Statin drugs: My doctor wants me to go on... - Early CKD Support

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Statin drugs

Darlene21
Darlene21

My doctor wants me to go on statins.Is it true they’re not good for the kidneys?

22 Replies
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Darlene,

Do your research. Statin therapy is offered as preventive treatment or a protocol for heart disease.

Is there just reason for it? I talked with my doctor and I refused statins because it was not truly warranted. My cholesterol is actually very good. But this is a discussion you need to have and be educated when you have the conversation.

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

healthline.com/health/kidne...

mayoclinic.org/diseases-con...

I agree with Bassetmommer it is always best to do some research and then discuss with your doctor if it really is needed. If your cholesterol is high ask if you can try diet modification first. Most doctors will only give you a couple of months to start bringing it down before they really insist on a statin. According to studies Heart Disease is the number one killer of people with Kidney Disease so you can see the importance. I don't have high cholesterol but I do try very hard to follow a low fat diet and avoid too much calcium to keep that risk lower. That was advised by my doctor. Always discuss with your doctor any treatment plans and things you may be doing on your own. Honest and open communication is important and it makes you look proactive rather than being non-compliant.

My Doctor prescribed Ezetimibe (Zetia) for my high cholesterol which is not a statin. It works for me, but might not be for others with CKD. Agree always discuss with Doctor your options.

You don't give much information so it is hard to give a firm reply. First you need to look at your cholesterol levels. Now there are 3 levels to look at. Overall cholesterol. HDL. LDL. Statins are most generally given because the LDL is not normal. And/or the overall cholesterol level is not normal. If your number(s) are high, then in my opinion (and i'm not a doctor) statins are helpful. Also statins are given if you Triglycerides are high. I myself have CKD stage 3. I have been on Lipitor for as long as I've had CKD. A very high dose of 80mg. Mostly because of my triglyceride levels. Diet and exercise did little to bring them to normal levels. During all this time my egfr level has not been affected at all. And as someone said, the major cause of death for people with CKD is heart failure. So anything to help the cardiovascular system is considered. Here is a link to an excellent article on this subject from Harvard. Also, at some point you need to reach a decision. Do I believe and have faith in my doctor and what he advises or in what I read on the internet, or get from forums (from people like me)? And also remember, if you try a medication, see the start of negative movement in your kidney tests, you can stop before major damage is done.

Thank you so much for all the information.

My main concern was I read that statins are bad for the kidney.

I will look into every suggestion that has been made to make up my mind.

My doctor wanted me to take Lipitor as I had high triglycerides. It's the worst. There's a website by a Harvard university professor of medicine. It recommend resveratrol, garlic, and niacin. No side effects and that combination works for lowering cholesterol as well.

RickHow
RickHow
in reply to Dangermom13

Niacin did wonders for me in lowering my triglycerides. My cardiologist recommended it and the improvement was almost instant. I take statin for my LDL.

Dangermom13
Dangermom13
in reply to RickHow

Try taking resveratrol and garlic. Your LDL will go down and these don't stress your kidneys.

Remember that everyone is different. As someone said do your research and then have a talk with your doctor. There maybe a very good reason for your statin use. I am 20 years post transplant and have been on statins for 15 years. My creatinine is stable at 0.9.

I had an extreme reaction to lipitor. Put up with it for 12 months until I found the facts sheet on it and ticked every side effect. Dr was unresponsive to the problems I was reporting. The problems I have now are nothing compared to what lipitor and the Dr put me through. As has been said it and all medications for that matter effect everyone differently. I have had extreme cholesterol, 9.8 regularly for 30 years, and am still alive and free of congested arteries. The problem is that medicine is not an exact science.

It is very important to understand what CKD people should and shouldn't take then you can discuss it with your Dr knowing what on earth they are talking about and challenging them when you think they could be making a mistake.

Good luck

RickHow
RickHow
in reply to Cheyne13

Something you mentioned caught my attention. That your arteries are free from blockage. Is there a way your doctors test this? Some sort of scan you have that shows they are "open" normally?

