If a common consumer product could trigger serious health problems, in some cases even causing death, you’d expect authorities to ban it, right?
What if it often failed to do the job it was sold to do? You’d probably expect it to be recalled, right?
Well in the case of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, the exact opposite has happened. In fact, doctors are prescribing them every single day. And in record numbers.
By some counts, as many as one in four middle aged adults take statins already. With changing health guidelines that number could soon skyrocket to one in two adults.
Yet the potential side effects of statins, including death, are very real. And many experts say that while they do lower cholesterol levels they actually aren’t very effective at preventing heart disease and death, their ultimate goal.
Dangerous statin side effects outweigh potential benefits
Even doctors at mainstream medical centers, like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medical Center, have begun advocating for more discretion around prescribing these drugs.
Why? Because in many cases their potential benefits don’t outweigh the dangerous statin side effects:
1. Muscle pain:
Muscle pain is one of the most commonly reported statin side effects. Up to 29 percent of statin users suffer with it.
And we’re not just talking about achy, sore muscles here. Statin triggered muscle pain can be severe enough to affect daily activities, even keeping you from getting a decent night sleep. Plus they can cause muscle weakness too.
2. Muscle damage:
As debilitating as the muscle pain can be, when weighed against the odds of a heart attack, you might decide it’s better to just grin and bear it. The trouble is the statin side effects don’t end with muscle pain, they can also lead to muscle damage.
Taking high doses of statins, or taking them with certain other common medications, can cause a serious form of muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis occurs when the cells in your muscles actually begin to break down from statin exposure. This can eventually lead to liver damage, kidney failure and even death.
3. Liver damage:
Before starting you on statins your doctor may order a liver enzyme test to get a baseline number. But it’s not just the potential rhabdomyolysis triggered liver damage that concerns him. Statins could put certain folks at higher risk for non-alcoholic liver disease. An increase in liver enzymes may indicate your liver is struggling, and could be sick.
4. Brain fog:
Designed to lower cholesterol, in theory statin drugs should also lower your risk for heart disease. But the truth is cholesterol isn’t inherently bad for you or your body.
For example, your brain needs cholesterol to function. It’s a vital part of healthy cognitive function. But statins don’t just lower the cholesterol around your heart and in your blood vessels. They lower it throughout your body, and this can trigger one of the most complained about statin side effects, brain fog.
Two studies out of the University of Pittsburgh found cholesterol lowering statins could cause dementia-like symptoms in certain users. The good news is volunteer’s memory and cognitive function completely returned when they stopped taking the medications.
5. Nutrient deficiencies:
Despite the constant scare tactics from mainstream medicine LDL cholesterol alone isn’t the bad boy it’s made out to be. In fact, LDL cholesterol is how fat-soluble nutrients are shuttled around your body.
When statin drugs drop your LDL to basement-low levels, certain nutrients can reach dangerously low levels too, including vitamin D and coenzyme Q10. Making nutrient deficiencies one of the most common statin side effects.
Experts say using statins can raise your blood sugar eventually even leading to type 2 diabetes in some users. Ironically, since diabetes also increases your risk for heart attack and stroke that means the drugs can raise the risk of the problems you’re taking them to prevent in the first place.
While taking statins will lower your cholesterol, that doesn’t always translate into a significantly lower risk of heart attack, stroke or death. And when you factor in the statin side effects in many cases there are better options. Talk with your doctor about weaning yourself off these dangerous drugs (never stop them on your own!).
And while LDL cholesterol isn’t all bad (click here to learn about oxidized cholesterol, the true villain behind heart disease) if your numbers are a bit too high for comfort there are natural ways to gently lower your numbers. See our free report Ditch dangerous statins and lower cholesterol naturally for tips.