pain if I skipped Darvocet, increased Wellbutrin to 300mg, added Aderall 30mg and switched to Ibuprofen 600mg (taking Crestor 10 mg).

Symptoms got worse, so I switched doctors. New doctor stopped Adderall, weaned me from Wellbutrin and started me on Prozac 20mg and Xanex .25mg. Anxiety became intermittent, but I continued to lose energy, lose weight, feeling weaker with joint and muscle pain. Prozac was increased to 40 mg. No change.

I was switched to Paxil 20 mg; I had less frequent anxiety, but all other symptoms getting worse. Paxil was increased to 40 mg. This almost eliminated anxiety, only occasionally having to use Xanex, mainly to get to sleep at night, but waking up exhausted and wet clothes from sweating in the night. My fatigue and weakness were becoming debilitating with the addition of I was having problems with my eyesight at the computer and my sense of comprehension was waning greatly making it impossible for me to do my work. (Taking Crestor 10 mg).

I was sent to a psychiatrist for counseling for depression. The Psyc. determined that I did not need counseling, symptoms were chemical and switched me back to Prozac 20 mg, replaced Xanex with Lunesta and put me on Provigil 200mg. I had a slight return of the anxiety, but was told to use Xanex in those cases. I began regaining sense of comprehension, but getting weaker, losing more weight, and the right tibialis anterior muscle started getting numb along with my right foot. (Taking Crestor 10 mg).

My walking partner, a retired pharmaceutical sales person, commented that she was noticing foot drop in my right foot as I walked. We began discussing my whole ordeal over the course of the next few days. She asked if I was on a statin and I told her that I was on Crestor 10 mg. She asked if I was advised to supplement with Co-Q10, B-complex and Vitamin C and I told her no. She suggested that I do so immediately and go back to the doctor and revisit my symptoms with him. I had a visit to the Psyc. coming up soon so I did as she suggested. The Psyc. agreed with her supplementation suggestion and agreed that I should have been so advised, but praised the value of Crestor, especially in preventing Alzheimer’s. He increased the Provigil to 300mg. (taking Crestor 10 mg).

Two days later during our walk, I collapsed due to weakness in my legs and knees especially and my right foot was paralyzed. After helping me back home my walking partner suggested that I wean off of the Crestor over 2 weeks, because a sudden stop could make me prone to a stroke, boost the CoQ10 and get to a doctor. I was scheduled to leave on a 4 week business trip immediately which I could not miss due to missing the last one, but I did as she suggested about the Crestor and CoQ10. During the first two weeks of the trip, the pain was almost unbearable (eating Darvocet, hydrocodone & ibuprofen like candy), I could hardly walk or get out chairs.

My associates, who had known me before this incident, kept insisting that I looked like I had had a stroke or something due to my appearance, weight loss, diminished mental capacity and walking.

Symptoms started improving drastically over the next two weeks.
I did extensive internet research and interviewed people with experiences while on statins while on the road and since my return and found literally hundreds of statin horror stories and complete ignorance by the users of statins that the unpleasant onset of symptoms that they were having (depression, fatigue and pain) might be attributable to statins.

Upon my return and relaying what I had found to my walking partner, she said that the drug companies knew that such side effects would occur and in fact played with combining CoQ10, B & C vitamins with their statins. They had started instructing doctors to suggest such supplementation upon prescribing statins. She said that it could take from 6 months to a year to recoup from some of the side effects based on reports that she had seen, but that extensive nutritional supplementation would help.

Over this course:
I have lost from 212 lbs. down to 170 lbs., lost muscle mass everywhere even down to my hands, lost close to 50% of my body strength, lost the ability to walk, concentrate and apprehend.

I have lived with absolute fatigue, no libido, no appetite, depressive thoughts, anxiety, insomnia and horrible pain

I have been diagnosed with and/or treated for GAD (general anxiety disorder), depression, insomnia, arthritis, ED, poked, prodded and told that “I was just getting old”. I have been sent to a shrink.

I came close to losing my ability to make a living.

All of this because of a number on a scale that prompted a doctor to put me on a statin, which I have found, through my exhaustive research, has no advantages in overall mortality rate.

I am now back 5 days from the trip (Crestor free for almost 3 weeks now).
I have begun a full regimen of nutritional supplements and healthier diet.

I am back to walking the 2 1/2 miles again though my muscles get sore like they did when I had just started training.
I have 75% use of my right foot back (getting better everyday), occasional pain running from my left hip to my knee.
I am feeling a little better and stronger each day both mentally and physically, but absolutely paranoid about revisiting the doctor even to have my cholesteral checked.
I am looking into chiropractors to deal with the pain in my left leg.

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116 thoughts on “Statin disaster

  1. Thanks for the information Dr. Eades. We got to spread the word that there are natural alternatives out there to address cholesterol concerns besides statin drugs.

    • I have been on zocor 20 mg. for two years. My colesterol was 240 now its 175. My only heart risk is high cholesterol, blood pressure is low, heart is good.

      I have had my Galbladder out recently (10/11), due to “cholesterol” polyps. I feel like crap. I excersize all the time. I really think Zocor scewed up my galbladder by taking cholesterol from my blood and redistributing it to my Galbladder.
      I want to get the hell off Zocor without killing myself.

      Since I have had my Galbladder out I now have “gastric dumping”. My PA is a jackass.

  2. Holy shit! And to think that my dear doctor circled my LDL result and wrote “Terrible! Needs statins!” I am really grateful to you and others (including a certain prat from down under) who warned me off from going down that road. The info I learned from you regarding LDL particle size, triglycerides, etc. was especially valuable. I knew I didnt need drugs when my HDL was very high, trig. very low, etc. etc.

    I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating, after my CT scan revealed that I had zero plaque, the doctor shut up. To think that she was willing to put me on that stuff for NO GOOD REASON sends chills down my spine.

    This is such a no brainer that even a prat can figure it out.

    Cheers–

  3. There is going to be a lawsuit down the road. A class action one. The lawyers will get richer but meanwhile people are going to die because the drug companies are making money off ignorance.

    Thank you so much for this blog and for the information you make available.

    I cannot believe how many people I know who are taking more and more pills everyday. A friend of mine started with a high blood pressure pill and is now on ten pills a day, a low fat diet (she’s gained 30 or more pounds in the past year) and she is so brainwashed that no matter what info I send her, she still thinks she is doing all the right things.

    It is outrageous that this violation of the Hippocratic oath can continue.

  4. From other posts, I am reminded that bad grammar can grind on one’s nerves, as it does my own. I apologize as I have found numerous examples in my own post (Example: “apprehend” should have been “comprehend”).

    This brings up an interesting side effect that I experienced and still do to a lesser extent. I would get to the point at times when I could not complete sentences whether I was reading or attempting to write them. I would lose grasp of my own vocabulary, not remembering the meaning of the simplest of words, as well as, what word to use to convey a thought. I would have to read sentences numerous times to understand the underlying thought.

    For a time, I lost grasp of the simplest of algebraic, geometric or trigonometric functions, although I am educated beyond calculus and physics. I am a designer of mechanical and software algorithms for machinery, as well as a structural designer.

    This is how I related to the story by Duane Graveline, MD on his site http://www.spacedoc.net/statin_side_effects.html, which led me on my journey of research.

    Other interesting links that I found along the way are listed below (some may be duplicates of links already posted):

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=i8SSCNaaDcE&feature=related
    Also look at related videos from the same author on the right side legend.

    http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/benefits_cholest.html#ravnskov#ravnskov

    http://healthtruthrevealed.com/full-page.php?id=09235029810&&page=article

    http://faculty.washington.edu/ely/coenzq10abs.html

    http://betterwaytowellness.com/blog/2007/02/12/cholesterol-problem-or-symptom/
    Follow the links at the upper right of each page to see the complete story.

    http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/full/67/1/24#T14

    I am now trying to work my way through the maze of “proper nutrition”.

    Thanks for posting my experience, I hope that it helps people become more aware and responsible before blindly popping a pill that their doctor so quickly prescribes to them.

    Doug

    Hey Doug–

    I posted your comment without going back and thanking you for it. You can rest assured that however miserable your experience has been that others can profit from it. I really appreciate the time you took to post in the detail that you did about your horrible experience. A tale like yours makes a greater impression than a dozen blog posts of mine talking about what could happen. Thanks so much. And I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that I wish you a speedy recovery from this mess.

    Best–

    MRE

  5. I second Eugene’s comment!

    As a side note, anxiety is becoming a more prevalent condition among people in western societies. I suspect that it has to do with the increasing consumption of carbs which caused blood sugar problems. Low carbs=low blood sugar fluctuations=less symptoms related to anxiety.

  6. How completely awful. Sheesh, his numbers weren’t even that bad! As I read that, I thought “that could be me” had I taken my doctor’s advice to go on a statin drug 18 months ago. I haven’t had my cholesterol tested since then, and I’ve decided I don’t care.

    I found out recently that my uncle, one of the smartest people I know, had a mild heart attack sometime before Christmas, had a stent procedure done on an artery (?) with 80% blockage, and is now on a statin for the rest of his life. My aunt is on one too and has been for some time as a preventive measure. I know she’s foggy-headed a lot of the time. They are 77. My aunt reads things like the Tufts diet and nutrition newsletter and follows its low-fat advice. I am very concerned about their being put on statins, but what can I do? I’m not a doctor. People think I’m crazy no matter how carefully I try to explain what I know based on what I read here, in your books, in Gary Taubes’ book, and in other books.

    I hope the person who wrote this story will continue to recover and will re-post when things improve. –Anne

  7. The man in this example had the misfortune to be hit with both statins and the other big pharma disaster–psych meds. He ended up on an atypical anti-psychotic! He started out fine!! I have several family members on Seroquel–none of whom have been psychotic in any way. Maybe there are less dangerous ways to get a good night’s sleep?

