Statins and diabetes linked?

By Nick1962 Latest Reply 2012-02-27 15:03:59 -0600
Started 2012-01-10 08:21:42 -0600

I thought I’d see this first thing here today. Saw a quick bit on the news last night that is linking statins (cholesterol medications) to be the cause of a nearly 50% increase risk for diabetes in long-time users. The article here states this to be among older women,
but the news bit I watched didn’t have that same focus as this article states
The end of the first article does make a quick mention of our obesity epidemic, which I think is really the base cause of both D and high cholesterol, but the second article does make a link to neuropathy as well.
May all be hokum, but I found it interesting.

40 replies

Armourer 2012-01-13 16:22:51 -0600 Report

I found this interesting too. I was on statins for 18 years. Seven years ago I started to have small lumbar back pain. I could make it go away just by pressing my finger against the spot. It has continued to point where now my muscles lock-up just getting a drink of water at the sink or brushing my teeth. I can't walk a quarter of a block without my back locking up which affects my legs. I was told/read several sources that a side affect is attacking muscles. Since my cholesterol # was 106 I decided to see if going off would affect my back. All it has done to this point is in 2 months my # rose to 170, doc took me off statin and on some other drug that isn't generic and costs four times as much.

Otherwise I have terrible neuropathy. I'd just like to get my back muscles back so I could walk and take off the weight. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a link.

Nick1962 2012-01-13 18:04:18 -0600 Report

Could be, and I'd maybe hit up Gabby and ask her to expand on her comment below that statins "messed with my muscles". I did have a similar reaction but it was all over - my scalp even hurt. Most of my muscle issues came from pinched nerves and general misalignment of my spine due to repeated poor posture and lack of exercise.
I know many don't believe in it, but Chiropractic is a friend of mine, and I'm thinking it could help you. It sounds as if your L2 through L5 vertebrae are out of whack. I've been there and walked many a mile hunched over. When you say you could find relief by pressing on a spot (and I'm no doctor) I suspect what you're actually doing is you found the blood vessel that supplies blood to that inflamed muscle. By just disrupting that blood flow, it immediately reduces the inflamation and causes relief. There are a few other ways to get some relief if a Chiropractor isn't your thing (I love my Chiropractor even though she beats me) - try laying flat on your back with a rolled up towel, ball, or couch cushion under your lower back. Anything that pushes that area up and forward.
Best to you and let us know how all this pans out!

GabbyPA 2012-01-14 22:24:52 -0600 Report

My pain was in my lower back. I thought is was just age or something. But when I ran out of the statins, even for a few weeks, it was a HUGE difference. When I started back on them, the pain returned and it made it hard to sleep. I dumped them again and my doctor gave me a different one to try. Same thing. I have given up on them, stick to my Niacin for now.

Caroltoo 2012-01-14 22:31:06 -0600 Report

I had a similar experience. Started with Lipitor and did ok for a while, then began to get dizzy, feel weak, uncertain of my balance, leaned against the wall for stability at work. I had leg pain and lower back pain, but I had broken L5 in two places, so assumed it was that. Eventually, read the comments about Lipitor and stopped; it got better.

Doctor was concerned and offered me a second statin medication. Same results in shorter period of time.

Then a third, same results in a still shorter period of time.

Now, she suggested 1,000 mg of Niacin which I am taking. Will let you know in 3 months or so if that helped.

Nick1962 2012-01-15 14:36:49 -0600 Report

Wow Gabby and Carol, i never linked my meds to back pain. Here all this while I've been calling my chiropractor a godess of relief. Just more incentive to stay healthy.

Caroltoo 2012-01-15 15:06:01 -0600 Report

Nick: I do chiro and massage also and they do help with what's happening now. It was just LOTS worse and different when I was taking the statins.

GabbyPA 2012-01-14 22:33:33 -0600 Report

Wow, you can take 1000 mg of Niacin? Kudos to you! I take 250 mg time released. It plays not so nice with my glucose levels. I tried taking two a day, but it spikes me too bad. I can deal with the one. I wish I could take more.

