statin drugs and link to cardiomyopathy/congestive heart failure

I was recently told again by my docs to "lower my cholesterol" by taking a statin drug.I refused. Here is why..study after study and several class action lawsuits have linked the use of statin drugs (Crestor,Zocor etc.) to an increase in congestive heart failure,blood sugar spikes, and cardiomyopathy as well as an adverse interaction with amiodarone patients.
It is currently being debated as to whether cholesterol levels have even a direct relationship to most heart disease.
My husband took them and steadily gained weight-which of course was not good for his heart-and now that he has cut his dose in half,he has lost 15 lbs. in a month.
I took them for a short time and my blood sugar went through the roof (by blocking the cholesterol from entering the liver,sugar is then "dumped" into the bloodstream.) Once I discontinued,my blood sugar is now in the normal range. Hmmm??
Ask your doctor about these findings or google in the heading I have on this discussion and read the cautionary tales and studies for yourself. Of course,
as always, discuss your health with your doctor before discontinuing any prescribed medications!

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It all seems a bit clearer to me now. still not got my appointment through for cardiologist so i feel like i am in limbo at the moment.

Busy working my way through my bucket list...living for the moment. Today has enough problems of its own so why worry about tomorrow? x

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for all of you who question ................................. bravo to you...................... ...................

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Joseph marcola and dr. cass ingram have interesting views on diet and hearts and health in general
they both say we need fat in our diet...........and get l carnitine from red meat...........
so if you are a vegan or avoid red meat I would think? you could benefit from l carnitine the amino acid.

but do check out steven? sinatra's book...................

best to all of you

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cat momma and others: i am vegetarian and take L-carnitine supplements in addition to Omega 3-6-9 and others. Dr. Sinatra's book "Reverse Heart Disease Now" lays it all out about supplementation, diet, exercise, rest. His belief - particularly with women - is that inflammation is more a culprit of creating plaque than cholesterol levels. In the book, he gives a list of tests that should be done in addition to just the standard HDL/LDL levels. These include, but are not limited to, homocysteine and Lp(a). I raised such hell with my cardiologist about getting these levels checked because I know my atherosclerosis in my coronary and carotids are NOT due to diet. In exasperation with my persistence, they ran a genetic test which was a very detailed version of a lipid profile as well as determined my APO E genotype. Long story short, it's my Lp(a) levels wrecking havoc on my arteries. They were three times the top highest "very high risk" number and are considered a much worse factor than high LDL (because mothing can be done about it except high dises if niacin (niaspan) which are often not well tolerated. The Lp(a) issue is genetic. Also, my genotype is Type E3/4 which shows I have increased cholesterol ABSORPTION, increased LDL-C, and heart disease risk. The chart on the genetic report also showed that I don't MAKE that much cholesterol - the problem is the absorption as well as my Lp(a) for which no much can be done. Unfortunately, the E4 part of that genotype puts me at risk for Alzheimer's.

So with that info, we backed up and punted. Now I am on Zetia to block absorption. I haven't had any side effects to that. I get levels checked again first part of June and we will then add niaspan for the Lp(a) issue.

Now, had I not read Dr. Sinatra's book, I would have never known to insist on all of this. Everyone who is proactive, please read the book!

Richest blessings, peppermint

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It is ALL so CONFUSING! We are a darned if you do and darned if you don't situation. Prior to my HA I was taking Zocor (one of my late parents took Zocor and the other took Lipitor. They both did not take the same as one of them could not take one of the drugs. As I was prescribed it after my parents passed I had forgotten all of that information so I just picked Zocor.) I admit that I was not faithful in taking any of my meds prior to my HA. I was in such a state of denial - "Not me. I am healthy. I do not really have any high levels." I had seen my blood tests results myself BUT my doctor did not insist or even suggest (I realize that I should have taken more responsibility for my own health but come on, my doctor should have at least suggested) I have my blood tested regularly OR that I make any dietary changes. I guess at the time I was still recovering (healing) from the passing of both of my parents, trying to clear out and sell their house (by myself - sibling out of state), almost losing my husband (to death), and trying to live a "normal" life so I did not focus on me (so common for women).

It was not until a couple of weeks prior to my HA that I began to sort of listen to my body and sort of listen to my inner voice....BUT was still in denial. After I had the HA (Dec. 27, 2011 - age 56), I began to make life changes and still making some. I have made medications adjustments (after consulting doctor) and of course, I eat better, exercise, etc. etc. BUT I am still so confused. It seems like so frequently now (either I am just more aware or it is really more publicized) there are articles about heart disease (heart attacks, etc) and medications. It is SO CONFUSING!

