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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had diabetes for 42 years and up until 4 years ago my diabetes was not very stable. This was not because I wasnt trying to do good but an excuse was that I had a very stressful job, I dont know! I have neuropathy in feet, hands, arms and feel very tired when working. My muscles just seem so heavy and dont want to carry me, I have to keep sitting down, and I'm not a lazy person. I am so frustrated because my energy levels are great then all of a sudden I am finding it difficult to do anything because of the pain and aches in the body. My blood sugars are now stable since starting with the pump 4 years ago.
I have read on the forum site about the feedback when using statins but not sure if this is me and diabetes or statins and is it safe to come off statins, via my GP of course.
Thank you
 

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Hello, Valerie. Welcome aboard. How long have you been on a statin and how are your lipids levels? Mine were borderline and doc never treated it, but when I was diagnosed with diabetes, he put me on a low dose of lovastatin right away. Now after 18 months and a progressively better lipids profile, he has agreed to take me off the statin and see how it goes, since I eat a pretty low-carb diet. I wasn't having the symptoms you describe, but I'm just as happy to be off it.
 

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Do you get quality sleep?

Hi Valerie, I might be going out on a limb here ... but ... have you considered a sleep study. I used to be tired all the time with little or no energy. I had a sleep study done and I was diagnosed with OSA - Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I'm sure this is not the likely cause of your problems, but it is always good to know how well you are sleeping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My reply to Philly Bud

Hi Valerie, I might be going out on a limb here ... but ... have you considered a sleep study. I used to be tired all the time with little or no energy. I had a sleep study done and I was diagnosed with OSA - Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I'm sure this is not the likely cause of your problems, but it is always good to know how well you are sleeping.
Thanks for helping me out and thinking what the solution could be. I hadnt thought about my sleep pattern. My GP is now sending me off for some more blood tests but I will have to wait and see what the results are. She said because my results are all quite good it is a shame to alter anything, I am not happy about that but having read some of the comments on statins I may just come off myself. Thank you very much for taking time to reply.
 

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Statins have a lot of side-effects including muscle-wasting, fatigue, aches and pains and ... amnesia. Yes full-blown amnesia even occurs. Most of these side-effects are reversed upon stopping the statins but some are not. :mad:
They are also known to deplete your body of co-enzyme Q10 - an essential energy generating nutrient.
Since statins are used as a long-term preventative, simply stopping them for short time (say a few weeks) to see if they are the cause of your problem is quite safe (I'm not qualified to give you medical advice though - you should check with your doctor but if they are not willing to give it a try, go with another).
I'd also take co-Q10 200 mg per day at the same time and see how you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Reply to RichieRich

Statins have a lot of side-effects including muscle-wasting, fatigue, aches and pains and ... amnesia. Yes full-blown amnesia even occurs. Most of these side-effects are reversed upon stopping the statins but some are not. :mad:
They are also known to deplete your body of co-enzyme Q10 - an essential energy generating nutrient.
Since statins are used as a long-term preventative, simply stopping them for short time (say a few weeks) to see if they are the cause of your problem is quite safe (I'm not qualified to give you medical advice though - you should check with your doctor but if they are not willing to give it a try, go with another).
I'd also take co-Q10 200 mg per day at the same time and see how you go.
Thank you so much for that information. I am back at my Gp's in two weeks time so will again talk about statins but I will inform her that I am going to stop them as my legs are giving me so much pain and I can hardly walk up the stairs now. The way you have replied to me you would think you were medically trained so thank you I will see what I can do.
 

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My total cholesterol was borderline, too ( 202) but my good cholesterol was 89. My doc put me on statins. I guess for a year or so I had minor aches and pains and fatigue but thought it might be due to the metformin I was on or arthritis. In April I got the flu and terrible muscle aches. Doc said it was from the flu. Well after the flu was gone the muscle aches got worse. I went from someone who lifted weights regularly to someone who couldn't lift a bag of groceries. I would try to exercise but would poop out in 5 minutes. Even though I was eating, my body fat scale fell to 3 % body fat. Every muscle in my body felt like it was exploding. I finally stopped taking the statin and within 2 weeks most of the pain was gone. It has been a long road, though to recover and rebuild the lost muscle. I have since found out one of the side effects of these miracle drugs is they dissolve your muscles and flush them into your kidneys which can cause kidney damage. If you are still taking them, call your doctor and tell him you are going to stop taking them. I wish I had done it at the first sign of trouble and not waited 4 months. I still look like a scrawny chicken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Reply to jwags: Is this the result of statins or diabetes?

My total cholesterol was borderline, too ( 202) but my good cholesterol was 89. My doc put me on statins. I guess for a year or so I had minor aches and pains and fatigue but thought it might be due to the metformin I was on or arthritis. In April I got the flu and terrible muscle aches. Doc said it was from the flu. Well after the flu was gone the muscle aches got worse. I went from someone who lifted weights regularly to someone who couldn't lift a bag of groceries. I would try to exercise but would poop out in 5 minutes. Even though I was eating, my body fat scale fell to 3 % body fat. Every muscle in my body felt like it was exploding. I finally stopped taking the statin and within 2 weeks most of the pain was gone. It has been a long road, though to recover and rebuild the lost muscle. I have since found out one of the side effects of these miracle drugs is they dissolve your muscles and flush them into your kidneys which can cause kidney damage. If you are still taking them, call your doctor and tell him you are going to stop taking them. I wish I had done it at the first sign of trouble and not waited 4 months. I still look like a scrawny chicken.
Well I have been off the statins for about 3 weeks now and did inform my diabetes specialist. I need to go back to my Gp in about a month when I return from holiday to see how I feel and if there are alternatives I can take. My specialist did say that Statins are the best drug to take to lower cholesterol but if they are causing discomfort then stop them but see if there is another form of statin I can take. My body has not lost any weight, however, where I used to have some power in my arms and legs they are now so weak I too have to stop and rest after about 5 minutes and cant carry anything heavy.
I do think I feel better being off the statins but I want to wait another month to say for definate that I do.
Thank you for replying and I hope you soon feel back on top form. Best wishes
 

