Statins and diabetes; truth, consequences, or a combination of both.
Statins are commonly given a bad rap for their side effects, one being the risk of type 2 diabetes.
While it seems logical that high cholesterol increases the risk of some sort of cardiovascular event, many doctors including cardiologists place many folks on these medicines with the belief that they harmlessly will help us live longer. Some of our patients who had relatively low cholesterol have found themselves taking these drugs.
Before undergoing any medical treatment, the idea of benefits vs. risks should be considered. Just recently, a patient who was on a relatively low dose of a statin found that the drug made her muscles sore, and found it harder to walk upstairs without getting winded.
It is also well known that years of taking statins can increase the dementia risk as cholesterol is needed not only by the muscles but by the brain as well to function normally.
Of course, there is the risk of diabetes type 2 as well.
There is little evidence of patients actually living longer after taking these medications for years while treating the what-if disease caused by cholesterol supposedly. In other medical circles, it is apparent that many cardiovascular events are prevented by reducing inflammation in the body.
The NY Times recently discussed the pros and cons of these medications and if they actually caused diabetes. The problem is that many people have genetically adapted to their high cholesterol and scientists are still trying to understand how that works. We are not all alike and treating the wrong person with a statin can have life-altering results. Perhaps, this is why so many people taking statins are either tolerating the side effects of achy muscles and a loss of stamina for the greater good while others are forgoing the medication and still living into their 90s.
Check out the NY Times article on Statins and Diabetes below
Do Statins Increase the Risk of Diabetes?
These cholesterol-lowering medications have gotten a bad rap. Here’s why.
By Jyoti Madhusoodanan Oct. 25, 2022
Q: Do statins increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes?
If you’re among the tens of millions of Americans who could benefit from taking a cholesterol-lowering medication and yet don’t take one, your hesitance may partly stem from worries about its side effects, said Dr. Savitha Subramanian, an endocrinologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.
Statins, which help lower levels of LDL (or “bad” cholesterol) in the blood, can cause side effects such as headache, muscle pain, brain fog and fatigue. But one of the most worrisome among them for many people is the increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, where the body fails to properly regulate and use sugar (or glucose) as fuel.
While Type 2 diabetes is a real concern, Dr. Subramanian said, that doesn’t mean you should automatically avoid statins. Here’s why.