Should I stay on statins? : Hi all I was... - Thyroid UK

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Should I stay on statins?


Hi all

I was prescribed 80mg of atrovastatin because I have high cholesterol and severe damage to the iliac arteries. I was given the tablets prior to my diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism and had been dutifully taking them until I read that my cholesterol level would like decrease without the use of statins once my thyroid was under control.

When I told my doctor yesterday that I had stopped taking the statins because I’d read that once my thyroid was properly medicated my cholesterol would likely come down. She looked at me like I was crazy and insisted this was nonsense and I needed to start taking them again ASAP!

I’ve read so many horror stories about statins that I’m not sure what to do for the best, I’d appreciate any advice from anyone with any knowledge please? 😜

28 Replies

I've had a heart attack (2014) and had an artery clear-out and stents fitted. To prevent plaque buildup again I've been on atorvastatin 80 since. I've no thyroid disease but my natural cholesterol is up about 10, and statins lower it to 5. Diet has no effect. I've no symptoms whatever from the statin and in my condition I believe the statin is helping. However I don't recommend statins for people who have had no problems like mine and appear to be otherwise healthy. Side-effects can include muscle pain, but I'm lucky in that regard. In your case, like me you may have naturally high cholesterol, and with damaged vessels, statins may inhibit more plaques forming.

rosserk in reply to diogenes

Diogenes thank you for commenting. I’m busy reading all I can about the pros and cons but there’s no substitute for opinions from people who are taking statins. Hope you’re well now after your heart attack. 🙂

Mamapea1 in reply to rosserk

rosserk ~ I may be wrong, but I'm not convinced you are adequately treated at present, although I must confess I only skimmed over your results😕. Your recent TSH looks too high, and I think you should wait until you've got all your vitamins and minerals optimal, which may help.

I think perhaps your GP is useless like mine, and although my only experience of statins is the detrimental effect it had on my late father, I would concentrate on getting your thyroid more adequately treated, which will not be helped by the statins, so a dilemma for you😳, especially if you've also been advised to follow a low fat diet, as my poor, skeletal dad was! It made him so bloated and ill!😥

You may have to take control of your thyroid meds yourself if your GP won't help, but there are many on here doing the same, and excellent advice to be had. I don't understand your condition enough to comment on whether or not to withdraw the statins, but I understand your desire to do so👍. Sorry I'm not much help, but knowledgable members with more experience will no doubt reply soon. 🌻🐝 x

rosserk in reply to Mamapea1

Hi yes I believe my TSH is still too high. Just managed to persuade my doctor to increase my dose to 100mg after telling her I’d already increased it anyway! Yes not only is my doctor useless but I think the other 8 at the practice are too!

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I’ve been reading up everything I can find and so far I’ve read more positive things about taking them than negative. So now I’m really confused because I’ve already stopped taking them trying to decide if I follow the doctors advice and re-start.

Kindest regards hope you’re keeping well. 😃

Mamapea1 in reply to rosserk

Its a tricky one, but as Hillwoman says read the Dr Kendrick books and learn everything you can. Start all supplements recommended by SeasideSusie and maybe your recent increase will do the trick. You may find the thyroid meds work much better without the statins, but only you can do the research, gain confidence, and make the decision on whether or not to stop ~ you can't do any worse than your GP, and you know yourself better😊.

Whilst on this journey to acquire knowledge, I would also (if you haven't already) recommend that you watch the videos on here by Dr John Bergman ~ Heloise often posts links to them ~ or put his name in the search bar? He's an American chiropractor and talks a lot of sense to do with keeping yourself healthy and avoiding misinformation by so called 'health professionals'! He has a crazy laugh that you warm to, for some reason lol! Anyway, he may help you with his sage advice about all health issues ~ there's loads of videos to keep you busy🐝. Take care and good luck 🍀 xx

greygoose in reply to rosserk

Have you read Dr Malcolm Kendrick's blog and book 'The Great Cholesterol Con'? He has nothing good to say about statins, and I'd rather believe him than anyone else. He also says that statins don't do anything for women. Plus, we know from many sources that you shouldn't take them if you're hypo.

Cholesterol does not cause heart attacks or strokes - you're more in danger of those if your cholesterol is low. The body needs cholesterol - for one thing, it needs them to make sex hormones. As you are hypo, your hormones are already unbalanced, reducing your sex hormones will just make things worse. Plus with low cholesterol, you will be unable to synthesise vit D.

Cholesterol is used as a sort of band aid, to patch up damaged blood vessels - damaged by inflammation, not high cholesterol - if your blood vessels are already damaged, and you take statins, you will be removing the band aid that could heal those blood vessels.

