Statins to lower cholesterol; Yes, No, Maybe? Latest news can help you make a decision.

 statin_drugs

Stains have been available since 1987.  Almost 30 years later, many adults (and even very young adults) have been prescribed statins to lower their “bad” LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol.  Most times, the decision to start a statin is based upon a few numbers on your lab work:  LDL over 130 and Total cholesterol over 199 was typically the reason for a statin prescription.

New guidelines from the American Heart Association take more than a few numbers into consideration.  Check out the new RISK FACTORS for cardiovascular disease that may indicate statin use.  They are 4 guidelines that may “flag”  you as a person that might benefit from statins.  Then, look to the diet/lifestyle changes that are recommended as well as the risk factors for heart attack and stroke.  By looking at the whole picture, your MD can make a better decision regarding statins.

I found this article by the Mayo Clinic to be very helpful as it provides the newest information on making a decision regarding statins.  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/statins/ART-20045772

Statins are drugs that can lower your cholesterol. They work by blocking a substance your body needs to make cholesterol. Statins may also help your body reabsorb cholesterol that has built up in plaques on your artery walls, preventing further blockage in your blood vessels and heart attacks.

Statins include medications such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altoprev), pitavastatin (Livalo), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor). Lower-cost generic versions of many statin medications are available.

Already shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol, statins may have other potential benefits. But doctors are far from knowing everything about statins. Are they right for everybody with high cholesterol? What kinds of side effects may occur? Can statins help prevent other diseases?

Should you be on a statin?

Whether you need to be on a statin depends on your cholesterol level, along with your other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Most people should try to keep their total cholesterol level below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) (6.22 millimoles per liter, or mmol/L). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) should be below 100 mg/dL (3.37 mmol/L).

But the numbers alone won’t tell you or your doctor the whole story. High cholesterol is only one of a number of risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

The most important factor to consider is a person’s long-term risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke. If the risk is very low, there is probably no need for statins, unless the LDL is above 190 mg/dL (4.9 mmol/L). If the risk is very high — for example, someone who has had a heart attack in the past — the person may benefit from statins, even if his or her cholesterol is not elevated.

Risk assessment tools

Your doctor may suggest using an online tool to better understand your long-term risks of developing heart disease.

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have recently developed an online tool to predict a person’s chances of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. For people under the age of 50, the Framingham cardiovascular disease risk calculator might be a better option because it provides a 30-year risk prediction.

In addition to your cholesterol numbers, these risk calculators also ask about your age, race, sex, blood pressure and whether you have diabetes or smoke cigarettes.

New cholesterol guidelines

New guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association focus on four main groups of people who may be helped by statins:

  • People who already have cardiovascular disease. This group includes people who have had heart attacks, strokes caused by blockages in a blood vessel, mini-strokes (transient ischemic attacks), peripheral artery disease, or prior surgery to open or replace coronary arteries.
  • People who have very high LDL (bad) cholesterol. This group includes adults who have LDL cholesterol levels of 190 mg/dL (4.9 mmol/L) or higher.
  • People who have diabetes. This group includes adults who have diabetes and an LDL between 70 and 189 mg/dL (1.8 and 4.9 mmol/L), especially if they have evidence of vascular disease.
  • People who have a higher 10-year risk of heart attack. This group includes people who have an LDL above 100 mg/dL (1.8 mmol/L) and whose 10-year risk of a heart attack is 7.5 percent or higher.

Lifestyle is still key for preventing heart disease

Lifestyle changes are essential for reducing your risk of heart disease, whether you take a statin or not. To reduce your risk:

  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat, trans fat, refined carbohydrates and salt, and rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains.
  • Be physically active, sit less and exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy waist girth: less than 40 inches in men and less than 35 inches in women

If you’re following the recommended lifestyle behaviors but your cholesterol — particularly your LDL (bad) cholesterol — remains high, statins might be an option for you. Risk factors for heart disease and stroke are:

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of heart disease, especially if it was before the age of 55 in male relatives or before 65 in female relatives
  • Not exercising
  • Poor stress and anger management
  • Older age
  • Narrowing of the arteries in your neck, arms or legs (peripheral artery disease)

Consider statins a lifelong commitment

You may think that once your cholesterol goes down, you can stop taking medication. But if your cholesterol levels have decreased after you take a statin, you’ll likely need to stay on it indefinitely. If you stop taking it, your cholesterol levels will probably go back up.

The exception may be if you make significant changes to your diet or lose a lot of weight. Substantial lifestyle changes may help you lower your cholesterol without continuing to take the medication, but don’t make any changes to your medications without talking to your doctor first.

The side effects of statins

Although statins are well-tolerated by most people, they do have side effects, some of which may go away as your body adjusts to the medication.

Common, less serious side effects

  • Muscle and joint aches (most common)
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Rare but potentially serious side effects

  • Muscle problems. Statins may cause muscle pain and tenderness, particularly if you’re taking a high dosage. In severe cases, muscle cells can break down (rhabdomyolysis) and release a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin can damage your kidneys.
  • Liver damage. Occasionally, statin use causes an increase in liver enzymes. If the increase is only mild, you can continue to take the drug. Contact your doctor immediately if you have unusual fatigue or weakness, loss of appetite, pain in your upper abdomen, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
  • Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes. It’s possible your blood sugar (blood glucose) level may increase when you take a statin, which may lead to developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Cognitive problems. Some people have experienced memory loss and confusion after using statins. However, scientific studies have failed to prove that statins actually cause cognitive problems.

