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I don't want to take Statins. Advice please.

(242 Posts)
Macerena Wed 30-Aug-23 11:44:11

I recently had routine blood tests and my cholesterol is 7.5 The doctor has said I should take statins . I haven't heard good things about them. Also, she said once started I would have to take them for life. I am underweight and do quite a lot of exercise and have never had much of an appetite but because I had a major operation in March, and needed to regain some weight I have been eating doughnuts, chocolate, biscuits, butter on everything - you get the picture! The doctor has agreed that I could try to change diet and get a blood test in December. I am a bit of an "All or nothing" person and have cut out all but veg, fruit, nuts fish. Much eye rolling from daughter. So any advice or help from anyone who is on Statins would be great. Thank you.

Macerena Wed 30-Aug-23 11:45:54

Oh and I like a beer with my dinner.

Theexwife Wed 30-Aug-23 12:04:36

You only hear about the negatives of statins, millions take them without any problems so they have no need to say anything.

There are many people who read the side effects of medication and then convince themselves they have them and those who put every symptom and condition down to a side effect. There are many who blame excessive weight gain on medication where in fact very few meds cause that and those that do would only increase your weight by about 7lbs over a period of time.

If you do not want to take them then you do not have to, personally I have no problems with them and if they protect against stroke and heart attack then I will take them.

wildswan16 Wed 30-Aug-23 12:09:49

It's definitely worth making a change to your diet as it sounds as if what you have been eating recently isn't your "normal". And if you can prevent yourself needing statins that will be a big advantage.

7.5 is quite high but is clearly related to your "unhealthy" diet recently. So just eat healthily for the next few months - and there is plenty advice online for how to do that !

However, if your cholesterol is still high you must listen to your GPs advice - you can be skinny and fit but still have a high reading. Hope it improves for you.

foxie48 Wed 30-Aug-23 12:13:31

My cholesterol was much lower than yours but I was advised to take statins as it had always been low but as I got older it had started to increase. I discussed it with my Gp and basically he said, changes to our body as we age means our liver is less effective at metabolising LDL. Increased levels make us more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Statins reduce LDL and most people take them with no noticeable side effects and can reduce our risk. GPs do not get paid to prescribe statins but they do get paid to do health checks and offer advice that may save our life. I have taken them now for over a year without any side effects, my OH has taken them for 5 years, he changed from the first ones as he did notice he felt a bit achy, the ones he takes now are absolutely fine. GP said people as they age tend to get aches and pains which are nothing to do with statins but because they have heard statins can have side effects they sometimes attribute them incorrectly, however, if you take statins and they really don't suit you, then you can just stop taking them.

henetha Wed 30-Aug-23 12:26:11

I resisted satins for years and my cholesterol grew higher and higher.
So I gave in and it almost immediately halved. I've had no problems whatsoever. It's over 5 years ago now that I started them . My cholesterol remains low.

Luckygirl3 Wed 30-Aug-23 12:26:35

As has been said you only hear the bad stories. I have been taking for years and no problems.

Bea65 Wed 30-Aug-23 12:32:57

Have taken statins since mild stroke 12 yrs ago...its preventive meds and my cholesterol is at an acceptable level..don't dismiss them!

Juliet27 Wed 30-Aug-23 12:33:24

Statins give me a retinal migraine almost straight away so I’m going to try taking plant sterols.

ayse Wed 30-Aug-23 12:42:56

I had a discussion fairly recently with my GP. I have been seeing her for many years now so trust her judgement. I asked her about her opinion about statins. She explained about negative publicity and also about risk factors. There is quite an amount of information on about statins if you search the forums.

I believe that if you have reached 70 without taking them there is not a great deal to be gained. I found information that suggested that older people need more cholesterol. I was also surprised that there don’t seem to have been any larger long term studies. Anyway my GP suggested I think about it. She said I could try them and if I wasn’t happy, I could stop.

If my GP had strongly recommended them I may well have tried them. The medical profession also have their own opinions.

Poppyred Wed 30-Aug-23 12:57:43

I’m not surprised your cholesterol was high, eating all that junk! Go back to healthy eating with plenty of nuts, olive oil, avocados - Mediterranean diet basically and get your bloods checked again in December.

Your life will be cut short eating junk food, there won’t be any need to worry much about statins.

MerylStreep Wed 30-Aug-23 12:57:59

If you do decide to take them and get any side affects ( mainly leg cramps) you’ve been given the cheap statin ( most people are given this one) then you will be given the expensive one that didn’t want to give you.

sassysaysso Wed 30-Aug-23 13:05:01

I do hope a change of diet reduces your cholesterol but if not should just like to say that had I not been taking statins

1. The small heart attack I suffered would have been a large heart attack that I may not have survived
2. Someone I know resisted taking statins until she had a TIA which acted as a wake up call.

