Statins and Stroke, What You Need to Know
If you are like 30 million other Americans then there is a good chance when you left your doctors office after a check up for high cholesterol that you had a prescription for statin medication in your hands. Lipitor, Crestor, & Zocor are the top statin medications on the market and more and more doctors are prescribing them for patients with elevated cholesterol. These statins block a liver enzyme that creates cholesterol. The good news is that most patients see a drop of LDL cholesterol between 20%-60% in the first month. The bad news, statins aren’t right for everyone.
Statins have a relatively few side effects but some of them are very serious such as muscle pain. The muscle pain is a direct result of the statin medication degenerating the muscle. Most patients are taken off the statin medication or given much lower doses when this occurs.
Statins & Stroke Patients
Another serious problem has been the effect of statin medications in stroke patients. Researchers from Harvard Medical School have found that patients who has suffered a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain are much more likely to have a second stroke if they take statin medications. The researchers studied data from two such studies and determined that 22% of stroke victims had a recurring stroke while taking statins compared to 14% recurring strokes in patients who did not take statin medications.
While the numbers are only off by a little bit this is surely a risk that you might not want to take.
While statins have been hailed as the new wonder drug in reality they aren’t. Statins will not prevent a heart attack or heart disease. Statins are are only meant to lower harmful LDL cholesterol. In order for you to protect your heart you need to raise the HDL cholesterol in your body and this is something statins do not do. Statins are clearly helpful to a great many people especially those who have had heart attacks or show the signs of heart disease.
A good diet and exercise are still the cornerstone of good heart health. Take care of yourself and try and stay off of statins if you can. It’s much easier to say yes to fruit and vegetable than to take statin medications for the rest of your life.
More information on Statins.