    I follow your blog because I trust that while you begin with your bias you are totally open to any and all new information and adjust your opinion accordingly. I’m appalled at how many doctors are so unaware and uncritical. This is also rampant in the psych world where many of the meds have few or poor studies to recommend them. And how do so many doctors try one medicine after another or so many medicines at once that no one could sort out cause and effect. It’s simple science that you can’t have so many variables and expect to understand what’s going on.

    If medicine is set up that doctors can’t keep up with every new thing then their role has to change to be more that of a coach. We patients who have a vested interest in studying our particular disease can bring in research and info and get help parsing the truth. I’m very skeptical however of most doctors’ ability or interest in truly analyzing what’s going on in these studies.
    I saw a copy of Prevention Magazine (February) today and found Dr. Agotston’s article defending statins –“My 3-Point Heart Protection Plan” and looked in his blog to see his reaction to the Vytorin info –“What About Zetia” It’s everywhere.

    Sorry this rambles so, but there’s so much to rail against. Thanks for keeping up the good fight.

  8. Wow what a nightmare. That could have been me. Back in 2001 I went in for a checkup and found out that my cholesterol and triglycerides were elevated(can’t remember the numbers) and my doctor prescribed at statin called Baycol. I did not have any side effects but about 6 months after going on Baycol it was withdrawn from the market for safety reasons(i.e. it was killing people) so my Doc put me on lescol but the close call with Baycol opened my eyes. Luckily one of my co-workers mentioned Protein Power and explained that a low-carb diet would naturally correct cholesterol so I went out and bought the book. At the same time I had to switch doctors due to a change in insurance and my new doctor looked at my new numbers and agreed with me that I no longer needed a statin and he actually supported the low carb way of eating. I have been drug free ever since and at 44 I’m in the best shape of my life. I went from 6’0” 225lbs of mostly fat to 175lbs and from there I’ve added muscle through weight training and I’m now 195lbs at about 11%bf. Thanks Dr. Eades!

  9. My heart breaks hearing this…and is thankful at the same time. I went off statins this fall. I can’t believe the difference in my energy and mental outlook.
    The word must be getting out. My new endo didn’t even blink an eye when I said I had discontinued my statins. Said it was fine with her!

    Ressy

  10. Thank you Doug, for taking the time to recount your horrible ordeal. This is important information and I have no doubt it will help many others. Here’s wishing you a complete and speedy recovery. I can’t help but be reminded of the recent death of Heath Legend. In the end it will be reported that he died of an overdose, but in reality I believe it comes down to the fact that his doctors did not help him and pharmaceutical drugs killed him. It truly is a sad state and who knows the number of unreported tragic death’s that happen on a daily basis for the same reason.

    Mark

  11. Fellow readers can you help a personage pleaseum ?
    El local Library has a copy of Good Cals, etc and cos of its popularity i only have it for a very small iota of time and canny be reserved again by me for many months.
    Am reading what i can along with all other daily activities but could someone give me a nod as to if i’ve understood what i’ve this far read ..please ?

    We get fat cos we eat refined carbs..hyperinsulin
    We then eat more cos we’re fatter
    If we then cut our calories our energy expenditure falls to meet cals coming in
    We then are primed to put on weight cos our metabolism is down graded/semi starvation mode

    Anybody being able to point out my inaccuracies would be greatly appreciated.

    Sinc. and with thanks
    supachramp at yahoo dot com

  12. Holy sh-t! I’m printing out this comment and giving it to my (former) physician. Former, because he insisted on a statin for me and I said NO.

    I look forward to your new book.

  13. Wow!! I’ve also been on statins and took myself off due to side effects. Side effects that my doc refused to believe were caused by the statin. I had: exercise intolerance (weight lifting kept getting harder, even with lower weights), severe pain on but legs with the least amount of movement, 2 episodes of global transient amnesia (one lasted at least 1 1/2hrs and apparently I went to and participated in a meeting), memory problems, severe depression, sleep problems, emotional instability (I’d fly off the handle of burst into tears for no apparent reason) and difficulty comprehending and learning new things. I too almost lost my job because of the side effects of Lipitor. I finally stopped it when I started vomiting after taking it.

    I just stopped it, had no idea I was supposed to wean off it. I too have no cardiac history (and NO family history on either side or ANY cardiac disease, even with rampant diabetes). At the time I was 48 and had normal to low BP, normal blood sugars (A1c was 4.2), etc. My triglycerides were “off the chart” and my total was over 400. On the Lipitor my total went down to 154, which thrilled my doc. I don’t know what my triglycerides were, but HDL dropped from 38 to 26! I was also put on an anti-depressant. When I returned to my doc she gave me another med, but I refused it take it, and then I started researching.

    After being off the Lipitor for about a year my doc wanted me back on it, or a similar med. I refused, she argued, and I finally told her that I didn’t care if my total was 1000, it wasn’t worth it and I’d take my chances. At this point she asked me (smugly) “just what do you think were side effects” from the Lipitor….and when I got to depression she said “oh you think the depression was caused by the Lipitor?” to which I responded, “hmmmm let’s see….Never had a depressed day in my life until I started the Lipitor, and within a month I can barely get out of bed? Oh and yea, since I stopped it, no more depression! yea, I’d say it was related”. She didn’t respond, just wrote some more notes and then left. She never mentioned statins again…..and she also “fired” me a month later.

    Since stopping the Lipitor, I’ve discovered low carb and have lost over 75#. My total cholesterol is still “high” at around 325, but my HDL is higher and my triglycerides under 150. I still (at age 54) show no signs of cardiac disease and have had no further work ups for that (I had serial chest CT scans for a lung problem and no calcifications were seen). I’m currently seeing Dr Eric Westman at Duke for smoking cessation and low carb issues and he’s happy with my numbers! Dr Westman and my PCP are both advocates of low carb. (As is my GI doc). It took me over 18 months and visits to 4 different primary care docs before I found the one I have now.

    For any that are interested, there is a Yahoo group “stopped our statins” for those who have taken or are taking statins and getting side effects. Not only are people not being told about taking CoQ10, some docs are even telling their patients to NOT take it as it can interfere with the effects of the statin! People are being put on one med after another…..each one isn’t supposed to cause the same side effects, but they always seem to eventually. Several people on the SOS group have what appears to be permanent nerve damage, several still have memory and/or emotional issues

    Dr Graveline’s site is excellent, but unfortunately he still seems to believe in the lipid hypothesis!

    Dr Mike thank you again for your blog!! I have learned so much and have forwarded your posts to so many!! Looking forward to seeing your new book!! Be sure to let us know when we can start ordering it!

    • I had all your symptoms and one more. (Lipitor) I could no longer drive at night as all my motor functions were severely effected. The best I can describe it is I felt that I was having an out of body experience while driving down the road. A feeling that my mind wasn’t attached to my limbs. I would be late turning into corners, etc.

      I too had severe pain in my limbs, muscle loss and very foggy mind. I cut the statins and in a week the pain went away in my muscles and my back. I started taking them again and the pain returned. Doc tried Crestor and the pain returned.

      Mind you, the toughest thing about my symptoms is that it took about 4 to 5 years for them to appear. I blamed most of them on getting older (45). I was in good health, good shape 5’9″ 165.

  14. This is just so sad that people go through this ordeal for absolutely no good reason, no benefit.

    I was so touched by this testimony that I took the liberty to translate it in French. I just want as many people as possible to read it and maybe avoid some tragedies such as this one.

    Thank you doc for posting this on the main page.

    You can find the French translation at :

    http://capitalreward.blogspot.com/2008/01/tmoignage-sur-les-effets-secondaires.html

  15. Low carb high fat diet is now the correct way to eat, at least according to the Swedish medical board (Socialstyrelsen.se). This means that fats are innocent of causing heart disease, just as Gary Taubes wrote in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories.

    So we don’t need any statins. The statins block mevalonate which give rise to all the statin side effects as the statins block cholesterol (source of vitamin D and sex hormones), block Coenzyme Q10 (our energy transferring coenzyme in our mitochondira) and a lot of other molecules that are essential for us.

    A cow has four ventricles to be able to digest cellulose to glucose. Glucose is converted to proteins and fats. The cow is an excellent carbohydrate_to_protein_and_fat converter. The cow licks all the vitamins and minerals it needs. The only thing we have to do is to eat the cow with our smal intestines. We’re experts in digesting fat and protein since 10 000 generations.

  16. mr freddy,

    Not all doctors are completely hopeless. My (and my wife’s) doctor instead of circling perfectly fine total cholesterol of 224 (high according to statinators), he circled my wife’s HDL of 88 with a comment “great good cholesterol”.

    BTW, I envy my wife’s HDL

  17. Simon fellows,

    I think you’ve pretty much got it. I’ll add a little more detail.

    People think we get fat because we overeat, but the evidence suggests that we overeat because we get fat. People who get fat do so because metabolic imbalances prompt the body to start driving excess fuel (food) eaten into fat cells rather than distributing it to the cells in our body for energy. Essentially, the cells in our body are starving because fuel isn’t getting to where it needs to go. The body tries to compensate for this by increasing hunger and thus getting greater access to food/fuel. If we ignore this hunger (which we can only do for so long, by the way) our body will compensate by reducing activity to make sure there is enough fuel available for the cells. This is why low-fat, low-calorie diets cause people to feel lethargic. The body is compensating for this lack of available fuel.

    When we eat low-carb/high fat, not only is there insufficient insulin available to drive this fat accumulation process, but there is insufficient insulin available for fat cells to retain fat. As such, the fat cells release the fuel and it flows to the rest of the cells in our body.

    I hope the good doctor will correct me if anything I said is wrong, but that’s my general understanding of Taubes’ book.

  18. I saw mention in a previous comment about getting a CT scan to check for plaque. I seem to recall something like that being mentioned in this blog before. Can someone elaborate, or point me in the right direction?

    My concern right now is my numbers are out of whack. My HDL/TG’s are fine, around 75 each give or take. My LDL is 161. Not terribly concerned, but I did have a CRP test done and it was at 5.3. My normally text-book blood pressure (110/60 my entire life) has been elevated, 170/98 today. 160/90 last doc visit a few months ago.

