Diabetes and statins


#21

Maybe your current cardiologist would consider a smaller dose? I feel lucky I happened upon one who suggested it of his own accord. I’ve since moved, but my new GP is on board with staying the course with this small dose. She, like the cardiologist, is more about going with what experience shows works and not what big pharma tells doctors they should do.


#22

Yes, I am going to call his office first thing tomorrow. I already filled the prescription, but am not taking until I am satisfied with his answer. If he won’t change the dose, I will ask my GP to try the 10mgs twice a week. He doesn’t like statins either.


#23

I’m with Kaiser, and my PCP (while I was still dx’ed as T2) also had the rule “if diabetic, then needs to take statins”. Since statins allegedly cause T2 diabetes, I was afraid it would make my diabetes worse, but eventually went for the smallest dose of simvastatin, even though my cholesterol numbers were good (for a non-diabetic). The statins dropped my total cholesterol to 120, but I found the following article

which referenced a medical study in Japan that found that cholesterol numbers below 160 actually INCREASED mortality, because increased strokes offset the improvements from reduced cardiovascular events. To find the interesting part, search on “160” and start reading from the start of that paragraph. The same article says high cholesterol doesn’t hurt mortality until above 240 (for men), and higher cholesterol just helps women.

Based on this, I stopped taking statins, and referenced the above article to my PCP and DCE to explain why. They accepted that. My cholesterol in now back to a healthier 160.


#24

The choice of statins is a a personal one… and personally I would rather die than take a statin.


#25

REALLY? there seems to be a proliferation lately of overly dramatic postings. I have a hard time taking the outliers seriously.


#26

Can you direct me to some of the literature/books/discussions you researched to come to your conclusion about statins? I have carotid artery disease… supposedly. Fifty percent blockage on both sides. An incidental finding. But who, in the general or T1D population, has their carotid arteries examined? Maybe 50% blockage is normal?

My LDL is also elevated and cholesterol mildly elevated, although triglycerides and HDL are fabulous. After my T1D dx three years ago, I finally agreed to take a statin. I am so afraid of stroke. I had tried lifestyle changes and every year the values went up a bit. I know these values increase with menopause, so maybe this is as nature intended and is valuable for my health…? There is research indicating that if HDL is high and triglycerides low, then cholesterol and LDL levels are not as indicative of heart disease or diabetes.

Two of my male siblings, who are in their early 60’s, have elevated lipids (I don’t know their specific numbers) and both are lean and muscular with no diagnosed disease. Elevated lipids appears to be a familial trait. There is no diabetes, T1 or T2 in either side of my very large family, so clearly not inherited. I would love to alleviate my fear of stroke and toss the statin.


#27

My former GP and I had a discussion about a statin but decided that since my cholesterol was consistently normal and I had low levels of the bad kind and generous level of the good kind that we’d just watch it.

My current GP sent me to the cardiologist for a stress test and a once over. He said my cholesterol was great and no need for the statin. I take two low dose blood pressure pills but that’s mostly prophylaxis for my one remaining kidney (the other was removed due to cancer in 2011) to keep it healthy for the long term.


#28

No statin here. Have had excellent to normal cholesterol ranges.


#29

Yeah… I think I’d chose life… ironically that is in many cases the choice that’s being offered… I truly don’t understand the smear campaign urging everyone to refuse medical advice given to them by cardiologists… probably the most high stakes doctors guidance ever given in a lifetime…


#30

The Soft Science of Dietary Fat - Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. A Complete…

I just spent a fair amount of time reading this article. I had no complaints about the article until I started reading another “article” on this same site written by Dr. Bernstein "Increased Prevalence of Significant Coronary Artery Calcification in Patients With Diabetes
by Richard K. Bernstein, MD, FACE, FACN, CWS
August 2001
Diabetes Care
Diabetes Interview

Quotes direct from Dr. Bernstein’s interview cited above: “medical calcification”?! “electon beam-computed tomography”? “intimal (i.e.,plague) calcification and medical calcification”

How is the “plague” involved with arterial calcification? There is no such thing as "medical calcification or "electon beam computed tomography. Good grief. There is no saving my confidence in Dr. Bernstein. Sorry dude. I’m all for reduced carbs but glad I didn’t buy his book. I understand this is an interview, but it is published as an “article” and he has taken full credit. He also added an addendum and cited references.

Going forward, I probably will skip reading anything he has written. What a bunch of bunk out there. How do we filter out the truth from the crap?


#31

The article I quoted, “The Soft Science of Dietary Fat”, which cites the Japanese study showing increased mortality with total cholesterol below 160, was written by Gary Taubes, not Dr Bernstein. If you are interested in the research, there is a paper by the researcher David Jacobs, at:

circ.ahajournals.org/content/circulationaha/86/3/1046.full.pdf

with the raw data. Table 3 is particularly interesting, showing increased mortality for men with cholesterol <160 or >240.

The fact that Bernstein includes it on his site, and you have lost confidence in Bernstein, should not immediately damn the Taubes article. The second article shows significant research supporting his claim.

Separately, I agree there is a MAJOR problem figuring out what to believe and what to ignore, i.e. filtering out the truth from the crap.


#32

Electron beam computerized tomography is an imaging test used to detect calcium deposits in the arteries. It is a specific form of computed tomography that uses an electron gun instead of regular x-rays.

And the article mentions medial calcification, not medical calcification.

Not sure if you were reading from a site that was poorly transcribed.

