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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I have high chlolesterol, without medication ~300 Total. I have been on and off different meds for the past 7 years, switching because of muscle / joint complaints. I am a 33 year old male and recently had a Coratoid Artery Ultra Sound which showed some moderate plaque build up, putting me in th 85% percentile for my age. I eat a very low fat diet, do daily light exercise (walking / riding bike) and am not overweight (5' 9" 145 pounds). 2 weeks ago I started having some real bad muscle and joint aches. My muscles didn't burn and I didn't have any loss of strength, but I just felt like they were really tight and needed to be constantly stretched and ocassionaly I would stand up and just feel weak, but didn't actually experience any weakness.

I called my doctor and he told me to stop taking the 10mg of Lipitor and asked that I switch to Crestor 5mg. He also did some blood work checking liver function and creatine kinase levels. Both tests turned out normal, with creatine kinase levels at 150, with normal being less than 200.

So instead of switching again, I just stopped taking Lipitor and about a week later I felt better. I talked to my doctor and he said that the muscle aches probably weren't from the Lipitor as the blood work was all normal and the creatine kinase levels would have caught any muscle breakdown.

I have my suspicions that the problem may have been from the Lipitor, and was wondering if anyone knew of blood work that would prove so... Or what is actually happening that causes the muscle aches if the liver and CK levels look good.

Lastly what is a good alternative for Lipitor for someone like me with a high genetic component. I have tried fish oil, but have a shellfish and some fish allergy and my ears would itch real bad when taking various brands, so I didn't want to continue. I did high levels of Niacin which only brought levels down 10-20 points, but ended up giving me bad reflux. I currently take 100mg CoQ10 daily, pomegrant juice and lots of flax, but when I stopped a statin in the past my levels jumped right back up. I thought about red rice yeast, but other family members have had minimal results. Are there as effective alternatives to statins? Is there any logic to doctors having you jump from one to another when muscles start becoming bothersome?

Sorry for the lengthy post, I am just confused and even after reading through 100's of posts here, can't get a clear picture.. I feel like I should be aggressive in lowering cholesterol given my levels and the early plaque buildup, but not sure what.

Basically here are my questions:
- Muscle and Joint aches, how can I tell if Lipitor/statins are to blame when liver and creatine kinase levels are normal
- Are there effective alternatives to statins aside from Niacin, Diet, Omega's

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