STATINS OR NOT? : HI everyone Got... - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support
8,447 members2,401 posts

STATINS OR NOT?

Red18
Red18
75 Replies

HI everyone

Got diagnosed with atherosclerosis in November. Have a blockage of 70%in my LAD. I am very fortunate in that I am asymptomatic. There was a spell where i had bad indigestion type pain but since following a plant based wholesome diet I can honestly say I feel tonnes better. Thank God.

My chlosterol was 5.9 now 4.5. Lost 30 pounds in fat and exercise run/ speedwalk at least 3 times per week. Been to see my consultant and he suggests I take statins. To help with lowering my LDL and also stabilize my plaque in my arteries. I am really gutted as I truly thought he would be so pleased with my progress that he would say continue with my diet and exercise routine and lets monitor your progress.

Have heard a lot of negatives about statins and just do not know what to do. I have truly learnt now about bad eating habits and not exercising and I have totally changed. Will this not be enough to stabilise my heart disease? Thanks for reading. Any advice would be really appreciated. All have a great day!

75 Replies
oldestnewest
sandybrown

Satin medication is used as primary to protect heart problem, secondary after a heart problem. I am afraid you need to discuss this with your cardiologist to get a satisfactory answer. How was the 70 % blockage on LAD identified.?

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to sandybrown

Thankyou Sandybrown will do

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to sandybrown

Sorry for late reply. Had andiogram

1 like
Reply
HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Red18
Red18
in reply to Hidden

Hellooooo Londinium

The only blood lipid tests I have are as follows:-

LDL 2.7MMOL

HDL 1.43MMOL

CHLOSTEROL 4.5MMOL

TRIGLYCERIDES 0.8MMOL

SERUM RATIO 3.1MMOL

My consultant is adamant I try statins to slow progression of plaque and to stabilise the plaques already formed

Reply
HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Red18
Red18
in reply to Hidden

These are the only lab results I have. I do not have any other. Maybe I need to go private and have full tests done. Thanks for replying

Reply
bobaxford
bobaxford
in reply to Red18

I was in similar position to you in that I had about a 40% blockage in LAD - went on statins for 9 years and standard NHS low fat diet and gave up all junk food. This however didn’t stop the progression and it then went to 70% and I started to get what turned out to be mild angina and me needing a bypass. I researched and found Esselstyn and Ornish and adopted their WFPB diet but still had the bypass. I personally don’t think statins helped me, it may have stabilised the plaque by calcifying soft deposits and preventing a HA, but they certainly didn’t stop the progression of calcification. Five years on from the bypass I am adopting a combination of WFPB and LCHF in the hope of preventing further soft and calcification in my arteries. What I did was have private CT CAC scans which showed the progression. At 70% LAD blockage I am surprised they have not recommended surgery, but do watch out for any likely symptoms and I would recommend following the cardiovascular consultants recommendations.

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to bobaxford

Hellooooo bobaxford. Can I ask how did you know you initially had a 40% blockage in your LAD?? Did you have symptoms? I initially found out because I was continually getting pins and needles in my hands and feet. When I went to GP he wasn't too pleased as he said it was emergency appointments only. In passing then I just said I had got a feathery type pain across my chest. I had this only once. Fortunately he then sent me to see cardiologist. So really it was a afterthought saying to GP. Thank goodness I did..

Reply
bobaxford
bobaxford
in reply to Red18

I had a private CT scan which showed high CAC score indicating I was high risk. Then referred for a NHS Angiogram which confirms 40% ish blockage of LAD, prescribed statin and I thought I was luck that no procedures were necessary. Unfortunately 9 years later I had another private CT scan which indicated significant progression, another angiogram now over 70% blockage and bypass required. I had pins and needles in my arms at night and probably a slightly tight feeling chest. What prompted my second angiogram was doing hard physical work clearing drive of snow and another occasion sawing a large tree branch brought on some chest pain requiring me to stop to recover but I didn’t put this down to angina, which is obviously what it was.

Reply
sandybrown

Could you please explain the procedure to check for LAD. I am waiting for a letter to make an appointment for a heart monitor. When I am in the hospital I can ask questions. Thanks.

Reply
bobaxford

See my latest reply above.

Reply
Lillykims

Well I’m convinced statins have buggered up my leg muscles and am currently under a physio and doctor to try and find out. I wouldn’t touch statins ever as I can barely walk some days and was a very active walker before. Just my own opinion and experience after taking them for only 2 weeks 6 months ago. 😠

4 likes
Reply
Londinium
Londinium
in reply to Lillykims

CoQ10 taken for several months, 2 - 3 times per day, can help gradually improve your condition.

