Managing cholesterol without the meds

By Dev Latest Reply 2010-11-14 10:53:40 -0600
Started 2010-11-13 13:15:53 -0600

I am worried about my husband taking statins for cholesterol. The doc says he has to as he needs to keep his cholesterol way down than normal (?) people.

When the doc started it she never told him anything about the side effects neither did she say anything about what was the overall plan. I read all I could about statins and wasn't very happy. I thought he can stop it once the levels are good. But the other day I went with him for the appt and the doc said he has to take it for his whole life. and what about the side effects I asked? can't he manage with changed lifestyle.? She says it is not possible to manage without medication and as far as the side effects. She is watching his kidneys and if she sees that they are getting damaged she will stop it.

What? we have to wait till he damages his kidneys and then she will stop it and he has to deal with kidneys and cholesterol.

There has to be a better way. Does any of you know about any other ways than statins? other medication? lifestyle changes?

Am I over reacting about the statins? He is young. if he has to take it whole his life, he will have to take it for at least 30-40 more years.

Tags: cholesterol

6 replies

Kirla 2010-11-14 10:47:25 -0600 Report

When diagnosed my cholesterol was 300. The doctors told me the same. Had to take meds for the rest of my life. They put me on 500mg Metformin twice a day, 10mg Lisinopril, 40mg Simvastatin and 81mg Aspirin once a day.

After about 7 weeks my body couldn’t deal with the side effects so I temporary stopped taking them. I was going to restart taking them after the side effects went away and planned on restarting them one at a time until the side effects came back.

I was testing my blood sugar about 5-6 times a day. After stopping the meds I started to take my blood pressure 3-4 times a day and I bought a cholesterol meter at Wal-Mart so I could test my cholesterol levels. I compared the cholesterol meter with my lab results to establish a baseline for my cholesterol numbers. I was testing my cholesterol about once a month and was testing my HDL and Triglycerides and calculating my LDL about every 3 months. The meter cost $80.00 and strips cost about $12.00 for a box of 3. You will need to buy 3 boxes. One for total cholesterol, one for HDL and one for the Triglycerides. With that you figure the LDL.

I found that the meds worked real well. Cholesterol dropped to 132 and blood pressure was 90 over 60. I asked the doctor if that was too low and he didn’t seem to think so. My blood sugar was dropping fast. But due to the side effect I couldn’t tolerate them any more.

Since stopping my meds my blood sugar continued to get better and better over time and my cholesterol has remain about 180 and HDL and Triglycerides have been around 60 and blood pressure is usually around 110/70 most of the time. No matter how I try the LDL stays a little high at about 112. Even on meds the LDL remained at 112. I no longer worry about it as long as the other numbers stay good.

I haven’t seen my doctor in way over a year now and hope to be seeing a DO. A DO is supposed to be willing to let you use diet and exercise to control your numbers and will use drugs only as a last resort. At least that’s what I read. I think I would like a doctor who is willing to be open minded a little bit and not just going to push meds as a first resort instead of a last resort.

Anyway if you decide to stop the meds and go against your doctor’s orders I recommend you buy the meters so you can closely monitor his numbers. All of them and maybe start looking around for a different doctor. I did what I did and it has worked for me. You and your husband have to decide what’s best for him. Even if his doctors say different. You and your husband have to live with this not your doctor. I can’t recommend you don’t follow your doctors orders but you can always look for a doctor who will be willing to try a different way.

I will write here what I do to control my numbers here. It may help and then again it may not.

I was diagnosed Feb 2009 with a fasting blood sugar of 366 and A1C of 14.1. By drinking 8 plus glasses of water and eating a salad along with other low carb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, cucumbers, pickles to name a few. My blood sugar started dropping fast.

At first I cut all starchy foods to just one serving per meal. By testing before and 1 hour after eating I was able to figure what foods were spiking my blood sugar. I soon found that starchy foods like bread and most foods made of grains along with pasta, rice, corn, potatoes, oatmeal, cereals, chips, crackers, cakes, cookies, candy, soda, fruits, fruit juices and most foods that contain more than 5-6 net carbs per serving as found on the package label all spiked my blood sugar.

Most days I drink a low carb protein shake when I wake up. Mid morning I eat one serving of sunflower seeds along with a fiber supplement and cup of coffee. For lunch I eat way too much. Got to cut back a little. I will eat a hard boiled egg then eat 2 oz of chicken, beef or pork, then I eat 2 oz of turkey sloppy joe in a bowl topped with salsa, hot sauce, cheese & flax seeds, no bread. Then will eat my chana dal bean dip with either 1 cup of broccoli, cauliflower and or spinach. Then will have a piece of my soy flour chocolate, carrot or pumpkin cake. Last I will eat 1 serving of peanuts. For supper I eat a salad, soy flour noodles topped with a low carb pasta sauce, cheese and hot sauce and lately have been eating my chile dog out of a bowl topped with hot sauce and cheese, no bread. Then will drink my chocolate water and then will have my low carb homemade pumpkin greek yogurt ice cream.

By following my diet my blood sugar approach almost normal numbers in abut 4-6 weeks and my A1C dropped to 5.9 in 4 months. My latest A1C was 5.2. I found this, kind of hard at first. Was afraid to eat anything more than low carb vegetables, chicken and fish. Now I have lots of choices and plan on having more in the future.

Good luck

PS I believe keeping saturated fat below 6-10% of total diet and cutting back on sugar and high starchy carb foods will help a lot in controlling his cholesterol numbers.

RAYT721 2010-11-13 18:03:49 -0600 Report

I fought against a statin drug for months and tried fish oil. It didn't hurt but didn't help; however, I did give in to the doctor's encouragement and the statin did work for me. I don't have the numbers here but it was drastic. I had my doctor and my wife's doctor tell me the side effects from the statins are not nearly as bad as the results from not taking them. Let the doctor hear your concerns, get a second opinion, but don't diagnose or treat yourself.

Dev 2010-11-14 10:35:12 -0600 Report

The statins did work for him too. In 3 months the numbers are down from 140 to 70 which is impressive. But before that he had brought it down to last year from 140 to 100 only by changing his diet and exercising.

I was thinking that may be now the numbers are down he can keep it that way. The doctor says he can go ahead and try it for 3 months if he wants to and check again. But she doesn't think it will stay there. *sigh*

I was thinking that stopping statin for 3 months will be useful only if he was trying some other thing. so the question.

jayabee52 2010-11-13 16:37:58 -0600 Report

i have no experience with it personally, but I have heard about red rice yeast being used to lower cholesterol.

My ex (when I was married to her) had bad cholesterol. She tried to drink cinnamon tea to lower her #s. She also tried niacin. Both affected the #s a bit, but not enough. Niacin gave her flushes of heat after she took it.

Her familu of origin had hypercholesteremia quite bad. Her mom, brother and sister all had problems with cholesterol, and all had heart problems related to cholesterol.

I pray this helps you


Dev 2010-11-14 10:39:26 -0600 Report

Thanks James,
He does not have cholesterol problem in his family. The doctor wants it in control because he is diabetic. I read about the red rice yeast. Will look into that.
He eats cinnamon already, mostly in his oatmeal. It is good for the BG.

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