There is strong evidence that statins are effective for treating Cardiovascular Disease in the early stages and in patients who are at risk, but who have not been diagnosed with Cardiovascular Disease.
Doctors often prescribe statin medications for people with high cholesterol to reduce their risk of heart attacks or strokes.
And, while statins are highly effective, they have been linked to muscle pain, digestive problems and mental fuzziness in some people and may (rarely) cause liver damage.
Elevated cholesterol levels in your blood increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Because statin medications block a substance your liver needs to make cholesterol, it causes your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood.
Although they are commonly used to lower cholesterol, ongoing studies have shown that there are some other benefits to prescribing them for high-risk patients or those with a current diagnosis of heart disease.
Some of the additional benefits include:
- Reducing the size of “plaques” which are hardened areas made of fat and cholesterol that clog the arteries
- Making these plaques more stable so that they don’t burst open and cause a heart attack
- Reducing inflammation, which is believed to be part of the plaque formation and of it bursting open
- Reducing the formation of blood clots, which is the cause of most heart attacks, when they form in the area where the plaque forms
- Improving the overall health of the blood vessels
The following are the most commonly prescribed statin medications:
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- Lescol (fluvastatin)
- Mevacor (lovastatin)
- Livalo (pitavastatin)
- Pravachol (pravastatin)
- Zocor (simvastatin)
- Crestor (rosuvastatin)
Unfortunately, these medications are not without side effects.
- The most common side effects are gastrointestinal, such as nausea, gas, upset stomach.
- Less common are headaches, dizziness, rash, and sleep disturbances.
- Approximately 5-10% of patients report muscle pain or weakness.
In most cases, the symptoms go away once the statins are stopped or if the dose is reduced. Often all it takes is switching to a different statin medication.
- There is some evidence that statins may also increase the risk of Diabetes Type II in postmenopausal women.
Reduce your risks whatever it takes:
- Control your weight
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- Get plenty of regular exercises
- Stop smoking
- Keep your blood pressure within normal limits
Not only will these steps keep your cholesterol level where it needs to be, but even if it’s higher than normal, they’ll help to cut it, and along with it, significantly lower your risk of heart disease.
Stay Informed For Better Health!
➡ Cardiovascular Disease-Head To Toe