The Dangers of Statins Part 3: Mayo Re: Practical Advice

A comment from a viewer saying Statins
kill; a few minutes later, I saw an article by Mayo Clinic about weighing
the benefits and risks. So, it got me going and, again, I’m doing another series
on Statin benefits and risks. This – I’ve done a couple of them so far and I’ll do
several others. We’ll talk about what those are and just – well, actually – let me
just go through the – the items real quick. Yes, statins kill. Everybody – I think
everybody that’s used them would agree but it’s sort of like airplanes kill too –
and cars and trucks and antibiotics and water and oxygen; they all kill. The
question is not whether they kill. The question is – Do the benefits outweigh the
risks? I cover – just did a video on David
Diamond’s STEM talk 41, where he talks about absolute versus relative risk and
saying, “people are lying with statistics” No, they’re not; and I go in and do a
rebuttal of this issue about absolute versus relative risk. You know – again, I
have at one time over half of my – between a third and a half of my patients that
needed that I would recommend Statins; for I did not take Statins; and that’s fine, in
terms of making your own choices. A lot of people choose not to fly; some people
choose not to drive, etc. So, I’m ok with people not doing it but I’m not ok with
people not understanding the details and that’s what this survey – this series is
about. I’ve done a couple of videos on Rory Collins in the statin trial as
grouped; they would – their position would be similar to what mine and I think a
lot of people’s position. And that is – Yes you can get – you do get side effects and
you can get rare deaths with statins but the benefit is huge compared
to – for a low probability group like David Diamond was talking
about – No, you shouldn’t take statins. But, if your risk is 10%, 20%, 40% – which
you can find with CIMT, this issue of relative versus absolute risk becomes a
non-issue. We covered in the last video – the JACC (Journal of the American College of Cardiology) issue about relative versus absolute risk. some of
the lay press like David Diamond’s video and the profound impact it’s had on
public health with so many people stopping their statins. Again, today’s
video is going to be about the Mayo Clinic; very practical if you’re taking a
statin. If you’re not taking a statin, you probably should skip over this video
entirely. Maybe not; you may be interested. So here’s the thing – Mayo Clinic. Statin
side effects. What – before I do just one other comment – I’ll also be doing another
video a little bit later on liver safety. There is actually (believe it or not) a
statin liver safety task force and, again, the short version on that – a spoiler is:
if you don’t – if your liver enzymes don’t triple or go over three times the higher
limit, then you’re safe – believe it or not. So, back to the Mayo
Clinic article; and very practical lay press article. Statins have been highly
effective – safe for most people. They’ve been linked to muscle pain – that
rhabdomyolysis that I talked about – digestive problems, mental fuzziness, etc.
Researchers found a nocebo effect when it comes to perceived muscle pain as
statins. What is a nocebo? A nocebo effect means people have negative
expectations about a medication. They report experiencing the potential
side-effects at higher rates than the drug actually causes. Now, I have a lot of
disagreements with Mayo Clinic. For example, they say I have disagreements
with them about metformin but that’s a different issue for a different time,
I agree with them 100% and JACC talked about this as well. (the
Journal of the American College of Cardiology) this nocebo effect is
killing – killing a lot of people. Very rarely, statins can cause
life-threatening muscle damage. It is life-threatening and it is rare; and it’s
called rhabdomyolysis. Again, rhabdo- is the medical term for muscle. It can
cause severe muscle pain, liver damage, kidney failure, and death. The very risks
– the very serious side effects; risk is extremely low and calculated in a few
cases per million people taking statins. Let me just say that again. Risk of very serious side effects with
statins is extremely low; a few cases per million. So, again, it’s – I’m fine with my
patients that choose not to take statins. But you need to know the facts. Okay.
Liver damage – occasionally, it can cause liver damage. if the
increase in liver enzymes is mild, continue to take the drug. As I said,
we’ll cover that in another video. Basically, mild means anything less than
three times the upper limit of normal for liver functions. Liver enzymes
(ALT and AST) but a practical component. Contact your doctor immediately if
you’re taking statins and you have unusual fatigue, weakness, loss of
appetite, pain in your upper abdomen, dark colored urine, or yellowing of your skin
or eyes. Again, those are classic signs of liver disease. Increased blood sugar or
type 2 diabetes – some people think that it causes diabetes. It doesn’t cause
diabetes. It does increase insulin resistance and that’s a major issue that
I have in terms of statins because my whole legacy goal right now is to get
people to understand how many of us – as in way over half of us
sixty-year-olds have insulin resistance now.
