Cholesterol high want me to take statins. - Thyroid UK

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Cholesterol high want me to take statins.

sobs1962 profile image

Hi all, has anyone here had high cholesterol and taken statins?

I bought a book from USA by a holistic doctor who says that stains cause type 2 diabetes as make the body more insulin resistant and they also remove hdl cholesterol which our brains need and therefore induce dementia and alzheimers.

Have already said I'm not taking statins as don't want to risk type 2 diabetes or dementia. Will tell doctor I want to take berberine instead as does same job without the complications.

Any thoughts, advice?

102 Replies

If only it were just diabetes and dementia! But statins can cause all sorts of other problems, too. You're right not to take them. But, I doubt berberine would be much help, either. High cholesterol levels are usually caused by low FT3 levels. Raise the FT3, and the cholesterol will go down. A lot of hypos have high cholesterol. :)

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to greygoose

Ft3 levels won't get raised as they don't even test them

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to sobs1962

I know. That's why so many people do private labs. But, that's the solution, not berberine. Besides, high cholesterol in itself, isn't a problem. It's a symptom, not a disease.

SlowDragon profile image

High cholesterol is linked to being under medicated for thyroid and still hypothyroid

What were your most recent thyroid results

How much levothyroxine are you currently taking

How much approx do you weigh in kilo

If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), treatment may be delayed until this problem is treated. This is because having an underactive thyroid can lead to an increased cholesterol level, and treating hypothyroidism may cause your cholesterol level to decrease, without the need for statins. Statins are also more likely to cause muscle damage in people with an underactive thyroid.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to SlowDragon

Last thyroid resultsTSH 0.12(0.35-5.50)

T4 15.2(10.0-20.0)


I weigh 61kg.

Have had levo reduced from 100mcg to 87.5mcg due to high heart rate and started on metropolol. As you can see they cannot get the whole picture without testing T3 and I doubt they'll take any notice of that NHS website information as they always think they know everything and we( the patients ) no nothing.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to sobs1962

Suggest you refuse statins and request/insist on TSH, Ft4 and ft3 tested together

Or test via Monitor My Health (nhs private testing service) £26.10 via Thyroid U.K. website

Always test as early as possible in morning before eating or drinking anything other than water and last dose levothyroxine 24 hours before test

High heart rate can be due to low ft3

All four vitamins need regularly retesting

What vitamin supplements are you currently taking

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to sobs1962

I am not medically qualified but it would have been good to prescribe some T3 for you as it may have resolved your palptations.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to sobs1962

This is an excerpt from the following link:-

" How does the thyroid cause cholesterol problems?

Your body needs thyroid hormones to make cholesterol and to get rid of the cholesterol it doesn’t need. When thyroid hormone levels are low (hypothyroidism), your body doesn’t break down and remove LDL cholesterol as efficiently as usual. LDL cholesterol can then build up in your blood.

Thyroid hormone levels don’t have to be very low to increase cholesterol. Even people with mildly low thyroid levels, called subclinical hypothyroidism, can have higher than normal LDL cholesterol. A 2012 study found that high TSH levels alone can directly raise cholesterol levels, even if thyroid hormone levels aren’t low.

If it's any consolation I have refused statins many times in the past, my T4 and T3 levels are now very good and I feel really well, my cholesterol has only fallen from around 9 to around 7, I am fit and healthy and I have given up worrying about my cholesterol as I don't think it is the demon it was made out to be.I had hoped it would fall more than the when I optimised my thyroid levels but it hasn't.

My GP has given up asking if I want to take statins.

