The NY Times reports more concerns about cholesterol drugs. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

The NY Times reports more concerns about cholesterol drugs. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Is your LDL or you HDL in line with the recommended numbers? Many people are reminded of this when they get blood work from their doctor and find that even with exercise and diet changes, their cholesterol numbers are higher than their doctors suggest they should be.

Few question the validity of this one size fits all approach though. True enough, we all have an expiration date and nobody knows when this will be. The idea that cholesterol that is higher than these numbers for everyone is suspect. It has sold many people on the idea that if they take a drug to lower their cholesterol, it will improve their chances for getting older gracefully; or will it? The drugs people are placed on like Lipitor have dangerous side effects which affect the liver, muscles and other organs and people who have been on their drugs long term have marked changes to their Liver because of the drugs. On the other hand, before we began to obsess about these drugs, people still lived into their 80’s and 90’s even if their cholesterol was high. Those who are on the drugs find muscular pain is amplified and in our chiropractic office, it is a common problem. They also experience memory loss. Now, the NY Times is telling us that these drugs are even more dangerous than previously thought, so how could that be good for our health?

The bigger question is when do the benefits outweigh the risks? While this is not so simple a question to answer, I believe doctors need to ask themselves this more often. If someone is borderline high in their numbers, or under 300 in their cholesterol numbers, are we adding risk and creating diseases, because we made cholesterol, which is important for muscular function in the body the bogeyman of health care?

Read the article here.

Safety Alerts Cite Cholesterol Drugs’ Side Effects
By GARDINER HARRIS

Federal health officials on Tuesday added new safety alerts to the prescribing information for statins, the cholesterol-reducing medications that are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the world, citing rare risks of memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain.

 

It is the first time that the Food and Drug Administration has officially linked statin use with cognitive problems like forgetfulness and confusion, although some patients have reported such problems for years. Among the drugs affected are huge sellers like Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor and Vytorin. Read more here