Cholesterol Reducing Drugs
In continuation with my previous article ‘FACTS ABOUT CHOLESTEROL’, let us now know more about the medication used for reducing the cholesterol levels.
The first line of treatment for abnormal cholesterol is usually to eat a diet low in saturated and trans fats, and high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and to increase exercise. But for some, these changes alone are not enough to lower blood cholesterol levels; they also may need medicine to bring down their cholesterol to a safe level.
Conventional medicine which act as Cholesterol-lowering drugs include:
- Bile-acid resins
- Fibric acid derivatives
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
Cholesterol-lowering medicine is most effective when combined with a healthy diet and exercise.
1. How Do Statins Work?
Statins block the production of cholesterol in the liver itself. They lower LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides, and have a mild effect in raising HDL, the “good” cholesterol. These drugs are the first line of treatment for most people with high cholesterol. Statins have been shown in multiple research studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attacks and death from heart disease. Side effects can include intestinal problems, liver damage, and muscle inflammation.
Statins also carry warnings that memory loss, mental confusion, high blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes are possible side effects. It’s important to remember that statins may also interact with other medications you take.
Patients who are pregnant or who have active or chronic liver disease should not take statins.
Examples of statins include:
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol)
- Lovastatin (Mevacor)
- Pravastatin (Pravachol)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
- Simvastatin (Zocor)
Statin Drugs: A Surprising Cause of Diabetes
Statins have been shown to increase your risk of diabetes through a few different mechanisms. The most important one is that they increase insulin resistance, which can be extremely harmful to your health. Increased insulin resistance contributes to chronic inflammation in your body, and inflammation is the hallmark of most diseases. In fact, increased insulin resistance can lead to heart disease, which, ironically, is the primary reason for taking a cholesterol-reducing drug in the first place! It can also promote belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, and diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Secondly, statins increase your diabetes risk by actually raising your blood sugar. When you eat a meal that contains starches and sugar, some of the excess sugar goes to your liver, which then stores it away as cholesterol and triglycerides. Statins work by preventing your liver from making cholesterol. As a result, your liver returns the sugar to your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels.
Now, it’s important to realize that drug-induced diabetes and genuine type 2 diabetes are not necessarily identical.
If you’re on a statin drug and find that your blood glucose is elevated, it’s possible that what you have is just hyperglycemia—a side effect, and the result of your medication. Unfortunately, many doctors will at that point mistakenly diagnose you with “type 2 diabetes,” and possibly prescribe another drug, when all you may need to do is simply discontinue the statin in order for your blood glucose levels to revert back to normal.
If You Take Statins, You MUST Take CoQ10
Statins deplete your body of CoQ10, which can have devastating results. If you take statin drugs without taking CoQ10, your health is at serious risk. CoQ10 is a cofactor (co-enzyme) that is essential for the creation of ATP molecules, which you need for cellular energy production. Organs such as your heart have higher energy requirements, and therefore require more CoQ10 to function properly. Produced mainly in your liver, it also plays a role in maintaining blood glucose.
Physicians rarely inform people of this risk and only occasionally advise them to take a CoQ10 supplement. As your body gets more and more depleted of CoQ10, you may suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually heart failure.
Coenzyme Q10 is also very important in the process of neutralizing free radicals. So when your CoQ10 is depleted, you enter a vicious cycle of increased free radicals, loss of cellular energy, and damaged mitochondrial DNA. If you decide to take a CoQ10 supplement and are over the age of 40, it is important to choose the reduced version, called ubiquinol.
Statins Impair Numerous Biological Functions
Statins do reduce your body’s natural ability to create active vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol). This is the natural outcome of the drug’s cholesterol-reducing ability, because you need cholesterol to make vitamin D! It’s the raw material your body uses for vitamin D conversion after you’ve exposed your skin to sunlight.
Ninety-Nine Out of 100 People Do Not Need Statin Drugs
That these drugs have proliferated the market the way they have is a testimony to the power of marketing, corruption and corporate greed, because the odds are very high— greater than 100 to 1—that if you’re taking a statin, you don’t really need it. The ONLY subgroup that might benefit are those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes them resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol.
And, even more importantly, cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease.
If your physician is urging you to check your total cholesterol, then you should know that this test will tell you virtually nothing about your risk of heart disease, unless it is 330 or higher. HDL percentage is a far more potent indicator for heart disease risk.
I have seen a number of people with total cholesterol levels over 250 who were actually at low risk for heart disease due to their elevated HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen many people with cholesterol levels under 200 who had a very high risk of heart disease, based on their low HDL. Your body NEEDS cholesterol—it is important in the production of cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps your brain form memories and is vital to your neurological function. There is also strong evidence that having too little cholesterol INCREASES your risk for cancer, memory loss, Parkinson’s disease, hormonal imbalances, stroke, depression, suicide, and violent behaviour.
