Does anyone know if statins can cause pbc

I was prescribed statins in 2012 and my liver enzymes were elevated in 2013 for the first time

Just recently diagnosed with pbc

58 Replies

  • Ballymahon2,

    I've never taken statins.

    Stella ❤

    DX PBC 10/16

  • Thanks stella

  • I've never had statins. I was 45 when I started itching, 46 at diagnosis of PBC. For me it is almost 7yrs since I was diagnosed now.

    Since being diagnosed with PBC I've thought at times how came by it. There has to be something taht we are all connected with so I doubt statins are a reason unless there's an ingredient in your tablets/med that is in a lot of other things that eventually might be found to be toxic to the system that then causes PBC. I posted a bit of a newsletter on here yest about toxins and the liver. Medications were mentioned in what I read. But it is now thought it is perhaps some toxic chemical and as I read over the last 15yrs a UK university in Newcatle have been testing soil samples.

  • I wonder about the soil samples. I have a feeling it could be a chemical such as bleach for example; only because there are so many of us from different Countries and from my understanding, here in the U.S, it's fairly rare. I also do not believe it is genetic as my Mother and Grandmother never had this. In fact, no one in my family ever has. Again, just my 2 cents.....

  • I agree my mother and grandmother never had it either you would wonder

  • I can trace it in my family....no one was diagnosed with PBC but women had liver problems or symptoms similar and died young. Researched back to my Great-Great grandmother so far...🙄. And the immune diseases are rampant in my mothers generation...

  • Thats interesting

  • I thought so too.

    My grandmother had it but was undiagnosed...they said it was from her drinking...she had a couple beers after work...not enough to cause chirrosis at the age of 63, although I’m sure it was a catalyst to it...she died at 64...

    She had osteoporosis and degenerative spine along with thyroid problems.

    Her mother died at 42, and her mother at 48...both had “liver problems.” I am still researching but it’s tough this time of year!

  • Thanks peridot

  • I had the same suspicion when I was diagnosed. Both my GI & my Hepatologist told me, no.

  • Thanks for that

  • No doubt in my mind. My family and their bullying and me allowing it caused mine. No doubt. No human can go through what I did. I got rid of most of my family and I’m on the fence if I should just walk out the door and not look back

  • Jenny- So you think it is stress related?

  • I know that for me and what I went through no human could do it. My children are not good people and as for my mother and sisters they have to live with themselves. I gave to much and asked for little to nothing. My oldest daughter caused me to have to record my phones with a court order and put cams in my home because her and her screwed up father thought it was funny to falsely report me to child protective services. They believe these kids over their parents. Even after they knew that I was being stalked and harassed they didn’t care. I had to leave school and work because of my family. I wasn’t allowed to have breaks for years from my mouthy daughters. When I told my middle child that I had these diseases she told me to mind my own business. She stopped talking to me because of a college fund and she after she became an adult still wanted money but not follow the plan we made for her. She knew the plan. It is what it is. I believe that if I want to get better I have to remove people from my life. The takers

  • I agree stress weakens our immune systems

  • My daughter and her father caused over 150 cps reports on me. Out of all the cps workers only one of them was not suitable for her job. The rest were fine. But they gave my daughters control and made me afraid to discipline. Now I have mouthy rude children. I was even to afraid to give them chores. Stupid me! I couldn’t even eat a meal without having to beg to eat in comfort and I gave my children credit cards and bank accounts at to young of an age. I should of made them earn it. My granddaughter is my pride and joy. She will do anything for me and expect nothing. I love all my children but the truth is what it is

  • Thats tough on you hope you are doing ok

  • I’m very spiritual and I believe in god. It really helped to remove certain family members. I learned long ago, you can choose your friends but you can’t choose you’re family members

  • So true

  • I don't think stress causes PBC.

  • Stress may not be the absolute culprit but stress throws our immune system into total chaos. Weakens our immune system.

  • Sorry but I disagree. I think stress is a modern thing. There's that phrase I can't remember about man taking 'flight' to do with the adrenal. This is what helps us overcome stress. I also think that some of us can deal with things life throws at us better than others.

    My gran lived to a good old age, the oldest in her family (she was one of 11 children) and she was as poor as a church mouse practically all her life (she'd have enjoyed better living now with the UK allowances that state retirees receive, ie fuel allowances for colder weather, etc).

    I do think as soon as terminology is 'out there' things get all thrown out of proportion. In an ideal world we'd all live happily together.....and so forth....

