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Statins and Alzheimers

Statins and Alzheimers

After my bypass surgery in March 2015, I was given a statin drug specifically, Rosuvastatin, 10 mg per day. After several follow up meetings with my cardiologist he gradually increased this to 30 mg per day.

Initially I didn't experience any side-effects but by the 6 month I began to experience severe rotator cuff pain and immobility. It became so acute, that by the 9th month the throbbing pain kept me from sleeping and my left shoulder and arm became useless. I couldn't put on a dress shirt or my jacket without assistance, and I wear a suit for work daily.

One dark January night at 2 am I got up from the pain and started reading up on the side-effects of all the medications I was taking. I eventually got to the statin and lo and behold my symptoms were classic statin side-effects.

I then began reading about natural forms of cholesterol reduction so that I could get off of the statin medication. That is when I made the decision to radically change my diet and lifestyle by becoming a vegetarian and increasing my exercise regimen.

I cut the dose initially to 25 mg and then measured my blood lipids 6 weeks later, concurrently with my new diet and lifestyle. My weight dropped and when I measured my lipids the LDL level did not increase from its drug-suppressed level which had gone to less than 2.0 mmol/l as the cardiologist had targeted.

I continued this process of cutting by 5 mg every 6 weeks and then measuring my blood lipids to monitor the impact on the cholesterol. I continued to have success with the new diet and lifestyle but was also reading extensively on statins, cholesterol, diet and lifestyle modifications. This process of titration began January 2016 and ended by October 2016, by which point I took my last dosage of not only the statin, but of all the other drugs I was given post surgery including, ramipril (for BP), clopidogrel (anti-coagulant), metoprolol (beta-blocker to slow the heart rate).

One of the side effects that scared me other than the muscle pain was the risk of Alzheimer's which is a known potential side-effect of taking statins.

I would rather die of a heart attack than develop Alzheimer's.

Recently I began to read the work of Dr. Dale Bredesen, Alzheimer specialist and author of the book 'The End of Alzheimer's'.

drbredesen.com/thebredesenp...

What I learned was that statins not only trigger elevated blood sugar but may increase amyloid in the brain - one of the major contributors to Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's is a very complex disease and the medical industry does not accept paradigm shifts easily and pharmaceutical companies do not take challenges to their most profitable drugs, lying down. This is why you'll find challenges to those that raise these issues.

I can tell everyone that I experienced brain fog during the period I was on statins in addition to the muscle pain.

Everything I have read about Alzheimer's also suggests that the 'heart-healthy diet' which is a plant-based, no simple carb regimen (that means sugar and all foods that are converted to glucose or fructose in the body) is also good for the brain.

New research suggests that Alzheimer's should be called type 3 diabetes due to the impact of sugar or insulin resistance.

I encourage all of those people on this forum to continue to do their homework and exhaust all other avenues of dietary and lifestyle modification before taking statins.

Remember, cholesterol is not a disease, elevated levels of it is a symptom of disease. Furthermore, cholesterol volume especially LDL-C is not the best indicator of risk, but LDL-P or particle number or LDL-ox (oxidation) is.

A lifestyle that involves daily exercise of 45 to 60 minutes daily with an elevated heart rate and a diet high in anti-oxidant foods such as fruits and vegetables, along with supplementation by certain vitamins such as B-complex, C, D and E, plus curcumin, will go a long way toward providing you with optimal health with the by-product of normalized cholesterol levels.

Good health to all.

18 Replies
oldestnewest

You cut down your dosage ? Are you medically qualified to assess the risks of self medication as your doctor is ? First, Talk to your doctor and tell him your problems ,second Read the bloody label/leaflet on your medication for side effects when issued to you . Third Maybe the most important, stop reading and following google doctors, they are not your doctor and have not a clue about you or your problems.

