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High Cholesterol Message Board


High Cholesterol Board Index


My total cholesterol is 276. It's been high for at least 15 years....since they started testing. I did the niacin thing a while back and then went to a naturopath for other health problems and she advised me to stop the niacin as it would (in large doses) eventually damage my liver.
Anyone know where the cut off point is for niacin doses to prevent liver damamge. I'm presently on Lipitor, but i don't have a drug plan and it's costing me an arm and a leg....$2. per pill. Thought I'd go back to niacin as it would be miles cheaper. Prior to niacin I did the exercise, strict diet, oat bran, etc. It only went down about 5 %. Then when I did the niacin (gradually increasing over weeks) it worked! and for the first time my cholesterol was in a normal range. My family doctor at the time was amazed.
If anyone can tell me what the cut off point is for how much niacin before liver damage becomes an issue. Thanks much.
cossette
Cossette2,

Generally speaking, most people, on their own can safely take up to about 1000mg/day of niacin. If you take doses higher than that, you really should be doing so while being periodically monitored by your doctor. You most certainly run the risk of both liver damage and muscle damage from Lipitor, which is why your doctor will frequently check for this via blood tests.

I don't know how much niacin you were taking, but if you had success with it, I think that it would be to your advantage to use niacin instead. I think it's more beneficial than Lipitor, and far less costly. I would certainly discuss this with your doctor. You can still be safely monitored while using niacin, so you really shouldn't have any reason not to use it. So go ahead and ask your doctor. You've got nothing to lose.
Cossette,

With either choice make sure you get liver enzymes checked...certainly after the first month. Then maybe annually (or more the first year of Lipitor).
With niacin you will need to check if you are getting the lipid response you desire- don't just assume it! Since you're taking a health food store med, your insurance company might balk at the testing cost!

I overwhelmingly chose Lipitor for efficacy and comfort. Nobody can honestly claim cutting LDL in half and raising HDL 20% in a single month with niacin.

All I can say about the hideous price gouging is that all dosages cost close to the same for a tablet...and pill spillters are also cost splitters ;) ;) . A statin is going generic in 2006 so that should help with costs.

Good luck, whatever you choose.
[SIZE=3][SIZE=2][COLOR=Navy][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Hi cossette2 I don't know how much is too much....
My total cholesterol was 161 I'm also taking Lipitor mines 10mg, My Dr. added Niaspan 500mg daily to lower my triclerides<---spelling.......I'm 39 yrs. old I had a heart attack a few months ago.
The Dr. told me 161 was to high for a woman with heart disease so he added Niaspan to my diet which is the same as Niacin. I don't know what my total # is right now I have to have it check in a few weeks hopefully it's way down.....I can relate on the cost of Lipitor it's very expensive.
I'm also very worried about liver damage by taking Lipitor or any lowering Cholesterol drug.
I'm glad to hear that statin drugs are going generic it will save me some money. ;)[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][/SIZE]
Gemi Lee,

If your doctor made the blanket statement that 161 Total Cholesterol was too high, then you should report him to his state medical board. He is INCOMPETENT.
With or without STATINS a TC of 161 is PERFECTION. Some say that going below 160 has it's dangers.

On the other hand there could CONCEIVABLY be reason for further intervention if your HDL's are VERY low and the bulk of your TC is made up of LDL...another goal is controlling LDL to 100 in patients with a history of heart disease.

Do you know your LDL, HDL and Triglyceride numbers on that 161 test?

Of course the combination of statins and niacin compounds GREATLY enhances the chances of liver damage over either used alone.
[QUOTE=zip2play]Gemi Lee,

If your doctor made the blanket statement that 161 Total Cholesterol was too high, then you should report him to his state medical board. He is INCOMPETENT.
With or without STATINS a TC of 161 is PERFECTION. Some say that going below 160 has it's dangers.

On the other hand there could CONCEIVABLY be reason for further intervention if your HDL's are VERY low and the bulk of your TC is made up of LDL...another goal is controlling LDL to 100 in patients with a history of heart disease.

Do you know your LDL, HDL and Triglyceride numbers on that 161 test?

Of course the combination of statins and niacin compounds GREATLY enhances the chances of liver damage over either used alone.[/QUOTE]


[COLOR=Navy][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Hi zip2play My Cardiologist said that 161 would be fine if I was a man but not for a woman with heart disease he wants My total Cholestrol around a 100 I believe.
I don't remember all my #'s he just said that my good Cholesterol was to low and my Triglecerides were too high.
When I get it check in a couple of weeks I'm going to write down my numbers.
Thanks for the information.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[QUOTE=Gemi_Lee][COLOR=Navy][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Hi zip2play My Cardiologist said that 161 would be fine if I was a man but not for a woman with heart disease he wants My total Cholestrol around a 100 I believe.
I don't remember all my #'s he just said that my good Cholesterol was to low and my Triglecerides were too high.
When I get it check in a couple of weeks I'm going to write down my numbers.
Thanks for the information.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Wow! A total near 100 mg/dL is pretty hard to achieve. I had mine as low as 96 mg/dL before, but my numbers were something like LDL 51 HDL 44 TG 34 (just looked back on my post to JacquelineL). Anyway, thats the first I heard of it. Even the most staunch cholesterol watchers use a cutoff of 150 mg/dL total. I think maybe your doctor meant LDL <100 mg/dL, which is exactly the recommendation for anyone with CHD, while the non CHD folks can have LDL <130 mg/dL. Does this sound more like it?

I did have my MI also, at age 35, which a cholesterol near 170 mg/dL, but my HDL was 25 mg/dL due in part to a sedentary lifestyle, and due in part to many other failures to do the right things for my health. My cholesterol was recently in the 160s but my HDL is now 60 mg/dL. It makes a large difference in the ratios....
[QUOTE=ubernier]Wow! A total near 100 mg/dL is pretty hard to achieve. I had mine as low as 96 mg/dL before, but my numbers were something like LDL 51 HDL 44 TG 34 (just looked back on my post to JacquelineL). Anyway, thats the first I heard of it. Even the most staunch cholesterol watchers use a cutoff of 150 mg/dL total. I think maybe your doctor meant LDL <100 mg/dL, which is exactly the recommendation for anyone with CHD, while the non CHD folks can have LDL <130 mg/dL. Does this sound more like it?

I did have my MI also, at age 35, which a cholesterol near 170 mg/dL, but my HDL was 25 mg/dL due in part to a sedentary lifestyle, and due in part to many other failures to do the right things for my health. My cholesterol was recently in the 160s but my HDL is now 60 mg/dL. It makes a large difference in the ratios....[/QUOTE]

[COLOR=Navy][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Hi ubernier your probably right I just mis-understood my Cardiologist, when I had my MI my Cholestrol was 203 which isn't that bad that's without taking any medication, serveal years ago it was 279 Wheeee......& my Triglecerides were out of this world......I'm planning on getting all my results next week We'll see if the Niaspan is lowering my Triglecerides, hope so.
Thanks everyone[/FONT][/COLOR]
Normally a person who is at risk or who have had an MI,they will want their LDL cholesterol to be 100 and below.Is it possible you misunderstood?





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