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Atorvastatin

Anna70

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Hi Everyone. I have very high cholesterol, my LDL is 203 and HDL is 65 with total cholesterol of 290. My grandmother had this and my mother has this too So it runs in the family. My doctor prescribed atorvastatin 20mg daily but I am very scared to take the medication. What if it messes up my liver or blood?
 

MATD

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My suggestion: I would suggest you do some serious research for yourself. There has been suggestions that higher levels of cholesterol are not as harmful as they were thought to be at first. Second, diet. Research for foods that can help lower your cholesterol naturally, eliminate as much fat as possible from your diet, replace red meats with more poultry and fish or other sources of protein, and get into an exercise routine that can also help. I think it would be wiser to approach high cholesterol naturally versus taking drugs that have the known side effects like statins do. Give it some time and work at it from the natural aspect before you pull the trigger on medication. As you said, it is known that higher cholesterol levels can be hereditary, but don’t ignore your levels based on this information. You do have options.
 

Anna70

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Thank you for your response, MATD. I will talk to my doctor about this because she wrote about the medication in the notes a week or two after my appointment almost a month ago.
 
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Phillies Phan

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I’ve been on 20mg of Atorvastatin, aka Lipitor for over 20 years. I have had zero side effects. In the beginning they check liver function (blood test) just to be certain the statin isn’t affecting it which is rare..if it is, they just stop the meds. By the way, Google the believed positive attributes of statins which include cancer protection.

My LDL and Triglycerides have been great all these years as has my total cholesterol. Don’t let fear mongers stop you.
 

kivyt73

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I have taken atorvastatin 10 mgs for almost 20 years since I was 29. It controls my cholesterol very well and no issues. If you need it, try not to worry. Like mentioned they will check your liver functions and if they are impacted they will take you off of it.
 

Anna70

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Thank you for your posts, Phillies Phan and Kivyt73. <3 <3. I will post an update later in the week.
 

suzzeeb

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I take it too. No side effects. If it is genetic, diet and exercise alone probably won't lower it very much. I waited a long time before starting a statin because I was worried about taking it, but mine was even higher than yours and I couldn't get it down so I decided to take it. Always better not to take any medication but sometimes may be necessary. You don't have to take it, though. It's a decision you have to make.
 

blueberries

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The great cholesterol debate!! I've been going back and forth in my mind on this one for years. My cholesterol is high, though not quite as high as yours. One doctor screamed (literally) at me and said I'm going to have a heart attack if I don't take a statin. Another one told me I need to go on 80 mgs, another told me 10 mgs is fine, another told me I don't need to be on one. Doctors can't agree on this. I finally went on one (10 mgs of atorvastatin) and my cholesterol did come down to an acceptable level. But does bringing it down to an acceptable level really protect against heart disease? There are plenty of people out there who say it does and plenty who don't. There are plenty of websites and facebooks groups that adamantly say statins don't do a bit of good and come with too many side effects. The pro and con groups will look at the exact same study and come up with totally opposite conclusions.

The Seven Countries Study is what much of today's recommendations are based on and it shows a very clear link between the amount of fat consumed and the incidence of heart disease. The amount of fat consumption in United States, Japan, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands and Finland was looked at and there was a clear relationship between saturated fat intake, cholesterol levels and heart disease. The more fat you ate the higher your cholesterol was and the higher the rate of heart disease. However, when the study was analyzed further, a big flaw was seen - there were actually 22 countries studied, but the person who led this study chose to report on only the countries that fit his own hypothesis. Had he chosen another group of 7 countries from the 22 he would have come up with an entirely different conclusion, that being that high amounts of fat protect against heart disease.

There are other factors to look at instead of cholesterol numbers only. For instance, the ratio of triglycerides to HDL, this should be 2 or less. The closer you can get to zero the better. There are other ratios that are important to look at which you can google to calculate. Also, you can ask for a coronary calcium scan. This will show the actual amount of calcified plaque building up in your arteries.

When I was first told I need to get it down I did everything I could - gave up red meat, dairy, cut down on fat, used my exercise bike consistently 30 minutes a day, sometimes twice a day. I was on an all out effort to show my doctor I didn't need to go on statins, I could do it myself. Six months later when I went for a recheck I was shocked to find that my cholesterol was higher than ever. It was probably another 10 years before I finally started taking atorvastatin even though I was very much against it. I've read enough on this and seen enough studies to give me plenty of reason not to take a statin. On the other hand I've seen enough to contradict all of that. And then more to contradict what has been contradicted.

After being on the statin for a couple of years I gave it up earlier this year. I get my blood checked next month, I can't even guess what it will show - good? bad? I don't know!

Best things you can do for yourself if give up sugar, eat anti-inflammatory foods, watch the kinds of fat you eat.
 

Phillies Phan

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The great cholesterol debate!! I've been going back and forth in my mind on this one for years. My cholesterol is high, though not quite as high as yours. One doctor screamed (literally) at me and said I'm going to have a heart attack if I don't take a statin. Another one told me I need to go on 80 mgs, another told me 10 mgs is fine, another told me I don't need to be on one. Doctors can't agree on this. I finally went on one (10 mgs of atorvastatin) and my cholesterol did come down to an acceptable level. But does bringing it down to an acceptable level really protect against heart disease? There are plenty of people out there who say it does and plenty who don't. There are plenty of websites and facebooks groups that adamantly say statins don't do a bit of good and come with too many side effects. The pro and con groups will look at the exact same study and come up with totally opposite conclusions.

The Seven Countries Study is what much of today's recommendations are based on and it shows a very clear link between the amount of fat consumed and the incidence of heart disease. The amount of fat consumption in United States, Japan, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands and Finland was looked at and there was a clear relationship between saturated fat intake, cholesterol levels and heart disease. The more fat you ate the higher your cholesterol was and the higher the rate of heart disease. However, when the study was analyzed further, a big flaw was seen - there were actually 22 countries studied, but the person who led this study chose to report on only the countries that fit his own hypothesis. Had he chosen another group of 7 countries from the 22 he would have come up with an entirely different conclusion, that being that high amounts of fat protect against heart disease.

There are other factors to look at instead of cholesterol numbers only. For instance, the ratio of triglycerides to HDL, this should be 2 or less. The closer you can get to zero the better. There are other ratios that are important to look at which you can google to calculate. Also, you can ask for a coronary calcium scan. This will show the actual amount of calcified plaque building up in your arteries.

When I was first told I need to get it down I did everything I could - gave up red meat, dairy, cut down on fat, used my exercise bike consistently 30 minutes a day, sometimes twice a day. I was on an all out effort to show my doctor I didn't need to go on statins, I could do it myself. Six months later when I went for a recheck I was shocked to find that my cholesterol was higher than ever. It was probably another 10 years before I finally started taking atorvastatin even though I was very much against it. I've read enough on this and seen enough studies to give me plenty of reason not to take a statin. On the other hand I've seen enough to contradict all of that. And then more to contradict what has been contradicted.

After being on the statin for a couple of years I gave it up earlier this year. I get my blood checked next month, I can't even guess what it will show - good? bad? I don't know!

Best things you can do for yourself if give up sugar, eat anti-inflammatory foods, watch the kinds of fat you eat.
Excellent post Blue. All I would add is we need to use good old common sense. Eating saturated fats adds weight and to waist circumference. Neither are desired when trying to ward off not only heart disease, but various cancers.
 
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