Caroltoo 2012-01-14 22:49:58 -0600 Report

I am taking it in a mix of Benfothiamine, B6, and ALA. She recomended the straight no-flush Niacin starting with 500 mg. and working up to 1000. I was already taking ALA and looking at the other B's, so just decided to take the combo. Benfothiamine is a synthetic B1 which specifically helpful for diabetics.

GabbyPA 2012-01-14 22:52:00 -0600 Report

I take ALA also and a B supplement that is liquid. I also am taking D3 for the winter while I am inside more. The flushing is not the issue with Niacin with me. It just makes my sugar go up.

Caroltoo 2012-01-14 23:01:26 -0600 Report

Yes, that does happen. I've wondered if the combination of benfothiamine and ALA are not helping to keep that at bay. Also, I just posted this afternoon where there were two studies showing lower doses of niacin (1000 compared to the 2500 in the study), in general, don't cause raised sugar. You are an obvious exception…sorry. It sounds like Spiritwalker is another one.

GabbyPA 2012-01-11 18:54:23 -0600 Report

Yes, I read that too on

They have us on so many drugs, sometimes I don't know how there cannot be a link, but it may be more the ailment than the treatment. Who knows for sure. All I know is that statins make my body rebel and I was diabetic before I was given any.

Medicine is so complicated and our bodies are quite amazing. When we look under the hood and start tinkering...anything can happen.

Nick1962 2012-01-12 10:12:30 -0600 Report

I should have looked on our own site for that - if we had a "slap to the head" in the gift section, you'd owe me one. What i find amazing when we look under the hood is how as we age, things under there change and what we had as a lifestyle just a year ago has to be revisited again just to stay on top of things.

GabbyPA 2012-01-12 23:44:35 -0600 Report

LOL is good to have it in the discussions. More people have a chance to read it here. I find that articles often get lost, unfortunately. It is a great part of the site, but too often, we just hang out together. Nothing wrong with that.

Caroltoo 2012-01-11 12:58:43 -0600 Report

A few years ago I read that nadolol and atenolol were also linked to diabetes. I haven't seen anything on that since, but that is one of the reasons why I have weaned off all my medications and now take the stance that I'll take vitamins because they are already in my body, but don't want to add chemicals that aren't. Now, if it became life/death, I probably would, but as a preventive measure, I see the potential for more harm than good.

Nick1962 2012-01-11 14:21:56 -0600 Report

I agree wholeheartedly. This is one of the reasons I'm so anti-supplement. I put enough junk in my body as it is. My goal is to get off everything, but realize I may not be able to.

jayabee52 2012-01-10 16:33:53 -0600 Report

I had been placed on a statin over 6 years ago. My GP asked me if I was on a statin because my Cholesterol and Trigs were "perfect" at the time. I said no. but a few months later he wrote me a script for simvistatin, and I am still on it today. I am going to have to revisit this with my current GP. If I really don't need i why continue?

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-01-12 18:56:13 -0600 Report

Did you ask why he was giving this to you? Maybe he was doing it as a preventative? I would want to know either way and make up my own mind.

Nick1962 2012-01-11 10:23:56 -0600 Report

Yes, I’m thinking the same. I’m currently on a low dose combo for slightly high BP and cholesterol (my Hdl is about 5 points low) called Caduet (Norvasc + Lipitor). I’m really wondering if 5 points is worth the drug at my age. Last time I talked to my PCP, he told me they do prescribe some statins to prevent heart attacks and not just for cholesterol control. But when I read the side effects for Simvastatin (Zocor), and the foods to avoid, I have to question which is the lesser of two evils.

M.ZAC 2012-01-12 18:20:57 -0600 Report

I didn't know there were foods to avoid. Help!

