Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Cromwell, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    If anyone would help here, I have a question. We are constantly being "warned" about cholesterol by the drug companies and I was wondering if they tested everyones cholesterol, would we all be higher than they say if we are over a certain age?

    As almost everyone I know over 50 seems to have high cholesterol (though a few years back 250/60 was considered "low") is this just normal then and are the drug manufacturers just scaring us all into thinking ours is abnormal when really it isn't? Ditto for the new definition of osteoporosis BTW.

    If people would care to join in this survey, it may help, as I hear statins are causing all sorts of other problems and may not be the way to go.


    Annie Cromwell
  2. mgk321

    mgk321 New Member


    The drug companies didn't set the norms; the AMA did. That being said, several doctors I know think they norms they set are too stringent.

    As for Statins, my doctor practically did a jig when he could write an RX for a Statin for me because I have so many inflammation problems, he thinks it could benefit me greatly. I don't know if it has because I don't know how much worse I'd be without a Statin and I don't want to find out.

    More and more, they are finding Statins have wonderful side effects. Could possibly prevent Alzheimers, definitely helps prevent Colon Cancer, could help prevent strokes and heart attacks. The side effects that prevent some people from taking them are muscle pain.

    I thank God that I live in a time when Statins are available to me and I'm glad my Cholesterol got high enough for me to take them.

    By the way, I've been told by a young doctor that the one thing all med students and doctors take is a baby aspirin at night and one of the statins, no matter what their cholesterol level is. He went to a prestigious medical school and did his residency in an equally well-known hospital. That's good enough for me!

  3. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Big problem for me with statins. BIG. Leg pains, leg weakness, suddenly losing balance with legs, etc.

    My doctor and I went round and round about this one.

    He is telling me all the things that it is supposed to protect you from----- list sounded too long to me. Made me think of a snake oil salesman from the old west.

    My response to him was,
    "ok. so if I take the statins and get my cholesterol level down, but fall and break my hip from the instability that the statin causes,

    Then I will end up in a rest home while hip slowly repairs.
    Then, I will end up getting pneumonia
    Then, I will die, but----

    my tombstone will say, "she died too young, but her cholesterol level was down!"

    NO THANKYOU! I now take a non-statin cholesterol lowering drug that doesn't cause these whacko side effects.

    Surprisingly enough, my Mother had the exact same reaction to the medication. My rheumy told me that he feels more people have had reactions to this medication than the literature is statintg.
  4. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    ...but don't the AMA get the message from the drug companies? What about "you all need to take HRT, it will protect you from heart disease etc." Ditto for no eggs and eat margerine!!! They get it wrong so often and are not doing their own research.

    You see, even with osteoporosis, the measure used to be if you broke a bone and also had fragile bones. You would maybe be dxd with osteoporosis. Then when everyone went off HRT (that was meant to protect the bones, heart etc. but didn't) the same drug companies started pushing the osteoporosis drug, but strangely ONLY to women-all the hype is aimed at women, but actually, with true osteoporosis it hits women and men equally. Many cultures have naturally thin bones and have little incidence of breaks, plus the "people who break a hip often die within a year" is not really accurate, as many people who break a hip are frail and ill with other things that kill them, including terrible care!

    So really, I was wondering if the body is designed to have higher cholesterol as we age as the brain needs it to function properly. In fact, the latest research is showing increased Dementia and colon issues as well as some kidney and liver impact. I suspect the baby asprin is the winner.

    Incidentally, the doctor who first discovered lipid levels and spent 30 years researching it, came up with the end result that the two important factors were homocysteine levels and triglycerides and perhaps glucose. I just read a couple of research papers that showed the spread amongst heart attacks victims showed no real difference between low lipid and high lipid levels, it was pretty even. Same for body size unless one was grossly obese or grossly thin.

    What my question really is aimed at is just to find out if everyone over the age of 50 has naturally occuring similar lipid counts, which would indicate the count would be normal, and if this is so, why are we meddling if we were designed this way?

    Keep replying as I would love to get more answers and some levels-my own were 190 total prior to menopause and roughly 250 after which seems to be around that of most of my friends.

    Annie Cromwell
  5. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    I'm not yet over 50 but I've been on Simvastatin for years and years.

    My cholesterol level was over 266 in my 30's and since both of my parents have/had heart issues, it was deemed a genetic thing and ok to take them for the long run.

    Years ago when my Mom was on the heart ward for a valve replacement surgery, I decided that we're all 'future heart patients of America'...our diets are designed to put us in danger of this.

    I've cut out so many things in my diet through the years but still remain on my statins.

    Sorry this doesn't really answer your question though.

