Published on May 5th, 2020 | by Michaelw0
The Truth About Statins
Question, are statins dangerous for YOUR KIDNEYS?
These cholesterol lowering drugs, like Lipitor, Lescol and Mevacor are some of the MOST WIDELY PRESCRIBED medications in the world.
Because they can save you from a heart attack.
But recent studies are showing that the use of statins in people WITHOUT heart disease, especially in women, in diabetic patients and in those suffering from kidney disease, may CAUSE MORE HARM THAN GOOD.
Yes, like it happens with many other drugs, people with kidney disease are going to be those more at risk.
So, is it true that statins cause more problems to your kidneys than they solve?
Let’s find out
Hello, this is Katherine, welcome to 00kidney.
Many of you have been asking me about statins, lately.
It’s a CONTROVERSIAL topic.
Actually, there’s a new analysis suggesting that statin use in low-risk patients may be a GOOD example of “LOW VALUE CARE”,
meaning that the therapy has little benefit AND potential to CAUSE HARM in some patients.
There’s even a study showing that people who take high doses of statins may be more likely to DEVELOP KIDNEY PROBLEMS.
Specifically, participants of this study who took higher doses of the drug were 34 percent more likely to develop acute kidney injury during the initial phase of the treatment.
Sources of the studies I’m quoting here are in description, as usual.
This new info is why so many people are worried about statins, a class of drugs that’s being prescribed by doctors like … FRESH WATER these days.
Your doctor will typically prescribe you a statin if your LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol levels are above 100 mg/dL and you have risk factors for heart problems.
LDL above 100 is not that high, alright?
It’s usually considered fairly good, according to the guidelines.
But still, patients are being prescribed statins even with this level of cholesterol
Now, many people want to know if these drugs are REALLY safe.
Especially after all the alarming news circulating about them.
Actually, I’ve made a video about the kidney killer pills, in which statins were included as the number 7 most dangerous medication, about three weeks ago.
You may be interested in watching that one too, if you haven’t already.
Now, since then, MANY PEOPLE have been asking me if they SHOULD KEEP TAKING STATINS.
Unfortunately, I feel they’re right to be worried.
There are studies telling us people with kidney disease are more at risk if they take this drug.
So, I’ve made today’s video to show you all you need to know about this very controversial prescription drug.
I’ll show you who should take statins and who shouldn’t.
And, let’s be clear, this is NOT AN EASY QUESTION for people with both high cholesterol and kidney problems.
Also, in the end of the video I’ll show you some natural remedies to lower cholesterol effectively, ok?
But remember that only your healthcare provider can decide if you need to take a prescription drug and IF YOU CAN STOP IT.
Ok? This is really important, nobody wants a heart attack here.
But we don’t want to destroy our kidneys with some pill either, and I guess that’s why you are here with me today.
So, if you know anyone who has been struggling with high cholesterol levels or takes statins, send them this video now.
The info in today’s video may be crucial for them.
And we are talking about 1 in 3 Americans over 40, here.
Yes, about 35 million Americans are taking statins right now.
How many of them should really be taking this drug and how many of them fall in the “low value care” category?
It depends on your particular situation.
Let’s see why I’m telling you this.
First question, what are Statins.
Statins are drugs that can lower your BAD cholesterol.
But lowering cholesterol isn’t the only benefit associated with statins.
These medications have also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Now, according to many cardiologists, statins work better than any other cholesterol treatment.
For example, they help stabilize the blood vessel lining, which benefits the whole body and the kidneys.
This also makes plaque less likely to rupture in the heart, lowering the risk of a heart attack.
Statins also help to relax the blood vessels, which leads to a decrease in blood pressure.
Again, great for your kidneys.
And, by the way, statins work.
That’s not under discussion.
That’s why doctors are prescribing them so frequently.
Again, on paper, they’re really great for your kidneys too.
High cholesterol will damage your kidneys over time, alright?
Now, the prevailing dogma has been that statins are almost harmless and that they’re … WONDERFUL drugs, ok?
This is why your doctor will typically prescribe a statin if:
your LDL cholesterol levels are above 100 mg/dL
you have a higher risk of developing heart disease
or you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke
But the recent studies about the associated dangers should urge doctors to be more mindful of side effects when writing prescriptions for statins.
Especially for the side effects some people are experiencing.
So, who is more at risk for the dangerous side effects of statins?
Especially women, people suffering from diabetes, prediabetes and kidney disease.
Statins have some common side effects, nausea, vomiting, and aches and pains in the muscles and joints.
But there’s also the risk of a raise in blood sugar levels.
