What do I do?: Have just had a phone... - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support

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What do I do?


Have just had a phone call from my health centre. The doctor is concerned about my cholesterol level. (10). This was the level I had when I was first tested on a whim whilst in holiday over 20 years ago. I watched my diet and got it down to 6 something but doctors said I should go on statins. Was given Simvastatin and I had no side effects. One day the doctor changed me to Fluvastatin (apparently cheaper at the time) and the.'fun ' began. I felt as though every part of me was vibrating. was then put on Atorvastatin and after a while began getting weird feelings in.my.legs; feelings which I chose to.ignore for some time. I was taken off them for a while but readings went up. Cut a long story short 3 years ago I came off them as my legs (one in particular) were siezing up. Was put on a different statin a few months ago and took myself off it as I was paranoid by this time. Dr now wants me to go on Avastatin and has sent a prescription to the chemist for me to collect tomorrow. Has anyone else here taken this medication? I am really freaking out at the thought of swallowing something toxic. Dr says it will stop me from having heart attack. Thank you. I needed that!! Happy days. I would appreciate an appointment with Doc Martin at this stage.🙄😊 Sorry for long post. Comments would be appreciated.

16 Replies

This is a real problem, NHS wanting to save money!

Depending up on age and other health issues, side effect of medication can be a problem to reduce cholesterol.

You could try controlling sugar in food and drinks if you have not tried already.

As we age our blood numbers do increase from my own blood tests over the last few years. You could ask your doctor for a FH referral.

Take care.

Hi Nora

I was on a prescription of Atorvastatin (Lipitor) for several years before the prescription changed to a generic version of the drug (presumably, to save costs). I immediately started to suffer from side effects, in particular, facial and cranial numbness.

I spoke to my GP who was quite insistent that the branded drug, Lipitor was no different to the generic version. Despite this, I was myself insistent that it was, and again I was put onto Lipitor. The side effects stopped immediately. I took the 'side effects' as being related to the cheaper generic drug.

Some while later, I decided to research, in some detail, the purpose of cholesterol in the body and also the ill effects of Statins. I would strongly recommend you do this, also.

My personal conclusion, and I discussed this with my cardiologist, was that I am much more likely to live a long and healthy life with my natural cholesterol levels than to continue to take a drug for which the long term benefits and harmful side effects are not yet fully documented or understood. I know many people disagree with this, but this is a personal choice that one has to make.

As I had been taking the drug for a number of years, I made the decision to 'taper' myself off Lipitor and, lo and behold, I again started to suffer from facial and cranial numbness. As I reduced my intake of the drug over a few weeks, the 'side effects' gradually subsided before going away completely. It's now my understanding that these were not, in fact, 'side effects' but withdrawal symptoms. What on earth was that drug doing to my body?

You know your own body better than your GP does, Nora.

Best wishes.

I was on Lipitor for 2 months but this stuff caused my psoriatic arthritis to flare worse and then pravastatin and this destroyed my joint in 2 weeks .... Now Im on Zetia and so far no joint issues just a little right side abdominal pain that disappears within a couple of hours and this is kind of a random thing and no idea why.

My cholesterol is directly tied to my hypothyroidism and not enough thyroid meds (thyroidectomy).

Following 4 consecutive strokes I was prescribed Simvastin along with Amlodipine and Clopidogrel. I have maintained that I would never take statins and much to pressure from the hospital consultant I refused to take statins. Have been on Amlodipine and Clopidogrel with some initial bruising but things seems to have settled down somewhat. My blood pressure is around 108/62 and am fine with the exception that a side effect of these 2 drugs is insomnia which I seem to experience on a regular basis. As a result I am considering eventually coming off these medications unless the insomnia episodes disappear.


I urge you to read my pinned post to the right side of this page: 'How I Conquered Heart-Disease and What I Have Learned in the Process'. Your immediate plan to naturally deal with your issue is:

- cut out all sugar

- cut out all highly-processed foods;

- cut out all soft-drinks and fruit juices.

- limit alcohol to 3x per week and no more than one glass each time

- cut out simple carbohydrates - white flour products, white rice, and white potatoes

- start walking every day and build up gradually to one hour per day.

Good luck.

Nora-B in reply to sos007

Thank you. I have just typed in a reply to you and it disappeared when I pressed the 'reply' button. I then got an 'error' message. I have had good response from everyone and when I get to my laptop I will be able to go through the responses properly. I keep getting wifi problems just to add to e mix 🙄😊

sos007Ambassador in reply to Nora-B

Lowering triglycerides should be your primary concern. Elevated triglycerides is what initiates inflammation and the cascading immunity response that includes elevated cholesterol. Control triglycerides and you control the LDL-P (particle number) or ApoB. Don't worry about the LDL-C measure.

