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Q & A with Dr. Natasha Turner
Q: I have been on Lipitor and other Statin drugs for years. I suffer from FM/Osteoarthritis/CFS/Raynaulds/Sjogrens. Being in pain for so many years has just been a way of life for me (my cholesterol reading is 7.58) However, in January, 2006, I came down with a flu bug and went off the Lipitor. Although I was sick, I did notice that my pain level was substantially lowered. After finding out that Lipitor also causes joint and muscle pain, I'm hesitant to going back on this type of drug. Years ago, I tried Niacin and broke out with chronic uticaria and am very skeptical about taking products that cause side effects. I've started taking Kyolic Garlic and was wondering if there are any other natural products that are effective in lowering cholesterol.
A: The muscle pain you noticed that declined after you stopped taking the cholesterol medication is a documented side effect of statin medications. It seems if you develop this symptom, it will not go away by simply reducing the dose, but will remain at any level of intake. However, taking a supplement called Co-enzyme Q-10 may help to treat this side effect and possibly prevent it from occurring in some cases. Co Q-10 is an antioxidant that is involved in cardiovascular health, cellular energy and healthy skin. It is actually a very good idea to take Co Q-10 supplements whenever taking statin medications because they do cause its depletion.
Now, let's tackle your question about alternative ways to treat high cholesterol. There are several natural products to reduce cholesterol safely and effectively. You may want to research some of these:
1. Guggulipids, an herbal medicine, is useful for high cholesterol, especially in patients that also have a thyroid condition. TrueLEAN 3 contains this along with fiber to "mop up" cholesterol (as our Dr. Joey would say). To further mop up cholesterol from the digestive tract, you can consume apple sauce, oat bran and ground flaxseeds mixed daily. Another option is to eat oatmeal everyday.
2. Red Yeast Extract or Policosanols. I refer to these as natural statins. The standard dose is 10 mg twice per day.
3. Fish oil supplements, like TrueOMEGA, have fabulous cholesterol reducing effects.
4. Your diet should be carbohydrate conscious and contain moderate amounts of healthy fats with little to no bad fats. See www.truestarhealth.com for the perfect dietary recommendations and meal plan for you.
5. Exercise reduces cholesterol and raises good cholesterol. Every workout counts and its never too late to start.
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