I don't think the risks associated with them are worth it to be honest, I hope you are able to come to a decision you are comfortable with. :)

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to knitwitty

They do say that those with high cholesterol live longest. :)

knitwitty profile image
knitwitty in reply to greygoose

I'm certainly hoping so !!:)

Espeegee profile image
Espeegee in reply to greygoose

Doesn't bode well for hubby who insists on taking them even though I've explained the dangers. He's so pleased his cholesterol has dropped! Numpty.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Espeegee

Is he aware of the connection between prostate cancer and statins? Happened to my friend, and now all he can say is 'why didn't I listen to you when you warned me about statins'. :'(

Espeegee profile image
Espeegee in reply to greygoose

I've given him links to read, bent his ear, explained why they aren't necessary and for a while he listened and stopped taking them then went for one of his diabetic checks, his numbers had risen and the nurse lectured him and he came home with another script for them. His funeral as they say, I can do no more. He's also had both jabs against my advice and utterly refuses to believe anything I tell or show him about the dangers.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Espeegee

Oh, yes! Exactly the same happened with my friend. He stopped taking them when I first explained, then had to go and see his doctor for something, and the doctor bullied/scared him into taking them again. And his attitude was 'well, what would you know, you're not a doctor'! And then he found he had diabetes and prostate cancer... Sigh.

Espeegee profile image
Espeegee in reply to greygoose

Not a lot you can say either is there

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Espeegee

Not really, no.

JAmanda profile image
JAmanda in reply to knitwitty

Mine has gone down similarly from 8.7 to 6 now that my T3 is high in range. I’m pretty pleased though! I tried statins once and it felt like my stomach muscles all seized up and I had rocks in my stomach.

ScotPoodle profile image
ScotPoodle in reply to JAmanda

My level is 6. The acceptable range used here in Surrey in the UK is now to 5. The surgery wants me to take statins as they calculate I have an 18.4% (how do they calculate to that accuracy?) chance of developing heart problems in the next 10 years. My daughter is a GP and she told me they recommend statins for a level above 4 and a risk above 10%. However she also told me the new statins don't cause so many problems and if my level drops I can stop taking them. So I am going to give them a try. To conclude with your level of 6 you might want to explore the new statins. Hope this helps.

JAmanda profile image
JAmanda in reply to ScotPoodle

Thanks but I don’t think docs prescribe just on the number these days. They do a broader assessment and my blood pressure is perfect and no familial history of heart disease etc and my docs are happy.

My point above was that getting your t3 higher will help your blood move stuff around and your cholesterol will go down.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to JAmanda

I am completely confused my results are as follows:-Serum Cholesterol 4.2mmol/L (<5.0 mmol/L

Serum HDL Cholesterol 0.77mmol/L(>1.20mmol/L

Serum Cholesterol/HDL ratio 5.5(<6.0)

Normal range N/A.

Serum triglycerides 3.0mmol/L


Any thoughts, beyond confused.


Marz profile image
Marz in reply to sobs1962

Raised triglycerides can be linked to sugar levels I have read ...

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to Marz

Yes, apparently true, have been eating a lot of sugar as is only thing that makes me feel better but realise it's not good for me. I'm just so depressed all the time and makes me feel happier

JAmanda profile image
JAmanda in reply to sobs1962

I’m with greygoose here. I wouldn’t worry about your cholesterol - id focus on getting your t3 and t4 higher in range and your symptoms alleviated.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to JAmanda

I have no 8idea what my t3 levels are as,haven't been tested for 6 months as NHS WILL NOT test them and I can't afford to keep paying £30 for private testing every couple of months as am on benefits and my husband will go mad and says it's a waste of money and nhs will test.

JAmanda profile image
JAmanda in reply to sobs1962

I know tests cost a lot but having a baseline is essential. Maybe try to find a new Endo from the Thyroid U.K. list and see if they’ll take you on?

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to JAmanda

I presume you're talking about a private endo, so that's not going to happen as they charge hundreds just for a consultation. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as doctors tend to not listen and fob you off.

JAmanda profile image
JAmanda in reply to sobs1962

No I wasn’t talking about private nhs. If your symptoms have not been alleviated by the care from your doc you’ve a right to see an nhs Endo undervNICE guidelines.

helvella profile image

I'd not be taking berberine instead of statins. It doesn't appear to do the same job at all. And it is important to properly understand the potential side effects of berberine-containing products.

userotc profile image
userotc in reply to helvella

With care, sides for berberine (generally minor) can be avoided Agree?

