Statins: I received a phone call from my GP... - Bone Health

Bone Health

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I received a phone call from my GP about annual blood test results for thyroid levels, during the conversation she told me my cholesterol reading was above 5 and would I consider taking a statin. I've heard so many different tales from friends and acquaintances how some can't take them due mostly to muscle aches and pains and some take them with no side effects whatsoever.

Anyway she said perhaps try them for a while see how it goes, she suggested starting by taking them only three times a week at first. I've now received a prescription for Rosuvastin 10mg tablets. Has anyone had experience of taking statins since being diagnosed with osteoporosis , any particular side effects . I've got enough pain to deal with from my fractures and I'm worried about causing additional aches and pains with Statins. Having said that I'll probably give them a trial with the three times a week but I'm interested to hear views of others.

38 Replies

My suggestion would be to ask if you can try to bring your level down through diet and exercise! My GP recommended Benecol (margarine and/or yoghourts), that contains plant sterols to lower cholesterol in 21 days. It worked for my husband; both of us now use it in place of ordinary Marg/butter on our sandwiches. Flora ProActiv is an alternative.

Teresa1905 in reply to Met00

Thank you for your response , I do only use Flora Proactive this followed a discussion years ago with GP about my BP at the time . I've had no further problems with BP , I do have a BP meter at home on which I check it occasionally. GP said my cholesterol was over 5 but I do eat plenty of veg and salad also fruit every day. I think I could do better in the exercise I'm taking. The weather plus the constant online shopping , thinking what to have for dinner etc seem to take up over . Now the clocks will be going forward and Spring is coming I'm determined to get myself and my husband moving and definitely doing more walking. I'll be having another blood test in October before my third Zelondronic Acid infusion so I might wait and see results then.

Hi Teresa,Statins like all meds do cause side effects for some people yet others sail through without any.

I was put on statins a good few years ago and did have the muscle pain, but it was mostly in the legs.

They can be reduced to a very low dose if needed ( which was done in my case)

The main thing for me was that they brought my levels down and I was then able to come off them.

I would take the advice from your doctor and give them a try, if you have any side effects ( which you may not) then you can decide if to continue or not.

You say that you worry about any additional pain from taking statins, I can tell you hand on heart that any pain related to taking statins does NOT come anywhere near as close to the pain from fractures.

I hope this helps you in some way, it is good to keep up excersise and a correct diet but there are times that we need the help of medications too.

Take care and all the very best.

Thank you for your response. I've had other responses varying from Never take them, to, I've never had any side effects ! I think that's par for the course. I'm going to start on a low dose see how it goes.

syntax in reply to Teresa1905

If i did not have C.O.P.D & Asthma l would join you lol!

Hi. I’ve taken statins for many years and do not have any side effects whatsoever.

I was given them years ago and had almost instant effects. I went from being able to walk miles to barely being able to walk to the bus stop opposite our campsite and I felt really depressed. Back when I was given them I had no knowledge of the side effects so the side effects all cane as a great surprise. My husband said to stop them and I kept saying I couldn’t because the doctor had given me them.

In the end I had stopped them by the time we went home three weeks later.. The doctor I saw to tell that I’d stopped them offered me a ‘better’ pill, I was given Simvastatin. I declined and went for diet instead. My cholesterol is still too high but what irritates me is that the level for prescribing statins seems to come down all the time. It seems to me like they are moving the goalposts, I wouldn’t take them again. .

I was on a statin for a few years with mild leg pains which I didn’t connect at the time. At one point, I developed severe myalgia type symptoms, unable to use my arms and had to crawl up the steps, pain in hands and fingers too. While being tested to see what was going on and no luck with different medications, I began doing my own research. Long story short, I weaned off the statins and within six weeks, I was good as new. A few months later, just to test it, I tried taking the statin again, within two days all of the symptoms came back. My doctor agreed, even though my cholesterol was high, I had to use diet only. No more statins for me ever again. That was six years ago. Never even a hint of myalgia since. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis this year, I don’t think the two are related but you never know.

Cholesterol upper lab ref. range was 6.5

Then they brought it down to 6

Then they brought it down further.

They continually lower it, is because Pharma can then make billions more £$€ each time they do. So the lowering of the upper end of the lab ref. range is less to do with health, and more to do with profit.

Vit D3 and Cholesterol are associated. If you affect Cholestetol, you're likely to also affect Vit D3.

The body & brain need good fats, Cholesterol and Vit D3. Margarine, hydrogenated oils, and liquid veg oils (e.g. sunflower, rapeseed, etc) are not good fats.