High cholesterol does not necessarily reflect a bad high fat diet, the body manufactures cholesterol by itself.

Macerena Wed 30-Aug-23 13:11:37

Thank you so much everybody for your replies. As soon as I share a worry on here, I feel better. Also, It's good to hear from people who have had experience of statins. Nobody else I know seems to have high cholesterol!

Oldbat1 Wed 30-Aug-23 13:13:19

My cholesterol issue is familial. It reached nearly 9 and reluctantly I started statins a few years ago. I have no obvious side effects but i have achy legs occasional nerve shooting foot discomfort which i just put down to age. Who knows?

M0nica Wed 30-Aug-23 13:16:29

Ask your doctor what your probability of having a stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years 1) if you take statins, 2) if you do not take statins and note how big the divergence is.

I refused statins initially because the difference between the two was only 2%. I have since gone on them because I have had a minor stroke, although whether it is because I refused to take statins or not is impossible to tell, as the probabilities of my having a stroke any way was 17.5% and statins would only reduce this to 15.5%.

My GP said my high cholesterol was probably genetic as over the 15 years before my stroke, my cholesterol measurement has consistently been 8.0 and never varied from that number.

RedRidingHood Wed 30-Aug-23 13:20:27

First of all you don't always have to have very high cholestrol to benefit from statins.

I know many people who take them and none have side effects. DH has taken them for years as he has high BP.

Doctors do a risk assessment of your liklihood of a heart event. Called a qrisk you can do it for yourself or view it on your medical notes via the NHS app. If you score over a certain amount they recommend statins whatever your age or cholestrol. Mine was 21 and my cholestrol was 4.9.
I was advised to take statins. My reluctance was due to the fact that I already take multiple drugs for other health conditions. I am fit and BMI is 21 and I eat a healthy diet.

However I agreed to take a 10mg dose.
No side effects and my cholestrol dropped to 3

There was a study that showed the side effects people complain about were largely unrelated to the statins.

cc Wed 30-Aug-23 15:17:58

I started taking them a month ago, initially had sore knees (which may have been unconnected) but now absolutely fine.
Frankly I'd rather be alive than dead, even if there were minor side effects.
My GP is going to check me out in a couple of weeks and told me that there are many different statins and that he would try another if I have problems.

Grantanow Wed 30-Aug-23 15:38:21

There's a lot of loony nonsense talked about statins. Millions of people take them every day and so do I with no ill effects whatsoever.

growstuff Wed 30-Aug-23 15:59:42

I'm another one who was reluctant to take statins - until I had a heart attack. I've been taking them for six years. I had a break (suggested by GP) because I had aches and pains, but the break made no difference, which suggests the aches were caused by something else. I now take Rosuvastatin. I still have aches and pains, probably caused by diabetes and general aging, but don't have any other side effects.

My total cholesterol was lower than yours and has now been about 3.7 for years, which is OK. The GP should have given you your triglyceride figure. If that's high (over 1.7), it could be because your liver is overloaded with sugar and can be improved with diet.

Marydoll Wed 30-Aug-23 16:42:33

I take statins and have no problems. My chlorestoral was not high, my arteries are clear, no leaky valves and a healthy diet, according to my cardiology consultant.

However, I have had two heart attacks, due to genetics and R.A, which would have been more severe if I hadn't been taking blood thinners and statins. A no brainer for me.

Primrose53 Wed 30-Aug-23 16:59:07

Puts tin hat on!!🤣

Never taken them and never will. I hate the things. 20 years ago I was advised to take them by GP but I said I would go home and do my own research. I saw my Dad deteriorate just weeks after starting them, countless elderly people I worked with and I didn’t like what I was reading.

20 years on I have no problems whatsoever and recently did a health check and my risk of having a heart attack or stroke was only 10% so I am happy with that. As my old neighbour used to say (who tried 3 different types of statin all of which made her very poorly) “ I would rather have high cholesterol and feel well than be on these things, feeling so ill that I can’t do anything or enjoy my life.”

It’s your body and your choice but I would say cut out all that junk you have been filling up on and you may find it will come down anyway.

Primrose53 Wed 30-Aug-23 16:59:41

PS My cholesterol was higher than yours.

Norah Wed 30-Aug-23 17:00:56

Perhaps add healthy fats to your diet and avoid statins?

Primrose53 Wed 30-Aug-23 17:03:01


There's a lot of loony nonsense talked about statins. Millions of people take them every day and so do I with no ill effects whatsoever.

It’s not “loony nonsense” if you feel so poorly you can’t get out of bed in the morning or your joints and muscles ache like mad when they never did before. It’s also very worrying if you start forgetting things and are easily confused shortly after starting statins.