I will see my cardiologist next month and my list of questions is mounting. Most of my questions are about prescription medications and supplements/vitamins. I know everyone is different but also know it can take up to YEARS before symptoms or adverse side effects manifest. Why is it so difficult? Why is it such a gamble as what to or not to take?

Seeking information from the internet can be helpful but it can also add to the confusion. I do (which I had not done before) consult with my pharmacist about medication cocktails - what APPEARS to be safe to take with what. One suggestion made perfect sense - I now take my supplements 1-3 hours AFTER/BEFORE taking my prescription medications to avoid ANY possibility of interaction.

I will continue to follow this (and other posts) and continue to formulate my questions for the doctor(s).

Take care all. Hugs

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I can't tolerate statins at all, never could. Years ago, about 13 yrs ago, my dr discovered during a routine blood test that I had extremely high levels of cholesterol. I'm not jesting when I say that the numbers were so high that they couldn't tell how high high was. So my first statin was lipitor. I took that for a few weeks and noticed my left hip hurting and I was aching all over. I chunked the lipitor in the trash. Next came many more statin drugs over the years but none seemed to work. I've been battling high blood pressure for over twenty yrs now. I take vasotec for that and have sine day one, it's the only HP med I can tolerate and it seems to work.

The event one of my doctors mentioned that lined me up for my heart attack was getting bronchitis, a double ear infection (both ears), and strep throat. My dr at that time was not my usual GP, but a new one I had to get when my health insurance plan switched and required me to have a dr in their network if they were going to pay. I gave this dr all my information, health records. He prescribed me the Z pack antibiotic. not even five months later I had my heart attack. Connection or not? I dunno, maybe, maybe not. I was prescribed prevastatin, along with a nice drug cocktail of other drugs after my heart attack, 40 mg, but a month later when I went to see my GP he upped the dose to 80 mg. About two weeks into that dose level I started to feel muscle aches and fatigue like I never felt before. I mentioned it to my dr he said to keep taking the dose unless I wanted another heart attack. So, two months into that dose I'm getting worse, now my fingers and feet are swelling and I am experiencing difficulties concentrating and remembering. I cut the dose in half to the level my cardiologist prescribed.

See the problem was my GP never looked at the cholesterol levels from when I had my heart attack and compared them to what they were the day I saw him. So I'll never know if they came down or not. Those levels were in the 300 range the day he did the blood test. He sent me home and said to come back in Feb for another visit to check my cholesterol levels. But by Feb we had moved several states away and I had to find a new dr. I saw my new dr here and she never even ordered a blood test. I was stunned, I've had a heart attack, high cholesterol history and she never once said for me to have a blood test done. I had to ask. So, fired her and am now waiting to see a new dr next month. Now it's going on 10 months, will be almost a yr by then post heart attack. When I had insurance seemed the red carpet was rolled out for medical care, now that it's cash it's not the same. *sigh*

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What is Lpa? Is it a lipid test?

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Shamal, Lp(a) is part of a complete lipid profile. You have to demand it wait is not normally run. In addition to your Typical cholesterol, demand your doctor run CR-P, homocysteine and lp(a) levels. These are all inflammatory markers and affect cholesterol numbers.

DaisyLou, I'm so sorry that you've had a HA so young. I am also 56 and experienced TIA's for last few year until a CTA also diagnosed me with fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) where the arteries have overgrowth of cells causing them to thicken and thus cause stenosis. I also have plaque blockage in heart - LAD - and in carotids. No doubt the hardships you endured that led up to your HA had an effect. Bless you. I do believe - would almost promise you - if you read Dr. Sinatra's book that you will get "the big picture" of everything and will be empowered to advocate for yourself. You MUST be your own advocate. The doctors are trained in "old school" of thought and many are like trail horses going thru the motions of what they know to do in general and not specifically having the time to study YOU, much less run complete profiles to see the big picture. This is where your education and advocacy come into play. There is so much new information out there. Grab all you can to empower yourself, and a wonderful place to start is Dr. Sinatra's book "Reverse Heart Disease Now" - which is so well written in layman's terms.

For those seeking dietary changes, movies Forks Over Knives and Hungry for Change are great as well as Food Matters and the PBS documentary "Eating".

xxx peppermint

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I would be interested to know what your cholesterol levels are if you don't mind sharing. I have been on Crestor for almost 18 months and stopped it on my own just 12 days ago due to toe cramps, trouble swallowing, and tiredness. I plan to get bloodwork done soon to see if my numbers go back up. My cardiologist says that I need a statin due to heredity and that I cannot change my numbers with diet and exercise. This frustrates me....