    I’ve been a committed low-carber for close to 3 years, since a T2 diabetes diagnosis in 01/2005. I also exercise on a regular basis, even ran a marathon 2 weeks ago. Things have been relatively stable during that time, but I’d like to know more about some of the other tests that are available. I feel like I am swimming in the dark right now. Not sure if I have a serious problem or not. Doc wanted me on Vytorin, at least until the latest news articles came out. Be real curious what he says next time I see him.

    What you may want to consider is an EBT scan to determine your calcium score, a much more reliable measure of plaque formation than an LDL-cholesterol level. Take a look at Dr. Davis’s blog to learn more.

    • It’s simply reffered to as a Heart Scan by our local hospital (St. Luke’s in St. Louis). My wife just had it done. Insurance won’t cover it but it only costs us $64.00. She came up with “0” but I would expect that as she is an amazing athlete.

  19. I don’t see an edit button, but I wanted to add to the previous comment. I’m not seeking medical advice, as I fully understand why you can’t give that out. I’d just like to know some of the other tests that are out there so I can make an informed decision and work with my doc or a new one, if he pisses me off too much.

  20. Doug, I’m just appalled at what you’ve been through. Thank you for sharing your experience, and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    My father’s on a statin. He hasn’t had a heart attack, but he does have a history of heart problems which from what I’ve been told seem to be congenital. I don’t have enough information about his medical symptoms and history to know if the statin is useful (but frankly, I suspect not). However, I’ve been giving him information about supplementing with CoQ10, B vitamins and vitamin C while taking the statin. So far he’s taken this information to his doctor who told him that he doesn’t need to do all that, and that he’s doing fine on the statin alone.

    Can you HEAR me grinding my teeth here? I wish I could find something that would counteract his doctor’s boneheaded advice. Maybe I can send him the Business Week article and he can extrapolate.

  21. Steve thats deadly kind of you.

    Do you think that folks seem to put back on some of the weight lost on low carbs as the cals are inadvertantly reduced cos one is satiated by the prot and fatty de fat and thus the cells are more primed for storage ?
    Am being a bit thick about this point it seems.

    If i want to lose the excess i have i have to eat so much meat and fat it’s almost not funny……..2500 plus per day and i seem to notice it shifting.

    Thanks so much for yr time.

  22. Tony, the CT scan I had is the same thing Dr. Davis recommends… it something called Cardiac Tomograpy, or something like that. They put you on a table, inject some dye into your veins, slide you in, make you hold your breath off and on over ten minutes or so… they end up with 3d images of your heart (I think?) that they can use to determine ow much calcium you have, which tells you indirectly how much hard plaque you have. There is a score range, invented by the South Beach doctor guy, from zero to I’m not sure what… somewhere over a thousand or two or three.

    that’s about all I know about it. My insurance paid for it luckily. I’ve heard that a lot of plans won’t.

    It still amazes me that that Jane Brody from the NY Times turned her nose up at doing a CT scan and started taking a statin. I am simply can’t believe that anyone would make that dumb of a choice.

  23. I was put on a statin (at age 21) in hopes that the side effects would help me – I was having unexplained stomach problems, and that was their solution. I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t sleep AT ALL because of severe heartburn (it takes a lot for me to have any at all, much less to the point where even antacids do nothing). I didn’t even have any of the cholesterol problems (real or imagined) that usually lead to someone being put on a statin. I’m so glad that it was clear that that was my problem, and I stopped it after only a few days.

    I’ve had other, *informed* doctors willing to try something a bit off label to help me, but they’ve always been very well informed and have been upfront with me. The drugs have worked (I’ve got several health problems) most of the time, and if they didn’t, or the side effects were weird, they actually believed me (even when it was a very rare side effect). Having been making my own medical decisions for less than 10 years, I hadn’t realized until lately how incredibly lucky I’ve been in my doctors.

  24. Simon,

    I don’t think that the low-carbers who regain fat have a problem with too few calories. I suspect it’s more due to not being honest about the carbs as they creep back in. That’s what happened to me on the first go ‘round. My experience has been that if carbs are low I can’t make fat.

    I find it useful to picture a kind of hunger cycle. I made a (over) simplified graphic for myself to help me remember, but I’ll try to describe it here in words: hunger, leading to eating, followed by digestion providing fuel to the bloodstream, then the body using up the fuel through metabolism and activity, hunger kicking in as the fuel is burned up, leading again to eating as the cycle repeats. One of insulin’s jobs is to create fat for storage and simultaneously block the release of fat for energy. When insulin is released in response to a high-carbohydrate meal, it causes fuel to be diverted from the cycle and pushed into fat cells, so that less fuel is available to the body for metabolism and activity. Hunger is the body’s automatic response mechanism to get more fuel to address the perceived shortage. And so the vicious cycle goes. Even though there is plenty of food being taken in, if it’s the wrong type of food, much of it never gets where it’s needed, due to insulin’s action. So the cycle repeats more frequently (hunger comes back fairly soon after meals, leading to more meals, and/or snacks, and more total food each day), all the while creating more fat. With low carb, the insulin’s not there to divert the fuel to fat, so the fuel is available to the body and the hunger returns more slowly (three or so cycles/meals per day), and there’s nothing blocking the release of fat for fuel. It’s all about the hunger. So overeating is itself an effect, not the root cause of the fat gain. Insulin, in response to high-carb food, is the root cause. Excessive hunger and overeating are properly viewed as an effect. You won’t hear that from the USDA, though.

    Since humans are not evolved to handle a high-carb diet, our shift to high-carb foods with the rise of agriculture has created an abnormal condition that our bodies are not equipped to deal with, and excess fat is the result.

    Of course, there’s other hormones and variables involved, but I need a cheat sheet.

    When you complete Good Calories, Bad Calories, you can see if I’m making sense.

    Steve L.

  25. Lowcarbarama, you must have been watching The Secret talking about what you focus on expands. The more worried you are about cholesterol, the worse the problem becomes, right? :). I was listening to a CD today where a doctor was saying what one should do is to look at combination therapy where instead of just focusing on lowering the LDL cholesterol, one should also focus on increasing the HDL cholesterol and the Triglycerides as well.

  26. This is exactly the reason I fight tooth and nail with hubby’s doctors who want to put him on statins despite his already having liver disease. He’s already taking enough drugs for the various ailments that he does have. He doesn’t need to be taking another one with such terrible side effects because of lab numbers alone. Heck, there isn’t even any kind of heart disease in his family.

  27. Eugene, thanks for commenting on my comment to your comment. But that’s not what I meant at all 🙂 When I said, “the natural alternative to address cholesterol concerns is simply this: don’t be concerned about cholesterol,” I simply meant that cholesterol isn’t a problem to begin with.

    I’m pretty much convinced that cholesterol is not something to be concerned about. Period. It’s a substance essential for animal life; every cell in our bodies is partly made of it. We make more of it when we eat less of it; we make less of it when we eat more of it. Because we need it — for many, many of our most vital functions. Some people naturally have more; some less. There does not seem to be any correlation of disease with these natural, and naturally fluctuating, levels. Check out:

    http://vesnaswriting.blogspot.com/search?q=cholesterol

    Of course, like anything else, tracking abnormalities in cholesterol could prove to be a valuable indicator of bodily health. But our perspective has become skewed. Gary Taubes, in Good Calories, Bad Calories, compares our obsession with cholesterol to the joke about the drunk looking for his lost car keys under the street lamp because that’s where the light’s good. We learned how to measure cholesterol early in the twentieth century, so we attached all sort of meanings to the results of those measurements.

    I also like the comparison of cholesterol-bashing that Uffe Ravnskov uses in The Cholesterol Myths. Cholesterol is used in cell repair. He suggests something along these lines (It’s been a while since I read the book; I’m drawing from memory here): Focusing on ridding arteries of lesions that are made up to a great extent of cholesterol is like trying to end an epidemic of broken bones by getting rid of plaster casts — and seeing the preponderance of casts as the problem itself.

  28. Tony,

    Other lab tests (as Dr. Davis) would advise are:
    LDL particles (measures small dense atherogenic LDL) — insulin resistance causes this — exercise, wt loss, low carbing, almonds, walnuts/ALA, soy and fish oil have all been shown to lower it
    apo B
    fibrinogen
    homocysteine
    Lp(a) (a hidden plaque builder which is genetic but influenced by diet/stressors/inflammation)
    25(OH)D (vit D3 is the most critical factor — nearly ALL americans are deficient)
    HDL
    TG

    Dr. Davis has a pretty aggressive goal of 60-60-60-60 for achieving CAD success (for apo B, 25(OH)D and of course HDL and TGs; LDL too actually). The book and website are excellent reads (not difficult) trackyourplaque.com (the book is in fact f-r-e-e).

    I’m not sure if CRP is that crucial (it’s sorta generic in picking up inflammatory processes)… in fact CRP goes up after a marathon 🙂 did ya know? marathons are really STRESSFUL… i actually do half-marathons — not as hard on ligaments and the body! and sprint triathlons are even BETTER b/c they involve cross-training! ck it out!

    Thank YOU DR. Eades for another great post/illustration! I appreciated your response last time — you really should publish your Lp(a) observations — that is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!! you rock…

    good luck Tony!

    g

  29. I think Dr. Davis is off his rocker with that 60/60/60 stuff… there’s no way I could ever get my LDL down that low, and why should I even try?

    He also advises againts saturated fats, but in his blog he’s expressed some doubts about that positioon.

    I agree with the comment that we don’t need to worry about cholesterol… as long as you’re eating low carb, that is. If you are, then you know your triglycerides are as low as they can be, which means your LDL is the Type A pattern – mostly the safe large fluffy kind. If you’re not eating low carb, then you do have something to worry about.

  30. I have no dount statins are bad for me too.

    Four times I was put on statins (a different one each time). Four times, within a week, I got debilitating muscle pain all over my body. Four times, the pain went away within three days after I discontinued the statin.

