Couch to 5K

high cholesterol and new to this community

Hi, i have just been told that i have a qrisk of above 20% i am just 60yrs and gutted Dr has put me straight onto Simvastatin . i am so worried about the side effects i have read about. i know now that i need to alter my lifestyle would like to try exercise and cutting down on the naughtys but dr wont give me that chance. any one in the same boat as me?


10 Replies

Sorry you are so concerned. Some people have heriditory high cholesterol which will not respond to a change in diet. For those people they need to consider their risk and decide if handling side effects outweighs the risk. It usually does.

For those who a change in diet etc will have a positive effect on the condition, its a matter of deciding if a change in lifestyle is better than dealing with potential side effects, and then knuckling down to make the change.

There are far more difficult diagnosis people have to deal with.

By the way, the side effects are not a given, some people do not experience them.


Hi there Jan and welcome to the forum! I can't help with cholesterol issue I'm afraid but beginning running is great exercise and will help your health in many ways. The C25k programme is brilliant, following it is one of the best decisions you'll ever make so stick at it and you'll continue to surprise yourself. Download the NHS podcasts with Laura who will become a good friend through the journey. Go slow, stretch, take your rest days and you'll be a runner before you know it!

The forum is one of the best places on the internet. It's full of incredible, inspirational people so do make use of it for advice, encouragement and to let everyone celebrate your successes with you! Post after your runs and let us know how you're getting on. We'll be with you every step of the way :)


Welcome to the forum. I know everyone is different and it is best to listen to your GP, my Dad was in a similar position and did both. Took the tablets and changed his diet and moved more and over time he was able to cut down on his tablets and now he no longer needs them. I would take the tablets and make the positive changes. We have had many member on here who post that their GP has said certain meds are no longer needed because of the changes that have been made.

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I posted about this a few months back, and we had a discussion on it. I am nearly 60. I was given a second test which the doc said was high but he never said what it was so I won't be having any medication. I would rather not take stuff that sounds dodgy. I eat healthily and don't smoke or drink, and run and walk a lot so I'll take my chances. Not sure what the rush is to medicate the well 🙂 I think it's a money making racket to be honest

i think the doc said I had a 10% chance of developing heart disease. I took that to be a 90% chance that I won't.

It's your choice of course and you have to weigh up what's right for you. It is a worry I know 😞

Perhaps you could search for the debate we had on it. If I find it meanwhile I will,post the link🙂


Hi I'm a research scientist and I would ask for a second opinion. Studies made in the 70s 80s were skewed and high cholesterol isn't necessarily linked to higher risk of stroke and heart attacks. Mediterranean people have after all a fairly high cholesterol but are also the healthiest people. Statins can be dangerous and I would really snood using them. At best they have no proven efficacy and when compared to the group of people that do not take statins there isn't reduced risk.

I'm all for medication BTW but when and where justified (vaccines etc are the best thing in the world).

Your gp should really know better. The care currently received by patients is astonishingly bad in UK at present. Please ask for a second opinion and I agree with above have a nice healthy diet.

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I agree that some current research gives a different story than it did during the 70s and 80s, and I'd add that it's a good idea to check out research online, and also look at who funded the research leading to any paper before taking its content to be the Gospel truth. Sad, but true.


My husband has been on statins for many years but he's the fittest person I know and they didn't change his energy levels or anything else one iota. He did have to have them changed at the beginning though as the first lot made him sick.

However, everyone is different and I understand your concern. I'd feel the same as I hate taking tablets of any kind. I agree with the others and suggest you get a second opinion.

All I'd say about side effects is, have you ever read the side effects of "everyday" drugs like paracetamol, ibuprofen etc? It's the maker's "keep out of jail" card.


I was told that I had a high cholesterol level, and given the opportunity to lower the level before my GP prescribed statins. It's genetic in my family so I wasn't surprised. However, I had a high level of 'good' cholesterol in there, which counts. I got online and checked out research papers about statins and wasn't convinced that they did what it said on the tin. Apparently women naturally need more cholesterol than men, too. So I politely told my GP to put the prescription pad down and step back with her hands above her head. I cleaned up my diet without turning myself into a rabbit, cut out alcohol, and started C25K. My cholesterol is now under the threshold, and everyone is happy. That being said, your level may be very different to mine.

I'd recommend adjusting your diet and keeping going on C25K. If you feel any side effects, tell your GP, and ask if you can check to see if you still need statins or can change the dose in 6 months time.


This was the thread on the subject 🙂


Try not to worry, I've been on statins for a long time and they brought my cholesterol level down and have no known side effects. But I shall be reviewing them this year, as now I've been running coming up to 2 years in the Spring and seems my siblings, 4 brothers & sister's, 3 of who are older than me are not on any form of cholesterol lowering drug, so am thinking for me well, is it heriditary? So would think my excercise and diet should be controlling the levels, I will be asking my doctor for further tests, after all, I don't want to keep taking the drug unessacarily.

So for you, I can't tell you what to do, as people are different, but I think you really need a 2nd opinion, and don't rely on a self assessment testing kit you can buy on the high St, always go for a professional testing..😊


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