2. How Does Nicotinic Acid Work?
Nicotinic acid (niacin) is a B-complex vitamin. It’s found in food, but is also available at high doses by prescription. It lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol. The main side effects are flushing, itching, tingling and headache. Research has not shown that adding nicotinic acid to statin therapy is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
3. How Do Bile Acid Resins Work?
These drugs work inside the intestine, where they bind to bile from the liver and prevent it from being reabsorbed into the circulatory system. Bile is made largely from cholesterol, so these drugs work by depleting the body’s supply of cholesterol. The most common side effects are constipation, gas and upset stomach. Examples of bile acid resins include:
- Questran and Questran Light
4. How Do Fibrates Work?
Fibrates reduce the production of triglycerides and can increase HDL cholesterol. Examples of fibrates include:
Ezetimibe (Zetia) lowers bad LDL cholesterol by blocking cholesterol absorption in the intestine. Research studies have not found that ezetimibe is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Some people with high cholesterol, other cholesterol problems, or some other medical conditions, achieve the best results with combination drugs — pills that contain more than one medication. Some examples include:
Advicor: Lovastatin and niacin (nicotinic acid)
What Are the Side Effects of Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs?
The side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs may include:
- Muscle aches*
- Abnormal liver function
- Allergic reaction (skin rashes)
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased sexual desire
- Flushing with nicotinic acid
“Doctors and the public must be warned to immediately discontinue use of statin drugs at the onset of muscle pain, muscle tenderness, muscle weakness or tiredness.”
“Prompt cessation of the use of statins at the first sign of muscle pain, muscle tenderness, muscle weakness or tiredness and prompt evaluation by a physician including a blood test for creatine phosphokinase (a measure of muscle destruction) may avoid the progression to more extensive muscle damage, rhabdomyolysis and death.”
Lesser known Facts about CHOLESTROL
Present in every cell in the body, cholesterol is a fat-like substance produced by the liver. The body produces cholesterol as it is needed. In fact, approximately 85% of cholesterol is produced by the body and only 15% comes from food.
Cholesterol levels in our blood can vary at different times of the day. People tend to have higher levels of cholesterol in the winter than summer. The level of cholesterol rises high after surgery and dental work. It also goes up when we’re under stress and diminishes when we are happy and relaxed. The reason for the fluctuations is that cholesterol is a healing agent. When the body has some healing jobs to do, it produces cholesterol and sends it to the site of the damage.
One of the biggest causes of high levels of LDL cholesterol is general stress. Our stress hormones are made of cholesterol. When we experience stress, the liver sends cholesterol to the adrenal glands for stress hormone production. At the same time, a storm of free radicals and other damaging biochemical reactions occur in the blood. As a result, the liver works overtime to produce and send out as much cholesterol as possible to deal with the free radical attack. In these situations our blood cholesterol will measure high, which means that the body is dealing with some kind of damage or stress. Once the damage is dealt with, the blood cholesterol will diminish naturally. In cases of chronic illness the blood cholesterol is constantly high. Rather than attacking the cholesterol, what your doctor should do is look for the underlying illness or the cause of the cholesterol problem.
REGULATING CHOLESTEROL WITH HOMEOPATHY
Homeopathic treatment can help reduce the LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol by helping the body to heal the underlying illness. When the organism is healthy and balanced, the liver stops producing high levels of LDL because there is no longer healing work to be done.
Chronically high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood are indicative of an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed. Consider homeopathic treatment in maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle and optimum levels of blood cholesterol.
Leading Remedies in Homeopathy
- Curcuma drains the liver and cholesterol deposits.
- Fel tauri is an effective remedy in the treatment of high blood cholesterol. It treats a sluggish liver. It eliminates fat.
- Nux vomica removes liver toxicity. It treats indigestion caused by alcohol or food abuse. The patient awakes at 3 a.m.
- Chelidonium treats hepatic disorders. Recommended for fatty liver degeneration.
- Berberis is an excellent stimulant and drainer for the kidneys. The patient leads a sedentary lifestyle and has a big appetite.
- Cholesterinum stops the degeneration of arterial walls. It treats an enlarged liver and gallstone colic.
- Arsenicum album is indicated for insomnia after a big meal. The person wakes up between 3 and 5 a.m., feels drowsy during the day.
- Uranium nitricum treats high cholesterol with diabetes.
- CRATEAGUS OXYACANTHA : cardiac tonic especially for Artherosclerosis. Have a solvent power on deposits in the arteries, Urine diabetes.If you know that you started to have clogged arteries you can start to take Crataegus-mother tincture-15 drops/3times/daily for more than 3 months. Have a solvent power upon crustaceous and calcareous deposits in arteries.
- ADONIS VERNALIS : This homeopathic remedy is chosen if the muscles of the heart are in the stage of fatty degeneration, regulates the pulse and increase the power of contractions of the heart, with increase urinary secretions.
- PHOSPHORUS :
This homeopathy remedy is chosen for cholesterol associated with nervous symptoms. Remedy for destructive metabolism, yellow atrophy of the liver and sub-acute hepatitis. Blood extravasations; fatty degenerations, cirrhosis, caries, are pathological states often calling for Phosphorus.
Liver Drainage Remedies
- Carduus marianus
Natural Supplements for High Blood Cholesterol
- Coenzyme Q10 improves heart function.
- Lecithin helps lower high cholesterol.
- Vitamin E prevents the formation of blood clots.
- Red rice yeast reduces the amount of cholesterol.
- Soy protein helps lower bad fats in the bloodstream.