Why Not To Use Coconut Oil With Statins
Statin drugs are powerful, potent drugs used to reduce high cholesterol. However, MayoClinic.com indicates that even if you’re on one of these prescription medications, it’s still important to keep an eye on what you eat. You’ll need to curb your intake of certain dietary fats specifically saturated fat and trans fat. Coconut oil is one dietary fat you’ll probably want to avoid if you take statin medications for high cholesterol.
Cholesterol Is Fat That Is Found In Our Blood Sometimes Its Called Lipids When We Hear This Word We Think Of It Building Up In Our Arteries And Contributing To Long
Healthy levels of cholesterol are vital for our cells to function and to make vitamin D and some hormones.
There are two main types HDL or high-density lipoprotein and LDL or low-density lipoprotein . If the levels of your bad cholesterol become too high and the good cholesterol too low, you are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular complications .
There are also triglycerides . These can have bad effects on your health if levels are high, too.
For many people, eating a healthy, balanced diet and being physically active is enough to keep cholesterol levels healthy. But if your bad cholesterol is high, most people need medication to lower it. And for people with diabetes, it is important that you have your levels checked every year. You can find out why itâs important in our video.
Can Statins Damage My Liver
Liver damage from taking statins is extremely uncommon. We used to test patients for liver damage throughout the course of statin treatment, but because of the rarity of that potential side effect, the Food and Drug Administration determined that regular monitoring of liver function tests is unnecessary for patients taking statins. Now, we check a patients liver enzymes before we begin statin therapy to ensure the liver is healthy before treatment begins, and we dont put anyone through unnecessary testing during treatment, unless symptoms arise.
Interestingly, there is a statin study examining people who already had abnormal liver function tests and fatty liver. Roughly half of the participants took a statin medication, and the other half took a placebo. The people who took statins actually had improvements in their liver function compared to the placebo group and had a lower risk of cardiovascular events. People who have blood sugar issues, have insulin resistance, and are obese or have other risks for heart disease often have fatty liver and abnormal liver function tests. The study suggests that these people may need statins the most.
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Whos More Likely To Have Side Effects From Statins
Not everyone who takes a statin has side effects. According to a , youre more likely to experience side effects if you:
- were assigned female at birth
- are 65 years old or older
- have type 1 or 2 diabetes
- take multiple medications to lower your cholesterol
- have a smaller body frame
- have liver or kidney disease
- consume too much alcohol
If youre experiencing side effects, a doctor or other healthcare professional may want you to try another statin, change your dosage, or try a different medication.
Why Have I Been Offered Statins
Having a high level of LDL cholesterol is potentially dangerous, as it can lead to a hardening and narrowing of the arteries and cardiovascular disease .
CVD is a general term that describes a disease of the heart or blood vessels. It’s the most common cause of death in the UK.
The main types of CVD are:
- coronary heart disease when the blood supply to the heart becomes restricted
- angina chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles
- heart attacks when the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked
- stroke when the supply of blood to the brain becomes blocked
A doctor may recommend taking statins if either:
- you have been diagnosed with a form of CVD
- your personal and family medical history suggests you’re likely to develop CVD at some point over the next 10 years and lifestyle measures have not reduced this risk
Find out more about when statins may be recommended.
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Tell Your Healthcare Provider What Else You Are Taking
Always be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are taking any other medications, vitamins, minerals, or herbal supplements. Certain medications and supplements may negatively interact with statins, possibly decreasing the effectiveness of the statin or increasing statin concentrations in the blood.
Contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any side effects from taking a statin. They may need to adjust your medication or dose to help minimize any negative side effects.
Some possible side effects of taking a statin include:
Do Statins Cause Muscle Pain And Weakness
Muscle aches occur in about 10 percent of people who take statins. Its the most common side effect of statins, but another way to look at it is that nine out of 10 patients dont experience it at all.
When patients do have muscle pain:Actual muscle damage occurs in only 1 in 10,000 patients. In the rare event that muscle damage occurs, it is almost always reversible. To correct it while still protecting you from heart attack or stroke, we can adjust your medication or try a different statin. There also are many strategies to effectively manage muscle symptoms while continuing to take your medication.
If you experience muscle pain while taking a statin, dont stop taking it without first talking with your doctor. For almost all patients, were able to find an effective medication that the body can tolerate. If you simply cant tolerate statins, there are other cholesterol medications we can prescribe.
- The symptom is often resolved by adjusting the medication dosage or switching to a different statin.