Statins... and Red Yeast Rice (another Cholesterol lowering ingredient)... can both cause these symptoms. They both reduce CoQ10. CoQ10 is vital to health.

Reply
Lillykims
Lillykims
in reply to Londinium

Will mention to gp and physio but a person in health shop said to only take alongside statins not on own.....if nothing helps after investigations and statin damage denial I will try anything to improve my walking 🙄😘

Reply
Londinium
Londinium
in reply to Lillykims

Your GP is unlikely to know much about CoQ10.... as was that "person in health shop".

Vascular Surgeon, Prof. Sherif Sultan:

Optimal Vit D3 blood levels should be maintained all year round.

grassrootshealth.net/wp-con...

1 like
Reply
Fruitandnutcase

I’ve taken CoQ10 for years - I read about it when I was researching statins to see if they could make you feel depressed - they can but I had to dig deep to find evidence of that - so I wonder if that’s possibly why my muscles recovered quite quickly?

Reply
Londinium

Yes, it would be. See Cardiologist Dr Peter Langsjoen re the benefits of CoQ10. He's a second generation researcher of CoQ10 following in his father's footsteps who was the first generation CoQ10 researcher.

Reply
craigside
craigside
in reply to Lillykims

I agree with taking Q10. I’ve been taking it for 20 years as a daily supplement. I’m now 57 and in good shape, doing regular gym and cardio exercise. When I stop taking the Q10 I start to ‘feel my age’ (eg energy levels). I buy what I think is a good quality brand and for years I took 1 x 100mg cap every morning. For past 6 months I now also take another 1x100mg cap at lunchtime.

2 likes
Reply
Lillykims
Lillykims
in reply to craigside

Doc said no proven results but won’t do harm.....🙄🤔

Reply
Fruitandnutcase

Thats exactly how it was when I was given statins years ago. We were on holiday in France and literally within days I could barely walk. Not only that I became really depressed. At that time I knew nothing about the possible side effects of statins so I couldn’t possibly have been influenced. My husband said to stop which I wasn’t keen to do as ‘the doctor told me to take them’ so he said cut down which I did and I had stopped completely by the time we got home. I was lucky though that the damage wasn’t permanent so I didn’t need physio.

Like you I wouldn’t touch them again - says she who is about to have to see her doctor about high cholesterol - my triglycerides are high too which isn’t good - it’s a waste of time though because I don’t want to take statins. It will be an interesting consultation.

I’m cutting back on sugar, starch and grain based carbs - I had been really hitting the chocolate and brownies, so that has now stopped - and I’ve stepped up my exercise, that had fallen by the wayside too.

Reply
Red18

Hellooooo. Do you have any heart disease? I have 70% blockage in my LAD. I now follow a mainly plant based diet. No processed or unnatural sugars. Blood levels looking better. Consultant prescribing to prevent plaque rupture. In a rock and a hard place as do I continue as I am relying totalling on my diet or risk the statins??

Reply
Fruitandnutcase

Not that I know of thankfully.

Reply
Lillykims

We’ll physio has given me exercises to do and they say whether it is or isn’t statin damage I will just have to hope pain fades and use painkillers if really bad and no proof that cq10 will help although will not harm.....very expensive if no proof so I will just carry on with exercise, limping, painkillers and hope it all gets better🤔🙄

Reply
Marz

Homocysteine levels - do you know them ? Have you been tested ? They are often high if you are LOW in B12/Folate and all the B's ! Homocysteine was found in plaque at the time they were researching the contents of plaque - but the research was hidden as you cannot patent a vitamin for the cure - and make money !

Read up on K2 - which is involved in the re-distribution of calcium in the blood - moving it away from arteries and soft tissues into bones and teeth. Many are K2 deficient as cows no longer graze green pastures and convert in their stomachs from the K1 ... Another dismal failure of food being of low quality with the so-called advancements ... SIGH :-(

1 like
Reply
Fruitandnutcase

I take D3 with K2 and I’m reading a really interesting book about K2 - it’s called Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox. Makes me very glad I take K2.

1 like
Reply
Marz

Yes good book - it's on my shelf too. Another problem with the food chain - no grass fed cows ! - or very few 😊

1 like
Reply
Red18

I also am taking vitamin D3 in the morning and in the evening vitamin k2 (mk7)

Reply
Fruitandnutcase

That’s the best way I think - when I finish my combo I’ll buy them separately and do what you’re doing.