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to userotc

Like so many therapeutic substances, it isn't always easy to see what effects it can have outside the headline claims.

This paper claims an impact on thyroid levels. Which is a very important potential impact in anyone who already has thyroid issues.

Maurya H, Dhiman S, Dua K, Gupta G. Pharmacological Effect of Berberine Chloride in Propyl Thiouracil Induced Thyroidal Dysfunction - A Time Bound Study in Female Rats. Recent Pat Drug Deliv Formul. 2016;10(2):165-73. doi: 10.2174/1872211310666160321123610. PMID: 26996367.

userotc profile image
userotc in reply to helvella

Thanks, Ive now saved the link. To be honest, I cant think of too many things to take that dont cause some sort of adverse effect at least under certain conditions. Maybe water....if clean, free of.......well, maybe not water then! It's very tricky for naturopaths etc when trying to help make people healthier (despite regular criticism!).

Doctors get away with it as they are bullet-proof!

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to userotc

Yes, agreed but surely taking something that has been used in Eastern medicine for over 2500 years,is better than the risks associated with synthetic drugs

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to sobs1962

The adjective "synthetic" doesn't automatically imply greater risk.

Sometimes we see products based on substances used for over 2500 years, but have little understanding as to how truly they reflect the historic usage.

One tiny anecdote. Yesterday there was a program about Ray Mears - Wild China. He goes with some local medicinal plant collectors and discusses that a specific plant found at a location might be used to produce a specific effect, whereas from another location (possibly higher altitude) it might have the opposite effect.

userotc profile image
userotc in reply to sobs1962

Totally agree - I think you meant to reply to helvella, who has now replied?. I think Dr Axe (my link earlier) has it about right by suggesting careful management. As an example, my mum tried berberine for a recent UTI and we considered it safe despite having CKD because it was only for a few days and her CKD is only stage 3a.

I think/hope you have my negative views on statins following family experiences.


Yes, you want to steer clear of statins.

Berberine has many uses, I used it for gut infections but it also lowers blood sugars as well as cholesterol and a whole myriad of other stuff. It is not recommended for long term use and will only be a sticking plaster as opposed to addressing the root cause.

I would say to look at thyroid replacement meds because elevated cholesterol is a classic symptom of inadequate thyroid hormone levels.

If you have familial high cholesterol (I do) it is important to take medication to lower your cholesterol, After waiting too long and doctors messing me about I had to have urgent surgery because I had a 90% blocked artery. I cant take statins because I have Fibro so i take Repatha which is really effective and no side effects for lowering cholesterol. I suggest if you are hypo and cant lower your cholesterol with the right blood results and the proper diet, get checked for familial high cholesterol - its a ticking time bomb!

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to zoobie

I can't be checked for familial high cholesterol as am adopted and do not eat a diet high in saturated fats as had gall bladder removed over 25 years ago and at it's my body so I decide what I put in it , not them especially as they're being dictated to by the greedy pharmaceutical industry who just want to make more profits at the expense of the health of the patients ,it's a really serious moral dilemma, not to mention the fact that Gp surgeries are given financial incentives to prescribe these drugs.

zoobie profile image
zoobie in reply to sobs1962

You can still be checked for familial high cholesterol (DNA test) . I had my (healthy) gall bladder removed 37 years ago and have always had stomach problems. I also decide what to put into my body - but some medications are vital for good health. Normally I would say just listen to your body, but with cholesterol and high blood pressure there are no warning signs so I say better safe than sorry - you pays your money you makes your choice. Everybody to their own XXXX

Miffie profile image
Miffie in reply to sobs1962

I have familial cholesterol was diagnosed despite being adopted. I seem to recall a blood test was taken to determine if this was the case . It was some years ago so not too clear on the specifics.

