Statin Side Effects

Statin Side Effects

Statin Side Effects Video

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and number one cause of hospitalization in developed countries. Statin drugs are a common drug of choice in the prevention (lower cholesterol) and treatment of heart disease. The research is quite compelling showing the benefits of statin therapy. However does everyone need a statin? Let me start off by saying I am a big fan of statin therapy early on in the diagnosed heart disease process if patients can handle it. There should be a goal to eventually wane off this medication with a heart healthy lifestyle due to statin side effects.


The latest research on statin drug side effects shows that high potency statins are linked to acute kidney injury.

What is high potency?

1. 10 mg or more of rosuvastatin (Crestor)
2. 20 mg or more of atorvastatin (Lipitor)
3. 40 mg or more of simvastatin (Zocor)


Other side effects of statin drug therapy include:

1. Muscle pain and damage (Check out our great post on coenzyme q10 statins)
2. Liver damage.
3. Digestive problems.
4. Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes.
5. Neurological side effects such as memory loss, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease)

statin side effects

Talks are they should be in the water that we drink but really you can do a lot with nutrition. I just read that there was a grocery store chain that was providing free statins (atorvastatin) to its customers.  This was obviously a marketing promotion to get new customers. Pfizer branded Lipitor (atorvastatin) but their patent expired in 2011. So now the blockbuster drug is on the generic market. Pfizer has now just announced it will not market the drug anymore (all about making the shareholders happy).


At the end of the day statins are a drug and they can come with side effects. The risks of taking a statin with statin side effects should be outweighed of the benefits. Because statins have side effect caution should be used when prescribing these drugs. Patients should understand the side effects of statin drugs.


If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol and have been prescribed a statin then a good discussion has to be had with your prescribing doctor as to the reasons why? Doctors are given a handful of minutes at times with patients and try to mask the problem with a drug. Having high cholesterol does not mean you have to take statin therapy. As mentioned there are side effects and patients should be given a chance to reduce their numbers through lifestyle intervention. Good exercise program, stress management practices and nutrition program with possibly some supplements. Try this lifestyle therapy for 3 to 6 months and most people will see a big difference without having to go on statin therapy. In the event no change has been made then your healthcare team can decide the next step.


It is important to understand that cholesterol is not the reason people end up with heart disease. It is inflammation. So the goal is to lower the inflammatory response. The reason statins do a great job is that it lowers LDL cholesterol and it also lower inflammatory response.


You can always read my post on the truth about how to lower cholesterol.



To your heart health success,


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what should your heart rate be when exercising

What Should Your Heart Rate be When Exercising

This is a very common question that we get. What should your heart rate be when exercising? I love this question because you are exercising and want to make a difference or wanting to start an exercise program. There are a few points to consider when determining what your heart rate should be when exercising. I will talk about this below. You can get a lot of information out there but it is so important to really understand your cardiovascular risk, precautions and symptoms of heart disease.

What Should Your Heart Rate be When Exercising

1. For starters it is important to understand what you are doing for exercise. If you have never done an exercise program or starting an exercise program then I would suggest starting off with an aerobic exercise routine. This heart rate will be much lower than doing sprints, boot camps, cross fit or weight training. I would never start off with the higher intensity that is something you can work up to. I will discuss what your heart rate should be when performing aerobic exercises such as walking, biking, swimming etc.

2. If you have never exercised before or you are starting an exercise program after a heart event then it becomes so important to receive the correct education to ensure you are exercising safely and effectively. If you have never had a heart attack and are starting an exercise program then I there are a few things that you can do. Again I would start off by receiving the correct education to really understand your cardiovascular risk factors, understand your precautions to exercise and understand symptoms of heart disease.
In either case I would suggest seeing or consulting with a heart health expert like the Heart Fit Clinic over the phone, email or in person.

3. There is a common formula used to determine your maximum heart rate, which is 220-age. It is just an estimate but you can try this to see.
This formula does not work if you are taking any cardiovascular medications.
Here is an example if you are 50 years old with a resting heart rate of 70.
step 1: determine estimated maximum heart rate = 220-50(age) = 170
step 2: determine your heart rate reserve = 170 (max heart rate) – 70 (resting heart rate) = 100
step 3: determine 50% of your reserve = 100 x 50% = 50
step 4: heart rate when exercising would be 120.

4. As mentioned above if you are taking cardiovascular medications or have had a cardiovascular event then you will require more education to determine what your heart rate should be when exercising.

Just take the time to educate yourself to be a success with your heart health. As always I am here to help.

To your heart health success,

Diamond Fernandes