It’s important to consider the effects of statins on other organs in your body, especially if you have health problems such as liver or kidney disease. Also, check whether statins interact with any other prescription or over-the-counter drugs or supplements you take.

Keep in mind that when you begin to take a statin, you’ll most likely be on it for the rest of your life. Side effects are often minor, but if you experience them, you may want to talk to your doctor about decreasing your dose or trying a different statin. Don’t stop taking a statin without talking to your doctor first.

What other benefits do statins have?

Statins may have benefits other than just lowering your cholesterol. One promising benefit of statins appears to be their anti-inflammatory properties, which help stabilize the lining of blood vessels. This has potentially far-reaching effects, from the brain and heart to blood vessels and organs throughout the body.

In the heart, stabilizing the blood vessel linings would make plaques less likely to rupture, thereby reducing the chance of a heart attack. Statins also help relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.

Weighing the risks and benefits of statins

When thinking about whether you should take statins for high cholesterol, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
  • Am I willing and able to make lifestyle changes to improve my health?
  • Am I concerned about taking a pill every day, perhaps for the rest of my life?
  • Am I concerned about statins’ side effects or interactions with other drugs?

It’s important to take into account not only your medical reasons for a decision, but also your personal values and concerns. Talk to your doctor about your total risk of cardiovascular disease and discuss how your lifestyle and preferences play a role in your decision about taking medication for high cholesterol.

Interested in a diet and lifestyle that will benefit your weight, body fat percentage, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, blood glucose?

______________________________________________________________

The Metabolism Miracle by Diane Kress.  The diet, the exercise, the lifestyle that will get your cholesterol in the best place it can be without statins!

book picture metabolism miracle The Metabolism Miracle:   http://www.amazon.com/The-Metabolism-Miracle-Control-Permanently/dp/0738213861/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1411319710&sr=8-1

The Metabolism Miracle is Diane Kress’ breakthrough book that explains the phenomenon of Metabolism B.  In May 2015, the National Institutes of Health published a study that concludes: different types of metabolism require different types of diet/lifestyle to promote long term weight loss.  The Metabolism Miracle provides the first and only scientifically- proven, effective, understandable diet and lifestyle plan that precisely matches the metabolic needs of the 65% of US adults who struggle to lose weight and keep it off. The book details the signs, symptoms, health history, and lab work that qualifies as Metabolism B AND provides the only diet/lifestyle that treats insulin imbalance with 3 easy “Steps”.  Regain control of weight and health…permanently; The Metabolism Miracleis  New York Times Bestseller and is licensed in 8 languages.

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The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook contains over 150 recipes designed to seamlessly match the metabolic needs of those with Met B who are living The Metabolism Miraclelifestyle. .

The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook provides recipes for appetizers, soups, beverages, salads, entrees, side dishes, breads, and desserts.  Each recipe is clearly labeled to show the “Step” of The Metabolism Miracle it matches.  Quick, delicious, healthy recipes make home cooking for The Metabolism Miracle program a breeze.  All recipes can be enjoyed by the entire family!

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This e-book contains all updates to the flagship book; The Metabolism Miracle.   The program can be followed with the original book, but these tweaks are helpful and are recommended for inclusion by long term followers of the program.

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The Diabetes Miracle is Diane Kress’ most detailed work to date.  When anyone with uncontrolled Met B does not normalize insulin, he will progress  to pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes.  In addition to his elevated blood sugar, he will continue to gain weight and body fat AND experience elevations in blood pressure, cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and decreases in Vitamin D and HDL (good cholesterol).

Many people are overwhelmed by a diagnosis of pre diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Diane Kress uses her understandable writing style and wealth of “state of the science” research to explain the disease process AND provide the diet and lifestyle that controls your weight and weight -related health issues.  A must read for everyone who has pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes.  The Diabetes Miracle is the only resource you will ever need for pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

 

miracle-villeThe Interactive Support Group for Followers of The Metabolism Miracle and The Diabetes Miracle:  http://www.Miracle-Ville.com

In 2011, Diane Kress opened the online subscription support site, Miracle-Ville.com,  for followers of The Metabolism Miracle and The Diabetes Miracle.  Now, with over 2300 members, Diane has provided a location for MM’rs and DM’rs to find support and find the accurate information they need to follow the programs.  All information is screened for accuracy.  There are recipes, forums, videos, chat capability, access to the site’s moderator, and frequent visits by Diane Kress!

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About Diane Kress

Author of The New York Times Bestseller; The Metabolism Miracle, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook, and The Diabetes Miracle. and The Metabolism Miracle, Revised Edition. Owner, developer, and administrator of The Metabolism Miracle's support site: www.Miracle-Ville.com. Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, www.themetabolismmiracle.com www.thediabetesmiracle.com www.miracle-ville.com Email: dietquestions@ymail.com
This entry was posted in Diane Kress, Diet, low carb, Met B, Metabolic syndrome, Metabolism B, prediabetes, The Metabolism Miracle, type 2 diabetes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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