Reply
Red18

Hope so! Have a nice evening

Reply
johnally

There is so much conflicting evidence out there on the good or bad effects of statins . Reducing cholesterol with statins is not the answer that I know for sure after taking them for decades I watched my Calcium score accelerate from 383 to almost 900 in less than a decade. I believe I went wrong with my diet.as a disciplined person hardly a ounce of fat would pass my lips same for sugar the problem being cutting out these foods only goes some of the way . I now eat a plant based diet interspersed with healthy fats. I believe the statins contributed to my 95 % blocked LAD and 75% of the other two arteries resulting in Cabg. It has taken years for me to kick the statins and who could blame me after two and a half decades of being brain washed. For what its worth the figures you posted are a lot better than mine but I believe that is irrelevant in the prediction of inflammation resulting in CVD of the arteries.

Reply
sandybrown
sandybrown
in reply to johnally

THank you.

A coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is a surgical procedure used to treat coronary heart disease.

Reply
Londinium
Londinium
in reply to johnally

If someone wants to take statins it's their choice. No clinician can force a patient to take a statin - regardless of how "ADAMANT" (Red18 quote) the clinician is.

I was told that I had to start taking simvastin from that same day that I'd seen the cardiologist for the first and only time and spent just a few mins there with him. He told me that in my case it was "a matter of life and death". Now I know that they they use that phrase with just about everyone to make them feel oh-so-very-special-and-unique. Anyway, I walked out with the written prescription in hand and said I'd look into it a bit and then decide. He was pretty annoyed and said there were no side-effects. I visited the bookstore's medical dept and looked up simvastatin in the BNF (the same book that the cardiologist and all GP's use) and found a bunch of confirmed side-effects inc. liver damage, muscle damage, muscle pain, chronic fatigue, etc. The cardiologist adamantly stated that simvastatin had absolutely no side-effects... but there it was in the actual book that he and all GP's use.

2 likes
Reply
Fruitandnutcase

No side effects! What a lie!

2 likes
Reply
HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Red18
Red18
in reply to Hidden

Hellooooo Londinium. I'm sorry if I am not replying straight away as I'm on holiday and data not very good. I am so worried for the future. Very anxious, which I know doesn't help. Need to read up on best options best I think

Reply
HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Red18
Red18
in reply to Hidden

I will do. I think I will go private and get my blood lipids done again. Just my consultant, who I may add is a very nice gentleman was so adamant about statins. Just because he kept on repeating who they stabilise the plaques and slow down and help with the inflammation. A very lot to consider. Do I want to go on them? Crazy no! Thankyou for all your valuable information.

1 like
Reply
Londinium
Londinium
in reply to Red18

Ps. The frequent eating of bread... and other carbs, starches and grains... that all convert to sugar... is not a good idea if you're trying to prevent the acceleration of cardiovascular disease.

2 likes
Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to Londinium

Hellooooo. I will definitely watch my carbohydrate intake. And yes will do some research

Reply
Londinium
Londinium
in reply to Red18

Best not to make and eat bread frequently. 🤔

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to Londinium

I won't. Want to live and enjoy my life. Thankyou for all your advice given

1 like
Reply
Londinium
Londinium
in reply to Red18

Unless, of course, you use coconut flour, almond flour, etc. Grains would convert to sugar and spike your blood sugar levels.. but the above are much less likely to.

1 like
Reply
sandybrown

The best way to use coconut is to scrape the white coconut and use for making milk or use it in cooking. Coconut flour is a by product!!!

In UK supermarket sell one coconut for 50 pence and it is value for money. Like almond the brown stuff is also good.

Reply
Londinium

Yes, I know that coconut flour and almond flour are products of coconuts and almonds. I was suggesting them to Red18 as possible alternatives to bread-making ingredients.

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to Londinium

Hi Londinium. Would Esekiel bread be ok to eat as breads go? I know you are not fond of carbs but if I was to eat one slice per day?

Reply
bobaxford
bobaxford
in reply to Red18

I can understand you being very anxious, I was too while waiting for my first angiogram. After the angiogram then to be told a 40% blockage is only mild a atherosclerosis I was relieved and thought I was luck and can control via statin and NHS low fat diet. The statin may have helped stabilise the atherosclerosis but it certainly didn’t prevent progression.

Reply
bobaxford
bobaxford
in reply to johnally

We have identical experiences, I have just read this after my reply saying very similar.