    I consider myself lucky that the pain came immediately and was so obviously associated with the statins so that I knew exactly how to fix the problem. Unluckier are those for whom the pain takes a while to begin. Unluckiest of all, perhaps, are those who are being hurt by the statin but the pain never gets to the point where they do anything about it. My biggest concern is the effect on the heart, which is, after all a muscle.

  31. Hi G,

    Thanks for the info. The CRP test and a recent rise in blood pressure is my main concern. If for no reason than the peace of mind I’d like to get the heart scan. I visited Dr. Davis’ site and was surprised how simple of a test it is. I’m surprised that it isn’t part of a normal physical for us older folks.

    I didn’t realize that CRP could go up after a marathon. The one I did 2 weeks ago was my first full. I’ve been doing half’s mostly for the last year or so. It wasn’t all that stressful on my body, though. I had joint soreness for a few hours after the race. A little ice and rest and that went away, just around the same time that Tony Romo was throwing his last interception. The muscle soreness went away 2 days later. Of course the fact that I did the marathon in 5:25 probably didn’t hurt. It was fun, but hard. I will probably limit myself to 1 full per year and a few half’s/10k’s/5k’s throughout the year.

  32. Doug,

    Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope your recovery is progressing. An important lesson in trusting your instincts! I am struck by your continued seeking of answers by tracking and reporting all your new symptoms. So many people would have accepted the side effects as necessary and not reported them for fear of upsetting the doctor (like to person in a previous post who got “fired” by her doctor).

    I wanted to encourage you to find a good chiropractor to work with. Just like with any profession, there are good ones and bad ones. Don’t dismiss chiropractic if your first experience is less than satisfactory. I tried chiropractic many times over the years, and was underwhelmed by the first experiences. However, I have been visiting my current chiropractor for over 10 years, and he has been an invaluable addition to my quest for good health. He has been the strongest advocate of low-carb of any medical professional that I have been seeing, and we could both notice a huge change in my muscle tone and ability to maintain adjustments after only 4 weeks of VLC diet. I find that chiropractors are far more aware of the truths of what diet is really healthy, as well as how toxic many pharmaceuticals are to the body because of their “hands-on” practice. It is nice to have a medical professional be your advocate for good health when so many of the medical school graduates practice cookie-cutter medicine and patients feel pressured into compliance. I had intended to go to medical school for many years, including several years post-college, and I now feel like a dodged a bullet that could have lead me down a disastrous path of misinformation.

  33. I am a physicist who worked in R&D at two major CT scanner makers for over 25 years, the last five developing multi-slice cardiac scanners.

    Some comments:

    1. The CT scan has a significant radiation dose, with associated risk factors for cancer. EBT is an ultrafast, lower dose CT scanner but is less available because they are very expensive. We do try to keep the dose as low as possible, but it is still quite high. I have a problem with general scanning of the population to determine their Calcium score. A few years ago, when multi-slice Ct scanners first came out, there were mobile CT scanners parked everywhere giving heart scans to the general public, accompanied by a lot of hype about the benefits of it. For most, this was a waste of money and an unnecessary risk because of the radiation.

    2. A CT heart scan (calcium score) only detects calcified plaques. You need to know that plaque begins as an accumulation of lipids at a location in a coronary artery. (Plaques never form in veins.) As the plaque ages, a fibrous cap begins to form over it. It is at this stage the plaque is most dangerous because the fibrous cap can rupture, move downstream and block the artery entirely, causing an MI and possibly sudden death. A cardiac calcium score scan cannot detect plaques at this stage. Normally the plaque progresses to the next stage where the fibrous cap becomes calcified, forming a hard layer over the plaque. This is thought to be a protective mechanism and at this stage the plaque is less dangerous. The calcification is what shows up very nicely on a CT heart scan. The calcium score is a measure of the total amount of calcium detected in the heart. There are various ways of measuring this score and standard databases exist for each method. Many believe that intermediate Ca scores are worse than very high scores, in that they show developing disease whereas a very high score suggests the patient has adapted to the plaque very well, with the arteries protected by the calcification.

    3. Coronary arteries are not like solid water pipes. When a plaque forms in a principle artery resulting in some blockage, the artery can remodel itself to maintain blood flow around the plaque. That is, the cross-sectional area of the artery will increase to provide blood flow. If the flow is reduced significantly, angina frequently results, especially under heavy exertion. Here balloon angioplasty or a eluting stent in inserted. But beware even modern stents have a significant degree of re-stenosis. Angioplasty carries with it the risk of dislodging some plaque resulting in an acute coronary event.

    4. A CT heart scan for calcium does not require an injection of contrast agent because the calcium is very dense and shows up well compared to muscle and fat in the heart. Often the patient will be given an injection of a beta-blocker to slow the heart rate. We always image during the diastolic phase of the heart cycle, but if the heart rate is too high (e.g., >60 bpm or so), the duration of diastole is too short (except for EBT which scans much faster, although with higher noise) to prevent motion in the image. If you are having a CT scan of the heart for reasons other than calcium scoring, then a iodinated contrast agent is required. The contrast agent in injected into the bloodstream and due to the density of iodine, allows the blood vessels to show up nicely compared to rest of the heart. If the heart beat is regular and slow enough, we can get a high-resolution, non-blurred image in this mode. The dose will be higher, but there is more information in the images. We can even determine gross blockages of arteries. This is not the type of scan used for calcium scoring.

    Dave

  34. Well Dave, you sound like you know what you’re talking about, except that I had a CT scan for calcium scoring, and I did have a contrast agent injected. They injected something to slow my heart down too.

  35. Dave, thanks for expounding on the CT scan. Very helpful and apropos for me as I have been researching tests I could get to see where I am regarding heart disease.

    I had a stent placed two years ago. Last year, another cath (done because I passed out unexpectedly) revealed my heart is clear. Anyway, I would like to get my lipids measured now and also, would like to get anything done that I could refer back to that would help track my health. I have been following a strict low-carb diet for months now. My only caveat is these tests cannot be expensive, as I do not have insurance. I have strongly considered getting a CT scan. If it’s $400, that’s out.

    G, you gave a good list of markers. Can you or anyone tell me the tests required to get these measured? You said…

    LDL particles (measures small dense atherogenic LDL)
    >>>Not sure I need this since I have been eating very low-carb. I figure the test is not cheap.
    apo B
    fibrinogen
    homocysteine
    Lp(a)
    25(OH)D (vit D3 is the most critical factor — nearly ALL americans are deficient)
    >>>I don’t understand the above… I assume it is measuring Vitamin D?
    HDL
    TG

  36. I became familiar with this “snowball” effect, where drugs are prescribed in order to treat the side effects of other drugs, 13 years ago when I was involved in developing a software product to be used in nursing homes and institutional pharmacies. I remember showing someone a prototype of a screen showing a patient’s prescriptions. The test data included a patient with about a dozen prescriptions. Naively, I explained that I knew that was a more than is typical, but it’s good to test extremes. He said no, that was typical, and if anything most patients had many more prescriptions than that. “These are sick people”, he explained. Later, a nurse explained to me that rampant over-prescription is the norm, and that when some geriatric specialists get a new patient, the first thing they do is take them off their meds in order to determine which of their health problems are actually side effects, and which are not.

    It’s interesting (and depressing) to see this same pattern take place where the “victims” are neither elderly nor (initially) sick. Clearly there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way medicine is being practiced.

  37. Hello!
    David Matthews, thank you very much for the physics lesson. wow, you work on scanners… that was great! Is the radiation that much? compared with the an annual dental visit (or when I cracked my big toe during a mini triathlon and had to get an xray?)

    Bill, you are on the right path… reversal of plaque is pretty ‘ho hum’ for doctors like Dr. Davis. The 25(OH)D is correct the vitamin D test. If you are pre-diabetic, have diabetes or a hidden genetic CAD factor like Lp(a), then getting the HDL as high as possible and the TG as low as possible. Thus Dr Davis aims for a ratio of ‘one’ (60/60). Tracking is sort of necessary otherwise you can’t know for certain whether all your strategies are annihilating plaque… Tracking the Agaston CAC score is as important as the other lab tests.

    1 million Americans die at least annually from CAD, and 250,000 of these are silent and fatal (read, the first sign is immediate death). The great majority of these stats are absolutely unnecssary AND preventable. The cure has been already available for a while (and as you know it aint a statin). low carb diets are key parts of TYP (track your plaque).

    THANKS! g

  38. Bill, forget all abot the lipids, it’s just bogus. Skip the carbohydrates instead. A cow has four ventricles to digest cellulose to glucose, can convert glucose to fat (saturated) and proteins. The cow also lics vitamins and minerals. We, as hunters since 10 000 generations just have to eat the cow. We can digest fat and protein but we’re unable to digest cellulose.

    So we eat our prey as we are “herbivores by proxy” as someone has phrased it.

    If healthy saturated fat was dangerous, then all mammals would be extinct a long time ago as the first we eat is milk with a lot of healthy saturated fats from our mothers.

  39. btw David Matthews, I think that Dr Davis prefers the practical and not so fancy shmancy 16- and 64-slice EBT/CT scanners (but again, you’re definitely the expert here). How do the rads compare? (any more than an airplane flight close to the sun?)

    I’ve had two men on the TYP regimens with ED (I see cardiac rehab+/- diabetes patients); they’ve told me that their erectile dysfunction improved with TYP. This makes a lot of sense to me (although Dr. D is not promoting that side benefit at this time).

    Plaque grows diffusely, causing ischemia to the heart, brain and extremities (including that ‘3rd’ leg). Esp if your female or have high insulin or other inflammation… (so the low carb diet is a start).

    All insured Americans get preventive probing right? for breast, colon and prostate (digit-ally, *ha ha* pun intended). Well, why not, probing of the heart at this time?? what’s the #1 killer of Americans (other than the $*#!% war)? So far, digitally visualizing calcified plaque via CT is the only way to go. Children even as young as age 2-3 already have fatty streaks, precursors to plaque. Can we afford not to start screening for plaque, like the resources we spend on cancer?

