Can you help

Hi just recently returned from my GP appointment feeling confused, anxious and frustrated . My fasting blood test results are back and they have kinda shocked me .I had gone originally due to my high blood pressure readings that were averaging out about 135/95 which had me concerned.. but worse was to come my blood test was showing a rise in my cholesterol from 5.3 to 5.9. What shocked me was I honestly thought their would be a healthy drop in the cholesterol count as I stick to a healthy life style . I am 57 male with a bmi of 24.4 32in waist 5ft 6in , have stuck to a intermittent fasting for over 7 month, eat healthily , do a 35 min speed walk every day, non smoker non drinker. So from feeling in rude health, my GP is now asking my to start taking 50mg losartan potassium for my high bp and 20mg lipitor for the cholesterol and told it must be my genetics at fault. as I had hit the three markers that put me at high risk age , high bp and high cholesterol. I tried to ask if their was alternatives ways of dealing with it . As I can,t do anything about age. I asked could I just take the bp meds and try to get the cholesterol down naturally by soya stenol drinks , stenol spreads , porridge rather than start on statins for the rest of my life, or maybe wait till the next blood test as their must be margins of error within tests . How we have left it is I have taken the two perscriptions started the bp meds and to think on about taking the statins My question is I really don,t want to start statins as I have read so much bad reviews and problems people take, I am looking for the alternative if their is one, as my GP seems inflexible or is strictly sticking to guidelines and if I get my bp straight 5.9 does,t seem to high that other methods couldn,t reduce it . Thank you

16 Replies

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  • I understand your concerns.

    I suggest you start doing a lot of research on the flawed cholesterol theory and look to change your diet. A good start is Dr. Malcolm Kendrick's 'The great Cholesterol Con'. There are many good sites to visit:

    drbriffa.com/

    dietdoctor.com/about

    livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/

    What you will find is a growing body of scientists, doctors, surgeons and researchers who reject the 'carved in stone' notion that it is unhealthy to eat saturated fat.

    For too long we have gone down the road that what our ancestors ate and enjoyed now is dietary poison. I lost my fear of butter/cheese/meat/eggs etc more than two years ago and my blood fraction ratios are in the ideal range.

    I emphasise, do your own research and make your own mind up - poor health is not a function of a lack of medication, good health is nourishing the body naturally.

  • Very true.Disease and poor health can only exist in a body that is out of balance with itself.If you follow a low fat diet then you have to get your energy from somewhere else.Which means you have to eat more carbs.Which are sugars.This in turn puts your body out of balance with itself.

  • Hi Bayram,

    In a nutshell, your body produces cholesterol because it is needed to build muscles and heal wounds. Some of us produce too much cholesterol and this can lead to strokes and heart disease.

    Reducing our cholesterol levels will reduce our ability to build/repair our muscles. So anything you take to reduce your cholesterol level will cause muscle loss. It really doesn't make any difference if you take a statin or a combination of self-prescribed foods to reduce your cholesterol level. The big difference is that statins are predictable and certain, where your varying diet is not, and the increase in fat intake can prove counter-productive.

    For those of us on statins, the proper antidote is more exercise to counteract the muscle loss. In other words, we simply have to work harder.

    Windrider

    PS. I've been on the equivalent of 80gms Lipitor for the last 14 years and am currently stronger and healthier than I was then. Don't listen to the scare mongers. They have nothing to lose. You have.

  • To put the cat among the pigeons, I actually don't think your cholesterol level is that bad and I think your diet based approach is an entirely sensible one before you commit to statins.

    Windrider is fortunate not to have side effects from his/her high statin dose, some people don't, the same way that some people don't get a debilitating cough from ACE inhibitors.

    However, some of us on this site have been unfortunate enough to have side effects that have made our lives miserable and no amount of exercise is an antidote for us. Good luck with your decision. If you google patient decision aids statins it will tell you the benefits of statins if you don't have an inherited condition.

  • This just dropped into my inbox moments ago:

    spacedoc.com/Busting_Choles...

    This doctor is not totally anti statins and does indeed prescribe them in certain circumstances. He prescribes them primarily for their anti-inflammatory properties, not to lower cholesterol. His videos can be seen on youTube.

  • Very interesting, but the spacedoc, being American, his views differ from ours don't they? But, the article seems so true, and laymen like myself have to trust these doctors.

  • only just seen this, Mike during yet another trawl. Thanks for posting it, there are sooo many now in a similar vein. jeny 1 eye is concerned about it being from US, but UK docs are saying the same..viz John Briffa

  • I that statins were developed and produced in the US.So surely it makes sense that some of the research from the US is valid.I would be more concerned about the flimsy research backing the cholesterol theory.

  • I would like to thank the people who answered and welcome any further advice . I think that on Monday when I make an appointment for my new BP monthly control I will ask for a copy of my cholesterol blood test with the lDL HDL information. This was never seen or discussed at my meeting with the GP, and now seems important since reading some contributors stories, and in the determining of my decision if or not to take statins.

    I know you shouldn't shoot the messenger, but it was really like feeding my results into a computer and the" computer said no" three strikes, age, high BP and 5.9 cholesterol = statins . No alternative I put forth or advice apart from statins was entertained. All put down to genetics as far as she was concerned. That being the case, where was the suggestion to refer me to a local lipid clinic to take a test and confirm her FH diagnosis before ruling out alternatives?