I suggest you get the lab printout of your lab results with the lab ref. ranges of cholesterol & lipids included. And then take a look at where your Triglyceride result is within the lab ref. range. That would be of more importance than an unalarming Cholesterol result of 5.

I do not worry that my cholesterol reading is a little over 5. I have equal quantities of good and bad cholesterol in my reading and I am content with that. There is mention of it at my yearly review and when I mention what I have just said, the medic says no more about it.

I was prescribed the statin: atorvastatin (Lipitor) for high cholesterol and was on it for a short few weeks. I didn't get the body aches, but I did get a "fuzzy" head. I went off of it and the "fuzzy" head disappeared. I just didn't feel right. My doctor then said let's try rosuvastatin as it usually has less side effects. Started taking it and I've had no side effects and it reduced my LDL by half with just 5mg.

Hope this helps.

Londinium in reply to Annvaughan

LDL is required for infection & illness. Lipids have a purpose.

Annvaughan in reply to Londinium

I’m in America and not sure how our cholesterol reports match your reports. My Ldl’s were running around 200 and Hdl’s around 50. In America for heart health most doctors recommends to have ldl below 70. With Rosuvaststin my Ldl’s stay around 95, and my doctor is satisfied with this number. Both my mother and father died of heart attacks at age 65 and both had high cholesterol like me. I have not had any infections since taking statins the last 5 years.

That's reassuring as I've been prescribed Rosuvastatin . I'm still inclined to start on low dose say 2 to 3 a week at first and see if I get any obvious side effects. Thank you.

My cholesterol level was 7.1 a few years ago and the dr just gave me a low-fat diet to follow. She did not even mention my going on statins. I am not overweight, I am 7stone (44kg) and from my experience it is assumed that you must be overweight or eat badly if you have high cholesterol. I have a family history of heart disease and already have to follow a low fodmap diet to control my IBS. I got my cholesterol down to under 5 but I have had to keep telling my dr that what I should be eating on a low fat diet I can't because it conflicts with what I should eat to control my IBS. I personally think that if you start eating cholesterol lowering foods and up your exercise you should be able to get your cholesterol down to under 5. I don't want to go on statins because of the problems they can cause with muscle weakness for some of us.

I rejected statins in favour of diet changes - it worked well for me

Statins are not supposed to be any use for women who do not already have heart problems. They were tested on men and they may have some marginal benefit for men who have not had a heart problem but what is sauce for the gander is far too often not sauce for the goose.

Lots of information available from reputable sources about how to lower bad cholesterol through diet and exercise. Statins are a known cause of polymyalgia rheumatica. I would go the natural route first, not the medicated one.

Recommended reading: Overdo$ed America by John Abramson, and Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. Also google Michael Mosley for info on controlling cholesterol.

I've been taking atorvastatin for many years with no side effects. It keeps my cholesterol nice and low. I was put on statins after a stroke when my level was 5.9

Are your thyroid levels well under control?

Best wishes

Teresa1905 in reply to ling

I had an annual blood test a few weeks ago to check thyroid and my GP phoned me to confirm that my current prescription of 100 micrograms was correct according to the results.

ling in reply to Teresa1905

I think u are aware that being hypo can affect cholesterol levels, so it's important to ensure that u are correctly medicated.

Best wishes.

Teresa1905 in reply to ling

Ok thanks I'll ask about it .

ling in reply to Teresa1905

If your thyroid hormone levels are well managed, that should not affect cholesterol levels.

Best wishes.

I was on statins years ago and am hypothyroid. I refused them in the end due to chronic muscle pain mainly in the legs. I tried 3 different ones. Never again.

ling in reply to lgd333

Did u try other non-statin cholesterol meds after that?

Thank you

lgd333 in reply to ling

No, I didn't as I refused to try any more. They practically killed me!

I was told I should start statins in 2019 (10 mg ) but declined as my diet was stuffed with veg and fruit and no processed food. Wish I’d listened as a year later after lockdown when exercise and diet had suffered a bit I had a mini stroke. Anyway after a night in hospital I was put on heavy duty statins of 80mg to reduce my cholesterol and blood thinners. I wasn’t going to argue but took the dieting seriously and lost weight which really helped with knee pain which meant I could walk further and exercise more.

The worst side effect was griping stomach pain which could have been either of the medicines! I gradually reduced statins to 40 mg and feel fine now. Sometimes you just have to go with the advice and accept old age brings problems. I may think about reducing meds further but for now I’m going with the flow. Best wishes.

ling in reply to Catseyes235

Many thanks for sharing your invaluable experience. I am happy to hear u have found a level suitable for you.