This came some time after a diagnosis of T2 diabetes , I have taken a statin since the familial diagnosis. My cholesterol is now 4 and I take a reduced dose now for maintenance this is despite my fT3 being at rock bottom. We are all very different.

Tell your GP you want to be tested for familial before making a definitive decision. Good luck

JaneChapple profile image
JaneChapple in reply to Miffie

Most patients feel better f their FT3 is in the top half of the range. Low T3 syndrome can cause all sorts of problems. Its a shame doctors and endos refuse to measure the FT3 test so we get the whole picture of the thyroid.

Nest wishes


Miffie profile image
Miffie in reply to JaneChapple

Thank you for taking time to comment.

Yes our GPs these days know so much less about thyroid care than at any other time since I was diagnosed sixty years ago. Actually I benefited initially from blood tests as I was too young to understand what ‘normal’ was when first diagnosed and accepted lots of symptoms without complaining until in my thirties a GO told me they were too low! What a revelation a dose increase was.

I really only meant to point out that despite a spell with rock bottom T3 I was fortunate this did not impact my cholesterol level. I can only assume that in my case it’s because I have familial cholesterol. However I could be wrong about that.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to Miffie

How can they possibly do that . I know what my biological mother was called but absolutely no clue about my biological father, surely they need to look at the person's medical records to find out and they can't do that unless they know who the person was, not to mention the fact that all medical records are destroyed after a person dies, not sure how long after but know this is true.

Miffie profile image
Miffie in reply to sobs1962

I do know how they came up with that answer but I see zoobie had the same. I assume there is some gene variant. I may read up on it now.

Miffie profile image
Miffie in reply to sobs1962

I have now had a look into this and see that gene testing will tell if we carry a gene which leads to cholesterol problems. Perhaps asking your GP or endo might be a good starting point? I had no idea I was being tested for familial, in fact when I was referred I was expecting a lecture on diet despite not eating the ‘wrong’ foods. I explained I had no family history and thought no more about it until told the results.

I see your ratio is quite high with a low hdl which isn’t good, along with high triglyceride levels I expect your GP is concerned about all three being indicators of a situation which needs addressing.

The triglycerides are a slightly different matter and can be linked to obesity or diabetes. I eat a low carb diet and despite diabetes mine are almost in range at 1.8, 1.7 is the preferred max. My GP and diabetic nurse seem to feel that my diet helps keep these at an almost good level.

Take care

JGBH profile image
JGBH in reply to zoobie

I had no idea one can’t take statins if you have fibromyalgia. Could you please give me some evidence because I am totally unawares. Not that I would want to take statins…

zoobie profile image
zoobie in reply to JGBH

Its a known fact - I dont know where it come from but when I tried taking statins I had a lot more pain. google - statins and fibromyalgia and you will be able to read about it x

JGBH profile image
JGBH in reply to zoobie

Thanks, I will check it out.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to zoobie

That's good information to know, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia some twenty years ago and was able to push it to ne side and get on with my life. But now am 59have major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety and and borderline personality disorder and my doctor has,just reduced my levo from 100mcg to 87.5 mcg and the last few days, I have zero energy , pain in neck and shoulders, headaches and they've told me to get a covid test!!! Honestly they are unbelievable. When I feel up to going for a walk, which isn't often, I get pain in my hips and thighs and feel wiped out the next day. Current doctor doesn't appear to want to listen and/or doesn't care, so don't really know where to go from here.

