T Nation

Cholesterol Issues

So I had high cholesterol - 9.6 in UK scale which is pretty high - poor mental health and poor eating fuelled each other.

Was put on a statin which brought it down to 5.2 in 12 weeks ( I had cleaned up my diet as well).

During these 12 weeks I’ve been getting horrible side effects which 2 different doctors are ignoring. Leg swelling and feet too. Blisters on both calves which aren’t hesling up, general joint pain, a lot of fatigue and lower back pump/weakness as well.

Made the decision to stop the tablets today and will let my doctor know on Wednesday.

I’ve purchased red rice yeast, niacin and have policosinol too - any further recommendations to these? I’ll get a repeat blood test in 12 weeks time. I am training but can’t stress how difficult it is to drag myself there and deal with not only exercise but moving around in general.

Any help appreciated.

As an update - I’ve been to doctor - they don’t want me to stop statin, doesn’t think its causing my issues and have ordered a blood work up. Got antibiotics for my calve wound I guess I have to call it now. Just walked a a half mile in 20mins and then had a breakdown when I got home due to the pain. Lets see how it goes I guess.

Fibrate can be a good substitute for statins. Ask your doctor about it.

A couple of things. High cholesterol on its own is not dangerous. Although you don’t want runaway high cholesterol. Get your C-Reactive Protein checked. That measures the inflammation in your arteries. Also get your homocysteine levels checked. This is a breakdown product of protein metabolism. When it is found in high concentrations in the blood it can cause heart attack and stroke.

My point in mentioning the two above risk factors is to put high cholesterol in perspective. Is high cholesterol dangerous on it’s own? Not necessarily. But when you have inflammation of the arteries the cholesterol will most certainly stick to the artery walls and then it’s a matter of time before a heart attack occurs. Granted a cholesterol reading of say 280 or higher is certainly something to be concerned with. But if your C reactive Protein is low (it is measured on a 1-3 scale) and your homocysteine is low then the high cholesterol becomes less of a concern.

By the way doctors in the US rarely check the two things that I’ve mentioned because there is no medication to bring either of them down. Sad but true. As a side note B Vitamins in addition to TMG will bring down Homocysteine nicely. Fish oil and regular cardio will help bring down inflammation in the arteries.

Good Luck To You.