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I stopped immediately, ( no tailing off) as have thousands of other statins victims.The patient group: 'Stopped Our Statins' has overwhelming evidence from first hand experience, that the sooner we stop ingesting poison the better. As for doctors being experts on problems with statins!? Your very forcefully stated optimism in this regard belies the consistently repeated evidence of the experience of those of us affected by statin damage. As a retired NHS professional, I know how the system works when it comes to sponsored research. So if you really believe that your doctor "knows" about statins, this would be a rarity. Incidentally, all doctors use Google to read, publish and compare information from a plethora of sources, as do all literate people today.

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bobski1

I appreciate your question and my answer below is meant to help everyone make better healthcare decisions for themselves.

You don't need to be medically qualified to determine what you put into your body. Every person has a free will and should exercise it daily. Every individual is responsible for their own healthcare, the doctors are there for support should you choose to seek it.

What you may not be aware of is (and I just updated the post to provide a more complete picture), I gradually reduced the statin medication to zero over the course of 10 months by closely monitoring my bloodwork every 6 weeks while I reduced the dosage by 5 mg increments.

In addition, I got off of every medication that was given to me over that time-frame because I took the time to read about every medication, its purpose and its function. Due to my lifestyle and dietary changes, my weight dropped to my natural level 155 lbs (about 70 kg) - I am a male 5'10" in height (178 cm). My total weight loss was 35 lbs post surgery. Due to this weight loss my blood pressure normalized so I didn't need the ramipril any longer. Clopidogrel is taken with a baby aspirin daily post surgery and the medical protocol is to stop it 12 months after surgery. The metoprolol (beta-blocker - controls heart rate) is given to people who have suffered a heart attack or have A-fib or several other heart anomalies - I didn't suffer a heart attack and have no other heart conditions.

I have read more medical studies than most GPs will read after they graduate from medical school. I have probably read, without a word of exaggeration, somewhere between 150 and 200 medical studies on cardiovascular disease and all related subjects including: cholesterol, statins, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, thyroid function, fatty liver disease, blood biomarkers for cholesterol risk stratification etc...

I'm a successful financial advisor with a university degree and several post-graduate degrees, 32 years of experience and have clients who are medical doctors. They have admitted to me that I now know more about these issues than they do because general practitioners have limited knowledge about many conditions but don't spend time on any specific condition. Their continuing education is done exclusively by either pharmaceutical companies or their medical association which is heavily subsidized by pharmaceutical companies.

The entire purpose of my post is to help people understand that they must take personal responsibility for their medical condition and make the dietary and lifestyle efforts to improve as well as do their own homework on prescription medication so they can make an informed decision after being given medical advice.

Your question was excellent and allowed me to point out the danger in accepting medical advice at face value.

For the record you should skim over the rest of my posts that I have made over the last 2 and a half years. My blood-work is optimal, my carotid arteries are clear of any plaque, my endothelial function is normal and my last echocardiogram shows a perfectly functioning heart muscle. I get advanced blood-work tests every 3-4 months and have gathered sufficient evidence to demonstrate my level of health. My cardiologist no longer tries to convince me to take statins and my GP is impressed by my determination and success in normalizing my health and dare I say 'initiating the process of plaque regression', i.e. conquering my heart disease.

I wish you good health.

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There are doctors, GPs, consultants and professors.

I was once told by a professor that years of experience in necessary for medical knowledge and advice.

The cream students after A' levels goes to medical school, 7 years + to become a doctor.

I do free medical courses after my retirement, there is one at the moment from BHF!

There are a lot of discussion on research.

I have some knowledge but this is not enough to offer to stop or take medication. Blood donation, if some one have bad blood numbers, the blood is donated, "what happens to the receiver?

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So what do you do when doctors disagree amongst themselves? They're all well-educated but have different views. That's why we must all make our own assessment of information and make our own decisions, that's the approach that leaders take. Followers on the other hand, just accept the direction of their leaders without question.