- Occasionally, the statins have to be stopped altogether.
- When the medication is switched or stopped, the symptoms go away and there is no damage to the muscle.
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The Benefits Of Statins
Most statins successfully help lower LDL, or bad cholesterol. Lowering your cholesterol levels with statins helps decrease your risk of stroke, heart attack, and other vessel-related diseases.
They work better than any other cholesterol treatment, says Dr. Richard N. Fogoros, a cardiologist and former professor of medicine.
Statins offer other benefits besides lowering your cholesterol. For example, they help stabilize the blood vessel lining, which benefits the whole body. This also makes plaque less likely to rupture in the heart, lowering the risk of a heart attack.
Statins help prevent cholesterol from forming in the liver. They may also help lower triglycerides and increase HDL levels.
Statins also help to relax the blood vessels, which leads to a decrease in blood pressure.
What A Statin Can Do
“Statins are very simple: You take them once a day, and their effects are quite profound,” says Patrick McBride, MD, MPH, director of the cholesterol clinic at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
- Statins quickly reduce LDL, the “bad,” cholesterol by 50% or more.
- Statins boost HDL, the “good” cholesterol, by up to 15%.
You should see major changes in your cholesterol levels within two to four weeks after starting treatment.
When you take a statin, you do more than improve your cholesterol levels. They also reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart problems. âStatins are one of the great success stories of modern medicine,” McBride says.
So does taking a statin mean you can sit on the couch and eat bacon all day? Of course not. Doctors say the best way to protect your heart is to make healthy lifestyle changes while taking a statin.
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Feeding Your Heart: Foods To Help Lower Cholesterol
Fruits like avocados and apples, and citrus fruits like oranges and bananas can help lower cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a material produced in the liver that your body needs to make hormones, vitamin D and other substances. Two types are in the body: Good and bad.
Bad cholesterol is called LDL cholesterol and too much of it in the body can increase risk of heart disease, says Paula McIntyre, a Marshfield Clinic registered dietitian.
Higher levels of LDL cholesterol can be deposited in the arteries, which narrows them and increases heart disease risk, she said.
Cholesterol also can come from foods we eat, so feeding your heart the right foods is an important way to lower bad cholesterol levels.
You can break down LDL cholesterol eating healthy fats and soluble fiber.
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How Are Doctors Sure That Statins Really Are Safe And Beneficial
Statins have been studied more than nearly any other drug that people take. In fact, more than 170,000 people who take statins have been studied in detail and for extended periods of time. We certainly know the benefits of statins.
We also understand the risks of statins. In some instances, after doctors have prescribed a drug for 10 years or more, it is taken off the market because of unforeseen, adverse side effects. Weve been prescribing statins since the 1990s for patients at high risk for stroke and heart disease. With statins, the side effects actually are well known. But how can we put that in perspective?
Any focus on statin side effects needs to be counterbalanced by the fact that statins reduce peoples risk of dying from heart attack, heart disease, or stroke. Data from the 2008 JUPITER Trial suggest a 54 percent heart attack risk reduction and a 48 percent stroke risk reduction in people at risk for heart disease who used statins as preventive medicine. The data are not speculative rather, they reflect statins real potential to save lives and avoid illness.
There are many varieties of brand name and generic statins available. All statins work in more or less the same way to lower bad cholesterol in patients at high risk for cardiac events.
Below are a few of the common brand names you may recognize, along with their generic counterparts:
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Swap Fatty Meats For Lean Cuts
Fatty meats are not good for you if you are trying to get lower triglycerides. Saturated fat in meat increases bad LDL cholesterol and contributes to high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Switch to lean cuts of meat if you do indulge. Avoid processed meats including cold cuts, bacon, ham, and sausage as these contribute to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. Fatty fish is a better protein choice as it supplies healthy fats that boost heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, and tuna boost heart health and may help reduce your risk of a heart attack. However, avoid large game fish like swordfish, sailfish and king mackerel as they may contain mercury.
How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test
When and how often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger::
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older::
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
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Get Medical Advice From Your Doctor Not The Internet
There is no reason to be afraid of taking statins if you are at high risk for heart attack or stroke. Whats really scary is the amount of inaccurate information out there that keeps so many people from getting the protection they need!
The risks and side effects associated with statins are real they arent zero, but theyre very small. However, the benefits of statins for high-risk patients are substantial, and theyre invisible. Patients often dont consider that they didnt have a stroke or heart attack last year theyre too busy living and enjoying their lives while the statin medication protects them behind the scenes.
