Question and opinions about cholesterol

Basic facts. I'm a 66 year old male. Diagnosed with high cholesterol years ago.

Initially prescribed Atorvastatin 10mg daily for a number of years.

Eventually I often said to my wife, in response to things she said, " You didn't tell me that!"

She always suggested that she had. This went on for quite a while and it troubled me. So I did what you're not supposed to do and checked up on Google. I found I wasn't alone.

Visited doctor to discuss. Needless to say doctor wasn't impressed, but after a while he agreed to change prescription to Ezetimibe 10mg/day.

Shortly thereafter, wife tells me, "You don't say you never told me that anymore" - and she's right, I don't.

Breezing along happily for the next few years, with annual blood checks to verify all's well I continued with Ezetrol (Ezetimibe). Then I noticed I wasn't being called for the annual blood test. Checked with doctor who said, that they'd stopped it because my results were always stable.

7 weeks ago, I experienced an episode of what I interpreted as trapped wind. After a week or so it passed - (visit to doctor suggested it was Gastritis).

2 weeks ago another episode of 'Gastritis' occurred which resulted in me calling '111'

They sent an ambulance for me and admitted me to hospital. Blood test revealed Pancreatitis with haywire readings (e.g. amylase 746)

Ultrasound scan of gall bladder showed too many stones to count. (Amylase dropped the next day to 300 and the following day to 76)

Surgeon suggested the stones had caused the pancreas problems and I had the gall bladder removed 2 days later. All went well.

Whilst recovering, to relieve the boredom, I consulted Google again with all sorts of random queries including 'Gall Stones' and 'Ezetimibe'

Now I'm not saying that the pile of results that threw up are conclusive proof that Ezetimibe caused my problems, but it sure as hell gives food for thought.

None of what I've reported here may be of concern to others, but I can't help thinking there's enough personal proof for me of both the negative effects of Atorvastatin on my memory and of the high likelihood of Ezetimibe having caused or at least aggravated the production of my Gall Stones.

The question is really now I don't have a gall bladder, and if I'm correct about the negative impact of Ezetimibe previously, can it cause me any more harm?

Just to be clear, Google's results for my latest query included much forum discussion but also several, what look to me like, serious medical papers dating back to around the year 2000.

I haven't written this to panic or disturb anyone, it could be that I'm the only one these things have have happened to. Better to be safe than sorry though.

I'm going to invest in one of the home test Cholesterol/Triglyceride meters now - not to replace the doctor and his (to me) too infrequent testing, but to keep an eye on things as best I can, in between.


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20 Replies

  • This link gives you some indication of home cholesterol testing kit.

    Daily mail compared a number of devices 10 years ago to show the accuracy of home testing kit.

    Some chemists do cholesterol test for a fee.

    There are more devices in in the market, some of them have USA units, converting can be a problem therefore you need to look for UK unit of measurement.

  • Thanks for the link Sandy. I've narrowed my choice down to the Accutrend Plus or the Mission Cholesterol Meter. I don't know which is best or more economical for home use, but whichever I go for will only be for rough checks in between the official ones.

  • Our human body never ceases to amaze me. It synchronises all its functions and just one factor can upset the balance. Statins as we are aware inhibit CoEnzyme 10 but also inhibit the conversion of vit k1 to k2. K2 is important as it controls where calcium is deposited in the body eg arteries as in atherosclerosis or stones in kidneys etc I am no expert just have great interest in health. Find our your cholesterol numbers and try lifestyle change as many posts here advocate. Good luck

  • Many thanks for your reply. Yes it's all extremely complicated (and fascinating) and I think you're right about lifestyle changes. It's so unfortunate for me that almost without exception, all the things which are deemed good are right at the bottom of the list in terms of my taste, and all the bad things, right up at the top! C'est la vie!

  • Sorry to hear of your troubles but none of it surprised me. Neither should it have surprised your doctors.

    You may find the material that I've collated on my post, including the videos, of interest. 🖖🏻

  • Thanks Londinium. Wow, it'll take a while to get through even a small sample of your links, but from what I've just skimmed through cursorily it looks like many of us are sleepwalking into statin induced cardiovascular disease and premature death.

    My mother was on 40mg of atorvastatin a day for years. She died a couple of years ago after a 7 year living hell with vascular dementia. It begs the question.... My 90 yr old father in law was put on atorvastatin after he had a heart attack a few years ago. He started to experience unexplained severe pains in his forearms which we guessed was down to the statin. We insisted that he came off them even though the heart specialist argued vehemently that it was absolutely vital he take them. Fortunately, his GP agreed with us. My father in law's pain stopped immediately, he had a pacemaker fitted, and he's as right as rain! ( This is in France - my mum's and my experience are here in the UK)

    I look forward to checking out your links over the weekend!