    .

    I will take stenols soya drinks add more garlic to my food will do an extra, short speed walk at night and even try the cider vinegar. If after 3 months my cholesterol is the same or higher, I will reassess the situation and accept that she may be right.

    p. s. do I have the right to ask for a printout of my test results and also to ask for another cholesterol test after three months as she had said six months?

  • Uh-oh. Feeding your results into a computer? Did they do that twice, once to see if it concluded it was genetic, then blanking it and doing it again to predict a 10-year mortality probability? That happened to me - only years later did I discover that the reason for the blanking is that the second calculator is INVALID if it is genetic.

    I'm pretty sure that you have the right to your test results (but don't be surprised if it wasn't a full panel - my new local hospital only measured total and HDL, even when the consultant asked for a retest after TG and so on were omitted the first time) and that you don't have a right to a sooner retest, but it probably won't hurt to ask and you can also ask for referrals to lipid clinic consultant and dietician. If it's genetic, the guidelines say to refer to a special centre for confirmation of diagnosis. pcc-cic.org.uk/article/fami...

  • Yes, I always, always ask for a print out and to be fair there has never been any refusal. They are your results! I am not a medic (just a trying to be an informed patient who keeps an open mind and researches!), but a TC of 5.9 is very unlikely to be FH, it would be way higher...GP's are told it could be a possibility with a TC of 7.5 plus and some people on this site have had readings of 14 or 15.

    Sorry to be cynical but GP's get paid for ticking target BP's and cholesterols regardless.

  • I agree that it is a must that you have your full cholesterol figures to hand. You should be fully informed before any medication is given to you. After all, when you need antibiotics for an infection the Dr tells you why, so your GP should give you the full facts and the reasons behind his decisions. Although I cannot see why he is so insistent that you take statins when your BP is only just above acccepted norms and you have only just gone on the bp medication. Surely it would be more sensible to have another blood test after say, six months, when your bp is under control and there will be a clearer picture on your cholesterol. After all, as Allywally says, cholesterol is not an enemy, it is a friend and helps us heal. Have you had a recent illness, such as flu, or an injury such as a severe bruise or broken bone? These will push up cholesterol levels as the body rushes to heal itself.

    All the best to you and GET THOSE FIGURES soonest. Regards

  • I have asked today for a copy of my blood test.They will contact the Dr.for permission and phone me . I would like to thank patch14 , I too agree I should have been told a full reason for the decision to prescribe a statin as with the case for antibiotics,but Patch, it was not for the want of trying on my behalf. I myself offered different ideas before prescribing, but got the crossed arm and silence until I finished, and then a reiteration of the three risk factors and my 30% chance of heart disease. I then felt I was expected to leave without looking like a desperate hypochondriac . Two years ago I had a previous episode of high blood pressure and flushing, so as a caution my Dr at that time, because of the high bp and that my mother had died of carcinoid cancer, decided to send me for a range of tests which also included heart tests, tilt table, ultrasound, echocardiogram and a ct coronary angiogram where the score of zero and added low risk of Cononary artery disease the profile read, cholesterol 4.5 triglycerides 1.4 Hdl 8 ratio 5.6 with a note slightly poor lipids all the rest were clear or no significant worry. Also a note that there was no renal cause for hypertension. My Dr. put my on betablockers and a duiretic which brought my bp down. I then had to change surgeries and my new DR checked my BP 6months on and advised me to come off them as my readings were really low and she didn't see the need, but to watch just incase my high bp came up again, which it did but after a quite a while.Then I came to see my present GP as my other one had left I saw her 1 month before my last appointment and she at that time said I should start a course of ramipril 2.5 mg. and take a blood test . It was at this 2nd appointment when I told her I was having a dry cough on ramipril and there had been no change in the high bp level she immediately said she would give me 50mg of losartan instead, and to come back in a month . We then went over the blood test results and the need for a statin,which I am resisting.

  • At my GP Surgery I get the printout of my results if I request it. I have to pay £1 which seems reasonable - although not sure that should be necessary for a simple printout. Nevertheless it is so useful to be able to study the figures at leisure rather than have to remember everything the GP said at the time.

    You say that you are already eating a healthy diet which is great. If you would like a few new recipes to inspire your taste buds, I have 90 of these which use the very ingredients you need to be eating a lot of - eg oats, pulses, wholegrains, oily fish. Let me know if you would like the link and I will send it to you.

  • Thank you foodblog it would be helpful if you posted the link ,I will try anything that will keep me of medication it is a kind offer. I would also like to thank aliwally for widening the debate by putting the cat amongst the pigeons. I am a newbie aliwally when the doctor said to me it was genetic did this not mean FH I honestly not sure if they are one of the same. I like you think the low readings don't mean FH but I would be grateful someone with facts on this subject could let me know ,can someone with realativly low readings have FH

  • Hi Bayram,

    When your GP said "genetic" I wonder whether she meant your cholesterol level was genetically determined, that is it maybe members of your family are prone to levels on the high side (a bit like high BP running in families), as opposed to FH which is caused by a gene mutation.

    When she mentions statins again, perhaps you could suggest that she thinks about going on a course to improve her communication skills with patients and not glue herself to the computer !!

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