There is too much negative statin feedback on these boards at the expense of very real possible consequences like strokes and heart attacks.

My mother was started on a low-dose statin 30+ years ago, and now in her 80s, as other medical conditions creep in, we are seeing how the statin has helped her heart health over the years, keeping her arteries largely clog-free, and thereby improving her overall health, leaving her in a stronger state to deal with new emerging health conditions.

Muscle pains and aches related to statins are a very real problem. Unless debilitating, before giving up on statins, we should try working through them by giving it sufficient time to see if the aches and pains resolve or improve over time, or try a lower dose or a combo with a non-statin med, or try a different statin.

I was put on Rosuvastatin 2.5 (half a 5mg tablet) daily after suffering a heart attack in Jan 2020. The reason for the small dose is that I told the cardiologist I had been on statins years ago (not Rosuvastatin)and I had leg pain.I have not had any side effects so far, and when last checked, my cholesterol level was 4.

I hope this helps in some way and good luck.

Mine are over six and I was told that's fine. I wouldn't not a kens taints because they're risky. What cholesterol doesnt tell you is whether you have arterial sclerosis or plaque in your arteries...your cholesterol goes up and down like sugar like white blood cells...and yes having raised cholesterol can interfere with blood flow as can white blood cells in your blood because they get in the way of platelets moving around properly...but they can't tell you if you have arterial plaque which is what is the most dangerous thing ... If you have plaque you dontnnessisarily have high chilesterolbut if you have high cholesterol you don't nessisarily have plaque...but the test for plaque is a cheap x ray...and that would tell them who needed statins and who didn't...and the stations and stents being out into people with high cholesterol is a billion dollar industry. The test for plaque is cheap and safe and not available because they'd rather put everyone with high chol on statins than only those who need it. If it was me I would want to know if the high cholesterol has hardened or narrowed my arteries. Its a low rsdistion x ray that shows up the arteries and any calcium in them that's narrowed or hardened the vascular system. I'd also question that five is high. But they lower and lower the level at which they give statins because they don't work very well if they don't give them early enough. However if you get tested early enough you can lower your cholesterol more safely. And if you don't have plaque forming you may not need them at all. They have their own risks. and if you are female it has been shown that women with higher cholesterol have less all cause mortality than those with low cholesterol. But women aren't usually used in the studies men are. So for men its more indicative of a mortality risk than women. My mom has been researching this for a while and sent me a film called " the widow maker" which was astounding. the man who legitimizes tests basicallyndidnt legitimize the plague x ray because of a personal ego issue he had with the man who invented the machine ...the machine was approved by the guy and then the inventor accidentally told someone from the press that they had the green light...the press published this and the man who's job it is to approve it decided to retract the approval because he was the one who was meant to tell the press not the other guy. Petty twat. So these are the children who run the world and decide what's approved and not approved. Based on their own egos and pockets. Not what's best for the oatients involved. I'm not saying you won't have to take them...its likely that you still might need them, but it behooves us all to demand that tests be done to show evidence and that any treatment reflect our gender or races specific needs. Not just blanket everyone gets the same across the board . in my opinion. I'd recommend watching that movie ..and a guy called Ivor Cummings on YouTube who reversed his arterial sclerosis and has some interesting research he talks about. I don't have any issues myself yet ...except hdl is 1.4 and ldl is 5.9 total cholesterol 7.5 and they've not said I have an issue. And my friend is higher and she also was told its not an issue yet but cut back on the cheese...and there's no evidence that not eating cholesterol relates to lowering cholesterol either. So that's a whole other chapter to look into.

ling in reply to gonnamakeit

Which is the cheap Xray that tests for plaque?

gonnamakeit in reply to ling

Just chatting to my mom as we speak. Its called a CAC scan...coronary artery calcium scan. She's also telling me that there are different ldls sldl and they don't always test for the different kinds. She's sending me a video about it. A cardiologist has found peoples ldls go up as their arteries clear ...which I had read years ago that cholesterol when its coming off your arteries ends up in the blood again ...anyway I'll send you the video she sends me.

ling in reply to gonnamakeit

What do u mean mean by "as their arteries clear"? How do the arteries clear?

