Statin Side Effects

The 11 Dangers to Beware of Most

Statin Side Effects

Watch out for these statin side effects you may not find listed on the label

Statin side effects can be just as deadly as high cholesterol.

Even worse, some of them are so weird you might never connect the dots to understand why you’re so sick!

More than 25% of Americans now take statins, making these drugs are a major cash cow for pharmaceutical firms. Pfizer alone made 8 BILLION dollars selling statins in 2011.

Statins are usually a lifetime prescription, too, so the money just keeps rolling in. Uninformed patients usually just take the drugs and keep on paying since mainstream medicine has trained us all to believe cholesterol is the ultimate evil.

High HDL cholesterol isn’t good, but using statins as the “cure” for high cholesterol is worse.

Anywhere from 10% to 30% of people taking statins experience at least one side effect. What are the biggest — and strangest — statin side effects out there? Read on to count down our list of the top 11 statin drug dangers.

11. Altered Sense of Taste & Smell

More than 15 million Americans suffer from an altered sense of taste and smell — and statins could be the cause.

It may seem like a minor thing — but who wants to drink soured milk that smelled fresh to you? To never again enjoy the smell of fresh cut flowers or your favorite perfume? To get no pleasure from your favorite foods?

Most people never connect an altered sense of taste and smell with statins. Be the exception!

10. Turning Mean

Statins make you mean — especially if you’re a woman.

A recent study at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles confirmed what families have been reporting for years:  People who take statins become more aggressive, hostile, and cynical. Some even become violent, raising statin dangers for everyone.

Women are more dramatically affected than men, especially when their LDL levels drop to 70 mg/dl or lower.

9. Digestive Problems

Digestive issues are one of life’s annoyances — and statins can make them worse. Constipation, gas, diarrhea, and nausea are well known side effects in otherwise healthy people… but if you already have digestive problems, get ready for a wild ride. Statins tend to aggravate existing digestive problems, including irritable bowel syndrome.

8. Chronic Fatigue

Statins make you feel tired — no matter how much sleep you’re getting. They cause a drop in general energy levels and increase your feelings of fatigue after physical activity.

This is another one of those statin dangers that don’t treat men and women equally — fatigue symptoms are significantly worse in women. In a 6 month trial of 1,016 adults with moderately high cholesterol treated with low doses of simvastatin (Zocor) and pravastatin (Pravachol), 40% of the women reported a loss of energy.

7. Hormone Imbalances

Few people realize that cholesterol is a building block for testosterone. Lowering your cholesterol using statins lowers the level of testosterone in your body, kicking off a set of hormone imbalances that can dramatically reduce your quality of life.

Let’s start with the scale. As you lose testosterone, you tend to gain weight and lose muscle mass. Not very fun. And not very attractive, either. But you may not care so much after the fact since lower testosterone levels also kill sex drive in both men and women.

Even worse? For men, low testosterone can lead to erectile dysfunction. So even when you can manage to get yourself in the mood while on statins, you’re often on the road to nowhere.

6. Muscle Weakness

Muscle weakness is one of the leading side effects of statins. It can be felt as an all-over soreness that’s annoying but not life-limiting, or you could be hit with severe muscle pain and weakness that essentially cripples you.

In very rare cases, taking statins can cause rhabdomyolysis, a condition that breaks down your muscle fibers and releases them into your blood stream. As your muscles dissolve, they flow through your kidneys, causing deadly kidney failure along with full-body pain.

5. Nerve Damage

Statins have been linked to the same kind of nerve damage as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Early warning signs include numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, but many people miss the symptoms.

That’s why it’s extremely important to pay attention to your nerve sensations while on statins. Early symptoms can be reversed if you drop the medication, but ignoring changes in how your body is reacting to nerve stimuli or how your nerves are feeling can lead to permanent damage.

4. Diabetes

Your cholesterol may be lower, but one of the statin side effects you’ll rarely see discussed is diabetes. Taking statins dramatically increases the risk that you’ll develop Type II diabetes since statins increase the amount of glucose in your blood.

How bad is it? Patients taking Crestor (rosuvastatin) were 25% more likely to get Type II diabetes than patients taking a placebo — and few will deny that diabetes has as many deadly long-term side effects as high cholesterol.

3. Liver Damage

Before you start taking statins, you’ll probably be required to take a liver enzyme test. This will be pitched to you as a routine check-up item, but it’s actually a baseline test for your doctor to evaluate how much your statins are screwing up your liver.

Statins can cause your liver to increase its enzyme production, which causes abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and yellowing of your skin. Small or moderate changes and your doctor will keep you on the drug, stopping prescriptions only in severe cases.

Tests can catch enzyme spikes early — but this February the Food and Drug Administration discontinued its recommendation that statin patients get regular liver enzyme tests, saying the tests can’t predict who will suffer serious liver damage. So why take the chance at all?

2. Mental Impairment

Evidence keeps rolling in that statin side effects include confusion, dementia, and memory loss. These risks are exacerbated if you have pre-existing risk factors in your family or your LDL cholesterol levels drop to extremely low levels.

Since statins are often prescribed later in life, it’s easy to write off mental slips as part of getting older. Not so fast! Don’t give up on your brain — some of the effects are reversible if you give up your medication instead.

1. Shortened Lifespan

Statins are supposed to help you live longer by lowering your cholesterol — but their promise of a longer lifespan may be the biggest and deadliest lie out there.

Statins harm your mitochondria, the tiny energy powerhouses within your cells, by decreasing your natural levels of coenzyme Q10. The size and strength of your mitochondria help dictate how long you’ll live, so damaging your mitochondria effectively shortens your life. How’s that for the ultimate side effect — promise long life with one hand, then cut it short with the other!

The life-shortening “side effects” of statins are even greater if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or are over 70 years old. So while you can minimize the damage by taking coenzyme Q10 supplements, wouldn’t it be better to avoid statins entirely?

A Safe, All Natural Way to Lower Cholesterol

You can spend your life watching for and fighting statin dangers — or you could dump the whole mess in favor of an all-natural way to lower your cholesterol that doesn’t cause deadly side effects.

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Contrast those side effects with statins and the choice is easy.

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FDA. FDA announces safety changes in labeling for some cholesterol-lowering drugs. 2012 Feb 28.

Mayo Clinic Staff. Statin side effects. 2012 March 13.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. Rhabdomyolysis. PubMed Health. 2011 Sept. 19.

Filed Under: Medications
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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1 thought on “Statin Side Effects”

  1. Angela says:

    interesting article

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