Statin Drugs and Cholesterol
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Statin Drugs and Cholesterol

Statin drugs are prescribed for lowering cholesterol. It is important to become well informed about the risks and benefits of statin drugs.

Statin Drugs and Cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol you may have been prescribed Zocor, Crestor, Mevacor, Lipitor or Pravachol or some other statin medication. Whether you should be on a statin medication is of course a decision to be made with your doctor. A full medical examination along with an evaluation of your health history, diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits should be taken into consideration when deciding if you should be on statin drugs. Every patient should be well informed when making a decision on medication. Ask your doctor questions and for more information until you are satisfied and comfortable that you have enough information to make an informed decision. Do not be intimidated or placated by your doctor. If you are uncomfortable let your doctor know that you will get back to her after you have had a couple days to do your research. Do internet research and if you are still not satisfied, consult another doctor and consider a visit to a nutritionist.

The side effects of statin drugs are quite serious and should be discussed thoroughly. Some of the side effects are muscle aches, liver damage, suppressed immune system, digestive upset and emotional agitation and hostility. It is often the case that once you start a statin drug you will be on it indefinitely and perhaps the rest of your life. Liver function has to be monitored regularly if you are on statin drugs.

There is also a fair amount of debate as to statin drugs being over prescribed. Many individuals who have no other risk factors, a very good health history and lifestyle and have only moderately high cholesterol are being prescribed statins when a simple dietary adjustment could be made.

Newsmax health article by Sylvia Booth Hubbard reports on the marketing of statin drugs to healthy individuals as a preventative measure. It would be wise to be especially cautious and diligent to do your research and to take a healthy dose of skepticism before taking a perhaps not so healthy dose of statin medications.

The American Heart Association recommends that your total cholesterol should be below 200 however it is possible to have a high total cholesterol number that is misleading. If your HDL is high and your LDL is at a normal range then your overall number may not be indicative of poor health. The AHA recommends LDL under 100 mg/dL and HDL that is at or above 60 mg/dL. Triglycerides are a third factor in your cholesterol profile with the recommendation from the AHA that it be less than 150 mg/dL. A fasting blood test is the most accurate.

It is important to keep in mind that we need cholesterol to stay healthy. It is natural and healthy to have cholesterol. Cholesterol is an important component in your cells and for the proper functioning of your adrenal system. Without it you would die. There are also risks and poor health conditions resulting from cholesterol levels that are too low. It is debated that what might be a high cholesterol level in one person might be normal and healthy in another. Low cholesterol is associated with depression and anxiety due to the reduction in serotonin resulting from low cholesterol.

Other health and lifestyle related topics:

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Following a well balanced diet and getting fresh air and exercise is your best defense against illness and poor health.

Resources and references:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol-level/AN01394

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/statins/CL00010

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=183

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Comments (2)

Useful information to know.

Very good article, I really appreciate that you mention the side effects as well. Buzzed up :D

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