Coming off Statins

I am 61 years old have had a stent fitted 14 years ago and recently had a CABGx2. When I had the CABG I hoped to come off the cocktail of drugs that I had been taking for the last 14 years particular statins and beta blockers. (Beta blockers tend to give me side effects so the cardiologist reduced the dose to a level where I had no side effects)

My GP has been struggling to find a beta blocker I can tolerate at a dosage, that has any real effect on my heart rate. I had blamed the beta blockers for the pain in my legs when I exercised, as when I reduced the dose the pain reduced in one leg or so I thought, at this time I was perhaps increasing my exercise regime so perhaps that leg was less constricted.

I had been on statins for over 14 years (attorvastatin) in the last couple of years I have started to get pains in my legs after walking about 1/8 mile (these pains seemed to coincide with my Angina worsening and the consequential, re-introduction of a new beta blocker), (although if I went through a warm up at Cardiac Rehab (after the CABG) these pains did not happen)

4 months ago I started taking vitamin d3 10mcg & k2 75ug per day. This year I have stopped the statins altogether, I had noticed that my walking had improved after starting taking the vitamins. Yesterday I put it to the test, I walked for 3/4 mile until I had a little discomfort in my legs, and even after a mile the pain was nothing like before.

My theory is that the high levels of calcium observed by my cardiologist in my coronary arteries are also present in my other arteries, I hope that by taking the vitamins and stopping the statins then the body can use the vitamin k2 to put the calcium in the right place. Perhaps in time the body will make enough K2 again on its own for me not to need to supplement it.

Unfortunately there is no evidence in humans that K2 supplementation will reverse calcium deposition in humans, and the big pharma are not going to invest in research into something that cannot be patented.

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  • My magnesium levels are normal, the reason for vitamin K2 supplementation is that statins block the mevalonate pathway and hence K2 production, here is a reference to some info that may be of interest wholehealthsource.blogspot....

  • Thank you I will investigate what tests the Harefield carried out.

  • Hi, I presume you're on a fairly hefty dose of statins, have you discussed maybe cutting the dosage if you don't want to come off completely?

    As I understand it, there's little evidence that high doses are much more effective than lower doses.

  • I have been on various doses of statins for the past 14-15 years and I have plotted my cholesterol against statin dose, and there is no correlation between the two. The only thing that influences my cholesterol seems to be life style. When I started on 10mg I saw a drop in my cholesterol level but this was accompanied by life style changes. Over the years my cholesterol has been 5 or less 4 or 5 times, never has this decrease corresponded to an increase in statin dose.

    I tried to ask my GP for a reduced dose via the practice electronic interface to no avail, therefore I decided to try 3 months without statins, with life style changes and to have a cholesterol test done then and go from there.

  • I went to see my GP last week and although she was OK with me giving up the statins, she did have some good food for thought.

    Her spin on it was that my diet in the past has included stuff that has become lodged as plaques in my artery walls. The statins cause calcium to deposit over these plaques stabilising them, this will help to stop them rupturing and causing a stroke.

    Exercise and a good diet will protect the new grafts, but they will not remove the existing plaques. I may after a few months try a low dose of statins and see whether I can tollerate them without side effects. I will attempt to control my cholesterol level by diet rather than statin and see how it goes.

  • Yesterday I walked briskly for about 3 to 4 miles and I had no leg pain at all. I think I will review the situation at 3 months wrt cholesterol, and try to control it with diet if I can.

  • Yes a brilliant way forward!!!

  • Did you ever try dr. ornish or dr. esselstyn lifestyle change?

  • No, have you or any one else tried them?

  • I've completely started it mid-December when I found out I had 100% blockage in mid-circumflex. I'm 47, no stents or surgery. They put me on 40 mg statin.

    I've done a ton of research since being diagnosed. To me there's no question following these programs work. I've dropped my #s 70% & lost 20 lbs. in that time frame. Reduced statin to 20 mg last month and numbers were same as 40 mg.

    I'm dropping statin altogether & see impact on #s next month. I've found that most dr. aren't recommending this form of treatment for 2 reasons. The mighty $$$ or their incompetent. They don't educate themselves.

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