Cholesterol 8.8!!!!

Good evening, I’m a 53 yr old female. My blood pressure has always been ok, I’m overweight by approximately 3 stone. I don’t have a great diet, don’t do much exercise and feel tired constantly. I’ve recently had a CT scan for chest pain which indicated mild plaque in one artery. The hospital put me on beta blockers and aspirin. They requested a cholesterol test which was 8.8 they told me I had to take statins as I was at high risk of strike or heart attack. They prescribed 80mg daily. I’m so drained! I’ve changed my diet to plant based whole food, I’m trying to exercise more but I’m so worried about the high cholesterol and very high dose of statins?? Thoughts would be appreciated regards sharon


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29 Replies

  • Firstly, well done for changing your diet. Secondly, if you are on 80mg it depends which statin as to whether it's a high dose. My husband was on atorvostatin 80mg for years before I suggested he asked for a reduction as his cholestrol was down at 3.3.

    There is a lot of discussion about how effective statins are for women. If this statin does not suit another might, so worth talking to your GP. Last time it was measured, mine was 7.3 and I have chosen not to take statins but I am not suggesting FOR A SINGLE MINUTE that that is a good choice, it's just my choice through reading. Also if you favour a certain course of action you can always find researchto support it!!

  • Please go to your GP and ask for full explanation. You dosage may be high!

    As we age blood test numbers do increase, again you GP should be able to explain this. Total cholesterol has to be compared with other LIPID numbers, therefore ask your GP for full test results, if it is not available ask for another blood test with full lipid numbers. Life style change, controlling food and drinks intake and regular exercise can help.

    You GP can do risk analysis and offer full explanation.

  • Stick with the plant based whole food diet and your weight will come down and your cholesterol too. But you can’t cheat. Watch the CNN video clip of Bill Clinton, I will look it up and post.

  • And don't stop the exercise either. They go hand in hand.

  • totally agree

  • Thank you so much for your wonderful replies and information. The Bill Clinton clip is quite an eye opener. Thank you

  • I can recommend the Caldwell Esselstyn book - "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" - I am following his recommendations and have now stopped my statin 1 year ago and all meds apart from daily asprin. I feel I am in control after over 12 years on statins which didnt prevent my arteries getting blocked. I had a bypass 4 years ago and have been following Caldwell Esselstyn's recommendations since then. My cholesterol numbers are all good TC 4.8, HDL 2.7, LDL 1.7 and Triglycerides 0.78

  • While statins carry risks, and optimally you should strive to reduce dosage and eventually stop, they are playing a protective role for you right now. Aside from lowering cholesterol which many on this forum will debate, they also reduce low grade inflammation and protect against potential plaque rupture, which is one cause of blot clots. By the way, most heart attacks and strokes are caused by blood clots.

    Aside from plaque rupture, clots can also be caused by sticky blood platelets. Therefore you need to measure your homocysteine and fibrinogen at your next blood test. To reduce the risk of clot formation, you should take vitamins B6, B9 (folate) and B12. You should also increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables like spinach and arugula, and eat more broccoli.

    Let your concern about statins be your motivation to stick to your new diet and lifestyle. Your feeling of fatigue can be many things one of which could be the amount of simple carbohydrates in your diet. Carbs temporarily spike blood sugar which gives you temporary energy but when the glucose is used up you get that feeling of fatigue. This causes insulin resistance.

    Losing weight is the most important thing you can do to help yourself. This is going to be a long-term process so you need to be patient and remain disciplined.

    You can read my post which explains how I lost 40 pounds and came off of all medications, including statins.

    You should also read my series of posts titled 'Coming Off Statins' - the first is here:

    What I found worked for me to maintain my focus and discipline is first getting a 'Fitbit' which I wear on my wrist and measures my steps, heart rate, calories, allows me to document my weight and also measures my sleep, as well as other activities. I targeted 15,000 steps per day. This requires 45 minutes to 60 minutes of walking daily, which can be broken up into 20 minute chunks to make it easier.

    Secondly, I arranged to have my blood work done every 6 weeks so I could see the results of my reformed diet and lifestyle. As my various cholesterol values improved each time, I reduced my statin medication by 5 mg. I was on Crestor which is the strongest of the statin medications, at 30 mg per day. This process is called 'titrating' (dosage modification) and should be justification for having more frequent lipid panels done. If you can't get them every 6 weeks, then try for once every 3 months.

    The most important change you can make is to eliminate sugar and all other simple carbohydrates from your diet. The link I provided gives details.

