Statins May Lower Cholesterol…But Beware of Side Effects
Cholesterol is a sterol that is needed by the body but when your cholesterol levels significantly increase this is when it can block the arteries and cause life-threatening diseases.
Statins are a medication used to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. They function by inhibiting an enzyme that has a major role in the liver’s production of cholesterol.
Studies have shown that statin prevents cardiovascular diseases caused by increased cholesterol in the blood…but they also cause problems to your health too.
We need to … justify why we choose drugs. We do criticise others for not acting on evidence. We need to be judged by the same criteria. – Doctor Steve Hambleton – Source
Common Side Effects
Although effective in lowering cholesterol level and preventing cardiovascular diseases, statins as medications have various side effects:
- Muscle pain or myalgia is the most common side effect of prolonged intake of statins. Soreness or weakness of muscles causes this pain. Severity ranges from mild to extreme. It may affect simple things such as walking.
- Another common side effect of statins is the increase of the liver enzymes in the body. Statins cause the liver to produce more liver enzymes to aid in cholesterol digestion. This reaction may promote the development of liver damage. If statins affect the liver, administration should be stopped. If statin medications are ceased and your cholesterol levels increase, it may be worthwhile trying to lower cholesterol naturally!
- Statin medications even cause gastrointestinal disturbances like nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Some studies showed that taking statins may affect a person’s neurological state, as some patients taking statins have developed memory loss.
Before taking statins, ask your doctor or health care professional if the benefits brought by taking statins outweigh the tremendous risks to your health due to the potential side effects.
Prolonged use of statins are the main cause of all the side effects and most people are put on statins for a long time. Others are more prone to the side effects of statin medications due to certain health problems they may already have. Risk factors like kidney or liver diseases, a history of diabetes, senior patients over age 65, taking multiple cholesterol medications etc.
What Can You Do?
For those who don’t want to take cholesterol medications, here are some natural ways to reduce cholesterol levels without the negative side effects of statins:
- Losing weight should be the first step in lowering cholesterol levels. Weight and obesity has a lot to do with high cholesterol. Diet and exercise plays a huge part.
- Regular exercise helps you become fit and healthy by burning stored excess fats in the body. These fats can be cholesterols in stored forms.
- Choose what you eat. Cholesterol can be found in certain foods. Avoiding these types of food in your diet will regulate the amount of cholesterol taken in your daily diet and minimize amount of cholesterol in the body. Some fats may not be as bad for you as we have been led to believe. (Scientific links between cholesterol and heart disease called into question. Ref.)
- Fish and fish oils are rich in omega-3, an element that is very good for the heart. Furthermore, fish has the lowest cholesterol content and tends to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Beans and legumes helps lower cholesterol levels by preventing the body from absorbing cholesterol.
There are also natural supplements to help reduce cholesterol levels. These supplements contain all natural ingredients and many are doctor endorsed. Some supplements have a liver cleanse formula to keep the liver healthy too.
In general, proper diet, exercise and strict self-discipline are the key factors that will help you lower and manage your cholesterol levels the natural way – the safest and healthiest way to avoid high cholesterol in the blood and its complications.