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JohnC Offline OP
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I may soon be faced with going on Lipitor or some similar product. I understand people generally take something like this for life.

Are there any studies regarding long time use?

Can one improve their health over time (losing more weight or other) enough to actual no longer need the drug?

I hate taking any kind of perscription but the thought of a lifetime one is really depressing. Putting all that un-natural stuff in your body every day has just got to have negative repurcussions at some point in time. Is the cure worse than the disease?

Any thoughts?

Thanks! smile


There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.
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John, what are your cholesterol numbers?
If I had to take a statin, I would take Lipitor before any other. It has been out for quite awhile and is pretty safe. There are plenty of studies documenting improved survival from the use of statins. Why exactly this occurs is still controversial(see "Healthy meal suggestion" thread).
I would certainly try lifestyle changes before committing to taking a medication for the rest of your life. If you do choose to take it, make sure you get your liver enzymes(most importantly the ALT) at baseline, one month, and then periodically after that. Get it checked approximately one month after any change in the dosage.
I have found that many of my patients have had dramatic decreases in their cholesterol from taking certain vitamins(I recommend a specific vitamin that is very pure and potent. Rated the best in "Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements" by Lyle MacWilliam) Also, exercise helps to raise the HDL, as does a daily glass of red wine.
I would also take Coenzyme Q10 if you are going to take the Lipitor since statins have been found to inhibitor this antioxidant.
Niacin is probably the best cholesterol lowering agent out there. It is a vitamin, but most people don't tolerate the side effects very well.(severe flushing that lasts about one or two hours after taking it) The side effects can be reduced by taking the niacin during the evening and gradually increasing the dosage. Also, taking an aspirin with it may help. You still need to get your liver checked with Niacin.
The other important question is, what are your cardiac risk profiles? Do you smoke? Do you have a family history of EARLY coronary artery disease?(before the age of 50) Do you have diabetes? Are you obese? Do you have hypertension?
Another note about lipitor; I have found that once you get the cholesterol down to the desired level, you can often wean the medication down to every other day or even every third day and the numbers won't change much.
I would also get your high sensitivity c-reactive protein checked and homocysteine since these are markers for heart disease as well.
If you don't feel comfortable sharing your numbers on here, then PM me.


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
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JohnC Offline OP
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Doctor John,

Total 235, LDL 179.

I just had a physical for general principals and am not necessarily a cardiac high risk profile (other than the cholesterol) although the echocardiogram has not yet come back. No smoking, no family problems.

Fat yes, obese no. Have lost weight the last two years (up and down, net down) but could stand to lose more. Get a good amount of exercise but don't eat well. Too much junk food.

The doctor has given me 90 days to see if a change in diet will make enough difference. With the holidays coming up, things aren't looking good. laugh

I'll try and research some of what you said here.

Thanks for the feedback.


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JohnC...I would highly recommend reading "The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure". It proposes a 2-pronged approach to managing cholesterol without medication. The first component is oat bran, dosed in 3 muffins a day. This limits your desire to eat a lot of junk (because they are filling), plus you get the right kind of fiber.

The other prong is therapeutic doses of niacin, with a caveat about the side effect. THe author suggests that the side effects usually decrease with time.

When my cholesterol was 250, I tried to control it with 3 oat bran muffins a day and regular exercise. I lost about 10 pounds and my cholesterol dropped to 182, with no change in my HDL. It has fluctuated, but the "ratio" has been under 3.5.

I did not take any niacin in the process. I'm 34 and not anxious to go on medication, but I realize there is a hereditary component that is hard to overcome.


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JohnC Offline OP
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ny1911, your not suggesting the oar bran muffins are the "only" food for the day are you? eek


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No, but 3 muffins for breakfast will easily carry you to lunch...sometimes 3 is enough for breakfast *and* lunch!


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I just got back up each time I fell.
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I think that high cholesterol is, by itself, an overblown health risk. There are many other factors that contribute to heart disease and cholesterol is only one.

I was tested about ten years ago and my cholesterol was over 400. (424 to be precise.) I was about 50 lbs overweight (actually more like 80 according to optimum stick people standards).

I was told that I needed to go on these drugs immediately or else I would die from a heart attack or stroke. I researched the living daylights out of these drugs and came to the conclusion that, taken long term, the cure is worse than the disease. The multi-fold increased chance of liver cancer alone was enough to turn me off these drugs forever.

I did much more research and found the following:

I read and followed the dietary recommendations in the book "Enter The Zone" by Dr. Barry Sears. Within 3 months my weight dropped 30 lbs and my cholesterol dropped down to 275. Had I continued with that discipline I would have probably gotten down to normal weight and cholesterol levels within a few more months. The whole problem with stuff like this is the fact that I was preparing meals for myself and the rest of the family was eating the way I used to. It lead to friction between us because I was always shopping and cooking for myself. That "problem" has been addressed in that you can now purchase ready made meals that adhere to the Zone dietary recomendations and they can be tailored to your exact needs and tastes.

I love being "In The Zone" it makes me feel like I am 18 years old again! I am planning on going back to the discipline of eating a well balanced diet of 30-30-40 again real soon. That's 30% Protein, 30% Fat and 40% Carbohydrates. The quantity of caloric intake is calculated using your lean body mass. It encourages the consumption of good fat and carbs that are low on the glycemic index scale and clean protein sources as well as Omega3 fatty acids (fish oil) as a supplement if you do not eat fish with that compound that day. Oatmeal, Fruit, Egg Whites and Olive Oil (mixed into the egg whites before cooking) is the food of choice for breakfast. You eat 5 times a day when you are "In The Zone". Sometimes it was really hard to finish the meals. The quantity of food is pretty amazing considering how much fat one can loose.

I stopped smoking almost 3 years ago and I have since quit caffeine. Now the only thing I need to address is my physical conditioning. I have exercise equipment, a bike and of course my own two healthy legs to do this. I just need to get motivated once again.

Maybe a cholesterol test will be just the catalyst I need to get going again.

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John, how about your HDL and triglycerides?


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
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Cares not to come up any higher
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JohnC Offline OP
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HDL 45
Trig 80

If you ask me to take my clothes off, I'm outa' here! laugh


There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.
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John, your HDL and triglycerides are excellent.
I'd try doing the exercise and dietary thing first before committing to a medication.
Now for the prostate exam...bend over! laugh


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
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That he's in.
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I didn't know you did those Johnnymoon.

hmm.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
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JohnC Offline OP
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Dr John, I am going to try the diet approach first. But as for exercise, well I get a good amount already (although I will try to do more during the othrwise slower winter period) and that really only leaves diet to focus on. While I will focus on it, it just isn't that easy cause I've been working that angle for many years. (Especially with the holidays coming)

Although I will make another dietary attempt, I do wonder if the LDL problem is in the genes. My father did have high cholesterol.

Your a little late on the prostate exam. I passed that one a few weeks ago! thumb


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