When the Medical / pharmaceutical complex comes out in public and says it has recognized a problem, to my mind that means they have seen a shortage of cash flowing their way! YES I am cynical, but years of reading, writing and researching their modus operandi have led me to this cynical conclusion. In my not so humble opinion there is very little ‘health’ in health care these days, and much more disease management leading to sales of prescription drugs.
Many years ago I postulated that if THEY —– were to discover a fix for diseases, and helped patients remove whatever it was causing their illness, THEY would be out of business. Hence my postulating cynically that it is not in THEIR own financial interests to assist patient to get better.
Now I shall get off my soap box (for a while) and tell you what has inspired this blog today.
Once upon a time the media reported that there were less than 5% of patients taking cholesterol lowering medications (AKA Statins) who suffered any serious consequences / side effects from taking these prescribed drugs. They were highly touted as life savers so safe that even children as young as 8 years old were being tested to see if they could benefit from their use. This of course is and was very controversial.
Nowadays the number (percentage) of patients on prescription statin drugs who are officially recognized as having serious side effects from these drugs has risen to 20%. ( ….. But as many as 20 percent of them develop adverse effects such as muscle fatigue and weakness and impaired cognition.)
A new report (NEJM) written by Rockefeller University scientists Patricia Maningat and Jan L. Breslow, argues that clinical trials need to be designed to address the needs of statin-intolerant patients.
Alarm bells are ringing in my head. I do not believe this has anything to do with saving lives, after all very few lives are saved by taking statins. You may not die from a heart attack, but you may well suffer another life ending event.
It’s a matter of not looking at the whole picture. Ultimately, when taking a drug that’s supposed to save your life, what you care about is whether your life is extended. Perhaps you care about the manner of death, but when you get down to it, a heart attack is a pretty quick way to go, not like cancer with its usually prolonged, debilitating, and agonizing death. So, if a drug decreases the likelihood of dying of a heart attack, but increases the likelihood of dying of cancer, you might not be so inclined to take it.
That’s the problem with statins. Sure, they lessen the likelihood of dying from a heart attack, but they increase the chance of dying from something else—generally, something worse.
Dr. John Briffa writes: Statins to thank for improved survival? I don’t think so.
Right now I perceive that drug companies have noticed a decline in sales of the statin drugs and are looking for a new way of regaining that market. They will admit that there are some people who do not tolerate these ugly medications – something they out right denied 5-10 years ago. They will now do all they can, ostensibly to save your life, to get you onto some other new fangled medication — think $$$ in their bank accounts.
The human body makes what cholesterol it deems it needs. Placing people on a low cholesterol diet is simply a waste of time, because the patient’s liver will make the quantity the patient’s body deems appropriate.
The chief function of cholesterol is not to clog up your arteries. It is the primary component of your cell membranes, and it is crucial to repair damage to your cells. So how do cells get damaged? The easiest way to understand this process is to look at a cut to your skin. When the skin is cut inflammation takes over. This process will immediately mobilize cells and chemicals which will cause the blood to thicken and clot, other cells will multiply to speed healing. When the process is complete scar tissue is left behind. More and more research is pointing to the fact that cardiovascular disease is an inflammatory disease. So the inflammation within the arteries is causing the blood to flow slower so it can thicken and clot, and cells are multiplying to ensure that scar tissue lies down. The only problem is that scar tissue in the arteries is called plaque. It is a lesion that has a high concentration of calcium in it causing the artery to lose its flexibility and develop an aneurysm and eventually rupture as a stroke or torn aorta. Cholesterol fits into this process because the chemicals that are produced in response to inflammation are sending signals to the liver to produce more cholesterol so the body can repair the tissues that are being injured due to the inflammatory process. Talk about shooting the messenger!
In my humble opinion other conditions of an inflammatory nature, such as thyroid disease and autoimmune diseases can cause the body to make excess cholesterol as well.
Whether you are taking a statin or not, controlling the inflammatory process is the key to controlling your risk of cardiovascular disease. We don’t have to stop there. Joint pain, cancer, intestinal disorders, skin irritations, dry eyes, even depression and mood swings are the result of inflammation. Controlling the inflammatory process is the single most important step in regaining or maintaining health.
If you have stopped taking your statin medications because of adverse effects, or because you have educated yourself to the NON NEED of reducing cholesterol in your body – be-warned, the pharmaceutical companies and your doctors will do their very best to coerce you into taking some other drug in place of a statin, to reduce your cholesterol numbers.
Learn all you can about the effects of inflammation on your arteries and other body parts. Learn what alternatives there are – to assist your body to heal naturally. Find supportive groups on the internet, with people who have suffered like you. The Yahoo Stopped Our Statins Group is a great place to start seeking information from like minded, caring people. Their website would be a place to seek facts and information.
It has been shown that taking statin drugs does lower inflammation…… but at what cost to human life, mobility, brain function – quality of life? There are many non statin ways of reducing inflammation – learn about them for your own sake and those that you love.
PS are you aware that in 2010 —- 94.1 million prescriptions were written for Generic Zocor in the US alone….. think on that and then try and add in all the other statin lowering drugs prescribed by the medical fraternity! How much unnecessary illness and disability has been caused by this one drug alone?