Thinking of discharging myself from lipid clinic

Due to go to the clinic in April, but I am seriously thinking of not going as it seems so pointless. I know exactly what will happen, they will take my blood pressure, weigh me and then I will be given a lecture on taking statins which I am refusing to take because of bad side effects. My condition has been diagnosed as FH, but last year I told the consultant I believed I had FCH which is apparently more benign. On top of this, there is no family history of early heart disease despite many members having very high cholesterol. My consultant, although very nice, just dismissed this and said "yes, but your LDL is extremely high at 6.0 and you have to go on statins". I see different doctors depending on who is available at my GP's and they seem to have differing opinions on statins - one keeps pushing me and the other doesnt seem to be so worried.

So the upshot is - should I bother to go to the clinic just to be weighed and have my BP taken (which I have done at GP's anyway) and put up with yet another lecture on statins?

11 Replies

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  • Perhaps if you could understand better what actually causes the problems that lead to heart disease you would be better placed to modify those risks and show those health professions at your lipid clinic that maybe they need to learn from your practical experience of dealing with the underlying problem.

    There is a nice article listed at pubmed here qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/co...

    "The great cholesterol myth; unfortunate consequences of Brown and Goldstein's mistake.

    Adams DD.

    From this you see

    "Hypertension causes accelerated arteriosclerosis and vascular accidents."

    and

    "The sites of arterial damage are where hydrodynamic forces act, e.g. left anterior descending coronary, where a powerful jet of blood from the aorta hits the wall of the branch artery"

    So monitoring and lowering Blood Pressure becomes key to resolving the problem.

    Here are some links that may help.

    Vitamin D may help lower blood pressure

    bit.ly/105yxje

    Omega 3 lowers blood pressure.

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

    Role of taurine in the vasculature

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

    Effect of melatonin on nocturnal blood pressure:

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/219...

    These also all reduce inflammation and it's arguable reducing inflammation also reduces risk of heart disease, particularly when combined with regular moderate exercise.

  • Should perhaps have also mentioned the role of ground flaxseed meal in reducing Cholesterol and lowering Blood Pressure.

    See

    "Dietary lignans: physiology and potential for cardiovascular disease risk reduction"

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

    You can buy whole brown linseed/flaxseed relatively cheaply in bulk from health food shops that sell the SUMA range or similar. An electric spice/coffee grinder will quickly turn whole seeds into meal and keeping a pot in the fridge and sprinkling a tablespoon over your meals will soon become a healthy habit. It keeps about 2yrs while whole and a month in the fridge after it's been ground into meal.

  • Thanks Ted, will look at the articles mentioned. I do already take ground flaxseeds daily which by the way seem to help with my hot flushes!

  • Hi Deepblue,

    I have taken the plunge and not exactly discharged myself, but cancelled my next appointment which is the same thing as then you have to be re-referred which I have no intention of doing.

    I was given a lot of conflicting information, along with the wrong diagnosis which didn't help but have now thrown my lot in with my statin sceptic GP who tells me he is concerned about the long term effects of statins and has seen plenty of 80 year olds with cholesterol levels as high as mine. Is he right..I don't know, but it's what I've decided to do and it feels right for me.

  • Association between serum cholesterol and noncardiovascular mortality in older age

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/220...

    "each 1-mmol/L increase in total cholesterol was associated with an approximately 12% lower risk of noncardiovascular mortality"

    "Higher total cholesterol was associated with a lower risk of noncardiovascular mortality in older adults. This association varied across the late-life span and was stronger in older age groups."

    So it really depends on whether you want to live longer or die sooner?

    Serum total cholesterol: A mortality predictor in elderly hospitalized patients

    sciencedirect.com/science/a...

    "Specifically, each 1 mg/dl increase in serum total cholesterol reduced risk of death by 0.4%."

    "In very elderly hospitalized subjects, increased levels of serum total cholesterol and albumin may be associated with reduced mortality risk."

  • Why not either give them a verbal rocket - "look, I'm not going with statins - what else have you got?" - or seek referral to a different lipid clinic?

  • I have never been referred to a Lipid clinic although I have been told to lose a stone in weight and stop eating meat!!!!! I have a BMI of 24 and a Cholesterol level of 6.8 (LDL 3.8 HDL 2.3 and Lipids 0.7) but as someone who sees cholesterol as a healer perhaps the reason why 80 year olds have high cholesterol levels is because it is working hard to keep them well, helping them with their arthitis, rheumatism or whatever they are living with at that age!! Lowering it would I would have thought be detrimental to them leading a good quality of life.

    I have found that oat based foods are also good to keep you healthy and help with the increase in HDL levels. Try that too, and well as the excellent advice above.

    All the best

  • Thanks for all your replies, have decided to do the same as Aliwally and cancel my appt.

    I did broach the subject of alternative meds last time and was told statins are really the only effective treatment for my levels - Ezetimibe was also discussed but apparently they are not so effective and wont lower my levels much. I really am getting more and more sceptical about the whole cholesterol thing (except perhaps for FH sufferers). Am going to carry on following a cholesterol lowering diet (almonds, flax, oats, soy, low dairy, more veg/fruit, omega 3 fats etc), lose a stone and exercise a lot more. My total cholesterol was around 6.5 in my early 40's (on a healthy mediterranean diet) which didnt bother the doctors in Spain where I lived at the time. I dont smoke or have diabetes or high blood pressure, so will hope this is enough to at least keep heart disease at bay until my 70's.

  • I think my cholesterol was about the same in my 40's. I am not a lipid specialist, but I would have thought if you had FH your levels would have been much higher, as high levels are present from birth.

    The lipid clinic I have just left was still telling me that a mutation "had not been found" despite another clinic eliminating 99% of the common mutations for FH and an IMT scan being completely atypical of FH. I think they were miffed because I went somewhere else.

  • Hi there

    I have FCH and the earliest death in our family was a woman of 20, although my mum didn't have a stroke until she was in her 50's.So although it may not set in as early as FH please don't underestimate the impact FCH can have on your family. ..I understand your reluctance to take statins but would urge you to work with your dr's as far as possible and keep the link with your lipid clinic, you may need them one day.

  • I was on Simvastatin for about 20yrs, from when they started dishing them out. I stopped when I realised they were causing leg, knee and arm pains, thumb joint swelling etc. All now a lot better after 4yrs. I have since been diagnosed with blocked arteries after a CT scan although 6-lead and 12-lead tests had been fine. I had and do get discomfort when going out but this doesn't last long, I just have a quick rest and it wears off and is forgotten about. I have been referred to a lipid clinic pre possible stenting but have cancelled the appt. as I find it very stressful.

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