    Thanks again.

  • Home testing cholesterol is completely pointless. Firstly the problem of accuracy. Secondly the relevance. A detailed paper ( I can provide link if requested) shows trigs not ldl are relevant. Thirdly - why bother? Assume the worst and make significant lifestyle changes. What can go wrong? Fourthly join Facebook group side effects statins for further advice.

  • I don't accept that it's completely pointless. Have seen enough to show that there's sufficient rough guidance to warn of problems In between official tests. Lifestyle changes yes, but periodic checks can't do harm, and 12 months between official tests could potentially spell disaster. If I'm wrong, at least I'll be content that I'm trying to do my utmost to have a hand in managing the situation the best I can.

  • Ok how can an unreliable result be worth anything? If trigs are high what would you do? Lifestyle! So do that anyway. Added benefit of overall health. Also readings / even if accurate / would change weekly. Always ask yourself what would you do with the information? Far better to take regular blood pressure readings as though you may make the physical changes you may unknowingly be stressed

  • As I said earlier, I don't accept your starting point, that these things are 'completely' pointless. You are obviously convinced that they are, and good on you for that. I've obviously not explained my reasons for wanting to go down this route well enough, so there's no real point in wasting any more time on it. It's only a very small, personal avenue within a very much bigger story with far more important implications than some additional amateur back up potentially useless testing - and not at all the reason I posted my experience on here. I do know it won't cause harm if I do, but 'may' just possibly allow some if I don't.

    So perhaps best to avoid further time in the cul de sac.


  • Any home testing device is only for a guide line. I have followed information on home testing device, blood pressure, blood glucose and blood cholesterol.

    Agreed readings can vary, hourly or daily.

    Cholesterol testing is a bit completed as each strip has dada code, one lady commented that shad wasted 4 strips in learning and shot the result on the fifth strip and the cost for one test was £165.00.

    We all are different in our health checks, give it a try on your home cholesterol testing.

    My first heat test was in Wales climbing at a Hindu temple. It was a struggle but I made it to the top. In India most of the Hindu temples are on the top of a hill, may be there is a reason for this!

  • That raises the question: is our fear of high cholesterol induced by Dr. or is there really a concern. IMO, high cholesterol medication is bad; with just the reports on this sight, tells me it should at least be looked into.

    BTW, I used to party often, but after a while the alcohol made me violently sick. not just from being hung over but just one swallow of alcohol would sometimes make me vomit; after taking statins for a long while, I started having the same feelings I got from drinking alcohol, which is causing trouble with my lever. so like alcohol; I just quit, Of course I had all the side effect as most on this sight, but I heeded the thought, is high cholesterol really a problem.

  • "Is high cholesterol really a problem?"

    The answer is a big no but it all depends on so many heath variables!

    Do we need to lower cholesterol? There are many cholesterol lowering medication, cheep ones and expensive ones.

    Most of Morden medication has side effect!!!

  • The problem with home testing is if you’ve changed your lifestyle and the home test gives you a false reading this will cause extra stress.... blood pressure etc etc which is harmful . Especially if you think the reading is accurate.

    I will leave it there

  • A difference in opinion, I find it almost impossible to do home testing at some degree, not on Cholesterol test but just your body tests, after two heart attack, I just normally do my mental test on my body. So rather the strips are worth it or not, it doesn't hurt to do them either, especially if taking home high cholesterol test has become a part of your routine. Micro management is very seldom good, so maybe the test are not all good.

  • Statins are dangerous drugs with serious side-effects. There is no clinical evidence that elevated LDL cholesterol 'causes' heart disease or heart attacks. There is 'correlation'j between LDL cholesterol and heart disease, but it can just as easily be interpreted that heart disease 'causes' elevated LDL cholesterol - thereby making elevated LDL a 'symptom' of heart disease and not a 'cause' of it.

    I was on statins following a triple bypass in March 2015. I gradually titrated off of it and am better off for it. Read this recent post that I wrote and then read the rest of my posts:

  • Stop taking the Statins, even Dr. Oz,

    Cardiologist says he wouldn’t prescribe for his family . Side effects aere very bad.

    also while on statins, you need Coenzyme Q10 It is naturally in our bodies, but the Statins deplete your body of this Heart mineral or vitamin so you must supplement!

  • In the copy of today's Mail a cardiologist gives his view on home test kit, this may hep with selecting to buy a home test kit.

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