Statins are not for everyone, and there are complementary ways to lower your risk for heart disease. But for high-risk patients, the benefits of statins far outweigh the risks, and statin medications have a very important role in protecting their hearts and their lives. Its vital that you get medical advice from a doctor instead of trusting potentially misleading information on the Internet.
Though statins are incredibly effective, there are many different forms of heart disease. Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of men and women in our country, and the epidemic is spreading throughout the world. As long as the battle continues, well continue researching new ways to prevent and treat heart disease.
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
You cant tell if you have high cholesterol without having it checked. A simple blood test will reveal your cholesterol level.
Men 35 years of age and older and women 45 years of age and older should have their cholesterol checked. Men and women 20 years of age and older who have risk factors for heart disease should have their cholesterol checked. Teens may need to be checked if they are taking certain medicines or have a strong family history of high cholesterol. Ask your doctor how often you should have your cholesterol checked.
Risk factors for heart disease include:
- Cigarette smoking
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Will A Keto Diet Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol
No, keto diets have been shown to increase cholesterol levels. The Mediterranean diet, however, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiac events.
The Mediterranean diet promotes eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats daily eating fish, poultry, beans, and eggs weekly reducing portions of dairy and limiting red meat.
How Do Triglycerides Circulate In The Blood
Pure cholesterol cannot mix with or dissolve in the blood. Instead, the liver packages cholesterol with triglycerides and proteins called lipoproteins. The lipoproteins move this fatty mixture to areas throughout the body.
Types of these lipoproteins include very low-density lipoproteins , high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins .
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What Are Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of fat and the most common type of fat in your body, states Roshini Malaney, DO, a board certified cardiologist with Manhattan Cardiology in New York City. Similar to cholesterol, triglycerides are made in the liver and exist in certain foods, including butter, margarine and oils, as well as other high fat or high carbohydrate foods. When we consume extra calories, the body converts the calories it doesnt need to use right away into triglycerides, which are then stored in fat cells, she adds.
How Do Statins Work
Statins work by slowing down the production of LDL-cholesterol in the liver, where its made. Because the liver isn’t making so much cholesterol, it then takes cholesterol out of your blood to make bile with, so your blood cholesterol levels fall.
Statins slow down LDL-cholesterol production by blocking an enzyme called HMG-CoA-Reductase the medical name for statins is HMG-CoA Reductase inhibitors. Enzymes are proteins in the body which speed up normal processes. In this case, LDL production.
Statins can lower your triglycerides
As well as lowering your LDL-cholesterol, statins can lower your triglycerides too, and high triglycerides are linked to liver disease, heart disease and diabetes.
Statins can raise HDL cholesterol
Statins can sometimes raise your HDL-cholesterol the type of cholesterol which helps to clear the fat from of your arteries.
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How Pcsk9 Inhibitors Work
PCSK9 inhibitors work to lower cholesterol in patients whove been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, have a genetic propensity for high cholesterol or are at high risk for heart attack or stroke. PCSK9 inhibitors may also be effective alone for certain patients who cant tolerate a statin or cant achieve goal cholesterol levels while on other cholesterol-lowering medications.
This new class of drugs successfully lowers LDL by 50 to 70% when taken alone or in combination with a statin, says Brook, citing a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that shows PCSK9 inhibitors can actually prevent heart attacks and strokes. This benefit was shown even in patients taking statins who had LDL levels below 100 mg/dL who were previously thought to be well controlled, says Brook.
These PCSK9 inhibitors target PCSK9 proteins in the liver that destroy the livers receptors responsible for removing excess cholesterol from the blood. Because these proteins are destroyed, more receptors are then able to do their job, successfully lowering the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
The PCSK9 inhibitor is injected in the skin of the abdomen or upper thigh every two to four weeks. Despite promising results, a major drawback for many patients is the cost.
Why Did My Doctor Prescribe Statins If My Cholesterol Is Normal
Even if your circulating cholesterol is normal according to the numbers onyour blood test results, there may already be plaque present in yourarteries that indicates youre at risk for cardiovascular disease, saysJohns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha. Additional tests may show moreconclusively that plaque build-up is a problem.
Because many factors are involved, your cholesterol numbers may beconsidered normal and yet you may still be found to be at an elevated riskfor heart problems. As a result, statin medications are now used to lowerthe risk of heart disease and heart events in most anyone found to be athigh risk.
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