Statin Myopathy; is your doctor’s cholesterol obsession harming your health, and what is a healthier option?
Heart problems and the effects of clogged arteries on your heart, brain and circulatory system is a major concern for many of us, especially if one of our parents had had a heart attack or perhaps died from a problem in the circulatory system.
While the familial concerns are valid to a point, there is growing evidence that the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs is nowhere near as effective in preventing heart attacks as perhaps the Mediterranean diet, and perhaps, their effects on your muscles and liver are worse than the disease your doctor is trying to prevent. Preventative care should prevent heart disease and help prolong the quality of life. Unfortunately, there is a growing body of evidence that is suggesting that lowering internal cholesterol medicinally may not have an efficient improvement on our long-term health, and may in fact create disease processes we otherwise might never experience. It is important that any intervention must have a benefit that outweighs the risks, and it is important that doctors of all types seriously consider this when suggesting any medicinal method of prevention.
Big pharma has a large influence in our countries current health policy and the current new cholesterol guidelines are more likely to increase the usage of statin medications than decrease it. Most medical doctors are just following their ever-changing guidelines, although, the side effects of statins and how it affects your muscles are often ignored or minimized by as doctors attempt to follow the guidelines while trying to help you live longer. The problem is, your doctors are working with faulty data, causing long-term harm with a medication that requires you to be constantly monitored for liver and muscular damage.
In a recent article featured in the ACA news by James Lehman D.C.(click here to read it, something I urge you to do), although there is little consensus on the definition of Statin-induced myopathy, chiropractors nationwide see this complication of statin therapy daily in their offices and may not recognize it initially, something you can help them with. While more chiropractors are now asking their patients about statin usage during their initial consultation for their main complaint, it is quite likely that more cases of Statin Myopathy are going to be diagnosed in the future, since the newest statin guidelines are likely to place more people on these drugs, rather than less.
As a chiropractic healthcare practitioner, we are looking out for your best interests and it is in your best interest to be informed and knowledgeable about your health and about any medications you may be taking.
One interesting article suggested it is more important to look at preventative healthcare regimens from a number needed to treat (NNT) perspective. The NNT is typically included in research studies and in many medical reviews.
To put this in perspective for statin therapy for preventative reasons for those with no history of heart disease, 104 persons must take statins to prevent one heart attack. On the other hand, one person in 50 using the NNT develops diabetes because of the drugs and one in 10 (although this number is likely underreported) is likely experiencing muscle damage and pain. In comparison, the Mediterranean diet (has been studied in a large randomized trial and is included on the NNT website ) when studied with a population on this diet for five years has an NNT 0f 61, meaning it is a better and safer choice than using cholesterol medication for the primary prevention of stroke, heart attack or death. Basically, the Mediterranean diet wins hands down for the prevention of heart disease, without causing other diseases. Basically, the diet is a healthy lifestyle change that improves your risk profile.
Fear is a major reason people are also on these medications, especially those with a family history of a heart attack. While nobody can predict who will have a problem and who will not (the technology is just not there yet), it is important for you, the patient to be informed, and knowledgeable when taking any medication or doing any healthcare intervention. If you are well educated, you are likely to choose the Mediterranean style diet and avoid cholesterol medications and it litany of side effects.