  40. It looks like the Thais will be saved from going through the Statin Experiment. An abstract is available on pubmed from a 17-yearlong trial among thousands of employees at the national electrical company in Thailand.

    Men died mostly from heart disease, women from cancer.

    The short version of the abstract linked to below? Triglycerids had no association with mortality and LDL and TC were associated only with death from liver cirrhosis – and negatively so as one would expect from an impaired liver.

    Only biggie to come out the Thai trial, it seems from the abstract, was that HDL has a negative association to cardio-vascular disease AND all-cause deaths – the lower the HDL, the more you croak across the board.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18216384?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    The abstract concludes:

    “Health promotion programs to improve lipid profiles, such as effective exercise campaigns and dietary advice, are required to increase HDL-C and to help prevent CVD and premature death in Thailand.”

    What? No mention of drugs to do the job? Big Pharma better get a-lobbying and a-funding in Thailand if they want in on the whole lipid-improvement. As it stands now, it seams that the Thai will just have to work up an appetite for copious chicken – with skin – and hold the noodles …

    lowcarb

  41. re: Dose issues for cardiac CT scanning.

    Here is a paper that was presented at RSNA in 2002.

    Notes:
    Dosage for EBT appears to be much lower than multi-slice CT for coronary CT angiography (as opposed to calcium scanning), but it is an apples to oranges comparison. EBT in that case is imaging during a small portion of the heart cycle, i.e. during diastole. MS CT, because of the methods required yields images over the entire heart cycle, not only during the diastolic period. Sometimes, especially in higher heart rate patients, the best images (least motion) are not obtained during diastole, but at another phase of the heart cycle (often centered on iso-volumetric contraction of the ventricles.) Having information from the entire heart cycle also allows computation of ejection fraction as well as assessment of the degree of myocardial ischemia in post MI patients.

    There is a great debate in the medical community over dose versus benefit, with cardiologists and radiologists in both camps. The same is true of at what stage of patient assessment a calcium scan is appropriate.

    Dave

  42. I have read all the responses to this post and agree with most of them. But, as a 71 year old male, I think we all forget everybody dies, sooner or later. I can only talk to the ederly 60+ with this post. I retired at 68 years old and, at that time, I was not on BP medication or any statin drug. I moved to a new location and found a new doctor. My BP was recorded as 148/92 and my TC was 280, HDL 54, LDL 155 and Trig 204. The first drug I was put on was a BP drug and months later on a statin drug.

    After, two months on the statin drug I began to have leg muscle pain. The short story is I am off the statin drug and I will be off the BP drug very shortly.

    My point is for those of you who are over 65 years old, do not take any drugs to increase life. If you have a life style that has supported you to live beyond 65, Please do not take drugs. I have lived with a life style, Cigars and Beer, that has supported me for 71 years. Should I change it to live, according to the drug companies, for an extra one or two years, I think not!

    Good luck to you all and tell the drug companies to go to Hell.

  43. I wrote this message on http://www.medications.com (Lipitor, Zocor, Simvastatin) some time ago, but it might be useful for some readers here too.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    It`s very disturbing to read all these stories. I really feel for you.

    My experience comes from seeing what happened to people close to me.

    They all took statins.

    I started to look for information on statins, and other medications in 2004 and it continues to this day although two of my relatives are dead.

    I have nothing to do with the health or pharmaceutical industry.

    I saw the suffering and it made me very angry.

    I am an ordinary lady in her sixties who live in Sweden.

    The situation is almost the same here as in the U.S.

    There is very little discussion about risks/benefits with this kind of medicatications – or others.

    I think it`s a good idea to turn to the Internet and books to get other views about the cholesterol issue.

    Is it really true that it`s the cholesterol that is causing heart disease?

    Are you sure?

    Please visit:

    http://www.thincs.org

    http://www.ravnskov.nu

    http://www.spacedoc.net

    http://www.statinalert.org

    Also search articles etc on “Stopped our statins” and on the names of the different authors below.

    Also read:

    The Cholesterol Myths (Uffe Ravnskov)

    The Great Cholesterol Con (Antony Colpo)

    Book with the same title (Malcolm Kendrick)

    Overdosed America (John Abramson)

    The Truth about the Drug Companies (Marcia Agnell)

    Malignant Medical Myths (Joel M. Kauffman)

    There are many more.

    Please look on the Internet for more information about each book.

    It´s good to have some other information than the one given by doctors because most of them have been “educated” by the pharmaceutical companies themselves – and why should they talk about risks, side effects etc. They are interested in profits.

    Finally – here are some side effects that I have seen:

    pains in legs, hands, elbows, shoulders, knees, hips, cracking noise in ribs, muscle weakness, loss of hair, head ache, burning, tingling sensations in hands and feet, numbness, difficulties to swallow, loss of taste, ringing noise in ears, cramps, insomnia, irritation, depression, difficulty with short-term memory and then advancing into more serious problems.

    These side effects – for 3 different people – all over 65 – did not come at once.

    All of them had taken statins for years (Zocor)

    It doesn´t matter which product – all statins have similar side effects.

    Search for “Stopped our statins” on Google. It´s a very informative site and under “print articles” there are som articles that you can take along to your doctor for discussion.

    I particularly like the one from Weston Price Foundation
    and explains the different statin studies and side effects. .

    My relatives also had some other medications which makes it even easier for doctors (and patients) to say that it`s just old age.

    I am happy for those who get problems right away because then there maybe a chance for the patient and the doctor to see that there is a connection.

    You really have to look out for yourself and the people around you!

    Good Luck.

  44. I am going to add some other sites and books although they have nothing to do with statins but might be useful:

    http://www.breggin.org
    Books by Peter R. Breggin: Your drug may be your problem, The Antidepressant Fact Book, Toxic Psyciatry ?

    Powerful Medicines – The benefits, risks and costs of prescription drugs (Jerry Avorn)

    About fluoroquenelones – a certain group of antibiotics such as Levaquin, Cipro etc.
    There are people in the U.S. which claim they have been “floxed”. They also call themselves “floxies”. They have taken an antibiotic of this kind and in the name of the substance there is often the words – flox or ox, i.e. ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin.
    My English is not perfect but I hope that you understand what I mean.
    The reason that I started to look at this type of medication was that a close friend received it.

    When I read about the side effects of statins and those of this type of antibiotics – they seem to have many similarities.

    Please read the patient testimonials on these sites. You`ll be surprised. I also think that Stephen Frieds book is very interesting.

    http://www.fqresearch.org
    http://www.fqvictims.org
    Bitter Pills (Stephen Fried)

  45. I was on Lipitor for a week and gave it up due to muscle cramping. BUT the worst was PROVIGIL, which, after 4 years, has fried my neck muscles, upper pecs, and mid-back.

  46. I’m 42 a weight lifter/bodybuilder and took Crestor for six weeks, I lost twelve pound and could barely raise my arms or walk, my whole body ached, I lost all sexual desire. I have been off for six weeks and am just now able to work out, I had lost my ability to flex my muscles.

    Sadly, an all too common story.

  47. I am 71 yeqrs of age and had one stent 5 years ago.Can not take statins. I take ryr called hypocol from acompany from singapore called Asiapharm biotech .It has 5 miligrams of nevecor.No side affects.also on low carb diet.Have diabetes 2,diet controled.I also take niacin and many suppliments.Cholesterol225 hdl80.Checked on company with cood results.Will check lipids in two months.Checked with doctor,he said to try it. Have had no heart issues .Just trying to stay healthy.I have been on coq10 for about 6 years for a heart murmer. Great product.Wishing all great health!

  48. I am a 44 yr old female was on Crestor for a month!!!! Lost weight and appetite . And same as above could barely blow dry my hair. Or climb stairs. My whole body felt like I had been run over by a bus. My husband alway’s called me his mule because of my strength. I lost it all and could not ride my horses because I just didn’t feel strong enough. I have also lost all sexual desire , have had anxiety , panic , depression , insomnia and heart palpitations. Their answer was also antidepressant’s and sleeping pills. Which I would under no circumstances take. My concentration and thinking went down the tubes.
    I went the natural way to ND and she also felt the crestor had chemically changed something in me. So am now on VIT B with Rhodiola, Vit C , Vit D , Vit B12 , Magnesium and Folic Acid. Also took up yoga. This was a year ago and am JUST starting to get my life back. Still have achey muscles in my upr arms and upr thigh muscles – BUT am pushing on. This drug should be off the market in my opinion!!!

  49. Actually the SUBJECTIVE symptoms of a patient of CHRONIC disease are of utmost importance.

    The OBJECTIVEsymptoms in the form of bloodwork, scans, etc are not important.

    By focusing on the subjective symptoms and normal functions of the body such as sleep, elimination, etc., one can guarantee the patient a good quality of life in old age.

  50. I am 58 and have been low carbing for about a year and a half. non smoker, wt 145 ht 5’8″. I rececntly had some tests
    trig: 57
    HDL 69
    LDL 400 !

    Is this a problem? Mydoctor is concerned, but a I havent talked to him about it yet (hes a friend of mine and pretty sane…) I of course will not even consider any medication and have no problen telling him that. I am wondering if I should re test it , in case it was a glitch in the results??

    Thanks for an awesome blog and all the informative comments

    • Whenever you see a lab result that is way out of line, the best bet is to get retested to make sure the result is correct. You also might want to get your LDL particle size determined.

  51. @George,

    I recommend you read this post on Dr. Mike’s blog:

    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/weight-loss/low-carbohydrate-diets-increase-ldl-debunking-the-myth/

    It explains how when triglycerides are very low, like yours, the LDL measurement is incorrect because labs routinely use the “Friedewald equation” to calculate it, rather than directly measure it. Because a low-carb diet lowers triglycerides, low-carbs often get back alarming, but wrong, breakdowns of their cholesterol numbers.