Cheyne13
Cheyne13
in reply to RickHow

After 15 years of being at 9.8 Cholesterol I was sent to a specialist who probed, prodded and listened to me. We then had a discussion on what I ate and he agreed it was the right diet. I was told he could not find any build up and I should get back to him if I had any problems. Not been back in 30 years now and I don't think scans were possible in this country back then. I guess now they could scan to check the arteries but here that would probably be put into the too expensive just for that bin.

When my Cholesterol is medicated and it gets down to the mid 5's I start feeling off and irritable and not nice to be around. With lipitor the reaction was extreme with memory loss, continual migraines 24/7, sleepless nights, aggressive and thoroughly obnoxious, and aching joints. This was with only taking half the prescribed dosage! I was too the point of looking for a wheelchair when I found out what was causing the problems aside from a Dr that didn't listen to the problems I was having.

It took 3 weeks to get get back to what I'm usually like. Even I didn't want to be around me then!

I have had heart checks three times in the last year and always get a clean bill of health and a note to say the heart is in excellent condition. Now when I experience chest pain I refuse the trip to the Hospital as a waste of time. They only tell me what it isn't not what it is.

Anyway every time I'm medicated there is always a reaction of some sort. Never allowed to be vaccinated for anything. My father had the same problems with medications and yet my brother didn't. When I relented with a tetanus vacs I ended up in bed for 3 days, very sick.

My body does not tolerate medication and for some unknown reason copes reasonably well with extreme Cholesterol and high blood pressure and all the other problems I'm having. When I'm medicated for the problems I have my CKD levels drop quickly, when I stop they start rebounding back up.

I go to my Dentist once every 10 years and all I get is the teeth cleaned and if he is lucky a filling to be fixed.

I even have trouble with the Optician. I keep getting referred to a specialist who invariable tells me my eyes are wired up differently, but they work just fine so don't worry. Well they used to work fine, not so good anymore, the glasses are getting thicker now days.

It would be great to be diagnosed with something, be given a remedy and be fixed. Doesn't happen for me.

That is why I refuse all but vitamin D medications. Without vitamin D the body cannot function properly, with too much you'll have trouble.

I try to stick too my diet, although I did succumb to a potato on my butter last night! Damn, that was gooood. Nothing like a new season potatoe on your butter.

At the end of the day I don't take my health too seriously, but, I do take my diet seriously as that is what is keeping this old body going just fine, despite me and everyone else, who wants to change it. I firmly believe you are what you eat.

Deni52
Deni52
in reply to Cheyne13

you were very fortunate to get doctors to listen and not think you are just anxious or a hypochondriac.

Cheyne13
Cheyne13
in reply to Deni52

I often wonder if it's me as I can't be that different to everybody else. I mean I walk , I talk and I do what most people do. But the body has a mind of it's own when it comes to functioning.

I never gave the Dr's a choice. It's my health not theirs and that is kind of how I feel I get treated by them.

Probably have several black marks against my name, but frankly done care what they think.

I live by simple rules now.

Nothing enters my body without me knowing what it is and how it came into being. That is, is it a natural product or man made concoction, is it going to be beneficial to me or not and can I live without it or not. I only accept scientific fact and not personal experiences by others. Too many mean well opinions doesn't make it scientific fact. If it is natural and sounds like it will help I may give it ago, other wise a natural food and drink diet for me. Absolutely nothing pre-prepared unless I know how it is prepared and what exactly is in it.

Bottom line is I cannot replace or repair my kidneys but every other problem I have can be treated or lived with, of a fashion, so kidneys preservation is the first consideration to me. All else has to fall into line behind.

My kidneys are going to kill me one day before any other health problem I have can. Less than 0.1 percent of people needing kidney replacement actually get one in this country, I don't think I'm that lucky and the next bus along the road could get me anyway!