You could try plant sterols for reducing cholesterol . You can get them from health food stores in tablet form or they are also in Benecol butter and Flora Active and those little Benecol yoghurt type drinks which you can get from decent supermarkets . It’s lowered mine .

zoobie profile image
zoobie in reply to Yellup1

None of these help with familial High cholesterol

Yellup1 profile image
Yellup1 in reply to zoobie

Mine’s genetic if that’s the same thing as familial and it has helped . But I guess everyone’s different and maybe because it’s helped me doesn’t mean it will help the next person .

zoobie profile image
zoobie in reply to Yellup1

Exactly, genetic and familial are the same :)

Yellup1 profile image
Yellup1 in reply to zoobie


Your call. Our personal experience includes increased billirubin for my dad after a few months on statins before he stopped. GP essentially agreed it was that and mum's nephrologist also agreed can adversely affect liver (after just offering them to her!!).

zoobie profile image
zoobie in reply to userotc

thats why you need regular blood tests to keep a check on these things

userotc profile image
userotc in reply to zoobie

Yes, I understand the "theory" of that. But, in dad's case, his billirubin went to 50% above-range at 30umol/l when measured almost 2yrs after he started on the statin which was >1 year after he decided to stop it so there was a lag. It's dropped to pre-statin, normal levels and remained there for the subsequent 4 years.

No-one knows what damage it may have caused had he not gone against the surgery's advice to stay on statins!

PS His reason for accepting statin treatment initially (lipid ratio) has been corrected, probably by improved diet & wellbeing. Fingers crossed.

Miffie profile image
Miffie in reply to userotc

I am so sorry to hear your father had such a dreadful reaction. I have been very lucky, have taken them for years and have had consistently good liver function test results. In the last two and a half to three years I have been checked six monthly. Probably an age thing or because my cholesterol was showing good results. I have been on a low statin for sometime now despite familial hypercholesterolemia. I think it shows that whilst for some taking a statin it isn’t a problem in fact it is beneficial ( like myself) for others they are really not a suitable choice.

If I didn’t have familial I would not have taken them but tried to reduce by diet and lifestyle which is a much better option just I have not known any familial for whom it has made any improvement. I am so glad that route worked for your father.

userotc profile image
userotc in reply to Miffie

Thanks. And glad you're also under control - we agree statins make sense with familial.

Hi, I refused statins initially. Firstly, I need to say that I eat a low fat diet by choice because I loathe fatty foods. Before I went on Thyroxine my cholesterol registered10. It lowered to 7.5 after that and stayed static. It was assumed 'to be normal for me'. I still wouldn't budge. However, four years ago I was struggling to pronounce words easily and a diffusion weighted MRI scan showed that I had suffered a small stroke with mild damage and narrowing in the external capsule in my brain (the hub). That was a shock and I have happily take Atorvastatin 40mg daily since then. My cholesterol is still around 5.5 or so, even now. I could kick myself for being so stubborn in the beginning. It has to be a personal choice and I regret mine. Take care and stay well.


Before you consider statins, read the great cholesterol con by Dr Malcolm Kendrick, if that doesn't convince you how pointless they are nothing will. He pulled together all the available statistics in the book proving beyond doubt that the protection provided by statins is so small as to be not worth bothering about for most men and all women. He explains how to treat naturally too, you can probably pick it up second hand on amazon

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to Carys21

Have ordered book and will read , have also tried to convince my husband not to take his statins as believe they are what caused his type 2 diabetes and all he said was I read too much shit on the Internet.

Carys21 profile image
Carys21 in reply to sobs1962

I read a post some years ago that said when he presented his findings in the Cholesterol Con to the British Medical Council they agreed with it, then went on to totally ignore it. The presentation was on you tube, don't know if it is still there. His other book Doctoring Data is even more of an eye opener, he has pulled together all the NHS/pharmaceutical based scientific studies on cancer screening, heart attacks / strokes, alcohol intake etc and dissected them in an easy to read format, proving that they are meaningless too, and in some cases following the NHS medical advice can damage your health. Put me off visiting doctors for life 🤨

Does his book also talk about familial high cholesterol?

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to zoobie

Not sure but can't be checked for that as,am adopted.

radd profile image
radd in reply to sobs1962


You can have it.