  • I agree stress affects each of us differently. But it is a known fact...stress can kill you. And it does weaken our immune systems. Has nothing to do with modern. Some people take it as it comes. I do, however, believe sometimes we are our greatest stress inducers. I’m one of those, sadly. And I know what it has done to me. 😊

  • Stress can be detrimental to our mental & physical well being. That is a fact.

    Stay away from negative people & situations. Life is too short for us to be unhappy.

  • Agree👍

  • I agree i tend to stay away from negative people

  • Hi, stress can be an exacerbating factor in most conditions and might even be the trigger mechanism for bringing something on but I agree with you. I don't believe it is the cause of it or even contributory cause. For whate very reason our broader family has auto immune conditions. I have PBC and my niece n nephew have type 1 diabetes.

  • cause ? or if a predisposition exists, stress might enable the circumstances for any condition to mature?

    I do not think stress "causes" any condition, bit I am sure research suggests stress can bring on conditions. (including cancer)

    I hope they will isolate the gene responsible, and we will learn more in the future.

  • That is very likely & it probably differs across the board as people have varied reactions to stress. Some folks have anxiety attacks, insomnia, heart issues etc.

    Knowing this, we all need to manage better.

  • When my Internist first wanted me to take statin, I told him I was not going to take something that might potentially damage my liver. He said if liver enzymes elevate, they will return to normal once you stop taking them. Mine did not return to normal because of PBC. My aunt stopped statin & her enzymes returned to normal but she also does not have PBC. That’s all I can say about it. 😊

  • Thanks for that i have heard that enzymes return to normal once you stop taking statins

  • I don't believe statins cause PBC but I do know they elevate your levels, I take statins for high cholesterol and doctor told me they elevate level. I asked should I not take the statins and he said is ok to take?

  • We may never know for sure. I only know I took statins 5 years with no elevation in any enzyme until June this year. Until then, all enzymes were low end normal.

  • Thats interesting your enzymes levels were normal until june mine were elevated for past few years

  • I just looked back at labs. June 15, 2017 lipids were still normal. Comprehensive Metabolic profile showed alp & ast elevated. That’s when he stopped statin. My dr runs several labs at one time so I always have to look back. Anyway, I’ll be having that all rechecked soon. 😊

  • They are okay to take.

    I stopped taking them for a few years after the PBC diagnosis because I wanted to give liver a rest & see if a more stringent diet can bring it back to acceptable levels. My doctors had approved of this decision, initiated by me.

    However, I went back on it because while I did lower the numbers sans meds, it was not low enough & my Hepatologist was concerned. Told me it was perfectly safe to go back on it.

    Because of my personality & he knows me well, he also said, discuss it with your primary doctor as well. My primary also knows me well & sent me to a cardiologist for a consult. Post my appointment with her, she called my Hepatologist to discuss & they put me back on them.

    I do take a lower dosage than pre-diagnosis because the diet & exercise helped. I used to take 20 mg daily. Now I take 10 mg every other day.

    I am convinced that eating healthy is key to maintaining our wellness.

  • There is stress and there is stress.

    Even when we encounter serious stress, our bodies can react in an appropriate way or an inapproriate way. There is a lot of research showing the effect that chronic stress (heavy intensity and long time) has an effect on us: mind and body. There are links to inflammation, anxiety, sleep, and diet (all of which link also).

    Also, we are made differently and so each have different limits to both acute stress and to chronic stress. Some freeze, some run, some fight. We each have our own breaking point.

    We are aware of links between stress and conditions such as colds, coldsores, shingles, etc not to even start on heart attacks, strokes, depression, etc.

    Many people with PBC take statins as raised cholesterol is a feature of PBC. Are statins causal? There is no data available to support such an assertion. The commonly held belief is that, along with genetic predisposition, there is a number of individual triggers in our environment.

  • Thanks for that information robert

  • Well said PBCRobert. Stomach ulcers are apparently said to be linked to too much stress also as quite rightly are certain other health issues.

    I don't believe in the case of PBC at all that stress can be the cause of one developing PBC. I do think that stress after being diagnosed can lead to certain issues though and having PBC can add to it.

    I know myself I find in certains times of, well woe (ie I've had several close deaths in my family over the years, first my mother and then not long after my husband, all when I was in my 20s), unlike some people w ho find they can eat and eat I have found that for me I find I struggle to eat. Temporarily not a bad thing but if it had been prolonged who knows.