Nick1962 2012-01-12 18:44:42 -0600 Report

Simvastatin says to avoid things we should really already be avoiding like foods with excess fat in them such as meat , cheese (other than cottage cheese), egg yolks, whole milk, cream, butter, shortening, sweets in general (cake and such), gravy, peanut butter, chocolate, potato chips, coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, and fried foods.
What bothered me was meat (they qualify this as high fat meats like liver), cheese, egg yolks, and peaniut butter - 4 of my staples due to the protein content. They don't explain if the foods will make you feel sick, or counteract the drug.
Dietary restrictions are true of most medications, though rarely printed on labels or in the pamphlets - at one point i was on 4 different ones and not only could i only eat (and in some cases tolerate) very little, I couldn't spend more than an hour a day in the sun. That was one epiphany that got me to get off my butt and really take charge.

GabbyPA 2012-01-12 23:48:22 -0600 Report

I was put on Pravistatin and then Simvistatin because of the way it made me feel. They both mess with my muscles and give me sleepless nights due to body aches. So I stopped taking it. I have to do with Niacin for now. My numbers are not that horrible either, and with more exercise I will do better.

Nick1962 2012-01-14 15:39:01 -0600 Report

Oy this is what I mean about the delicate balancing act and why I shun supplements. Taking Peter to counteract Paul. Way too much for me to keep up with.

jayabee52 2012-01-14 15:52:38 -0600 Report

I take neither niacin nor Potassium. In fact potassium is contrindicated for perople with Kidney disease.

jayabee52 2012-01-14 17:08:24 -0600 Report

I am very close to dialysis, Nick.

I said that potass is contraindicated for me (I am supposed to avoid it) I am told not to eat certain things because of their high postassium content. Thing like bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, dairy products, because they contain high levels of Potass. So while I may be able to tolerate them, it would not be in my kidneys' (or my) best interests to do so.

For me niacin is not an issue.

Nick1962 2012-01-14 17:46:35 -0600 Report

I am very sorry to hear that James, and hope it doesn't come to that because I know you work so hard. Thanks for working so hard at this battle and keeping yourself around for the rest of us to learn from.

jayabee52 2012-01-14 20:28:08 -0600 Report

@ Nick and Carol Thank you for your most kind words.

I am not gonna climb into the casket just yet. They'll have to carry me and put me in it and then Nail the lid down so I don't get up again! LoL!

And even IF I go on dialysis I'll still be around. Last time I was on 3 days a week for only 4 hrs per session. So I plan to stay around here. The only thing that may change my level of participation here is if Alliance gets the Kidney site up and running. I'd probably have to split my time between both sites and then I'd be worse about visiting the other commect sites I am on now.

Nick1962 2012-01-15 14:28:30 -0600 Report

I can picture it now James – you walking up to the house of diabetes all Chuck Norris like, kicking in the door and screaming “I’M HERE AND WE’RE GONNA TANGLE” leveling your shotgun while high morning numbers, high a1c, and bad eating habits go screaming out the back door.

Caroltoo 2012-01-14 20:59:12 -0600 Report

Nobody's measuring you for a coffin or a hair shirt either one. Just feeling sorry that it might happen after anyone worked as hard as you have to stay healthy. If it does, you are going to deal with it just like you have all the other hard knocks life has dealt you —- with tough love and resilience.

jayabee52 2012-01-14 21:27:43 -0600 Report

Thank you carol! I don't need a hair shirt, I already got that if I take my shirt off. I used to say that if I believed we came from the apes then my body was a throwback to them. (But I don't believe that) LoL!

"Not climbing into my coffin" is saying that I am not gonna lay down and die before I'm dead, like I have seen some people do — even the very young.

Emotionally I feel better in the last 5 years than I have the 50 or so years before it. Amazing what a little bit of the right love can do to someone.

I respect you too —— a lot, for who you are and what you do here too.

Caroltoo 2012-01-14 21:30:02 -0600 Report

:) Believe it or not, James, I really understand that. I'm delighted you have felt better for the last 5 years and hope for many more for you. Carol

Nick1962 2012-01-13 11:39:14 -0600 Report

Yeah, its hard to find that "sweet spot" where everything just seems in place. trouble is once you do, BAM! another year older and another ailment to face.
Best of luck in your struggle!

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