    It's also possible that age has less to do with it than collective and progressive problems that might be causing our levels to raise at this age.


    Nancy B
    [This Message was Edited on 03/18/2007]
  6. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    Wow, something to think about. Interesting. I am trying to remember, "they" have changed a lot of "numbers" in the past few yrs. Even for a diabetic, the numbers must be smaller now.

    I have a friend, 50 yrs. old. She looks and acts much younger. Very energetic. Thin, healthy, ate carefully but well. Did away with salt a few yrs. ago, as s health preventive was. She walked 5 miles a day. Cholestrol and all elements of it was real good.

    A few months ago she had a heart attack. It was severe, we were close to losing her. But she is doing better now.

    Her Drs. and specialists were amazed as she did all the right things and her "numbers" on everything was exceptional.

    I do wonder if we would of lost her if she had not been doing everything up to then for her health.

    Good posting Anne........Blessings.......Susan
  7. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    ... doesn't it.

    I do know that some people's cholesterol is higher because of genetics so no matter how little fat they eat, they will have high cholesteral. The important thing is to know that HDL is a good thing while LDL is the bad. You can have enough "good" to balance out the "bad".

    Someone may be interested to know that I'm taking doctor-prescribed Red Rice Yeast from the health food store (they have it here at ProHealth but I didn't know it at the time). It is lowering my cholesterol without the side effects of statins! True thing. Taken in conjunction with Co-Q 10 and essential fatty acids, it's superduper.

  8. sleepytoes

    sleepytoes New Member

    Has anyone ever questioned why we only hear of "hardening of the arteries - but not hardening of the veins?" And why is it that only the arteries become blocked? Any thoughts about these two rambling thoughts out there? Take Care
    [This Message was Edited on 03/19/2007]
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    It's been documented that people have lived long lives with high cholesterol, that there's more to it than just that...

    Some feel that homocysteine and C-reactive protein are the 2 indicators of inflammation and are as important and perhaps more important. Life Extension Foundation organization has all its info online for free, and there's many other places that talk about them too.

    If you do take Statins, tho, please make sure you do take CoQ10!!!!!! It is very important to protect your heart etc. Don't take my word for it, look it up. Forget which company it is, but the one that originally came out with the most popular actually patented a formula of its station drug with CoQ10 for that very reason, but did not market it for some unknown reason.

    all the best,

  10. happycanuk

    happycanuk New Member

    As we age, Estrogen goes down, Cholestol goes up! Apparently that is the way it works. I don't take anything and hopefully by eating a diet rich in fruits, veggies and lean meat, I will be ok.
  11. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    Although both hubby and I are on statins and both take CoQ10, do you know why?

    I didn't know one would help the other....

    Nancy B
  12. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    For all your comments. I really agree with Dancin too and others on this. I feel we have got to a stage where numbers are adjusted more for the drug companies than for our own good. I know this is absolutely true for osteoporosis drugs, which can do some real harm. It is the way they do the ads too, one in 2 women over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis sounds as if half of the women over 50 are breaking their bones, which of course is not the case. In fact the way to truthfully represent would be to say: Of women over 50 who break a bone, half are found to have thinning bones. Now "over 50" is also iffy, as maybe most of the women who comprised the half were very old and also had cancer. Darrel Huff "How to Lie with Statistics" is certainly used to scare people. I have got to the stage that if it is advertized on TV and magazibnes then be wary.

    If anyone comes across any research showing the natural increase in total cholesterol as we age, then let me know. I was reading an older library medical book which actually said that "as we age, hormones and other blood chemistry in our bodies change to accomodate the body's needs". Well of course, look at puberty, look at menopause-a reason women develop bellies after menopause is to store a little estrogen in the belly fat so I understand. I feel the Good Lord made us a certain way. Sometimes things DO go awry as with diabetes etc and it is wonderful we have meds to help, but are we overmedicalizing perfectly natural things-a good example is the latest birth control pills that prevent periods altogether! Now, here is my take on that: blood lettoing worked due to the release of excess iron that can cling to and travel on LDL around the body causing, wait for it Dancin, STICKY blood!!! Women rarely have heart attacks whilst menstruating because we loose blood each month. People who donate blood yearly seem to have fewer heart attacks, so maybe the "cure" for heart attacks is to give blood(if they will take it). Most of us have so many blood tests, I figure I give about a pint or so a year that way, as they never take my rather rare blood due to low iron).

    I am old enough to remember that when the cholesterol hype first appeared helathy was set at 260 and no one bothered with the split between LDL and HDL. BTW LDL is wrongly mislabeled BAD as it is very useful for its own purpose. The ratio may be more important as HDL scavenges fats and carries them to the liver. You are also right Dancin in that people with too low cholesterol (which may be a disease) tend to have more colon cancer, dementia illnesses etc.