  52. I am sorry to hear about Doug’s experience. Obviously diet and exercise would have been a much preferable initial step (an that what is recommended in major guidelines).

    This example illustrates why it is good for a patient to question reasons for adding new medications and ask the question – “could this be a medication side effect?” I agree that statins have not been proven to decrease mortality in primary prevention (in people without a history of heart disease). In fact a recent major analysis makes it clear that in the short term, for true primary prevention, the benefit, if any, is very small. (Statins and all-cause mortality in high-risk primary prevention. A meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials involving 65 229 participants. Arch Intern Med 2010; 170:1024-1031.)

    HOWEVER:
    Do not throw out the baby with the bathwater! For some patients statins have been PROVEN to be LIFE SAVING:
    “There is little debate that, compared with placebo, statin therapy among individuals with established coronary heart disease (CHD) not only prevents complications related to atherosclerosis but also reduces all-cause mortality.”
    -Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(12):1024-1031.

    Co-enzyme Q10 is very interesting, but still a question that has not been answered by medicine:
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/coenzyme-q10/AN01541

    As a practicing clinical hospital pharmacist I consider it my job to remove unnecessary medications. Statins in some situations need to go, but in others are very necessary!

    • I heartily disagree. You can search ‘statins’ in the search function of this blog to see why. Statins have been ‘proven’ (not the best word in this case) to be lifesaving in a very small subset of people, not the great masses of humanity that these drugs have been prescribed for. I wouldn’t doubt that statins have killed as many people as they’ve saved. You really need to read up on them in places other than drug company literature.

      • Thankyou for the information that I have recieved reading these comments. I have been having anxiety, muscle soreness, weakness, fatigue, sleeplessness. On and off for 7 years. I thought I was going mad until I read the comments. I have tried unsuccessfully to get several doctors to hear me. They have prescribed anti anxiety meds three times in this period. I have also been on crestor 10mg and now Pravachol 20mg. Unfortunately since being on pravachol my symtoms have increased. My Cholestrol hdl has always been low 3.0 My Ldl was 7.2 for years. I have been having my checks since I was 32. When I turned 42 my doctor told me that because My grandfather died of heart related illness(at the age of 75, 19 years ago.) and had 2 heart attack in his 60’s, then I was a candidate for the same problems. I didn’t agree because I am slim and fit and eat wholesome home grown veges and pretty much Vegetarian. Anyway I took her advice and have been sorry ever since. (By the way both my parents are well into there 70’s now and fighting fit too.) Anyway I have made the decision to go back and see my doctor (the 4th one in 7 years and discuss this) I am not going to stay on statins because its not adding to my qualtiy of life. I feel it has decreased it in the last 7 years.

        • Sorry forgot something else. I am 5’6″ and weigh 64Kilos. I walk 30 mins a couple of times a week and am very active in my garden all week and work 32 hours a week at a somewhat physical job, which get hindered by my fatigue. I feel this medication is shortening my life rather than prolonging it.

        • Andrea, Have you read Dr. Duane Graveline’s blog? He was an astronaut who found, when on statins, that his memory went to hell (in fact, he had some actual blackouts!). (And he has hundreds of people adding their experiences. Turns out it’s common; docs just don’t report it, the Big Pharma doesn’t deal with it.) And it turns out for women those effects are even more common. And, if you’ve read your way through Dr Mike’s blog — you’ll know that statins DON’T WORK for women!! (Geez, all the detriments and none of the (alleged) “benefits” — what’s not to love?)

          Please don’t ASK your doctor (who probably knows only what the drug detailers have sold…er.. told him/her) about getting off statins! Educate yourself and make your OWN decisions about your health. Dr Mike, has somewhere here in his blog (yes, I’ve actually read it all the way back to the very, very beginning!) wrote:
          ===================
          Let me sum up the take-home message with an unrelated story that oddly illustrates the point. When I was taking flying lessons years ago, the tower once told me to cross one runway we were stopped short of and proceed to the next one. I goosed the engine and started across. My instructor pushed on the brakes and stopped us and asked me what I was doing. I said, “The tower told me to proceed to runway 15L.” My instructor said, “Yes, but you didn’t look for traffic coming in on runway 15R (the runway we had to cross) before proceeding. Here’s what you’ve got to learn. If the pilot makes a mistake, the pilot dies; if the control tower makes a mistake, the pilot dies. Always check for yourself.”
          ===================

          Truly — out of everything Mike has ever written — this, to me, is THE MOST IMPORTANT lesson! (And OMG, has he ever written onehundredmillion important lessons!) (Quitcher blushin’ Mike, it’s true!)

  53. I respect the fact that you allowed the posting of a contradictory viewpoint on your site. I also respect your questioning of the LDL dogma, which has not been ‘proven’ prospectively (statistically significant relationship documented in prospective clinical trials = proven in my book, what is your definition?) .

    BUT, Regarding your assertion that I have been readying only drug company literature…. Really?
    I cited a highly respected peer reviewed medical journal in my comment! (Not the Pfizer website).
    I consider it part of my job to ‘counter-detail’ industry information (I guess that includes the book industry now also). Further, I mentioned in my post that statins are not right for every one and agree with some of what you are saying. I agree medicine in general is a bit to quick to pull the trigger on starting medications, BUT you have people who are clearly high risk CHD patients who are using your info as justification for stopping a medication that for them has a documented survival benefit. I will look at more of what you have to say but so far I am CONCERNED that your blog may have an inherit conflict of interest. You sell Co-Enzyme Q10 for over $100 a bottle on this website. You sell books, you sell website advertisements. You might say the opposite of the drug company literature, but but your goal appears to be similar.

    What do I sell you ask? Nothing but my knowledge. I have not dispensed a Rx since I was a student. My job is to give the best information I can to practitioners about medicine and how to tailor it effectively to a patient (based on risks and benefits).

    • If you look at double-blind, placebo-controlled trials – the gold standard of scientific investigation – you will find that statins have been shown to prolong the lives of only a small subset of people: makes under the age of 65 with a proven history of heart disease. That means a proven history of heart disease, not putative risk factors. And even in this small subset of people, that benefit is modest, and in my opinion and in the opinions of others, is not worth the expense and risk of putting even this group of people on statins. But if there is justification for statins, it would be only for this group. That means that men over the age of 65, whether they have heart disease or not, receive no benefit from statins. And no women, irrespective of heart disease history or age, benefit from statin use. There is evidence that statins reduce the frequency and the number of deaths from heart disease, but other than in the small subset mentioned above, those reduced deaths are replaced by deaths from other causes because there is no decrease in all-cause mortality in the other groups, i.e., all women and men under 65 without heart disease and all men over age 65. This is what the hard evidence shows. You can read one of my more detailed posts for more info. You can also enter ‘statins’ into the search function of this blog and find many posts giving other people’s opinions on the subject. The point is that the gold-standard evidence shows little value in statins, and the critically-thinking, non-drug-company-involved physicians and scientists understand this and report it. It’s in the best interest of the companies making statins to present evidence obtained from observational and other non-gold-standard studies to imply that statins are a panacea for everything. When I see people parroting the drug company line, I can’t help but think those people read the drug company literature. If I made a mistake in your case, I apologize. But I would appreciate it if you could provide me with a reference to any randomized controlled trial that shows an improvement in all-cause mortality in any other group than the one I identified above. I doubt that you can. And if you can’t, then were I you, I wouldn’t be too quick to be recommending statin use to everyone who walks through the door. I would recommend them only to the subset mentioned above and only after considerable discussion as to the risks and rewards.

  54. My husband has had myalgia now for a year and a half from Lovastatin. Does anyone know how long this is going to last? He can not work and wants to go back to work. Has anyone had myalgia that didn’t go away from the meds?

  55. This is scary, really glad I found my way finally at 65! I was on Lipator for so many years, got to a place where I could not lift foot upon a curb to step upConstant cramping over total body at times! I finally refused all colesterol meds! Doc said it was my call but with my diabetis as it was I needed to do something. Losing weight alone was not the answere, tried too many times! Lowcarb diet ok if you can do it! So I suggested to her I have a Gastric Bypass! Well I did, that was easy way most people say, but trust me once you have it done and two weeks in you will be so glad you did so. No diabetis meds or insulin, no high blood pressure meds, and no Satatins at all!!!! testing once month at local hospital always great, More energy, and use of legs, and feet getting stronger everyday! The more walks I take, no pain no gain, the better they get! I had a dream about the Lipator, so glad I was crazy enough to say no more to that stuff! No more uncontroble muscel spasams in body either! Yes in feet or ankels if I over walk, a bit of hot water soaking and it is gone. why do people put up with this drug gouging? I am never depressed, always on the go now, love life. I did not do it for weight, I only wanted a better quility of life…… that gift is great and I love it! I even go to Y 2 times aweek, and can zumba now! LOLLOL So at 65 I feel like the new 40 again!

  56. There is no mechanism in the bod to regulate Cholesterol levels. There is for blood sugar calcuim etc. Your body just breaks down and reuses chol as need. It is not excreated a a waste product. It is a precursor for vitamin D. Your body produces most of what is found in your blood and diet conributes very little. Worry more about your carb intake that will affect your triglycerides.

  57. I’ve got an interesting question about statins. First off I’m 54, weigh 185, 6′ tall. My cholesterol level was 240. My doctor sometime ago insisted I take statins. I agreed 3 months ago. I take 20mg of pravastatin once a day. 2.5 months ago I had my last hair cut with no issues. Just today my barber commented that I have bald spots on the back of my head about the size of a quarter (3 spots) and should see a doctor. Also she said she did not notice them the last time she cut my hair. I have a full head of hair so longer hair was covering the bald spots. Also, two weeks ago I noticed significant thinning off my mustache. I looked up pravastatin and hair loss and sure enough some people both female and male develop bald spots as a side effect. However, this side effect seems to effect about 1% of those taking statins.