gonnamakeit in reply to ling

Well arteries when they are damaged by things like inflammation send cholesterol to the site...just like when you have a cut on your finger the cholesterol is sent there to patch things up...if the issue remains it can calcify...just as anything in your body that isn't meant to be there will calcify if you had a thorn stuck in your leg your body would cover it over with calcium ...when your arteries start to heal they can remove the scaffolds of calcium and plaques that have helped to protect them they do this exactly I don't know...but there's a whole dietary protocol which includes vitikin k and d and I think a pretty low carb diet ..sugars and insulin can also cause irritation in your arteries that the body then patches up with cholesterol and eventually calcium... So cutting out the things causing the build up if you stop picking at a scab it will stop scabbing over and eventually your body dissolves the scabs and granular tissues and rebuilds the skin so eventually the wound disappears when the agreevating circumstances are no longer there and the healing mechanisms are getting fully supported... The walls can also deposit calcium for other reasons as a reaction ...cholesterol is a bodies way of trying to solve a that inflammation or whatever once the problem isn't happening the body can stop depositing and go about its normal dissolving cells and rebuilding them. So this guy found as peoples heart issues were getting resolved their ldl levels were going up. But their sldls were going down. S is for small ..they used to be called vldl ...don't know what that means tbh. So the general gist of it is that you remove the thing causing the plaques to repsond and they stop building plaque and if you're lucky they may also diminish over time. the same way that your bones and teeth can reabsorb calcium from the blood were you to have bone spurs that started to resolve the calcium has to go into your blood before being redirected or broken down. so if cholesterol is diminishing and being broken down it will enter the bloodstream before it is redirected or stored or whatever the body does with but..maybe breaks it down further and pees it out I'm not sure. But everything in the body moves through the blood stream. so when they tests your blood level you don't know if the cholesterol in there is going somewhere or coming from somewhere or been eaten or been made by your body as a response to injury. You just know its in your blood. Blood being like a railway line you know its on the train but you don't know if its coming from Paddington or going to brixton just know its there. So finding out if its building a big dam in Victoria street or taking down a dam in Wembley is important. Or did a load just get put on the train because you ate a load of cholesterol and your body is going to piss it out later or if your body is creating it yeah. More complicated than just high is bad low is good. I've only got a geberla impression and I always think in very simple metaphors to understand it in your own way you'd have to really read through the information out there. I've watched a lot of videos about cholesterol in the last new years and I only pick up bits here and there and try to make a picture of what's going on that I can understand but it would be better for you to make your own picture ...from what I've read there's a shift in understanding happening and the generally accepted views were based on one oarticular guys pet idea which didn't have a lot of evidence...but he was a rich american guy who influenced the whole area... Can't remember his name now there's a whole ted talk about how this guy got his ideas to be accepted generally and the fda have basically ran with it but there's very little evidence to support his view of a low cholesterol diet. Its a big subject and I really only have bits and bobs of the puzzle stored away not a full picture. If you watch that movie the guy in it reversed his plaque build up. So it should give you a better idea than my child-like model of trains lol its only 59 mins long I think. And free on YouTube posted by Ivor Cummins. Or 1.99 elsewhere to rent. I just found it all fascinating.

Hmm my mom just sent me that video it wasn't what I thought it was going to be at all. But still interesting I thought it was going to be about a population study but it more sounds like they're just trying to figure it out as well... Like we all are I guess. But its interesting none the less. Its from a keto guru and I'm not convinced on the whole keto diet thing. It promises a lot and feels like a fad..and it wouldn't surprise me if the meat lobbies had a hand in the whole thing.... I mean not that they directly fund it but I dunno I just don't particularly believe in it. My mom is mad for the keto videos but doesn't actually ever do it either. So can't even say it works for her. But still interesting just take it all with a pinch of salt as with everything.

Ivor Cummins - no "g" in his surname. 🤓

Congrats to your mum for researching this stuff. 👍

I have no idea what its called. And Ivor Cummins now seems to be talking about civil so all the videos are about that now. Sigh. I'm sure its in there somewhere...they spoke about it in the movie...since I don't need one I didn't really take notice of what its called...I only remember that its not the invasive thing... But my mom is finding it difficult to even get a referral as the hospitals here in Ireland don't even have the machine it seems..or don't use it for that. She is having to get a doctor to get it done privately. So it is 300 and something euro witch extras might end up more...not that cheap for the customer but since it could weed out those getting stents that don't ended it and show up those who need to prevent it it could cut the stent surgeries in half and they cost taxpayers 20k but free for the customer. So its all a bit dodgy. I'll be talking to my mom later I'll ask her what its called for you. I'm terrible at looking for things on the web...I read something and five minutes later I can't find it again. But its definitely mentioned in the middle of the movie itself. And I'm sure it must be somewhere written on one of Ivor Cummins videos down below.

This sounds like .

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