I know it, and accept it, but I won't stop going as hard as I can for as long as I can. I'm kind of smug in the knowledge because I died as a child and was resuscitated, came within a few hours of death with failed kidneys and was turned back yet again. Not sure what colour the gates were, but that's another story. I witnessed my mothers death from kidney failure and have an understanding of how it will unfold.

Yet something doesn't want me dead. So I live each day as it comes and don't worry about the day I won't wake up. I have tied up all the loose ends in my life and am good to go anytime.

Life for me is about filling in the day usefully and getting to see the next sunrise.

Cheers

Deni52
Deni52
in reply to Cheyne13

I have told GP I dont tolerate medication well and it was suggested I was stressed, my sister didnt either. I also had my gfr drop quickly due to antibiotics then rise after stopping them and I know others who react the same. Maybe the health system is too overstretched to listen to individuals concerns.

Cheyne13
Cheyne13
in reply to Deni52

I had a massive does of antibiotics when the kidneys failed. I had Campylobacta badly which stopped the kidney function for 18 hours. I walked into hospital and was given hours to live. They force as much water into me as they could, safely and fed me a massive does of antibiotics which thankfully worked but left me with no good enzymes in the gut. Had IBS ever since and no longer accept antibiotics. Got to be a problem when I had reconstructive surgery for a shattered heel. The day is very much coming when it will be body heal thy self or die. The alternative isn't that palatable for me. I feel medication for me is like playing Russian roulette with my life. I warned them not to give me a full does to put me under. Did they listen, hell know, took me twice as long come around, then I vomited every thing they gave me to eat back up. All I could say was "I told you not to give me a full does".

I'm having to take antihistamine at present for heat induced hives, get them every summer without fail and it is not that hot yet. Half a pill knocks me out in 4 hours, almost to the minute. Very predictable. I used to be out driving in a convertible and had to be off the road within 4 hours of taking half an antihistamine pill. Life is not a barrel of fun when you have to be so careful of what goes into the mouth, I never worry about what comes out mind! I guess it makes up for the 28 years of never going to any Dr, dentist or Optician. Often wonder if this is a result of PBB poisoning as since then the health problems have started. That's polybrominatedbyfenel second cousin to PCB, polycarbonatedbyfenel, agent orange and 245T poison. Hopefully I spelt them correctly, man made poisons anyway.

Deni52
Deni52
in reply to Cheyne13

guess we have to take responsibility for ourselves and speak up regardless.

Cheyne13
Cheyne13
in reply to Deni52

I find most people just want the health care they need when they need it. Sadly it is the noisy ones that get it first, regardless if they need it then or not.

Learnt long ago I'm my best advocate, so get on and advocate.

JToups
JToups
in reply to RickHow

You can request a coronary calcium scan. It takes an x-ray of your arteries and shows clogged/unclogged areas. They run specials for $99. My wife’s was a 3, but mine was 700+ and I now see a cardiologist. Atorvostatin 40mg was prescribed and once a year stress tests.

Kidney Function same. GFR fluctuates between 45-50.

I think the main benefit of statins might be that they help to lower inflamation. They work to lower cholesterol, so doctors thought that's what was helping to lower heart attack rate...but they also help to fight against inflamation, and I think that might be the main benefit of statins. My mom takes statins and I give her COQ10 because statins reduce the amount of COQ10 in the body. I would try a low inflamation diet and take some COQ10. I am not a health professional in any way so if you are interested in the above information please use that as a starting point to do your own research on the internet to see what you can find. Some people with high cholesterol don't have any blockages and some people with relatively low cholesterol do have blockages. I think it might actually be the inflamation that causes blockages...and also maybe try some natto if you can find it, which has a form of vitamin K that helps to keep calcium out of the blood vessels and puts it in the bones where it belongs...I think too much calcium in the blood vessels or arteries can cause blockages. I haven't been able to find natto yet for my mom. Maybe will have to make my own.

Can I ask what you decided to do about taking a statin. My doctor wants to put me on one too. I'm more scared about the 2 blood tests involved!

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