It is simply a blood test that will check for the gene variant. I can't remember without reading the entire thread again but didn't you say your family have it? It this is the case then your GP should be open to testing you for it.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to zoobie


As I said in an earlier post - a DNA test is necessary. this will show up any hereditory illnesses

Hi sobs1962. The Dr put me on Statins and I had one of the side effects, extremely painful leg cramps so I had to stop them. At one time Drs seemed to be putting everyone one them, but I have several friends who no longer take them. I wasn’t aware they could cause Dementia or type 2 Diabetes

Hello sobs 1962,

Ten years ago I had a stroke and was prescribed statins, which I took. However, after a couple of months I felt I wasn't recovering as well as I should have been, and I felt lousy. I was getting muscle pains in the stronger, unaffected, side of my body. I sat down and read all of the leaflets which came with the various medications I was on. I decided that statins were the likely culprit and stopped taking them. My NHS physiotherapist was horrified when I told her and insisted I consuled a doctor. I rang up to make an appointment and was very fortunate in the doctor I consulted, who said: "If you line up five doctors, you'll get five different opinions on the nett benefits or otherwise of statins. I'm at the sceptical end of the spectrum. If you're not getting on with statins, bin them".

I went on to make a full recovery. However, the vast majority of GPs want to prescribe statins, and they keep trying - unsuccessfully - to persuade me to have them again. I tried statins in good faith, I listened to what my body was telling me, and I did much bettter without them.

My advice, based on personal experience, is not to take statins. If you search on You Tube, you'll find plenty of similar anecdotes.

Dr Aseem Malhotra has a book out he’s a cardiologist in UK.Look him up on Fb and he’s lifestyle medicine doctor on Instagram.

My cholesterol has always been high but my ratio is low apparently so I’ve never yet been offered statins. My recent cholesterol test showed a lower reading of 6.9 but again my ratio is low due to the good cholesterol. I now take sea buckthorn oil supplements for a number of issues dryness being the main one but apparently it is also good for cholesterol.

I’ve only ever heard bad things about statins, my husband took them and kept getting stomach pains to the point he was sent for a ct scan. Stopped the statins and the pain went away, the cause was unknown until he had an increase in amount, pain got instantly worse so the culprit was obvious.

I think I’ll just take the sea buckthorn oil supplements.

I second the use of plant sterols, these have worked very well for me and as a result I’ve managed to avoid statins. I seem to have genetic cholesterol (untested but both parents have high cholesterol).

Nutri Advanced range have very good plant sterols (Sterol 117), I can highly recommend these.

On Nutri Advanced blog they recommend that if you do take statins you need to supplement with CoQ10 as statins deplete this from your body which causes negative impact on bodily systems, energy production, heart health and general health.

I was given statins years ago , simvastatin. Within a very short while I went from someone who used to work walk from a camp site we stayed on inti the nearest town, used to be a brisk half hour walk. I also became really depressed.

Back then I knew nothing about statins so I don’t think it was psychological. By the time we got back from that holiday I had stopped them and gradually got back to normal. I went on to read a lot about them and their benefits and decided that because of the side effects they were not for me. Especially as I’ve since read about how they can increase your risk of developing T2 diabetes.

I spoke to the doctor when I got home and was offered a ‘better’ (more expensive) statin but turned it down and the doctor I saw suggested I start taking Benecol type supplements. She said there had been good results with them.

I find it worrying that the level of acceptable cholesterol has come down over the years - someone recently said on here it used to be about 6.5 - now it is down to about 4. It is beginning to look like the patient just can’t win.

So between the ever changing goal posts, the myriad of ailments that statins seem to be quoted as possibly curing I’m always waiting for an announcement that they will cure cancers, make the blind see again and raise the dead,

The reason the acceptable level has decreased is because the drug companies do research that is total biased in their favour and they can then tell doctors to prescribe statins at a much lower level and the more prescriptions, the more money they make. There profits are already in trillions as it is.

Exactly! It’s very worrying isn’t it.