And so, Statins make it worse. So, why would you get them? A couple of points:
number 1, 2 or 3 points; Number 1. The lower dose statins aren’t as –
don’t cause as much – for example, low dose crestor, generic rosuvastatin – doesn’t cause so much. Number 2. There is a statin now
which actually helps to fight insulin resistance. That statin is called
lavalla or pitavastatin. Up until this year though, we had – it was rare to write
a script for it because it cost so much. There are some ways to get pitavastatin
now at better costs. It still costs a lot though. The other statins tend to
cause a little bit more problems in that area and especially higher dose statins.
So, back to the article itself. Statins prevent heart attacks in
people with diabetes. So the relevance of mild increase in sugar values with
statins observed in some people is unclear. The benefit of taking statins
likely outweighs the small risk to have blood sugar level go up. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns. Neurological side effects: Some people have talked about
memory loss, brain fog, confusion. These side effects reverse once you take the
medication. There’s limited evidence to to prove a cause-effect
relationship there. That’s why it wasn’t even listed in some of the other
groups – like Rory Collins’s group. There’s also been evidence that they they may
help with brain function. For example, in people with dementia, this is still being
studied. Don’t stop taking your statin before
talking to your doctor. Here’s a risk of developing statin side effects. Here’s
some of the risks taking multiple lower multiple medications to lower your
cholesterol – being female, smaller body frame, being eighty or older, having
kidney or liver disease already, drinking too much
alcohol, (oops) and having certain conditions such as
hypothyroidism, or ALS. How to relieve statin side-effects? Take a break from
statins for a week or two; switch to another statin drug; change your dose;
lowering your dose may reduce some of the side effects. Now, according to them
it may reduce some of the cholesterol-lowering benefits and, again,
according to me and a whole bunch of other people – it’s not
cholesterol-lowering anyway. It’s the cardiovascular inflammation lowering.
Take it easy when exercising. And that’s just – unaccustomed vigorous exercise. I
have a lot of folks (myself included) who do very vigorous exercise on low-dose
statins. I used to have – I had some problems for a while with some calf
cramping but, again, not that bad; and I didn’t stop my statin. I have vacillated
between five milligrams per day of rosuvastatin or Crestor down to two and
a half milligrams twice a week. And I watched my CIMT results to decide what
level and what dose I take; consider other cholesterol-lowering medications
and try CoQ10 supplementation. I just had a viewer comment about making sure you
take your CoQ10. Other folks would also say “Take vitamin D3” and weigh the risks
and benefits. All those side effects believed to be caused by statins can be
annoying. Consider the benefits of taking a statin before you decide to stop
taking your medication. Remember, the statin medications have reduced the risk
of heart attack or stroke and the life-threatening side effects are very
low. As I would quote from the JACC article of a couple of years ago,
research estimates would indicate that between two and six thousand added
deaths have occurred in the UK alone from P. hearing these videos and saying I’m gonna stop my statins. There’s just where
there’s smoke, there’s fire. If you’ve read about the potential side
effects of statins, you may be more likely to blame your symptoms on the
medication, whether or not they’re truly caused by the drug. And, again, that’s the
“nocebo effect.” Even if your side effects are frustrating, don’t
stop taking your statin medication for a period of time. Again, plenty of people
have stopped statins safely but I’ve got a series of 4 studies that I
reviewed that looked at stopping statins. All of them said, “You know, we could
choose..” okay But – and, again, this article would even
recommend a week or two – but to stop them entirely for six months – you – if you have
cardiovascular inflammation, you’re increasing your risk. Again, even your
doctor may be able to come up with an alternative treatment plan that can help
without these side-effects. So, again, I hope this article is a little more
practical for some of you who want to know – just, okay, what would you recommend in terms of me looking at potential side effects. What are some practical
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