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Old 12-16-2017, 07:23 PM   #61
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I am an educated lay person and a victim who knows lots of other victims of the hype and the scam. Why throw LDL in with two know baddies? What would the risk profile of such a person be if they had no risk factors, ate right, did everything you should and did not do anything you shouldn't. Except the LDL was "high." What's the H/A difference and what's the death difference? And when would that H/A be likely to happen in an otherwise risk free person? The only risk worth attending would be death by doctor
& unnecessary medical intervention based on what are essentially administrative reasons.

Why would one split second's worth of data captured in a blood test be used to justify drugs for life? Don't eat meat it's dangerous but statins are safe to take for 40 or 50 years. Just get your liver tested every 60 days. Where do you hit that point of diminishing returns?

What would go a long way towards reducing issues of medical misadventure, adverse reaction, and unfortunate sequelae?
I basically have no risk factors except highish LDL. See my comments in a previous post here. It was not just the lipid readings (over several years) it was the CT Heart scan results. Will discuss the conclusions with my doc next week so I don't have the full view yet.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:13 PM   #62
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Yes I am actually familiar with the differences in types of LDL, fluffy and hard. best explanation of the types and effects I have found is in a book by a Dr. Ludwig called The always hungry solution.
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:01 PM   #63
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I tried statins when I was working and they upset my stomach. When I retired, I started walking 30-40 minutes a day and after 6 months, I was in the normal range. I've stayed that way since with just brisk walking and no diet changes.
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:11 PM   #64
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To answer the original question, yes. I was prescribed a statin about 10 years ago, but after some study, I decided to take fish oil, and add more exercise, and watch my diet more closely. So I take fish oil daily, and have never taken a statin. In subsequent years my blood lipid tests have been normal. I am not sure this will impact any potential heart disease. So far this has not been a problem (knock on wood).
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:03 PM   #65
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My total Cholesterol crept above 200 with high LDL and low HDL prior to retirement. After retiring early I changed my diet substantially by following the general guidelines of the South Beach Diet and starting a regular, vigorous exercise program. My numbers improved substantially with my total falling to around 170 but my ratio was still out-of-line. After a year of reducing my 'bad' fat intake to very low levels I was showing no improvement. Some research revealed a book maintaining that we need a certain level of saturated fat in our diets. I increased my saturated fat intake and my numbers almost immediately came into line and have remained there since - about ten years now. I have never taken a statin.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:44 PM   #66
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I had low HDL and normal LDL and wanted to avoid statins, so my doctor recommended niacin. I take slow-release niacin (Slo-niacin or Eduracin) every day and my HDL is now in a normal range, and LDL is also reduced.

“Flush-free” niacin is ineffective, and regular niacin can cause a skin flush effect that feels uncomfortable, but I don’t notice any side effects when taking slow-release niacin at night. The literature recommends starting with a low dose and gradually increasing. When taking niacin in high doses, you should regularly monitor your liver function with a blood test. This has been keeping my cholesterol in line for several years, for what it’s worth.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:37 AM   #67
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My total Cholesterol crept above 200 with high LDL and low HDL prior to retirement. After retiring early I changed my diet substantially by following the general guidelines of the South Beach Diet and starting a regular, vigorous exercise program. My numbers improved substantially with my total falling to around 170 but my ratio was still out-of-line. After a year of reducing my 'bad' fat intake to very low levels I was showing no improvement. Some research revealed a book maintaining that we need a certain level of saturated fat in our diets. I increased my saturated fat intake and my numbers almost immediately came into line and have remained there since - about ten years now. I have never taken a statin.
That is interesting. I got my ratio of HDL to triglicerides in great shape but attributed the change to the drop in carbs, particularly sugar. But, at the same time I stopped worrying about saturated fat and switched to half and half with coffee, bacon and eggs, and more cheese than previously. Maybe that had something to do with it. What was up is down. The unfortunate thing is that all of the experts have what seem to be compelling arguments so it is not possible to be sure what is right. I don't take statins because I have only one marginal marker (LDL) and am at very low risk otherwise and I prefer not to take medicines that are not essential. From anecdotal evidence I suspect that statin side effects may be higher than the official stats assert and if lots of people have muscular and cognitive issues who knows what these things are doing at a low level to the rest of us after years of use. But at the back of my head I still recognize that since statins don't seem to bother me, I may be missing something that could be useful with little risk. Oh well, heart disease is at the low end of my worries about the future.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:11 AM   #68
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I had low HDL and normal LDL and wanted to avoid statins, so my doctor recommended niacin. I take slow-release niacin (Slo-niacin or Eduracin) every day and my HDL is now in a normal range, and LDL is also reduced.

“Flush-free” niacin is ineffective, and regular niacin can cause a skin flush effect that feels uncomfortable, but I don’t notice any side effects when taking slow-release niacin at night. The literature recommends starting with a low dose and gradually increasing. When taking niacin in high doses, you should regularly monitor your liver function with a blood test. This has been keeping my cholesterol in line for several years, for what it’s worth.
I took regular niacin for years, and it definitely helped my HDL numbers. I am genetically low, with HDL readings in the <25 range (lower than they can measure, I guess). Taking niacin raised it into the 40s. Yes, there is the uncomfortable flush aspect, sort of a mini short term hot flash. Nothing I couldn't handle. But just like with statins, pretty much all of the recent science says that using niacin to raise your HDL doesn't effect life span or the possibility of heart disease. And as you say, it can impact your liver negatively. So at one point when I ran out of it, I didn't buy anymore.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:21 AM   #69
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I'm a bit of a contrarian. My total cholesterol and LDL are both quite high, which is fine with me.
HDL is good (high) and triglycerides are good (low), and they are all I care about.

