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High Cholesterol Message Board


High Cholesterol Board Index


[COLOR="Navy"]Hi everyone!

You have quite an interesting community here, lots of good info!
first things first: I apologize for the wall of text.

Now some background. I’m a male, 35 years old and three months ago I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, then 3 weeks later with high cholesterol, at the time of the first appointment with the internist I was obese with 107 kilos (236 pounds) and 180 cm (5´11”) height, very poor lifestyle (lots saturated fat, too many fried foods, junk food junkie and huge amounts of sugar), also a heavy smoker (one pack a day). The day I was diagnosed with HBP I started a diet; exercise followed a couple of weeks after that.

Oh, and in case you haven´t noticed yet, English is not my first language, so I’m sorry for the broken English.

I know this is a support forum and not a doctor's office, what I’m looking for is opinions, personal experiences, recomendations and support. :)

My numbers when diagnosed 3 months ago:

Total Chol 261 (6.75 mmol)
LDL 203 (5.25 mmol)
HDL 37 (0.95 mmol)
Non HDL 224
Triglycerides 219 (2.47 mmol)
Tot Chol / HDL 7.1
Apo A 135
Apo B 149
ApoA / ApoB 1.1

The doctor put me on statin therapy and recommended to lose weight and change my diet.
The first statin I tried was Livalo (Pitavastatin 2 mg), six days after taking it had moderate muscle and joint aches and extreme tiredness making it very difficult to exercise.

On the seventh day I had what [B]now I know[/B] (not thanks to this doctor) was my first panic attack, I thought I was going to die.
The next day I went to the doctor´s office and after a quick checkup he recommended suspending Livalo for 1 week and if the pain improved, switch to Lipitor. He had nothing to say about the other symptoms (panic attacks) and just prescribed Atarax to get better sleep.

On a side note, I was later diagnosed with panic disorder and panic attacks, it is obvious that this doctor knew my “worst” symptoms were related to anxiety and I resent he did not say a word about it, those were some awful days before finding out what I had. I´m ok now, have not had an attack in weeks.

Anyway, I finally started Lipitor and in less than 10 days the pain and fatigue were much worse than on Livalo, I decided to stop taking it the day I could not even walk half a kilometer before having to go back home for a nap, the pain was very intense and my total energy was close to 0.

A few days later after stopping Lipitor I started to feel more energy and a slight decrease of pain. I´m still not 100% recovered, but much much better now.

I took statins a total of 16 days.

Three weeks after my last statin pill I took a new lipid test for the follow-up appointment…

Original New Change
Total Chol 261 227 -34 / -13%
LDL 203 160 -43 / -21%
HDL 37 38 1 / 3%
Non HDL 224 189 -35 / -16%
Triglycerides 219 184 -35 / -16%
Tot Chol / HDL 7.1 6.0 -1.1 / -15%
Apo A 135 143 8 / 6%
Apo B 149 116 -33 / -22%
ApoA / ApoB 1.1 0.8 0.3 / -27%

Now, I know the new numbers are far from ideal, but there was some improvement in 70 days with simple lifestyle changes, yet the doctor insists that the only way for me is therapy with statins, he now wants me to try Vyotrin (Zetia & Zocor combined), but I cannot stop thinking that maybe , just maybe I could further lower my numbers with deeper lifestyle changes. I also read that it is common to have high LDL and triglycerides while dieting to lose weight, so do not know what to think of that.

So far all I've done is going out for a walk for 1 hour 5 times a week (when the effects of statins allowed me to), lose 13 kilos (28 pounds) and significantly cut sugar and processed foods.

I think I still have a lot to do, like increase fiber content in my diet, include steel cut oats, cinnamon, green tea, beans, lentils, more fruits and vegetables, more fish, lose another 10 kilos (22 pounds), quit smoking, increase exercise intensity, etc… yet the doctor emphatically tells me that I MUST find a statin that I can tolerate.

I left the doctor’s office quite sad and puzzled. I was hoping we could try a natrual approach before keep searching for the right statin, but he just won’t listen.

I was thinking of doing more improvements to my diet, lose more weight and try to stop smoking, then retest in 1 month and depending on the results, try or not the Vyotrin, but I´m not sure.

I have already tried 2 statins and I’m afraid to try a new one for possible side effects.

So, what do you think? Is possible to improve my numbers without a statin?
Should I just try the new med now and see if it does not give me bad side effects?

Are my numbers so bad that I should just try the new med and get over with it?

Am I being naive by thinking I can turn around these numbers without a statin?

Any ideas?

[I]Too long; didn´t read summary:[/I] Diagnosed with high cholesterol 3 months ago, since then tried 2 statins, both gave very bad side effects, lost 28 pounds, started exercising, got rid of junk food and lowered my worst numbers a 21% & 16%. Still have a lot to improve on lifestyle, yet my doctor wants me to keep trying statins until I find one that does not make me wish I were dead.[/COLOR]





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