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I concur with you as I often feel like Iam educating my GP and hospitalists that I work with.. I've had crazy high familial cholesterol ever since I first checked it in my 20's .. been on and off statins and my inflammatory factor apo B is always worse on the statin which is a truer risk of heart dz. I finally had the latest and greatest form of a heart scan with zero plaque. Despite very high chol. Most of life and finally the MD who runs this particular heart scan agreed statins would do more harm than good for me. He's the only MD who's ever rec. No statin. Everyone needs to get regular heart and carotid scans to follow plaque levels and look at inflammatory factors. Apo A and B.

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I appreciate your detailed posts over the past years describing your success in taking control of your health. Individuals such as yourself have both the drive and the intelligence to systematically research credible sources of information (including doctors), apply that knowledge and evaluate the results. We are all different genetically but your results provide a real example of what's possible. Thank you!!!

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Myrahjm

You're very welcome - I sincerely appreciate your kind words. I hope everyone can benefit from my experiences and knowledge gained in the process of my rehabilitation.

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Very informative post. Good for you for doing your own research! As for those who say that you should ‘always listen to your doctor’ - no, I don’t agree. Prescribing statins and other drugs is part of the medical culture, and moreover, doctors often profit from prescribing certain drugs; they get paid by the pharmaceutics industry. This doesn’t yet happen all that much in my country, but it is very common in the United States.

My position is that of course I will consult my doctor if I have a problem, and of course I will basically go along with what my doctor recommends/prescribes. But I ALSO do my own research. In the case of statins in particular, I have become convinced that they are extremely harmful. I am also convinced that the whole ‘cholesterol thing’ is, on the whole, a scam. There may be specific cases where lowering cholesterol makes sense (statistically it appears that there is some benefit for men in their fifties and sixties who have had a heart attack), but on the whole statins don’t provide any benefit whatsoever - but they do cause a lot of harm.

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Your post demonstrates a point that I would like to make about cholesterol and statins. While statins are unhealthy for us, and statins are sold to us by doctors who focus on cholesterol, that doesn't mean that lowering cholesterol itself is a bad thing.

If you can lower it with a healthy diet and exercise, as I have, that's a very good thing. Your last sentence confuses lowering cholesterol with statins as if they were equivalent. I'm just saying that you don't have to give up the goal of lower cholesterol (again through diet and exercise) when you give up statins. That would be a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

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Very briefly: yes, you are right that I haven't been clear, in my previous post, about the difference between the evils of statins and the aim of lowering cholesterol. Actually, I am not convinced that high cholesterol is always a bad thing. I think the truth is more complex than that. There are also studies that show that elderly people, particularly women, who have a high cholesterol level (i.e. total serum cholesterol (TSC)) tend to be healthier and live longer than those with a normal or low cholesterol level.

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This post is right on the money and I agree with every single word of it. Cholesterol is not a disease and elevated levels are not the problem. It would be very helpful if the poster could perhaps detail his previous lifestyle before his surgery eg diet exercise weight stress and other markers he can recall as it is within these that the real culprit lies

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Prior to my surgery my lifestyle could be best described as 'typical' of most North Americans. I indulged in comfort foods such as pizza and pasta, often drank fruit juices with my meals, enjoyed red meat or some animal protein for 2 meals per day, had breakfast cereals every morning and enjoyed a sweet treat daily.

In retrospect, I had a diet focused on simple carbs and sugar and less so on saturated fats. When I consumed processed foods I always chose the 'low fat' variety as counselled by government agencies and media outlets.

I was active - I played hockey once a week and golfed once or twice per week in the summers, but I did not walk daily nor did I have a regular exercise routine. I would consider my level of activity prior to my surgery as being relatively sedentary but more active than most people.

In the months leading up to my surgery I experienced a very stressful period with my mother's nearly fatal illness. I believe this stress accelerated the angina that I had gradually begun to feel over the preceding 2 years which my GP had thought was seasonal asthma. (I was in denial, I had a suspicion it could be clogged arteries).

I did not take any medications although my GP had suggested a statin but had not insisted on it.

I had asked my GP during routine visits if we could do some type of non-invasive diagnostic imaging to see the state of my arteries since I had family history. He said there wasn't any nor was he aware of any advanced blood bio-markers.

