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Are Statins the New Gateway Drug?

Posted Feb 24 2009 5:40pm

So, you go to your doctor’s office and get your cholesterol checked. Standard operating procedure, right?

We have been taught since grade school that low cholesterol levels are the best way to lower your heart disease risk.

So, if you DO happen to have “high cholesterol”, and the definition of “high cholesterol” keeps getting lower and lower all of the time, it’s likely that your doctor will put you on the ‘standard treatment’ to reduce heart disease risk- a statin drug.

If you have a GREAT doctor, hopefully it will be recommended that you do some lifestyle changes: eat better, get some exercise, add Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet, etc. and check your cholesterol level in a few months.

But if you have a “Standard American Doctor”, it’s likely that you will get sent home with a statin the first time you are told that you have “High Cholesterol”.

Statins come by many names: Crestor, Baycol, Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor, Lescol among others. The intended effect of all of these drugs is to reduce your cholesterol- which they are generally very good at.

But at what PRICE do these drugs lower your cholesterol?

In many cases, statins are just the start of the “drug list” that you end up carrying around in your wallet in case of emergency.

Could statins be the “gateway drug” that makes you NEED all those other drugs in the first place?

There are MANY published studies that show that statins cause many different problems- most of which “require” another drug to “fix”.

The Crestor- CRP study showed a significantly increased rate of diabetes among Crestor users. This obviously requires one or two new drugs: insulin and/or an antidiabetic drug (or two).

Most people who are on two or three different prescription drugs often have heartburn and get a prescription antacid to help with that symptom.

Both prescription antacids as well as diabetic drugs have been shown to cause an INCREASE in fractures among older women.

Aha! Another drug added to the mix- an osteoporosis drug known as a bisphosphenate.

Another study shows a significant increase in depression with the use of statins. Now you “need” an antidepressant, another boon to the pharmaceutical industry. However, a great study shows that men with low cholesterol and who have depression are at much greater risk of dying than other men!!

Great trade off.

Lets not forget that one of the notorious effects of statins is muscle weakness, muscle wastin g and a serious condition called Rhabdomyolysis- a life threatening muscle wasting condition that will put you into the ICU for a few days.

Oh, and studies show that prescription antacids ALSO cause muscle weakness, muscle pain. All of that muscle weakness will probably keep you at home more- increasing your risk of osteoporosis and depression even more!

I forgot that the myositis- another word for muscle pain- will force you to need some pain medication for “non specific” muscle pain. The pain medication will probably make you constipated - with the inevitable drug, a stool softener or the need for laxatives.

If you make it through all of that without cancer or the need for a liver transplant – a couple more of the unfortunate “adverse effects” of statins, then the diabetes has now increased your chance of getting Alzheimers disease- and the need for a few more drugs (that don’t work very well).

Ahhh, but the relief of knowing that you have a 1% less risk of heart disease that COULD have been managed simply with diet, exercise and a few targeted supplements- Priceless!

Kerri Knox,RN

Functional Medicine Practitioner

http://www.easy-immune-health.com

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