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Statins Side-Effects: Beware Of This Common Adverse Effect

Statins Side-Effects: Beware Of This Common Adverse Effect post image

A common side-effect of taking cholesterol-lowering drugs and how to get rid of it.

Statins are drugs that target the ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood to try and reduce it.

Lowering the fatty substance can help to decrease the risk of hearth disease and stroke.

While the drugs are generally well-tolerated, there are a number of side-effects.

These can depend on the exact type of statin.

For people taking atorvastatin, though, one relatively common side-effect is myalgia, which means muscle pain.

Taking atorvastatin sometimes causes inflammation and damage to muscles, which is the cause of muscle pain.

If you are experiencing a side-effect like this, it is best to see your doctor and they may choose to do a blood test.

The blood test can help to determine if there are elevated levels of creatine kinase in your body.

Creatine kinase is a substance released when the muscles are damaged.

If the levels are elevated, your doctor may choose to take you off the statins for a period until the creatine kinase levels return to normal.

Then, later they may put you back on statins at a lower level.

Another way of avoiding muscle pain from taking statins is to do a little exercise (Lotteau et al., 2019).

Other common side-effects of statins include are headaches, stomach pain, dizziness, constipation and feeling sick.

In addition, some people taking the cholesterol medication report pins and needles in their hands and feet.

Alternatives to taking statins

Because of the side-effects of statins, researchers are looking for alternatives to lower cholesterol.

One method which has recently attracted attention is the use of natural foods with cholesterol-lowering properties.

One study gave patients foods with real ingredients, such as walnuts, dark chocolate and smoothies containing strawberries and bananas.

The foods used typically have high levels of plant sterols, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

The results showed that cholesterol levels were decreased by 9 percent on average in three days, with some seeing reductions of 30 percent.

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition (Kopecky et al., 2022).

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