I wouldn't take statins, it's like being told to sugar your tea or coffee, no evidence to support they are beneficial and like sugar can harm you, best avoided. I had contact recently with a GP who is agin them, said he's never read any reliable research that proves they are worth taking.

My cholesterol went through the roof after my thyroidectomy and I have tried 3 statins and first 2 added even more crippling pains to my already psoriatic arthritis ridden body and I tried a 3rd statin and the pill made me pee blood which I never noticed at first and couple of months past thought I was good on this statin then Anemia hit me hard this is when I noticed the blood in the toliet which looking back it was their after starting this statin but I chalked it up to having a new toilet pipe installed (thought it was rust) from the cast iron.

I definitely have a family connection to cholesterol and healthy diet, exercise and being thin had no barring on cholesterol levels.

Has anyone tried red rice for cholesterol? I actually had my Endo mention it to me.

1piglet profile image
1piglet in reply to Batty1

I have tried it, but I am familial, so neither them nor plant sterols touched me.

Batty1 profile image
Batty1 in reply to 1piglet

Oh … did you have any adverse reaction to red rice?

1piglet profile image
1piglet in reply to Batty1

No, no bad re-action at all - just didn't touch my high cholesterol. But we are all different, the friend that put me on to it - who really struggled badly with muscle pain in his legs when on statins and was forced to come off them - he has taken red rice yeast for years now and it works a treat on him! Best of luck to you.

Afternoon, thank you all for the information above. I have been prescribed statins and have felt wiped out since, considering I was struggling before (im in my early 40s, male, underactive) I've had a noticeable lack of strength everywhere and pooped 24/7 and its been 3 months on them.

After years of taking most things given by GPs, (i'm a carer with two young boys) i am starting to properly look at the information out there and listen to my own body. So I'll be coming off them too, does anyone know of any proven replacements that can help? I try and excercise but its tough

Marz profile image
Marz in reply to TinnTin

Maybe consider inflammatory markers like CRP or ESR. Dr Sarah Myhill has a great website and I read in a book of hers that the benefit of a statin was the anti-inflammatory element - so take VitD.

When you think about it if there is small damage to the arterial wall caused by inflammation - then cholesterol acts like a sticking plaster to protect. Additional build up is called plaque and can be the cause of heart events.

If your B12 is low then Homocysteine can be raised and is another marker for heart issues and strokes and can be also be found in plaque .... 🌞

TinnTin profile image
TinnTin in reply to Marz

Thank you Marz, thats really helpful, I'll check out that website tonight 👍

Marz profile image
Marz in reply to TinnTin

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to TinnTin


Suggest you get FULL thyroid and vitamin testing, perhaps you are under medicated or low vitamin levels

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 plus both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested.

Also EXTREMELY important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Do you always get same brand levothyroxine at each prescription

Many people find different brands are not interchangeable

Bloods should be retested 6-8 weeks after any dose change or brand change in levothyroxine

all thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and before eating or drinking anything other than water .

Last dose of Levothyroxine 24 hours prior to blood test. (taking delayed dose immediately after blood draw).

I once met a very nice doctor who told me that the only reason cholesterol ever causes a problem is if the inside of your veins is rough and uneven, and that is dependent on your genetic make-up. This was after another doctor had prescribed me statins and I had developed such severe muscle problems that I was told to stop them immediately. I still have high cholesterol 25 years later and I'm just as healthy now as I was then. I will never again touch a statin.

I wouldn't tell GP you want to take berberine, sobs1962 - my experience of admitting to natural remedies was eye rolling, tut tutting and blaming when they can't find answers !

A v. confident friend of mine just told her GP she'd rather not take statins and asked if he took them? Was told no , but that he had a surgery to maintain! The system is so wrong....

My own experience is that optimal thyroid treatment corrects v. high cholesterol, among other problems. In any case, you do need cholesterol for the brain, as already mentioned. I've been taking garlic and hawthorn tablets for many years and survived a t.i.a. which I believe now was the start of B12 deficiency problems. B12 reduces high homocysteine and risk of stroke.

