When Doctors Stop Taking Statin Drugs

| October 9, 2014

You know something is wrong when six in 10 GPs opposed the proposal to lower the risk level at which patients are prescribed cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. It gets even worse when 55 per cent of doctors said they would not take statins drugs themselves or recommend them to a relative.

If that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.

10 years ago, when we started to write about the dangers of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and the ‘great cholesterol con’, as we call it, many people thought we were only trying to cause trouble.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and now it’s almost a given that many people think twice before they follow their doctor’s advice about taking side effect-ridden statin drugs…

However, just in case you are still leaning towards the pro-statin camp, here’s a story that broke the news earlier this year that you may want to read… This time it comes from a doctor who was taking statin drugs himself.

When Dr Haroun Gajraj had a routine health check-up eight years ago, his cholesterol was so high that the laboratory thought there had been a mistake. He had 9.3 millimoles of cholesterol in every litre of blood — almost twice the recommended maximum.

Needless to say, and as expected, his GP instantly prescribed statin drugs, which he had been taking faithfully for the past eight years at 20mg a day… without suffering any side effects. Then, one day, Dr. Gajraj stopped.

It wasn’t a snap decision. In fact, it was only after looking more closely at the research that he concluded that statins were not going to save him from having a heart attack and that his cholesterol levels were all but irrelevant.

When Dr. Gajraj later informed his GP of his decision, he wasn’t entirely honest and said that he’d quit taking statin drugs because they were causing him muscle pain. Dr. Gajraj’s GP did not bat an eyelid and simply suggested another brand of statin drug. In fact, he suggested that the sooner Dr. Gajraj started his medication again the better.

That’s when Dr. Gajraj started to doubt his GP’s judgement. He insisted on having a blood test done, and when the results came back showing that his total blood cholesterol was lower than when he had been on statins, his doctor was stunned. After three months without the pills, it was 5.4mmol/l (5.4 millimoles per litre of blood) compared with 5.7 mmol/l a year earlier.

The only major lifestyle changes Dr. Gajraj made since coming off statins were eliminating sugar (including alcohol and starchy foods such as bread) and eating more animal fat (saturated fat) — after decades of demonization, a recent meta-analysis of 70 studies by Cambridge University finally proved that saturated fat is not a major cause of heart disease.

Dr. Gajraj believes that high cholesterol has been a scapegoat for too long and that in some circumstances it can be an indicator of heart disease, but there is no evidence of a causal link. In his view, high total blood cholesterol or high ‘bad’ LDL levels no more cause heart attacks than paramedics cause car crashes, even though they are present at the scene.

He also believes that there are plenty of other, more reliable indicators of heart-disease risk — like blood pressure, triglyceride (blood fat) levels, fasting glucose levels and total white blood cell count (an inflammation marker) — that doctors should pay attention to instead of cholesterol.

According to Dr. Gajraj, simply lowering your cholesterol with statin drugs without sorting out the dietary and lifestyle factors that actually cause heart disease makes no sense.

Now if that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.

Here's to a healthy heart

Dr John Briffa
Editor
for The Cholesterol Truth


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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


Source:

Why I’ve ditched statins for good, published online 23.03.13, telegraph.co.uk

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Comments (2)

Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.

  1. William Rossetti says:

    Has there been any studies that link statins and low cholesterol levels to ultra low blood pressure to the point that salt tablets must be used to increase blood pressure. I have used 20 mg of simvastatin for 5 years. For the past 4 years my over all cholesterol level has dropped to less than 130. During this time I have suffered blood pressure readings as low as 56 over 55. My doctor attributes this to my autonomic system not functioning properly. Could the simvasatin be the problem? Would appreciate feedback on this problem.

  2. Eileen Stevens says:

    I was prescribed 2 different statin tablets Lipitor & slimvanstatin – I tried to do as the doctor said and my body ached from head to toe – at one stage I could not get out of bed, I crawled to the bathroom. When I told the doctors I would never take them again I think they just thought I was “stroppy” and I believe they still do.

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