    So, I’m going to ween off of this statin and would like to know if others have noticed hair loss from statins.
    Thanks
    jim

  58. Are there side effects to going OFF statins? I recently stopped taking my simvastatin as I really don’t see the point, being female… And I’ve had some minor muscle aches. Just curious. I did notice a mild loss of memory & “losing words” problem on the statin, which I was atrributing to being nearly 55 y/o, but now I am going to see if that gets better, off this drug.

  59. My doctor told me that I have very high cholesterol and prescribed me Lipitor. He told me that it is a completely safe drug and there is over 25 years of intense scientific study proving that statins are 100% safe and save lives. I trust and believe everything, with all my heart, what my doctor tells me, because he’s highly educated and trained to know these things. I’ve been on Lipitor for 2 weeks and I feel it’s going to do good for me. My doctor also told me to consume salt free foods, no butter, no eggs, absolutely no alcohol, no saturated fats and avoid red meat at all costs. My doctor assures me that Lipitor and a healthy diet will prevent me from having a stroke or heart attack; I’m so greatful for such a good, caring doctor.

  60. My husband is 73 years old non smoker exercises at gym 4-5 times a week health consious. Has been on Lovastatin for 2 years then had high blood sugar and was told to take Metformin. A month ago he came home from the gym and said he thought he was coming down with the flu or something and three days later he was in the ER with memory loss, decided limp on one side, muscle weakness.
    All tests precluded stroke so I refused to let them give him Lovastatin and ask that he be given oxygen. Three days later he regained his memory and some strength. He had a spinal tap, ultrasounds of the carotid artery, EEG, EKG and they totally found nothing. Now a few weeks later he is better than ever and libido is back and that scary statin shuffle is gone.
    He will never take another statin and was able to get off the metformin also as his blood sugar is back to normal.
    I say that to say this: if you have a loved one in nursing care who cannot remember your name or his or hers and
    has severe muscle degeneration they put it down to
    dementia or senility I beg you to have them take off the statin drugs to see if that is the issue. I have nightmares about how many people are sitting in rest homes or assisted care facilities that do not need to be there.
    Had I not been fighting the Doctors (who refused to state any other theory at all) I shudder to think where my husband would be now.

  61. I read your comment with some horrible memories. I am the person about whom this original article was written.

    I still to this day have remnant issues with cognition and memory although not to the extent that I had on the statin. You mentioned blood sugar, well blood sugar is what started the run down the rabbit hole and today, on nothing, my blood sugar and cholesterol are perfect.

    My case is the perfect example of the prescribe/ symptom maze where the doctors try to fix what one drug caused with another drug.

    I wish your husband all the best and my hat is off to you for saving his life.

    Doug

  62. I read these last few posts and had an Aha moment!!!! My blood sugar also went crazy after only a month on Crestor!!! I never chalked it up to the drug though . I did kinda suspect but now that I see others – I have my proof. I cam back border line . I am 5’4 and 130 lbs and excersise at leat 60 mins 5 – 6 times a week . so it never made sense. Anyway’s I am no back to normal . Still have a few memory issues . But all in all feeling wayyyy better . But then again this is the best I have felt in 3 yr’s. so was a long haul.

  63. I have been taking zocor or a generic form of it for about 2 years, along with BP meds. My heart tests have been normal, even a recent halter monitor when I had anxiety and other stress related (I thought) problems (like racing heartbeat in middle of night, etc). I thought I was having a heart attack because of racing heartbeat, total exhaustion, and pain in my left upper arm. All tests normal, at ER and then at doctor’s office (including holter testing). Pain in my upper arm was getting worse, my left eye was droopy, memory lapses, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, doctor said it was unclear, ordered an EMG. I drew the line at a costly test that means putting a huge needle in my arm while I have to sit still for about an hour to determine that there is nothing neurologically wrong with me.

    Am in contact with lawyers now regarding Zocor, since going off of it, all of my symptoms are going away. Slowly, but surely.

    • I was having heart pulpitations and racingheart and was put on a heart monitor holster for 24 hours and nothing unusual was found except a slight change in beat every now and then which I was told was normal. My doctor changed me from Crestor 10mg to Pravochol 20mg just after this and the pulpitations have gotten worse.
      Thank you to everyone who have shared their stories here. I feel much more confident now that I wasn’t losing my mind or my health. Not to mention the monthly cost of medication here in Australia.

  64. Hi all. I’m in the UK and have just been prescribed 40mg Simvastatin following cholesterol test result two weeks ago of 6.7. I have to say that I was a bit surprised that it was this high since i have a good diet. Perhaps it’s hereditary?Anyway, a little background; I am a 54 year old male non-smoker who enjoys a few beers. I am 6 foot and weigh 15stone. In December 2010 I underwent a 7 hour open heart surgery to repair a leaking mitral valve. The operation was successful and I have made a complete recovery. Went back to the gym properly in September 2010 and go 3-4 times a week. Cycle 15 miles a week and play golf. My heart surgery was to correct a mechanical fault and was not in anyway related to CAD. In fact as a test of completeness prior to surgery they did a coronary angigram to establish the state of my arteries etc since they would have carried out bypass grafts whilst they had my chest open if they needed to; they didn’t because everything was fine apart from a very leaky mitral valve!.
    I am not going to take the prescribed statins. Simarvartin is the cheapest statin on the market and they start everyone on this brand in the certain knowledge that 75% of patients will come off it as the side affects are so bad. My wife is a practice nurse in a GP surgery and reckons that loads of people are now refusing statins. I just don’t want to ruin my lifestyle which is relatively healthy by taking a drug that could reduce me to a wreck of a man. I am not going to ignore the fact that I have high cholesterol either. Instead I am now taking fish oil tablets plus a heart vitamin and my wife has completely changed my diet. I will get re-tested in 3 months.and report back!
    Ramble over! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  65. Don’t take it!!!!!!!!!!!! My husband is ruined and it has been 3 years in severe pain. He was started on it after a spinal surgery.His mitochondria is messed up now. Hasn’t worked for three years.

  66. i am 54..a 4-5 year user of simvastin 40 daily….horror is the the theme of my life because of it. Started with mental fogginess, forgetfulness, quivering tongue, strange feeling on my cheek next to my lips, like i want to drool, but don’t., palpatations, weakness, neurapathy (had surgery for carpal tunnel), now my legs are so weak it is difficult to walk with out a great deal of effort, and short bursts of amnesia. I want to sue the liars who have made my life a living hell to profit themselves. Would love to know how many of the take statins!!

  67. I am soooo glad I found this blog! I have been on statins for over ten years. I am a 64 year old female and this past August, I started having severe pain in my toes. I felt as though I had been walking on crushed glass. The pain was so bad that it woke me in the night. Then I noticed my right eyelid started drooping. I have been tired for a decade and chalked it up to being a high school teacher with classes of 42 students. Then, I developed weakness in my right arm a month ago and a couple weeks ago, my right leg started buckling under me, causing me to nearly fall. My vision is blurry and my short term memory is awful. I am losing coordination when I walk, and have nearly fallen in public twice just this last week. I really started to fear dementia or something similarly depressing until at dinner with my adult son who works in a major university, he told me he has noticed a dramatic change and asked me if I am taking statins! I came home and started reading articles on the net, mostly by doctors. I am starting to taper off tonight! I already know my doctor will say I am crazy to do this, but I am losing so many functions, I feel I am crazy not to! Thanks for being there.

    • An update. I slowly weaned myself off the statin and have been totally off it for 6 months. I no longer have the muscle weakness in my legs or arm, my gate is that of a young person again, the neuropathy in my feet is about 70% gone, my eyelid no longer droops, in short, I am a world better. When I went to my doctor for routine blood tests, I told her I had stopped the statin and why. I expected her to vigorously protest. Instead, she shook her head in agreement and told me there have been a lot of questions about them. She also agreed not a single study done anywhere provides evidence statins are ever beneficial to women. My husband is now weaning himself off them, too,.

      • Jan, I am a 53-year-old female who has been taking 40mg of pravastatin for about a year and a half. My cholesterol was never really that high but due to family history of heart disease, my doctor put me on pravastatin. I am very interested in stopping the statin but not sure if there is a safe way to do this. My own doctor wants to keep me on it but I am truly going to get off of it when I can. Please tell me how long you were taking a statin and how did you wean off of it.

        Thanks!

        Faith Tuss
        Dayton, Ohio

  68. All these stories sound like mine. I am 79. Been a diabetic for 30 years. I was one of these people who took the doctors word as gospel truth and that he/she really cared. It took me a long time to realize that the whole western medicine of treating by drugs was phoney and actually may be aimed at killing us…really..it took me a long time and there no confirmation like yours that told me any different and I had to learn by listening to my body..Everything maee me wonder why.I didn’t have anything to confirm that I was making the right decision. Like all my cholostrol was way too high, First came lipitor. I walked at that time three miles every morning and the first thing I noticed was my legs aching where they had never ached before so I told the doctor and he too me off lipitor and put me on Gymfybersol , may be mispelled… and that one made me sick at my stomach, the third one which I can’t remember the name of made me have panic attacks. By then I could see he would just go on giving me more. So I refused and told him so and he put his hand up and said “listen to me” and I slamed my hand down on his desk and said “NO YOU LISTEN TO ME”.I am the patient here and I can tell when something is doing more harm than good. I could tell my body was rebelling to it and then told him I didn’t think the body would produce this cholostrol if it didn’t need it. So then he fired me and made some comment like “why do you even come to see me and waste my time…So I got another doctor but my medical history followed me and he trurned out the same way and he walked out and left me sitting. I didn’t go back..I still have aching muscles in my legs, serious cramping in the night, but other health problems as well. and my fight with medical doctors have left me leary of anything they prescribe…Lying in the emergency room in the middle of a heart attack, the head nurse came and said she would not admit me if didn’t agree to take the asperin which give me, first headaches and then nausea…and they made sure I got it 325 one. I had to agree and suffer. Three weeks after being discharged I had to be admitted for a bleeding ulcer from the aspern and the plavik together…I am still having nausea even though I am off all medications except insulin…I keep BP med on hand in case my BP gets out of hand, like when I go to the doctor, but little by little I am feeling life come back to me, eating good organic grown veggies and drinking floride free water and praying continually that the doctors, who can’t be that stupid, just bite the bullet and stop giving people poisons to conteract their poisons.It took me a long time to start listening to my body and its good to hear others tell their own story. Its a mad world.