Cheyne13 in reply to sos007

I follow a very similar diet but do not drink anything but water. I have kidney disease which dictated the diet change. I limit the potatoes and bread but have also limited the amount of sugar I consume. After 30 plus years of 9.8 Cholesterol levels I have suddenly dropped to 6.4 in the last months through my diet. My diet was not particularly bad, and I believe the change from processed man made rubbish has been key. Medication never dropped my cholesterol levels this much ever. I have been off meds for many years after reacting to it all, some really severe side effects I was not prepared to put up with.

I was poked and prodded by a specialist some years ago with no problems found. He agreed with my diet then and sent me on my way. Never bothered about it again. After years of Dr's banging on about my cholesterol levels to be told it was bad at 6.4 was a big surprise and a shock to the Dr when he was told to read my records! I don't particularly like my diet but faced with positive results I stick with it.The big bonus I have found is I feel generally better in myself for the diet.

sos007Ambassador in reply to Cheyne13

Good for you! I dropped all meds 18 months after my surgery after changing my diet and lifestyle. Not even a baby aspirin. I use Pycnogenol instead.My sugar intake is effectively zero. Trigs are 0.4-0.5 mmol/l.

DakCB-UK in reply to sos007

Nothing showing on right side of this page on mobile devices. It's at the bottom of the page instead.

sos007Ambassador in reply to DakCB-UK

Okay, thanks.

Hi NoraPoor you, it seems like the Simvastatin might have suited you best of all, have you been able to raise a case for returning to it? I think you have enough evidence of unsuitability here.

I asked to switch from Simvastatin to Atorvastatin when I began following a plant based diet. I have to say that I have had no ill effects at all except when I took myself off it as a trial to see if I really needed a statin, it turns out that I do. My bad cholesterol and my cholesterol generally went up again. I’m perfectly happy on it and happier still that it is dairy and egg free and suitable for my vegan diet.

Hi Nora. I strongly recommend you read The Great Cholesterol Con and Statin Nation by Dr Malcolm Kendrick, it may put your mind to rest over how the world has been conned by statins. On reading his books I did a lot of research into high cholesterol and the only people to gain from statins are the pharmaceutical companies who have made massive profits from this drug. It is quoted that low cholesterol can actually cause cancer, and reading up on this it makes sense, consequently I do not worry at all about my natural cholesterol level.

Hope this will help, but really dont worry about your cholesterol level. Take care....

i was on Simvastatin for nearly two years and eventually the side effects were painful couldn't raise my arm above shoulder level and pains in my chest, they are the side effects of simvastatin so anyone on these beware i know a couple of people who had same effects as i did, i was then given Atorvastatin and side effects from them were headaches which i could do without, eventually the doctor gave me Rosuvastatin which i take every now and then, they cause thrush, not pleasant so i stopped taking then and the thrush went away so to test if it was them i started taking them again and within a few days the thrush was back so i informed the doc who didn't and wouldn't accept it was the tablets that was causing the thrush, then he said as long as you take one a week its better than none. so i take one when i remember to. oh btw when i was first out on them simvastatin 20mg was the first one and the nurse said to me your on these for the rest of your life. daunting thought and now this covid is depressing, im 64 should have retired 4 years ago but government move the goal posts for 1950's women and robbed us. ..... but thats another story.... my levels were at 7 last time i was checked havent been tested since.

Thanks for the enquiry, I am probably the wrong person to answer this question as I do not get side effects from medication but I still take atorvastatin with no problems. I take 16 heart, lung and cancer tablets daily and can still lead a fairly normal life. So this probably doesn't help you, but if I had a problem with the medication I would get it changed immediately. I wish you the best and hope all goes well with your medication. Larry

I started and stopped simvastatin within a few weeks. Within days I could barely walk - we were staying on a campsite where we had stayed in the past. In the past we used to enjoy a half hour walk into the nearest town - after a few days on simvastatin I could barely walk to the bus stop across the road. I also felt really peculiar - as if I wanted to curl up in a ball in a corner and close my eyes. Fortunately when I stopped things went back to normal but it was not a good experience. Trouble is what is considered an acceptable level of cholesterol has been reduced over the years.

Also when my thyroid was overactive -I’ve got Graves’ disease - my cholesterol was beautifully low, now I’m in remission and my TSH has gone up, my cholesterol has increased too. To be honest I would rather be given a bit of levothyroxine to bring down my TSH than take statins but that’s never going to happen.

Plus, once you have read Malcolm Kendrick books you probably won’t want to take them anyway.

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