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I just spoke with my cardiologist about the study that indicates statins are not good for those with congestive heart failure and he said that he didn't know if the statins were in and of themselves the cause but rather that those who have compromised heart functions often have other things which damage the heart-like overweight,lack of activity,previous heart attacks,bad diets etc. so he wasn't sure that the statin was the one cause. Since I had none of the above risk factors other than the high "bad" cholesterol(hereditary) he did not try to continue to push the statins on me. He did ask that I get an ultrasound in my legs since if one has blockages or plaque there-you probably have it in the heart too. The results? They called to say that the results were excellent and the legs free of plaque or obstruction. I attribute this to my low salt diet,my daily walks,and the fact that my "good" cholesterol was also very high.
I did hear a star talking about how her cholesterol was lowered by 150 points (it must have been really high) by switching to a vegan diet-so I don't completely buy the argument that diet and exercise can not positively impact cholesterol numbers.
My husband just cut his statins in half(at my urging) and his cholesterol remains in control(he just had a blood test) and his "romantic"drive has returned-something the statins took away.He has also now lost 25 lbs. since reducing the statins a couple of months ago.Do some research before rushing into this dangerous but sometimes necessary drug therapy.

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@ Shamal: Thank you for sharing your insights and that information. I find it interesting that your cardiologist mentioned the correlation between problems with statins and congestive heart failure. Although I have not been formally diagnosed with CHF I am taking many medications that are prescribed for such and have have symptoms.

I have CAD from clogged arteries and high cholesterol so I can relate to what you are saying Techgirl! Had a HA last year, almost a yr ago, and 2 drug emitting stents placed.

My high cholesterol is also caused so the doctors say from hereditary. I recently went to the doctor and was switched yet again from pravastatin to lipitor, 80 mg. I know it's a matter of time and thats going to bother me too. I see my new cardiologist on Aug 2nd so my side effects should be sprouting well by then! Meantime my cholesterol has gone in the past year from 7/29/11 (2 days after my HA)
7-29-11 Cholesterol Total: 323 HDL: 28 LDL: Tris too high to get reading Triglycerides: 934
9-19-11 Cholesterol Total: 232 HDL: 38 LDL: 128 Tris: 329
7-3-12 Cholesterol Total: 352 HDL: no # LDL:262 Tris 250

This last reading was done after I went off the pravastatin for 30 days. I have this vicious cycle with side effects, then having to go off, then high cholesterol. I'm on a serious vegan diet right now and walk some, I get so tired, even housework is exhausting and it hurts to move. My legs are swollen and I've got the summertime heat blues, even here in Maine where it's cooler!

It's a roller coaster ride for sure and I wish we didn't have to ride that ride with the statins! I wish I knew what the answer is/was because I've tried just about every statin on the market going back 12 yrs ago. *sigh* We've gotta stay strong! <3

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True that! Although my cholesterol totals were not as high as yours,I recognized that even though with statins,the numbers would go down,they did so "artificially". The cause is not removed,just the symptoms.
I tried Lipitor for just one month and had a pancreatic problem,aching muscles and dizziness which began suddenly when taking it.All of these conditions disappeared when I stopped the meds.(gradually)-one should never "shock" the system by abruptly stopping a drug -unless your physician tells you to do so.
My brother saw his total cholesterol numbers drop by 25 points by simply adding flax oil to his daily diet.Hmm...I also added
Fiber.Fiber.Fiber. Which ended up costing me hundreds of dollars because I spent so much time in the bathroom I decided to redecorate it!

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I am feeling very encouraged. I went to a new primary care physician today and she agreed that quality of life was more important than just taking whatever drugs will keep the DCM in check. She has agreed to let me remain off Crestor until October and have my cholesterol numbers checked. Crestor not only took down my LDL immensely, but also my HDL. She said that "isn't supposed to happen." Will let you know what happens in October.

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Hello:

I have CHF and have since an event with my heart in 1998. I took Lipitor for some years and then my cardiologist changed me to Vitorin/Tricor and I've been on those for three years. My first angiogram showed one artery 60% occluded. The second angiogram nine years later showed no change, to the doctor's great surprise. Recently I developed Vasculitis on my lower legs which is thought in some cases to be drug induced. Statins and NSAIDS are thought to be responsible for this. I've been off my statins for two weeks and there has been improvement in the awful ulcers on my legs. So, I'm now staying off them for another month because of the possibility that there may be a connection. I just wonder if anyone has had or has heard of this kind of a reaction to statins. Thanks.