I have tried every statin. They all had serious side effects. Not a single doctor pointed out how the high levels were caused by hypothyroidism. Statins are the most wide spread drug used in the world. Maybe it's just about profit?

I pointed that out to my then GP who smiled sweetly because she knew it was true - and said that I was ‘within the range’.

‘The range’ alas is monsterously huge - to be out of it in either direction doesn’t bear thinking about but I know when my TSH was rock bottom when I had Graves my cholesterol was the lowest it has ever been.

Alas, I feel that some GPs think that any woman ( mainly women I’d say - I doubt if men get the same reaction although I don’t know for sure) who asks for an increase in their thyroxine to make them feel better is looked upon as someone who is sneakily trying to get it to help them lose weight and it’s up to them as their doctor to make it their mission to thwart them - si they offer the anti depressants 😱 I know, I’m beyond cynical.

You're not too cynical. Men get ignored by doctors in different ways. Seems like they expect us to either not get sick or just shut up and take it. I could tell you stories.....

Good luck.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to Phil865

Believe me it is all about profit and nothing else that's companies are making trillions and their research is carried out in a sneaky underhand way and noone can get access,to it to challenge it. They are truly horrible people putting profits before anything else.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to Phil865

Sorry replied to wrong person. Profit before anything else. Sneaky underhand people carrying out research that noone else has access to to challenge it. Making the medical profession believe its all above aboard,nothing could be further from the truth. Take a drug, get side effects, take another drug, all about money ,money money .People's health doesn't come into it.

I tried every statin under the sun and ended up in such joint pain that I had to stop. One doctor suggested Red Yeast Rice and she said she heard people have good results. I haven’t tried it yet.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to JackiePooh

The active constituent of Red Rice Yeast is the same as some statins (e.g. lovastatin). It also has a very variable potency.

Some supplement vendors refuse to sell it at all.

Pretty poor of a doctor to recommend anything without actually knowing about the product, at all.

Thanks for mentioning Berberine. Just googled it and it helps with high blood pressure too. Think I'll try it.


Polaris profile image
Polaris in reply to Phil865

Thanks for the reminder! I bought some a while ago, put it in the fridge and forgot why I bought it 😳.

Phil865 profile image
Phil865 in reply to Polaris

Don't you hate when that happens? LOL! I had some that expired and got tossed out because I forgot what it was for too.

Polaris profile image
Polaris in reply to Phil865

That's one solved - I have a cupboardful of remedies that tumble out when opened - most of which I've also forgotten why bought 🤦‍♀️

High cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease, underactive thyroid function does.

I'm a pharmacist and I don't recommend that you take a statin.

Dr Stephen Sinatra, MD stated in his book (The Great Cholesterol Myth) that women should NEVER take a statin, that it should only be used to treat patients who've already had heart attacks and would benefit from the ANTI-INFLAMMATORY effect of statin drugs, not their cholesterol-lowering ability.

There also appears to be an issue when attempting to lower cholesterol by using levothyroxine only:

Dr. Broda Barnes used NDT to treat his patients and a side benefit was that of lowering elevated cholesterol levels.


Really interesting read thanks everyone.. im on the colesterol problem right now . I stop taking t4 due to a rash . Rash has calmed down and basically gone. And ive been fine taking bloods . T4 t3 all low ..colesterol tri low hcl normal/high ldl very high. So this all kinda tally's up with what your sll saying.But i do have high cholesterol in the family. Couple of uncles from years back died of heart attacks... And theres thyroid in my family... Parents both on statins.. bit mum now suffers osteoporosis andnhas had a new hip and now got knee problems. Dad had a stent years back. But also has been a heavy drinker all hea life.hes now 80.mum is 75.

I have refused statins as i have told the endo i wajt to get thyroid levels sorted before anything... Asked yer to test t3 she refused as expected..

They haven't given me to much stress about it yet .

Im starting back in t4 at low does. Again.

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