  69. have been at this pain for 5 years with statins.quit march 2012. still cant get out from under pain. taking co-q-10 and great deal of other vitamins. no help from doctors. been to emergency room so many times and all they say is they can not find what is wrong. i got so i could not drive. my mind seemed to skip around. these statins are the biggest hoax on mankind

    • I am so sorry you are still experiencing problems as soon as we took my husband off Lovastatin he started getting better but we found lingering problems with Benazapril
      and had him taken off that and metformin as they diagnosed him as “pre” diabetic (yeah him and everyone else who is not a diabetic) He is now doing great and we are having no issues at all. If you are still having problems it is time to look at any other changes you can make we literally have my husband down to his thyroid med and 1 blood pressure med ad he has never felt better. I hope this clears up for you very soon. do believe that when it hits the fan with statins the class action will be the biggest ever.

      • Oct 10/12

        Dear Dr Eades,

        I have just read the account of the patient who began his nightmare with Crestor and continued it with multiple medications followed by multiple consultations, changes in medications with the exception of Crestor, increases in doses, elimination some replaced by others,etc.
        An extremely vicious and ever increasing circle.

        I am very sorry that he had to go through the hell he describes.

        However, I am horribly shocked by the fact that he never asked a question from the very beginning. From his text one gets the impression that doctors in the U.S. are either completely egocentric or extremely stupid and just not interested in what they inflict on their patients. They should not be allowed to practice….it borders on criminal irresponsibility.

        However, medications, prescription or over the counter, do have notices in their little boxes that patients should read concerning possible side effects, serious side effects etc. Or, perhaps these notices are incomplete or non existant. If I am wrong and I certainly hope that I am, this man could have prevented a lot of the horrors he describes by reading the bloody notices and eventually informing himself elsewhere if his “doctors” refused to listen to him or inform as they should have done.

        I know that perhaps I come across as a bit pompous which was not my intention. I was on Simvastatine for nearly four years because of a rise in cholesterol count that may or may not have been caused by Arimidex that I had begun six months before.

        I had no problems with Arimidex prescribed by the specialist following me after my operation and no problems with Simvastatine up until I felt slight cramps in one leg. My cholesterol count HD excellent, the others lowered considerably… but my doctor at my suggestion, agreed to stop. He didn’t tell my I was wasting his time. He didn’t ask me why I bothered to come and consult him.

        I will continue without statin treatment, watch what I eat and how I eat. I am not at all athletic at my age, but I walk everwhere I go, lug home groceries, climb, stretch wash down , lift, olive oil, sterol vegative margarine, fish, skim milk, 0 percent yogurts natural sourced vit C, E, A, family B’s, garlic capsules, yes, I still believe in aspirin and spinach.

        I am 75 and hope it will continue. Wish me luck. And I hope that all goes well with with those who have had immense problems and have found a solution to them once and for all.

        Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

  70. I do not believe blocking the mevalonate pathway with a statin does anything to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.

    I do believe however that blocking this vital pathway can induce bodily deterioration by cell destruction, depletion of steroid hormones, depletion of CoQ10, and induce nerve damage.

    I do not associate serum cholesterol levels with risk for heart disease, heart attacks or strokes, nor do I view cholesterol as a Villain. Instead I view cholesterol as a good guy. Its there to give us life, and keep us healthy carrying us well into our golden years.

    To think that blocking this critical metabolic pathway will somehow magically ward off heart disease is in my opinion the ultimate in gullibility. For those who earnestly believe doing so will ward off heart attacks, I have a bridge in New York I would like to sell them. I also have the documentation to back up the sale. The Deed, which I will sign over for Half Price!

    • In my post do you see the parallels?

      Back in the early 1900’s, George C Parker was the infamous con man who sold New York’s public landmarks to unsuspecting tourists, and he had great looking documentation he created to back up the sale. The Brooklyn bridge was sold with great promises of opportunity. The tourists didn’t understand how things worked in the united States so they were easy targets. Some tried to erect toll gates only to be chased off by the police. Realization finally sets in they got burned.

      Likewise the drug companies sell statins with promise of opportunity, mainly warding off heart attacks. Plus they produced the documentation by conducting their own studies and having them published. ( sounding familiar?) Just like the tourists who didn’t understand America, the average Joe on the street today doesn’t understand physiology of the mevalonate pathway, ( sounding more familiar?) So people buy the statin and take it with the belief they are warding off heart attacks simply because it lowers their cholesterol. Then bodily damage occurs and they realize they got burned.

      History has a funny way of repeating itself. Its the same thing that was happening 100 years ago in New York City.

      I know, I got burned by a cholesterol lowering drug. Yes, I bought the Brooklyn Bridge.

  71. How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol and Kill You One Cell At A Time by Hannah Yoseph MD and James B. Yoseph is a must read. It explains exactly how statin drugs, which are mycotoxins, (fungal toxins) adversely effect every cell in the body. There are no side effects, just damage which is to be expected when the mavelonite pathway is blocked. It traces the first statin, lovastatin which was introduced by Merck. The authors obtained the hearings on the approval for lovastatin through the Freedom of Information Act. They were shocked themselves by the hidden lies and corruption they uncovered. Anyone who reads this book will surely have a paradigm shift as far as the medical industry is concerned.

    • Marjorie:
      And another great eye-opening expose is “Pharmageddon” by Neuropharmacologist David Healy. His book reveals the pharmaceutical industry’s scary control of modern medicine; it is a chilling, essential read, and an apparent best-seller.
      I plan to wean off Lipitor, Ezetrol in the next three months, while my MD continues blood monitoring. I also agree that there will be a huge class action suit in the coming years. Oh, how North Americans have been duped. Incidentally, no other country in the world has such massive drug advertisements as in the USA. Shameful. Oh, the almighty dollar!

  72. Well that sounds like a safe way to get off the statin. I really want to give it a try. I’ve been reading too many studies about the horrendous side effects of statins and may take the natural route.

    Thanks so much for your help!

  73. Hi Faith, Altogether I was on statins for ten years. Lipitor for nine and Crestor the last year because my health insurance would no longer pay for Lipitor because it was too expensive. I had the deep muscle pain and the fatigue the whole time I was on Lipitor and chalked it up to being over 50 and teaching in a very demanding situation. The neuropathy, weakness, congestive heart failure, and drooping eye lid all began shortly after starting Crestor. I have been completely statin-free since July, 2012. The deep muscle pain is completely gone. I can zip up and down stairs, and walk 2 miles a day with NO pain! It is like a miracle. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, checked my heart and said there is some muscle tissue damage. The drooping eyelid and the weakness in my arm is totally gone, too. The improvement has been so dramatic. The only thing I have changed in my life is stopping statins,. For me, this stuff was a slow poison,

  74. A decade of statins, I have taken myself off. Now for oh 2 months, cant count the side effects that have gone away, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, excessive over thinking, mental acuity, addiction for sugar of course I was craving all the bad things, comprehension issues, leg cramps, feet cramps, at night, just thought I was getting old, sleeping issues, OMG what a sham, Today I run every day 1 m +, I am shocked, what a shame I feel like I lost that decade, will never ever take anything ever again, I’ll live for today. I eat plenty of fruits and veggies, protein, NO SUPPLIMENTS, just real food. Shame on the Medical Community, no wonder so many adults my age are living on disability, then being killed off by chemo treatments.

  75. I too experienced similar bouts with pain and loss of strength. I ride off road motorcycles and discovered my balance and reaction times had become greatly impaired. I had 3 crashes in one day after never having fallen off in 25 years. I broke a few ribs on the last one and so looked for a reason for the loss of ability. I had been on 3 different statin drugs as my doctor looked for one that didn’t give me such pain. I quit the last one without telling my doctor and the symptoms slowly began to retreat. It has been 10 months and I am almost back to normal. I am a 62 year old male with angina pain so was put on the statins for that. Life on statins is no life at all.

    • Bill,

      My case was just like yours. I have ridden off road since I was 12 years old. I am now 59. Statins took away all my motor skills and I didn’t even feel safe driving a car and especially at night.

    • Just arrived here searching for more information about this hellish drug.
      I was put on statins one month ago, in just two weeks I lost all my capacity to sleep more than a few interrupted hours each night, with great anxiety all day long, irrational fears, loss of mental abilities…wow, what a trip in just some weeks.
      I am sorry for you guys who stayed at this hoax for even months and years…OMG.
      I just QUIT, prefer a stroke than this slow and painful self’annihilation.
      Don´t even start !! Doctors are brainwashed completely, you can go see them completely emaciated and they won´t even belive you. Better a good dose of LDL than this poison.

  76. I have just stopped taking Lipitor and Ezetrol. I had a bit of a heart drama 8 years ago and was prescribed Lipitor. I am fat, strong and active, with a fondness for bicycle riding, walking, kayaking and swimming. While on Lipitor I had mild muscle and joint pains. About three months ago I was prescribed Ezetrol to be taken in conjunction with Lipitor, and then the problems really started. I now have a sore neck, severe pain when moving my left hand and arm, a painful right shoulder, and occasional pains in my right hand and arm. This has built up over the last 3 months.

    It is quite frightening to sit and wonder how much longer I would have till I became disabled through loss of strength and movement. I was still able to get the kayak on the roof of the car the other day, but just doing customary tasks can send shooting pains through my left arm. Movement loosens things up, though it took an hour of paddling before the pain fully went away.

    So I have stopped using my cholesterol meds, as I would rather live as an able-bodied person instead of a cripple. The doctor has organised blood tests, and in a few weeks there will be results.

    Wish me luck, everybody.