AmandaK in reply to diogenes

Thank you Diogenes, it is useful to have this perspective as indeed there are some situations, like yours, when statins are efficacious. A few years ago my father had surgery to correct an abdominal aortic aneurysm and since then has been prescribed statins (pravastatin) as a precaution.

Can I ask if you take CQ10? I understand that there are some contraindications to taking CQ10 e.g. if someone is on blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin or clopidogrel. Is this your understanding too? I ask this as not everyone is aware that there may be contraindications, but this needs verifying.

diogenes in reply to AmandaK

As I'm on ramipril only, I'v no real problem with blood thinning.

I suggest you look up Dr Malcolm Kendrick's books and blog.

rosserk in reply to Hillwoman

Thank you I will take a look 😜

I won't make any comment on the statins. But I will say that if you decide to stay on them you need to start supplementing Co-Q10 (ubiquinone) or ubiquinol :

I've read that ubiquinol is better but I can't remember why, however it is vastly more expensive than Co-Q10.

rosserk in reply to humanbean

Thanks HumanBean I’m leaning towards staying off them but if I change my mind I will consider your advice. Kind regards 😃


Perhaps you should print this NHS information page out and give it to your GP

rosserk in reply to SlowDragon

Brilliant SlowDragon thank you so much I think that swings it in favour of stopping statins until I’ve stabilised my thyroid and looked at the results. I will also take great satisfaction sharing the information in paper format with my GP!

Kindest regards 😜

healthymarge in reply to rosserk


Ha!Ha! There you go! I told you they'd be along! 💕x

rosserk in reply to Mamapea1

Lol you did indeed!

I was on statins for over 15 years, as they were prescribed as a matter of course if you became diabetic (regardless if you were on any diabetic drugs). Then 2-3 years ago while trying to eliminate what was causing my pains ( including dagger-like symptoms in my knees, and lower legs) I told my GP I was going to try removing them. About 18 months later the really bad pain had gone ( which had really disturbed sleep and sometimes made walking a few feet impossible). I took the ubiquinol /vitamin cocktail to heal muscles etc. Some more general pain was then diagnosed as fibromyalgia, and as a Hashimoto's sufferer anyway I'm now going down the route of T3 medication as recommended by Dr Lowe. I've recently noticed I have 'intolerant to statins' in my medical notes, and instead of my diabetic nurse insisting on lowering total cholesterol ( which was never high in the first place), she now refers more far more sensibly to good and bad cholesterol and ratios to each other. I wouldn't recommend statins to anyone accept those like Diogenes- cholesterol has far more healing properties than causing heart attacks/ strokes!

Oh my goodness you sound like you’ve really been through the mill! Hope you’re heading in the right direction now with your health.

Thanks for sharing your story, I’m airing on the side of waiting to see if my cholesterol comes down now my thyroid is being treated. Kindest regards 🙂

Try to find out what your two cholesterol figures are , and ratio... mine was ideal, yet why did I have to take statins for years?

Ok thank you, I know my bad cholesterol was 7.5 when she put me on the tablets.

And good cholesterol figure? I never noticed if hypothyroidism and medication affected cholesterol figures, but then doubt if my GP etc would have told me or reduced statins!

I don’t know what that was the Doctor said it was good, whatever that means? I focussed on what she was saying about the bad. Now I know I need both to compare ratio I will ask next time I have an appointment. 😜

HDL v LDL v triglycerides is what you need to know

I would avoid statins if at all possible based on several online reads about them and my father's experience. He agreed to take based on a CVD ratio just over the 10% limit of NICE (drastically dropped from 20%). After 9 months, he decided to come off them despite no apparent side effects. Around that time, his billirubin was found to have doubled but, after being off statins, its now down to his normal figure. Even the doc reluctantly had to finally agree it was probably the statins that did it.

His cholestrol and ratio are OK without statins which is probably due to non meds eg reduced weight. Docs just wanna give meds as we know.

rosserk in reply to userotc

Thanks for the comment, I’m hoping my level will come down as my thyroid stabilises. 🙂

It's a difficult one. Over active thyroid is usually associated with LOW cholesterol. It's only underactive where cholesterol sorts itself out as you become euthyroid.

However, if you are female, there are no studies that show that statins help prevent a first heart attack or stroke. And high cholesterol in older people is associated with longer life.

BUT statins do have an anti-inflammatory effect (which is probably the reason that they work at all in anyone).

I would consider reducing dose and making sure that my diet was anti-inflammatory. If I experienced side effects: muscle pain/wasting, etc I would try to wean off them. I would also make sure that I was taking vit K2 and magnesium to try to counteract the increase in arterial calcification caused by statins.

And I would read Dr Macolm Kendrick's blog from the beginning and make up my own mind.

Angle of the North that sounds like sound advice Thank you! 🙂

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