Have you ever felt like your doctor didn’t quite believe what you said to them?

Years ago when patients would ask me what the statin side effects were I would reply with my bog standard response. “Most people are ok with these, the worst thing that could happen is a few muscle aches, and that’s unlikely”

I remember seeing a woman who had been on statins for a few months. She complained of having bouts of total amnesia, where she didn’t even know who she was! She was convinced it was her new medication and I was a bit dubious to say the least. After all, statins are wonder drugs aren’t they….?

What is Cholesterol For?

Cholesterol is found in every cell membrane, it helps make them ‘water proof”. This enables the contents of the cell to be different to the fluid that surrounds them. We wouldn’t be here without cholesterol.

Cholesterol is so important that every single cell can make it, although it is your liver that makes most of it. However it’s not an easy thing for your body to make, so it’s important to get enough from your diet.

Cholesterol is particularly important in the brain and quite a lot is found there.

Statin Side Effects

 

When you realise that cholesterol is vital for healthy brain function, it is little surprise that some of the many potential statin side effects include things like:

  1. depression
  2. confusion
  3. inability to concentrate
  4. memory problems  (sometimes severe – like my patient).

I found this article interesting. An American psychiatrist takes all her female patients off statins. (There is actually very little evidence that women get any benefit from statins).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-brogan-md/women-statins_b_4283650.html

Most people are put on statins to reduce the cardiovascular risk but it’s far more effective doing this in a natural way by having a diet:

  1. Full of healthy natural fat
  2. Avoidance of processed vegetable oils and trans fats
  3. Minimal sugar and refined carbs
  4. Moderate intake of carbs overall

Remember from butter vs margarine it is carbs that cause your problem with ‘bad’ cholesterol. It is much safer (and more effective) to reduce (or better – stop altogether) sugar and refined carbs.

If your are taking statins and would like more information Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s book – The Great Cholesterol Con, is a good place to start.

Please put your questions and comments below.

Until next week, Uber Health to you

Dr Julie :)