If you or a loved one has ever been on a statin drug I probably don’t need to tell you about the muscle aches and pains that can sometimes strike out of nowhere when you’re on them. In fact, when I talk with folks about statin side effects, it’s often top on people’s lists of concerns.
Maybe you tried to walk up a flight of stairs and your hamstring cramped up (ouch!). Or perhaps it was a stroll through the park when sudden shin pain had you heading back home. Or a neck ache that had you calling off from work, and spending the day in bed.
Name the statin-induced ache or pain, and I’ve heard it. But it turns out that as bad as statin muscle aches can be, they’re just the tip of a very deep and excruciatingly painful iceberg.
The WORST of the statin side effects
A new study has confirmed that it’s not just muscle pain statin users need to be concerned with.
It turns out the drugs can trigger a rare autoimmune condition that causes you’re your body’s immune system to attack its own muscles, according to the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
This condition, known as autoimmune myopathy, is considered rare (more on that in a moment), but it’s also excruciatingly painful, and can plague you for the rest of your life.
Over half of autoimmune myopathy sufferers are forced to take heavy-duty, immune-system suppressing drugs to try to stop the body from continuing to attack its own muscles.
And that, of course, can lead other problems as your now nearly defenseless body becomes vulnerable to countless other infections and diseases. And even then there are no guarantees that the autoimmune myopathy won’t still leave you crippled, or even dead.
The new study calls autoimmune myopathy “rare,” and while this is technically correct, that still leaves a whole lot of folks in massive pain.
Busloads of statin users experience severe muscle pain
How many? Well let’s take a look at that.
Statin-induced autoimmune myopathy occurs in around three out of 100,000 statin drug users. There are roughly 60 million folks in the United States alone on the drugs. So that works out to about 1,800 people fighting this terrible disease in America alone.
In other words, were not talking about just a handful of folks… that’s enough people to fill up around 36 Greyhound buses. And when you consider the majority of folks on statins don’t need to be on one anyway, that’s FAR too many.
More common statin side effects include…
- Memory loss (sometimes so severe it’s misinterpreted as dementia)
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure
- Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin D deficiency
Even worse, the majority of statin users receive little to no benefit in exchange for all those potential statins side effects.
Which is not really a surprise I suppose since, despite the mainstream obsession, in many cases raised LDL cholesterol isn’t something to be overly concerned about anyway.
Driving LDL cholesterol too low is dangerous
Because here’s the thing. Your typical heart attack patient ISN’T someone with through-the-roof cholesterol anyway.
It’s actually the oxidation of cholesterol and cholesterol particle size that are the TRUE concerns.
Current mainstream guidelines call for LDL levels below 100 mg/dl. That’s far too low for the average person, and it comes with more risks than benefits. LDL plays a number of important roles in your health.
Forcing LDL to basement-low levels can comprise your immune system and raise your cancer risk. And since LDL cholesterol is how fat-soluble nutrients are moved around your body, dropping your levels so low is the reason why coenzyme Q10 and vitamin D deficiencies are so common in statin users.
Keep your cholesterol healthy naturally
And for folks whose cholesterol really is still a bit too high for their own comfort (or their doctor’s comfort), nature has provided us with ways to keep those numbers in a zone we’re comfortable with naturally.
Start with some simple diet tweaks. I recommend a switch to a Mediterranean style diet that reduces the grains. Be sure to eat at least two servings a week of omega-3 fatty acid rich fish such as wild salmon, sardines, tuna, anchovies or trout.
Shoot for five to seven servings of fruits and veggies a day. And eat plenty of foods rich in soluble fiber which naturally prevent the absorption of too much cholesterol and, most importantly, help prevent harmful LDL oxidation.
Good ones to choose from include…
Focus on getting plenty of good fats such as almonds, walnuts, flaxseed and olive oil. This typically will naturally reduce LDL, but more importantly it will help keep your arteries nice and flexible.
And consider LDL balancing supplements which can help improve LDL particle size, triglycerides levels, circulation and HDL (good) cholesterol.
Good ones to consider include…
- plant sterols (1300 mg)
- red yeast rice (2400 mg)
- garlic extract (1200 mg)
- Indian Gooseberry (500 mg)
- omega 3 (2000 mg of EPA and DHA)
- omega 7 fatty acids (420 mg)
The bottom line? Statin drugs are bad news. They offer few benefits and come with a frightening (and dangerous!) list of potential side effects. Manage your heart health naturally instead.
Dr. Mark Stengler has appeared as a medical expert on FOX, CBS, NBC and hosts his own weekly PBS TV show, “Natural Healing with Mark Stengler.”
He’s also written 17 books, including “Prescription for Natural Cures” and The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies which have now sold over 1 million copies.
When he’s not busy sharing his knowledge of amazing alternatives to toxic mainstream therapies, Dr.Stengler practices what he preaches at his state-of-the-art Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine in Encinitas, California.
Dr. Stengler has treated tens of thousands patients of all ages, with a wide range of health conditions, such as...
What makes Dr. Stengler different is his diverse medical training in conventional medications and natural alternatives.
This means he can combine the best of modern technology and traditional time-tested therapies, for safer, long-term treatments.
His track-record of success with this breakthrough approach has earned him national acclaim as “America’s Natural Doctor.”
Dr. Stengler completed premed studies at Mt. Royal College and the University of Calgary, and graduated from naturopathic medical school at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He is Board Certified in Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Stengler lives in San Diego County, California with his wife and three children. He enjoys quality time with his family. His hobbies include several sports and theological studies.
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