    Understand that sugar and simple carbohydrates are 'poison' to the body and are 'addictive'. Excess sugar in your body also shuts off the 'leptin' hormone in your brain which regulates the quantity of food that you eat.

    Watch this 14 minute video:

    Good luck.

  • There is so much in this post I agree with. But... 15000 steps in 60 minutes? I walk fast and can only manage 8000...if you're in the UK how do you get regular lipid testing?

  • You won't get 15,000 steps in 60 minutes. That amount of steps accumulates throughout the day if you include the 60 minutes of walking. Most people walk 6,000 to 9,000 steps in their daily routine. The 60 minutes of walking gets you the rest of the way.

    You can probably pay for private blood tests or ask your doctor for a requisition form that you can re-use every 3 months. No harm in asking. I photocopy my requisition form and re-use it.

  • I have never heard of a requisition form. Is this NHS?

  • I live in Canada. When we need a blood test, the doctor gives us a requisition form that we take to a lab of our choice.

  • Walking is a point worth emphasising. Over the last seven days I have averaged 2000 steps a day - I suspect we walk less than we think..,

  • That's the importance of getting a device like a Fitbit that will track your daily steps. Tracking results encourages people to pursue improvement.

  • Do you think Fitbit is better than apple watch?

  • Any electronic device has its advantage and disadvantage, we found tries out with home blood pressure measuring device. Any electronic device has to be calibrated as per manufacturers recommendation. There is also the algorithm that is used in the device.

  • I have never owned an Apple watch and cannot say. However, I don't think it matters which product you use as long as you use something to measure your activity.

  • We need to stop seeing people with type 2 diabetes as a breed apart

  • So motivational, thank you. At the moment I’m taking 80mg of atorvastatin and I’m exhausted. It’s making me feel like 90yrs old!

  • as mentioned before, you need to go to your doctor to discuss the possibility of reducing the dosage or trying different statin!

    Please read this article:

    Statins have 'no consistent evidence' of improving heart attack patients' survival: Taking a pill every day for five years adds just FOUR DAYS to your life

    Statins have been promoted by pharma companies on 'cherry-picked science'

    Heart attack survivors should improve their health through diet and exercise

    Commonly reported side effects include headache, muscle pain and nausea

    The researchers from around the world analysed dozens of studies over decades

    Read more:

  • In UK, NHS, GP's and NHS specialists have a list of blood tests under the guide lines.

    Depending in the health issue one or two or as many blood tests can be requested, blood taken at the hospital or at the surgery for testing.

    A GP can do referral, again blood tests can be carried out at no cost.

    There are private clinics who do blood tests in UK at a cost and a referral by GP is necessary. A GP may or may not act on any findings with out another NHS blood test !!!!

    Simple blood tests can be carried out at a local chemist, like home blood tests kit.

  • I am 39 and had a high cholesterol of 9.2 I was put in 20mg of lipitor and the muscle pains was so bad I ended up going down to 10 mg along side this I took co enzyme q10 30mg and cod liver oil capsule in the morning I did this for 2 months and my cholesterol down to 5.4

    80mg is a very high dose I would suggest taking a coQ 10 along side it as statins deplete your body of this hence the tiredness and muscle pains also speak to your doc as there are many statins and you might just need to change not everyone can tolerate lipitor it's about finding the right 1 for you

  • Any medic that prescribes statins without mentioning CoQ10, is not the kind of medic that I'd have faith in.

    Statins deplete the heart and the body of CoQ10. CoQ10 is essential to health.

    There are several very short videos on my post to watch, plus links.

    Here's a link from my post which includes the reference pages at the bottom.


  • i asked my doctor about CoQ10 and hed never heard of it, i bought some myself as i am on statins but suffer really bad aches but i read that you shouldnt take them with blood thinners, im on aspirin following a heart attack last year so am reluctant to take them

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) a supplement.

    "Do many doctors discuss supplement with a person when there is only 10 minutes per appointment?"

  • they should discuss whatever you want them to if there is time

  • Hi Kimberley.

    It is entirely your decision... but, if I were you, I'd look up recent interviews and publications of Dr Peter Langsjoen for his perspective.


  • Can diet give enough C0Q10?

    "CoQ10 is naturally found in high levels in organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart, as well as in beef, sardines, and mackerel. Vegetarians or vegans who are used to eating these foods should find a suitable alternative. Luckily, vegetable sources of CoQ10 include spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower."

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