I have never smoked. I was 40 lbs above my natural weight, but at that time I thought I was only 20 lbs above because I thought my natural weight was 172 lbs or so based on a BMI index.

I knew I had a severe problem when playing a hockey game after my mother's illness, I could not skate for more than 15 seconds before experiencing shortness of breath - I initially attributed it to a lack of conditioning and returned to play one more time the following week before I was convinced I should investigate further.

I reported this to my GP and he sent me for a stress test where I failed and was told I would get a referral to a cardiologist and in the meantime, go to the Emergency department if I every felt any severe chest pain.

I never did feel severe chest pain nor experience a heart attack, but one cold February day in 2015, late on a Friday night, I experience crisis level BP which I felt and measured at 185/110 and felt a tickling sensation in my chest like a rapid heart beat. That's when we drove to the hospital which is 5 minutes from my house. They kept me there and told me I would need bypass surgery and was released 3 weeks later, carved up like a turkey, with a loose sternum, stressed, anxious and with a pocket full of pills to take daily.

Contrary to what the doctors told me 'you'll feel like a new man after your surgery', the man I felt like was 100 years old. The surgery had failed and I had to go in for 2 additional separate stent surgeries - 4 or 5 stents in total (I was told prior to my surgeries that stent insertions in my case were too dangerous to perform and could be fatal so bypass surgery was my 'best' option).

The best advice I was ever given was from my cardiologist in the one-month, post-surgery follow-up meeting - 'don't think because you've had surgery that your problem is now solved - all we've done is buy you some time - unless you change your diet and lifestyle, you'll be back on the surgical table in 10-15 years'.

With that I made modest dietary and lifestyle modifications - it wasn't until the pain induced from the statins, that I really made the drastic changes I had to, to save my life.

So you could say statins saved my life because they inflicted so much pain on me, that I swore to do everything in my power to get off of them.

The process of getting off of all the medication I was initially taking was extremely torturous as I was learning daily from doing research while combating my cardiologist about stopping the statins. There was a whole lot of anxiety and uncertainty that went along with this process. This was exacerbated by my caring and loving wife who was terrified that I was going against the doctor's counsel. This is why I did exhaustive research on these subjects and learned to understand medical terms (it helps that I'm Greek and my wife Italian as many medical terms are Greek or Latin in origin) and how the body functioned - I wanted to be sure of what I was doing. In the end, I trusted my instincts as I have always done well in life by following them - but not without educating myself first.

It's been a hell of a journey, but I'm a healthier man for it.

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Thanks for your frank and honest reply which I hope many on here will read carefully and take on board

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"Cholesterol is not a disease and elevated levels are not the problem."

Yes, just as my car's "Service Engine" indicator light is not the problem. And if I can fix what's wrong with my car and my body (often with diet and exercise) both warnings will go away.

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Sos0007,

Excellent post and great changes! Like you, I am plant based and walk several times per week.

Just started taking Piper Plant Sterols..excellent..see my above post!

Your work and research is super!

Wishing you positive outcomes and hope to hear from you again!

Bet

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Thank you - I needed a wee confidence boost that I continue to do the right thing and that was it. I have followed a low carb diet - have reversed type II diabetes, lost 2 stone in weight and feel great. I still have high cholesterol and my blood pressure can be high but I still refuse to go on statins much to my GP's despair..

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Congratulations on your success so far!

Have you measured LDL-P (particle number) in addition to the standard LDL-C?

This measure is a more accurate assessment of your cardiovascular risk. Its surrogate marker, Apo B can also be used as an alternative.

Stay with your diet and exercise regimen and consider vitamins and supplements as an adjunct therapy. If you have not yet achieved your optimal body weight (have your body fat professionally measured), then you may still need further refinement to your diet and exercise strategy.

I suggest you approach these natural solutions with renewed urgency as elevated blood pressure has negative consequences as does elevated LDL-P.

Good luck.

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