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I am 56 yrs old. Suffer from left ventricular dysfunction. I used Altace nearly 2 years. It makes me more relaxed and the heart calm.

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Hi heart buddies,

It is strange but I was perscribed statins and my instinct tell me not to take them...Even though I am convinced that my current cardioligist is trying his best for me, I still think he is going by the book (a very outdated book) he still calls it csx.....Anyway I felt in his helplessness he told me there was only one other drug that might help (a statin) but everything in me says don't take it as my cholesterol levels are 4.5..how could I need cholesterol controll when I do that by diet. If I feel the risks outweigh the benifit then its a no no for me. Go with your instincts ladies. A lot of the young doctors google your symptoms and give you a pill. i think instinct is a better tool. If I die then I will take responsibility for my actions. If something happens as a result of taking these drug...who will take the blame????? go with your instinct and trust it. Too much controversy about this drug.

Millie

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Hi Friends,
I began lipitor immediately after getting one stent. Three days after starting them, I had severe leg pain. I told my cardiologist, but he said that the muscle pain was not related to lipitor. The doctor was rude and would not address my concerns. I found a new dr and stopped the statin but the pain continued. I was given a gene test indicating that a statin could cause an adverse effect in me. Unfortunately, I currently suffer from a life changing muscle disease. I am facing a life of very limited mobility and pain.

I am not suggesting that one not take statins, but please report any muscle discomfort immediately. Do not let your doctor dismiss your complaints.

Best

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I think,as I read over all the problems with statins,I was wise to stay the heck away from them. For documented information,google in "crestor cardiomyopathy" and several studies will indicate a correlation between statins and the worsening of CHF.

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Hi. This is my first time posting on this group although I joined a few weeks ago. I'm also on the Heart Bypass group since I had one in March after a heart attack. This is a great conversation. Thanks for all your comments and the info regarding Sinatra. I'll be on to getting that book asap. I am currently reading a book by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick called "The Great Cholesterol Con". It's very enlightening. I would recommend it.
The other thing I want to say is that the side effects of beta blockers (name usually ends in 'olol') can be similar to statins. There are differences but muscle and joint pain, depression, sluggishness, memory difficulty to name but a few. I took myself off statins after I became a virtual zombie, only to find that beta blockers are causing me just as many side effects. My doctor is of the same type as some of you mentioned i.e. he follows the "established" routine and dismisses me when I try to converse with him about my meds. When I told him about the beta blockers, he prescribed an ace inhibitor AS WELL AS the beta blocker. I queried that, got dismissed with a wave and told they are good for the heart. Conversation closed. So I took one......ONE. I had leg cramp for 36 hours, swelling of both knees and swelling of my face. I was about to call emergency when it began to subside. So I called GP instead and he is going to get me to try another one! Could you swallow that one? I won't be.
I've been looking up the health benefits of fruits, vegetable, nuts, seeds and herbs on the internet. Every time I think of one, I look it up. Just about every one of them has heart, artery, cholesterol, blood benefits. I've been incorporating them into my diet ever since and changed my whole eating lifestyle. I attended the college of Holistic Medicine. I didn't study physical health, I studied counselling. However, so much of what we are feeling, thinking and experiencing has an effect on the body so I learned much about that corelation. While chatting to another student who was a Lupus sufferer, she was being treated there, she was told to only eat raw foods for one month. No coffee or tea, only raw food. Unlimited amounts and in variety and water to drink. After a month, she had lost weight and felt fantastic. She mentioned that even her eyesight improved. So interesting.
Just a wee anecdote for you which I hope helps. I would encourage you to look up the nutritional benefits of foods. It has become a bit of a hobby for me. My latest find is capers. I'll let you look that one up. I think it has the wow factor. Now I am planning to make my own tartar sauce for my oily fish. It contains capers, of course and dill pickles....also very good for you. I'm using only low fat and no sugar of course.
Keep up the good work, people. Thank you.

Bram

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Thanks for sharing -nutrition and natural treatments whenever possible! I found almonds,cumin,tumeric,garlic,cider vinegar,fiber, flax,and salmon to be especially helpful.These foods and herbs actually raised my "good cholesterol". Eating like the early hunters/gatherers of pre-history seems to be the best diet.Roots,herbs,verylittle and very lean meat,small and frequent portions,fruits and exercise.Next I'll be painting in caves!!

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