Try this one:


#33

Hi, Lauri. I didn’t keep a journal of my path through all the sources I accessed. I should have. I primarily started with doing google searches on “cholesterol statins” and “cholesterol coronary artery disease.” I also searched the medical literature for any academic or research studies using the same search terms. I didn’t pay for any of the studies I reviewed so it was not a comprehensive review but you can access a lot through sources like PubMed. I did similar searches within YouTube.

Here’s one very accessible documentary that was broadcast on ABC, the Australian Broadcast Company, a few years ago. It produced so much controversy and pushback from the defenders of the status quo that ABC removed all links from its web site. The documentary was so popular, however, that many people saved the video and relocated it to other backup hard drives. Here’s a link.

Here’s a list of people who have influenced my thinking about cholesterol and statins.

Gary Taubes
Jimmy Moore
Dr. Eric Westman
Mark Sisson
Ivor Cummins
Dr. Aseem Malhorta
Dr, Jason Fung
Nina Teicholz
Dr. David Ludwig
Dr. David Unwin
Ben Bikman
Dr. Mike Eades
Dr. Paul Mason
Sarah Hallberg
Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt
Dave Feldman
Dr. Jeffry Gerber
Dr. Robert Lustig
Dr. William Davis

I think one of the difficulties people who present with vascular disease face is deciding who to trust. We’d all like to trust our doctors but doing so without due diligence makes you vulnerable the tyranny of the status quo. Mainstream medical opinion stays close to published standards of care and these standards are slow to change.

Don’t let the sheer size of this issue intimidate you. Spend some time every day reading and viewing videos to collect information. After a while your knowledge will increase and you’ll start to come to your own conclusions based on tangible info.

I wish it were as easy as just trusting your doctor, but it’s not. They don’t have all the answers. I’m now seeing a naturopathic doctor because my sense of the issue better aligns with their more holistic view of medicine. Naturopaths actually know about food and make recommendations about how to eat. Traditional doctors are generally ignorant about food.

No, I don’t think a 50% blockage in the carotid arteries is normal, but it may not be as bad as it at first sounds. As I understand it, if you can stop the plaque from increasing, you can markedly improve your prognosis. It’s a complicated issue and I am certainly not an expert. I did, however, have a carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) ultrasound performed in 2013. I had traces of plaque at that time but it wasn’t significant.

I didn’t intend to overwhelm you with a mountain of information but this is a complicated and controversial high-stakes topic. I suggest you give it some time and effort so that you can make the best choices for your health. Good luck and good health!

I also found this hour-long documentary informative.


#34

I just read about another cardiologist this morning who doesn’t go along with the mainstream when it comes to statins.

She emphasized diet, exercise and everything else one can do to lower numbers. I do all of that including very low fat and my numbers are still high. She also said that she will use statins if all else fails.

Only and only because I am a type 1 and already have two stents, I am going to try once again taking the generic Crestor but at 10 mgs twice a week. If my liver enzymes rise again or if I have muscle problems, or memory problems I will immediately stop the med and never try another statin.

I have read most of the literature that Terry talks about, and I agree with it, but if I remember correctly most of it doesn’t talk about folks with type 1 diabetes.


#35

Sam 19, I think some of us have dealt with doctors and specialists of all kinds who have just been wrong.

My son came down with a horrible disease at 6 and another at 11. If I had followed the advice of the specialists without spending years of researching everything I could, my dear child might not be alive. I turned away the advice of the so-called specialists. My son is now a happy 30 yrs old, but he was ill for years.

9 yrs ago when my husband was dx with esophogial cancer, I again researched and even talked a surgeon at a large hospital in Seattle into not removing my husband’s esophagus. That is a huge operation which can change your life. The surgeon listened to me and found another surgeon who would do the much less complicated procedure. My husband has never had a reoccurrence of esophageal cancer. I believe greatly in reading and asking questions. When I finally found someone to treat my son’s second illness, I talked to doctors across the nation until finding one on the other side of the country who could help us.


#36

Yeah. You have a point that I shouldn’t damn the Taubes article. It was well written.

I’ll read the paper by David Jacobs. I work with this guy at the U of MN. He’s a good researcher and I trust his work.


#37

I was being sarcastic about the misspellings in the article I read on Bernstein’s site. “electon” versus “electron”.

Yes. The site I read from was very poorly transcribed. I read from your link and it has none of the misspellings. Crazy.


#38

Well now you’ve got me thinking. DX T1 1992, developed myofascial pain late '90s and fibromyalgia in 2004. Started taking a statin and blood pressure pills as a preventive measure from day 1. I no longer take bp pills as med. marijuana lowered it too much. May experiment to see if stopping/lowering statin affects muscle pain.

Life with diabetes is definitely one big experiment!


#39

Actually, it’s a new experiment every day. :slight_smile:


#40

Terry, you are a wealth of valuable information. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! I listened to both of the links while I was making chicken and vegetable soup. I will use all of the sources you listed for research.

In 1985 I began work at the U of MN, School of Public Health in the Division of Epidemiology, Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene. An office was kept for Ancel Keys. He rarely made an appearance but he had rock-star status. I think his research influenced many researchers for way too long.

I recently retired but still consult with the PI’s and staff on the longitudinal cohort studies I coordinated over the last 30+ years. Dr. Keys’ influence has died off as new data appear. But it has taken a long time for that new data. And the new data may be as flawed as the old data.