Actually, SOME PEOPLE WERE PUSHED FROM PREDIABETES TO DIABETES BY STATINS.
Overall, the researchers found a WHOPPING 9 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes in people taking statins.
Others had to be hospitalized for acute kidney injury and some even suffered long term kidney damage.
Ok, we’re starting to understand what’s creating the statin debate.
On one hand, these drugs save you from a heart attack. On the other, they can cause diabetes and kidney damage.
But let’s also remember that many people take not just statins but many different prescriptions every day.
The risk for side effects of these drugs are going to be a lot more significant the more pills you take.
And it’s not a linear growth either, it’s more an EXPONENTIAL growth.
The next question people ask at this point is…
Can you stop taking statins Once you start?
It’s possible. At least for some people. And, again, with the approval of their doctors.
But it can be especially risky for others.
For instance, if you have a history of heart attack or stroke, it’s not recommended that you stop taking these drugs.
Published studies have shown that patients who are taking statins and at risk for cardiovascular disease, increase that risk if they stop taking the medicine.
One study of 28,000 patients found that 3 in 10 stopped taking their statins because they presumed the aches and pains they were experiencing were due to the drug.
3 in 10 stopping the medication is a lot, believe me. It’s exactly what I’m telling you NOT to do.
The result: 8.5% suffered a heart attack or stroke within just four years, compared to 7.6% who continued taking the drugs.
Ok, this may not look like a lot, just 0.9% more risk.
But it’s a stroke we’re talking about, ok?
But on the other hand
Patients with no heart problems but with kidney disease and diabetes, are those who would benefit the most from planning with their healthcare providers a way to stop taking statins.
Now, another very important question:
Which statin has the least amount of side effects?
In the analysis of 135 previous studies, which included nearly 250,000 people combined, researchers found that the drugs simvastatin (Zocor) and pravastatin (Pravachol) had the fewest side effects in this class of medications.
They also found that lower doses produced fewer side effects in general.
This means that you want to use as little medication as possible.
To do so, it’s best to combine the use of statins with lifestyle management.
Ok, let’s talk about the natural options to lower cholesterol.
There are three things that in my opinion work best.
First is the right way of eating, especially if combined with a healthy lifestyle.
And yes, even if you’re taking a medication, you should still practice healthy habits.
When it comes to eating, try to get more fiber, and focus on complex carbohydrates rather than simple ones.
For example, replace white breads and pastas with whole grains.
Also focus on healthy fats: Olive oil, chia seeds, nuts in general all have fats that will help you lowering your bad cholesterol.
Actually, I’ve made a video about all those foods proven to lower cholesterol. You can find it up here.
Then there are at least a couple of supplements that can help.
Psyllium is an herb that’s often used to treat constipation because it contains large amounts of fiber. It’s found in products like Metamucil.
The seed and husk are the parts of the plant used for medical purposes.
Psyllium is sold in powder form. It can be added to your foods or mixed with water.
Daily doses of 10 to 12 grams are recommended for lowering your LDL cholesterol.
Increasing fiber intake is healthy for numerous other reasons, it’s something I always recommend.
That’s because very few people meet their recommended intake of fiber.
Fish – like salmon, tuna, sardines, and anchovies – are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
These can help lower your triglyceride levels and provide protection against heart disease.
If you don’t get enough fish in your diet, you can take daily fish oil and omega-3 supplements.
Now, I’ve made a very comprehensive guide about these supplements too, you can find it up here.
In Conclusion, the debate about statins is still ongoing in the scientific community.
But always more doctors are starting to think that the decision to commence a statin should be a joint one between the health professional and the patient.
The patient needs the pros and cons explained to them in a way that they can understand.
And don’t get me wrong, this is still a tough situation for the patient, ok?
because they’re left with the burden of evaluating the pro and cons of taking a prescription drug.
Should you care more about your heart? Or should you care more about the kidneys? What’s worse, a heart attack or diabetes?
Now, what I always recommend is to first get informed, like you’re doing here, then going talk to your doctor.
So you can ask them INFORMED questions and get the answers that can really help you.
The third step for some people would be to … try and find an alternative treatment.
Especially if you are not at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Especially if you have kidney disease or diabetes.
Because, although there’s little dispute that statins are effective at lowering your cholesterol,
there is scientific debate over whether or not they’re safe for people with different stages of kidney disease.
MORE RESEARCH IS STILL NEEDED, IN PARTICULAR STUDIES THAT FOCUS ON PEOPLE WITH KIDNEY DISEASE.
This is all for today, thank you for watching.