I eat LOTS of saturated fat. Plenty of red meat and cheese. Heavy cream in my coffee. Very low carbs and almost no sugar. According to the experts, I should have keeled over with a heart attack long ago but I'm still here and pretty healthy.

Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:33 AM   #70
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My story. For years my GP of almost 40 years, had me on Zetia and Welchol. I had tried statins at one point but had muscle pains so discontinued them. Recently when we moved and changed doctors my GP sent me to a Lipidologist. First thing he did was took me off of Welchol and changed the Zetia to half a pill once a day and added fish oil. 1 year later my numbers are much improved. About the same time I started restricting my carbs but eat as much fats as I want. So which worked? I don't know and really don't care as long as my numbers are improved and I'm on less Rx.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:49 AM   #71
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For those of you who are petrified about cholesterol levels but messed up by statins you may want to look into Repatha, DW has CVD in her family and high cholesterol that diet didn't dent. She was forced to stop statins due to muscle problems but constantly worried about it. She is now on Repatha (twice monthly, expensive pen injections) and her LDL has plummeted with no observable side effects so far. If the benefits of statins are actually due to cholesterol changes rather than reduction of inflammation or some other factor, Repatha could be an answer for high risk individuals.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:51 AM   #72
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Ready to change doctors. Had same GP for 20 years, he retired a year ago and always thought my numbers were OK but maybe I should cut back on red meat. Went to the new one and got my numbers weeks after appointment, all of which improved from a year ago. All well within range except LDL which went from 176-138 to 123 over two years. I got the results on line and thought, cool, my deviation from so much meat is doing some good and I've lost about 10#. Next thing I know is I get a call from pharmacy that my prescription is ready. Huh? What's if for? Lipitor generic. WTF? Never even heard from the doctor and he's putting me on a statin when all numbers are good or the one is improving?

I cannot describe the disdain I have for the drug industry and those who prescribe all this stuff. Yes I take a BP scrip (although for my age my numbers weren't really that bad) but I need to see more definitive results than what's out there before I start taking handfuls of pills every day. And no, there's no family or other indications in my history. Smoking killed parents and my one brother. Now that I'll avoid.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:28 AM   #73
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I'm a bit of a contrarian. My total cholesterol and LDL are both quite high, which is fine with me.
HDL is good (high) and triglycerides are good (low), and they are all I care about.

I eat LOTS of saturated fat. Plenty of red meat and cheese. Heavy cream in my coffee. Very low carbs and almost no sugar. According to the experts, I should have keeled over with a heart attack long ago but I'm still here and pretty healthy.

Different strokes for different folks.
Not that much of a contrarian. There's a strong movement toward that lifestyle. I read Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health by Dr. Mark Hyman. It made a lot of sense to me. So I started eating a low carb high fat diet, lost 25 lbs., and my eating habits and appetite changed immensely. I found I was no longer hungry all the time, and my BP, a1C, and cholesterol levels all came down significantly. Sadly, I fell off the wagon for awhile, started snarfing carbs again, and gained some of it back and my numbers slipped a bit. Having done that it's easy to see how eating carbs creates the "always hungry" blood sugar spikes. I've started cutting them down again, and can already see positive changes.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:44 AM   #74
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Next thing I know is I get a call from pharmacy that my prescription is ready. Huh? What's if for? Lipitor generic. WTF? Never even heard from the doctor and he's putting me on a statin when all numbers are good or the one is improving?
I had something similar happen. As mentioned earlier, I stopped statins when I developed muscle pains, and did tell my doc at the time. A few years later after an annual visit I get a call from his nurse telling me my numbers are high and the doc is prescribing Prevastatin.... same stuff that gave me muscle pains before. He can prescribe it all he wants but I'm not going anywhere near it.

I've also cut back on carbs in the last year- next annual checkup is with my gyno in January so I'll be interested to see the results. She orders the same blood workup and doesn't push meds for moderately high cholesterol.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:49 AM   #75
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Sadly, I fell off the wagon for awhile, started snarfing carbs again,
LCHF can be hard, no doubt about it.
My answer is to give myself a free one day pass, usually two or three times a month. On my free pass day I can eat whatever I like, indulging my guilty pleasures like ice cream, pizza, or pancakes with maple syrup. Next day I go back on the wagon, no harm done. I've done this for years.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:51 AM   #76
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They help a whole lot of folks lower their cholesterol numbers. There's an awful lot of science these days that says they don't help a whole lot of folks avoid heart disease, which is what they were touted for. .
The AMA & AHA disagree. I'll go with them. To each their own.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:55 AM   #77
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LCHF can be hard, no doubt about it.
My answer is to give myself a free one day pass, usually two or three times a month. On my free pass day I can eat whatever I like, indulging my guilty pleasures like ice cream, pizza, or pancakes with maple syrup. Next day I go back on the wagon, no harm done. I've done this for years.
Glad that works for you, but carbs = heroin for me. I've read about this willpower thing, but never found the path to true enlightenment. The nice thing about LCHF for me is that I only need to tough it out for a week or so, then I don't crave the carbs anymore. But DW loads the pantry and fridge with goodies, and temptation is always lurking.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:56 AM   #78
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One would think so- but according to a podcast I listened to a few years ago, after indications for prescribing statins were extended to include about half the population over 50, one doctor observed that, despite the huge increase in the % of the population already on statins, the rate of heart disease has not decreased accordingly.
As if cholesterol is the only cause of heart disease.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:58 AM   #79
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The AMA & AHA disagree.
Right. The same AHA that used to tell us Cocoa Puffs and Frosted Mini Wheats were heart healthy foods.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:02 AM   #80
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This thread reminds me of the stock/bond ones. People of different ages and temperaments. All kinds of viewpoints.

Wish I could find the magic formula but I guess there is no one size for all.

Seems the anti-statin folks are quite vocal here.
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