Reply
bobaxford
bobaxford
in reply to bobaxford

johnally experiences same as mine

Reply
Markl60

"The Lifestyle Heart Trial found that 82% of patients diagnosed with heart disease who followed this plant-based diet program had some level of regression of atherosclerosis and 91% had a reduction in the frequency of angina episodes, whereas 53% of the control group, fed the American Heart Association diet, had progression of atherosclerosis."

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

Reply
arty_sax
arty_sax
in reply to Markl60

Sounds good Mark. Where can I find the information on this diet? Thanks so much.

Reply
arty_sax

Those on Statins have the risk of a heart attack or repeat attack red7ced by over 60%. Rely on data from official sources.

Reply
Marz
Marz
in reply to arty_sax

... and the official sources are ?

1 like
Reply
Londinium
Londinium
in reply to Marz

I think arty_sax meant 1%. 🤔

drperlmutter.com/wp-content...

Statin data from 15 mins.

Reply
sos007
sos007Ambassador

Due to the pain caused by statins, I changed by diet and lifestyle following a triple bypass, plus 4 stents, 4 years ago and have normalized all of my blood biomarkers since then.

I stopped taking all meds including statins to the great consternation of my cardiologist. From my research, there's nothing statins will do for you that an optimal diet and lifestyle regimen of daily exercise won't.

I refuse to go back on statins - too many potential side-effects.

You may be interested in watching this video:

2 likes
Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to sos007

Thankyou so much for all your information provided. Very interesting indeed. What a position to be in?? So so much conflicting evidence regards statins. My chlosterol on the whole has come down and my LDL too. I do truly want my diet to halt this disease so very much and do not want to take the statins.

Reply
sos007
sos007Ambassador

Just remember YOU are in control of your health and choices of treatment. The medical profession are there for support and counsel. You have the final say. The large pharmaceutical manufacturers are in the business of selling drugs, the doctors are in the business of prescribing drugs, both are rewarded when sales increase - you don't have to be a pawn.

npr.org/sections/health-sho...

2 likes
Reply
Red18

Thanks for advice. I just really need to be clear with my diet. Need so badly for the plaque to go no further and regress??? Now that would be great! I have learnt my lesson. I no longer eat any processed food.

Reply
Bumley

Like you I had blockages in my LAD (between 75 and 95%), RCA ( between 75 and 95%) and CX ) in three places between 50 and 74%). This was after a heart attack and diagnosed with an angiogram, I was 62 years of age at the time. After a Triple Bypass I started on advice to take Statins and now 11 years later have little trouble with my heart (mild left ventricular function). I still take Statins - Atorvastatin 40 mg and I have cholesterol level of 3.6, HDL 1.9 and LDL of 1.9 (calculated). This is in spite of being an insulin dependent Diabetic for the last 30 years. All in all I listened to my cardiac consultant and took the medicine (along with a lot of others to many to mention). Oh and I should mention that I do not have any side effects.

1 like
Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to Bumley

Hellooooo Bumley. Thankyou for replying. Do you think the statins contributed to your heart trouble now??

Reply
Bumley
Bumley
in reply to Red18

The Left Ventricular Dysfunction (LVD)occurred at the heart attack so it was a byproduct. I had a number of complications collapsed lung and infections so LVD was just another. I had not taken statins until after the heart attack

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to Bumley

So you would advise to take?

Reply
Bumley
Bumley
in reply to Red18

I would take the Statins. Some people have side effects with some statins and changing to another might solve the problem. As far as I am concerned "proof of pudding is ........" I am still free of heart problems still taking Statins plus 13 other tables, 7 injections, one inhaler and nose spray twice a day.

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to Bumley

Thankyou for replying.

Reply
wheezybronch

I take 40mg of Atorvastatin Daily and am not worried at all. I have atherosclerosis but take it as I have small vessel disease and had multiple lacunar infarcts. It has been proved that statins can cut the risk of strokes and heart attacks considerably.

bhf.org.uk/informationsuppo...

Atherosclerosis is progressive and can only be slowed down, there is no cure as such. After a heart attack a stent may be employed.

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to wheezybronch

The only diet proven to reverse heart disease is a vegan diet. It does give me a little hope. The trouble with statins is they can have side effects like most drugs...

Reply
wheezybronch
wheezybronch
in reply to Red18
Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to wheezybronch

Thankyou very informative

1 like
Reply
sandybrown

Green leaf veg are excellent.

Asian veg, Methi, curry leaf and other greens are also good.

The below link gives more information.

onegreenplanet.org/natural-...

Reply
Red18
Red18
in reply to sandybrown

Sandybrown thankyou so very much. I'll have a good look at this over a nice strong cup of tea. Have a great day. Thanks

1 like
Reply

You may also like...