    Well I will get of the soap box. Marta, I have heard of the red yeast, I think it is also the main ingredient in Cholest-off too.
    I hope this discussion can continue. I love everyone's insights, those on or off this drug.

    Love Annie C

    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2007]
  13. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Oh how I agree with that-I hope I didn't imply otherwise, I also wanted to point out how erroneous these levels are in connection with body mass too. I absolutely think that cholesterol levels should not be lumped in with hormone levels and this is exactly what some practioners are doing. I really like the Body Ourselves book and ideas, who take great pains to point the above misguided "correlation" (when there is none) out.

    The equation often missing from testing is CS or as we would say Common Sense.

    Doctors who rely only on lab tests which can vary day to day and lab to lab-(and BTW how many people have been put on BP meds when the doctor's own cuff was not recording correctly or the BP taken correctly?) I was once subjected to a slew of worry and unneeded slightly dangerous tests because a doctor failed to notice that a med he had given me raised prolactin levels-he called me at 10.00pm to tell me "You probably have a brain tumor", other docs have told me I "must be having strokes" when they see white lesions caused by our DD and migraines, I get so tired and can understand why a few people I know now will not even GO to a conventional doctor, as more and more of them rely solely on the drug company's telling them what to prescribe and why without even questioning it.

    I recently took ProHealth's report on specific sublingual B12 to my practioner, she DID read it and called me to say she has now changed her whole perspective on B12, which was great.

    Anyone ever check out those lunches that arrive in doctor offices-mostly they look totally and utterly unhealthy, whether or not they were provided by the drug companies, soda pop, sloppy joe's, heavy suaces etc. I used to work in the same building as a l;arge medical outfit and saw this daily procession of terrible foods BTW.

    Dancn, I hope things are going OK for you. I think of you often and fondly-you are such a champion.

    Love Annie C
  14. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    I've been a bit cynical about total cholesterol levels, especially because they are tested after fasting for 12 hours.....which for americans, only happens about one day out of 365 days.....the day when getting tested.

    Umm, I wonder if a "fat tolerance test" would be more useful. Say, after fasting for 12 hours, a person would eat a greasy hamburger and have cholesterol measured 2 hours after the hamburger challenge dose. Or drink a glass of liquid fat. Sort of like a glucose tolerance test.

    Anyhow, I looked up in an old Laboratory reference book (published 1974) a "normal" range study done in 1950, BBPC. (Before Big Pharmaceutical Companies!).

    Anyway, "normal" ranges for men were:

    age range(mg/dl)
    20 years 101-189
    30 " 108-218
    40 " 128-237
    50 " 145-270
    60 " 165-258
    70 " 129-246
    I assume they meant that 95% of people fall within these ranges. What is "healthy range" is anybody's guess
    I guess.

    Most Laboratories now avoid the word "normal" because so difficult to define or measure. Words like "expected values" and "reference ranges" have been substituted.

    Anyone for a cheese burger?
    cheers, mr Bill
    cromwell.....I like your theory that the more a drug is advertised on TV, the less we need it.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/21/2007]
  15. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    and how true all these sentiments seem to me.

    It is VERY interesting madscientist about those levels as one WOULD presume that this is actually what may have been considered "normal" plus since then I think the average American actually ate more meat etc, and all the fast food chains came into being. As people were not dropping like flies of heart disease (I understand that the actual rate of heart disease has not really changed that much despite s called gains (let's face it FAR more people walked and cycled to work or used the bus then too as lots of people did not own a car). I wish I had not loaned out the book written by the person who first discovered Lipid levels and how he said his theory was WRONG, after 30 years of research.

    I do think that there is a culture of FEAR being cultivated both regarding our health (yet all the government needs to do to BAN hydrogenated fats and genetically altered foods, YES and the darn messing with water with a known poison) and also scaring us to believe we are always under threat from terrible dangers, no matter from where. One of the networks recently did a program on rejecting this being scared by propoganda(that included health propoganda)I saw only about 20 mins of it, but it did help get things into perspective. I also feel that medicalizing normal body chemistry and aging is only done for big bucks-as I mentioned, why not tell MEN they are at risk for thinning bones, why go after women? Because when HRT was found to be dangerous, the drug companies had to "discover" another disease.

    I must try and find out the docs. name who wrote the book. And, as dancn says, HER too low lipids get ignored, when clearly they are out of whack.

