For years, we have been warned about high cholesterol levels. Doctors monitor cholesterol levels and if they get too high, they often prescribe statins. Many Americans today take statin medications. According to the American Council of Science and Health, “in 2015-16, the CDC found that 50% of men aged 60 years and older were taking a medication to lower cholesterol. Among women, the figure was 38%.” Common statin medications include Lipitor, Crestor, Livalo, Altoprev, Pravachol and Zocor. However, the side effects of these drugs can be uncomfortable. In fact, the Mayo Clinic states that “the risks outweigh the benefits of these powerful cholesterol-lowering medications.”

Some of these painful side effects include:

Neurological Issues-

One of the more serious side effects of includes issues with memory loss. The FDA requires statin medications to have a warning on the label stating that they may cause memory loss or confusion. Studies have shown “a strong association was present between first exposure to statins and incident acute memory loss diagnosed within 30 days immediately following exposure.”

Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes-

Another FDA warning on statin labels is for diabetes. The Mayo Clinic states “blood sugar (blood glucose) level[s] may increase when you take a statin, which may lead to developing type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes is a serious disease that has links to Alzheimer’s, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Muscle pain and damage-

One of the most common side effects is muscle pain. Many people report muscle pain, weakness or soreness while taking statin medications. While this does not sound as serious as the other side effects, in rare cases it can turn into rhabdomyolysis Rhabdomyolysis is life threatening muscle damage and can also cause liver damage, kidney failure and death.

Fortunately, high cholesterol is a condition that can be controlled naturally. For more information about naturally lowering your cholesterol, you should make an appointment with a provider. Call our clinic today to talk to one of our heart and cholesterol specialists.