Years ago I thought I was having a heart attack I was around 36) while hiking a mountain outside of Seattle. My partners were tough guys and I didn’t want to be a wimpy girl. As we approached the halfway point I started sweating, shaking and feeling dizzy. I was a bit freaked out. I chose to sit it out and let the guys go on up the mountain.
The next day I booked an appointment with a cardiologist. The first thing he did was wire me up for a week to track my heart beats. I wore it all day long, even to work outs. At the end of the testing, the cardiologist decided to work me out on the treadmill. As a runner, I enjoyed the challenges of a cardio test! About half way through the doc stated that it was the point ‘most women my age’ fall off. It was insulting, but I ignored it. Docs can be such schmucks.
At the end of all the testing, the only thing he could do was push statins at me. I chose not to take them. That was 20 years ago. My cholesterol is really at the same level now as it was then. The medical community has changed the rules for who should take statins 2 times since then, have changed the cholesterol number rules as well, and new data is out.
While I am not happy about having a heart attack, and really frightened by the face to face interaction with death, I still won’t take statins. And rather than interpret what some doctors are saying, I’m posting a piece by Dr. Mark Hyman who is a leader in functional medicine.
You’ve probably heard of Lipitor, Zocor, and Crestor. You may even be taking one of these cholesterol-lowering drugs, which are known as statins. They are the most commonly prescribed medication, and for years, they’ve been touted as the best way to manage cholesterol.
Now, top Harvard cardiologists are questioning current cholesterol guidelines. The data to support this claim isn’t as solid as we thought, and we are now seeing that statins can cause some serious side effects, such as:
- Muscle pain, damage, and aching
- Mitochondrial damage
- Type 2 diabetes
- Neurologic problems such as memory loss
- Sexual dysfunction
In fact, researchers are now learning that mistakes were made in previous studies, prompting doctors to prescribe statins to patients who really didn’t need them. And this is a dangerous mistake to make, because statins come with some serious risks. More cardiologists are speaking out.
We used to think that there were very few side effects associated with this drug, but the truth is, up to 20 percent of statin users have experienced serious side effects like muscle pain, damage, and aching or high muscle enzymes. Statins can also poison your mitochondria, which are your cells’ energy-production factories and the single most important factor in healthy aging and wellness. Statins can hinder the mitochondria’s ability to produce energy effectively and can even kill cells off completely.
In one study, two groups of overweight, sedentary people were put on an exercise program for 12 weeks. One group was given a statin and the other group wasn’t. After 12 weeks, the group that had been taking the statin saw no improvement in their fitness level. It was as if they hadn’t exercised at all! In fact, when muscle biopsies were performed, doctors found the members of this group had four and a half percent less energy-production capacity in their cells. They were actually in worse condition than before they started the exercise program!
This is quite serious. I believe, in the next 10 years, we’re going to see a backlash against statins. In fact, we’re starting to see it already. We’re seeing now that they may not benefit everybody we thought they would. And we’re seeing that there are some serious risks involved. So, stay tuned for more on this.
In the meantime, I encourage you to read my blogs on statins, which show how they cause diabetes and neurologic problems. Also, read my blogs that explain how you can optimize your cholesterol and get the right type of cholesterol. Learn more about how to take care of your heart in a way that supports your health rather than damages it.