    With PBC I certainly do think it is down to us all having certain weak areas in our system and at the same time living in what is now a chemically surrounding world, only time can eventually show up certain issues, ie mothers-to-be taking thalidomide in the 60s often gave birth to babies with certain deformaties/impediments.

  • I have encountered many patients who can point to a particularly stessful time as their start of their PBC.

    I am not in a position to disbelieve or to doubt them.

  • Thanks for the reply. I am one of those who can't point to a stressful time when PBC more than likely started up in my case.

    I've always thought it was perhaps a case my trigger was due to having hepatitis vaccinations when I worked in a medical environment, this for me is the only thng that seems to tie in at the time. It would obviously need researching and it could be due to the fact I had hepatitis vaccines I think like this but perhaps a case it did cause some reaction as with all vaccines, everyone can be different.

  • It certainly isnt stress with me so there must be another cause

  • the familiarial (spelling?) link is clear, ( I think we all accept this) which suggests it is a genetic cause (at least some of the time) and stress is seen as (possibly) allowing predispositions to flourish.

    All interesting stuff, mean while we need to be getting on with living with PBC ! there are lots of crosses to bear, this is ours.

  • This disease has a genetic factor, there is a gene (it even has a name, I’ll look that up later) that is carried in families. They suspect that an environmental factor “turns on” the gene. It’s possible that my siblings carry the gene (it’s a 50/50 chance since it came from Mom) and they have not been exposed to have it turned on.

    I too believe that stress amplifies this disease, stress is TERRIBLE on the body...the stress from “fight or flight” is temporary in today’s age if we ever even experience it in our lifetime...

    It’s the “everyday stresses” that we deal with in the 21st Century. Most damaging is the nagging stresses...traffic, bosses and yes spouses. I strongly feel that this type of stress is an antagonist in PBC, but no I don’t believe it causes PBC. I’ve done a lot of research, taken a lot of medical science classes. I DO NOT know it all but I am confident in my belief.

  • You are so correct. My mother died of pbc, at the age of 55. I was diagnosed last year at 59, and now my sister is being tested for it at at 56. She has all the signs including elevated liver enzymes.

  • I cant trace a family history with mine my mother is 88 and doesnt have pbc

  • I’m the first in my family

  • My mother does not either, it skipped her...or at least the gene has not been activated in her chromosomes...

  • Someone once said: Gene is a loaded gun, environment is the one who pull the trigger.

    I know all my illness started when my only son who I raised alone betrayed me. I was mad, sad, angry and heart broken for a long time. 6 months after the incident, i developed 3 ulcers. 1 year later, gallbladder removed. 4 months later, IBS, IBD, gastritis, fibromyalgia, thyroiditis followed. 10 months later, AMA M2 discovered, pancreatic enzyme elevated.

    Coincident? maybe, plus I was almost 60 yr old and just don't have enough recovery power left. I am now on full time management of my health and I am getting better, slowly but surely. There is hope....

    Good luck to all.


  • I took statins for many years with normal lipid panel. I don’t take them now because I’m not sure that they were not a trigger for PBC. I know they are toxic for the liver.

  • Statins do elevate your liver enzymes, that is no secret...but they don’t cause PBC...I Won’t go on them unless my cholesterol levels are out of control...🙃

  • I've never had statins

    But my thoughts are. If it was that simple there wouldn't be so much research going in to what it is that actually causes it. No one really knows.

    I know that some people have been told not to take statins per day with PBC although some are prescribed. My thoughts are we could be/ have PBC for a while before it's found & maybe your statins might be complicating matters??? Just a thought. Not born on any facts check with your Doctor. X

  • Ok thanks

  • Yes! Statins do not cause it but can elevate the numbers as it damages the liver in even non-pbc’ers. However their healthy enough to overcome it...most of the time...we are not. So it acts as a catalyst to our disease.

    Think of it like Tylenol...everyone takes it and it does a lot of good for a majority of people. However with us it literally is poison...even taken in small amounts it’s damaging...

  • Thanks for that information

  • Statin and other drugs do not cause PBC. In fact no proved cause of the disease is yet discovered except that it is believed to be a autoimmune disease. Statin and other drugs may increase the damage if one already deals with liver diseases.Some drugs (including Statin) might cause abnormal LFT, but it doesn't necessarily mean they cause actual damage to your liver. So I guess there is no need to worry ,yet it is wise to consult a physician.

  • Thanks for that i went off statins one year ago my lfts were elevated for 1st time in 2013 one year after being prescribed statins and this started me wondering if there was so connection with pbc

  • True

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