    Interestingly, I doubt most socialized medicine countries encourage testing of all these things to the extent they do here-we poke fun at some of the medical ads. you know when the voice in the background says" "people who have trouble standing, or have poor urine flow, or high BP or may be pregnant, or have liver disease should not take this medicine" we ADD a lot of other stuff, like "people who may have trouble breathing when wearing a rubber mask, walking when wearing frog flippers, have ever discussed their sexuality with a stranger, lie down when sleeping or have kept library books past their due date, should not take this medicine." We have tremendous fun adding stupider voice overs each ad. Try it!!!

    Love Annie C
  16. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak:

    (adverse affects of statins)

    Although symptoms usually resolve on stopping the drug, for a proportion of those who have contacted us, muscle symptoms – pain or weakness – or peripheral neuropathy may persist when the drugs are discontinued.

    There is published scientific evidence that statins lower coQ10 levels in a dose-dependent fashion;

    that low levels of coQ10 relate to muscle and brain pathology;

    and that restoration of coQ10 may lead to diminution of symptoms in those with muscle or cognitive problems.

    We have received a number of anecdotal reports from statin users who developed muscle problems who report benefit from adequate doses (which vary from person to person) of coenzyme Q10 supplements, which are available over the counter.

    There is also one small controlled study that reported benefit of coQ10 to statin muscle symptoms. There are also controlled studies showing benefit of coenzyme Q10 supplementation in persons who have low levels of this biochemical not necessarily related to statin use. Coenzyme Q10 should be in gelcaps, in an oil or vitamin-E base to be absorbed.

    You can google for more info... also the mfr of the most popular statin (I believe it's Merk) applied for and received a patent for combining their statin plus CoQ10 in one pill, but has never manufactured it.

    I have no idea why, it makes no sense, unless it is because marketing such a combination would be giving some validity to a 'supplement'... hate to sound paranoid, but, I wouldn't doubt it at all.

    All the best,

  17. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    I really appreciate the time you took to explain this.

    I guess it's a good thing we're taking the CoQ10 already.


    Nancy B
  18. pat460

    pat460 New Member

    Two of my brothers were both on Lipitor for many years. Year before last, one had a heart attack and the other had a triple bypass when he had heart attack symptoms. Both came very close to death. They came home from hospital with a prescription in their hand guessed it, Lipitor! I have very dumb brothers with even dumber doctors. I was on the same drug at the time and RAN to my doctor to get off it. Now some are saying Lipitor may increase the risk for heart attacks. No kidding?

    I'm currently not on any cholesterol lowering drugs but, I do have bloodwork with a follow-up appt. scheduled next week. I know what the conversation with my doctor will be like before I go to my appts. I am researching alternatives that can help to keep my arteries clear and heart healthy and will stand my ground no matter what his opinion. If lowering cholesterol is the answer to blocked arteries and heart disease, why hasn't this epidemic gotten any better in America? I mean every one you speak to these days is on these drugs and comparing numbers. Personally I think high cholesterol isn't the culprit. Even if it is the culprit, it's clear these drugs aren't the answer.

    O.K. getting off my soapbox now, sorry.


    P.S. Is it true that any coQ10 you take should be in a gel capsule? I'll bet I'm not the only one who doesn't know this. I take 2 different types but neither is in gel form. Hmmm...
  19. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Dear Annie,

    I have several doctors in my extended family, and my dad is one too. Drug companies do not dictate health guidelines, although I'm sure they would like to. Doctors are as unique as we are. Therefore, they vary widely in how they approach and practice medicine, which is of course why it is so important to shop around for an experienced doctor that is a good match for you (sometimes easier said than done!).

    Some docs are more influenced by drug companies than others---some are influenced greatly, some are influenced a little, and some not at all. It's certainly a gray area. It would be nice if this wasn't the case, but unfortunately it is.

    As for cholesterol levels, I'm no expert, but three doctors I've seen told me that they have seen such a sharp rise in obesity rates in this country that it's critical to have cholesterol levels under control---for a woman the normal level is 200 or less to prevent heart attack risk. It's also important to have BMI (body mass index) and blood pressure within normal ranges also in conjunction with normal cholesterol levels.

    The three doctors I saw (an internist and two endocrinologists---I didn't like the first one, so I saw another one), all told me that they DO NOT LIKE prescribing statins and that they do everything possible to prevent doing it because of the side effects. *It was nice to see they weren't influenced by the drug companies in this case too.

    Two of these docs were huge supporters of FISH OIL. I take 4 grams of it nitely, and it works great for me. There's less chances of side effects (ALWAYS check with your doc before taking anything of course) and it typically lowers cholesterol much more than those icky statins. I've also heard that flaxseed oil is a good option for lowering cholesterol. I highly recommend exploring both of these alternatives.

    Best of luck. Hope this helps!