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It took me several months to totally feel better, but I still have some residual damage done by the statins. My arms are still very weak compared to what they were. I have been doing light weights to build up arms but my muscles still look like a scrawny chicken. When I told my doctor about 2 months after I stopped he told me I had something called statin myopathy and doubted I could tolerate any statin. So we are trying it with diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow that is really interesting. My doctor has never even suggested that my weakness is caused by statins. I do feel better and will go again in one month to see my Doc. I too may also have to do it by diet.
Good luck to you and I hope everything works out for you.
Valerie
 

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It's such a common side effect of statins. I think all patients should be advised of the risk at the initial prescription. Especially given that with good diet you can normalize your cholesterol anyway.
To help with recovery, try taking co-enzyme Q10 - 100 or even 200mg morning and night. The statins deplete you of this critical nutrient and this depletion is a major reason for the side effects. This is a fairly high dose - it comes with no risk but it is a bit expensive. After you get better, drop to a maintenance dose of say 50 mg once a day.
Don't forget to keep eating healthy though!
 

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Unique Situation With Statins

I have been taking a statin drug on and off for 12 years. I also have gastroparesis, which merely is slow digestion. The medication that is most used in the USA is Reglan, a medication that can cause you to have uncontrolled muscle movements that can become permanent. I have simply made the choice to not take Reglan but use erythromycin to speed up the digestion process and it worked fairly well for me until October. I then started having severe muscle pain to the point that getting in and out of the bath tub brought tears to my eyes from the pain in my leg muscles. I knew I was in trouble because certain antibiotics when taken in combination with a statin drug can cause a very serious syndrome with your muscles. I was alerted 1st by my pharmacist and I went back to my doctor and we decided that I had taken erythromycin with statin drugs before with no problems, just keep taking the combo. That all stopped about November 1. I wasn't going to go without a bath because I was in too much pain. I decided to give up the erythromycin and continue taking my statin drug. In one month's time, I am able to take my bath daily without crying, the pain is gone. All I need to figure out is what to take instead of the erythromycin to help speed up my digestion process. I am looking into that, but I will try to live with the gastroparesis without taking erythromycin. The muscle pain was affecting my ability to taking a daily bath and I couldn't live that way and I do not have a working shower. Beware if you are on a statin drug and you need to take an antibiotic, this can cause muscle pain, discontinue the statin until you are finished taking your antibiotics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's such a common side effect of statins. I think all patients should be advised of the risk at the initial prescription. Especially given that with good diet you can normalize your cholesterol anyway.
To help with recovery, try taking co-enzyme Q10 - 100 or even 200mg morning and night. The statins deplete you of this critical nutrient and this depletion is a major reason for the side effects. This is a fairly high dose - it comes with no risk but it is a bit expensive. After you get better, drop to a maintenance dose of say 50 mg once a day.
Don't forget to keep eating healthy though!
Thanks I will see if I can buy this med and how it can improve my daily tasks. I must admit I have been feeling much better but I think some of that is because I have communicated with other sufferers on the diabetes forum. I do have a healthy diet too. Thanks for that.
 

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When I told my doctor about the muscle pains and fatigue, he also asked if I was having brain fog. I looked at him and said, yes. When I was going through this I thought I was getting Alzheimers or something. My memory and brain were foggy. My doctor said a lot of his patients were compalining about that, especially the women. He suggested the CoQ10, too. So I started taking it and I think it did help. Although I have eliminated 95% of the muscle pain my muscles are not as strong as they were before this happened. My upper arms look like scrawny chickens. I do light weights to try to rebuild my tone, but I think this may take some time. I remember telling a friend who was on the same drug, prevarastatin, and she said her doctor told her the aches and pains were just mild and we should put up with them. I tried to tell her what I had was not mild muscle aches but unbelieveable pain moving through my body. I really thought I was getting Fibromyalgia. I have a high tolerance for pain and rarely take pain killers or even asprin. I was downing tylenol, excedrin, motrin and none of it worked. The hardest thing for me was the pain interfered with my sleep. I felt like a walking zombie.
 

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Simvastatin and myopathy

Can you tell us your statin dose? My GP doc just put me on 5mg of Simvastatin. I looked on the FDA website at the contraindications, and it was talking directly to me. Here is what I mean from this URL that contains the following quote:
FDA Drug Safety Communication: Ongoing safety review of high-dose Zocor (simvastatin) and increased risk of muscle injury
FDA.GOV said:
The interim HPS2 results showed that the incidence of myopathy was higher in patients of Chinese descent (0.43%) compared with patients not of Chinese descent (0.03%) taking 40 mg simvastatin plus cholesterol-modifying doses (≥1 g/day) of a niacin-containing product. It is not known if the increased risk for myopathy observed in these patients applies to other patients of Asian descent.
Yes, you guessed it, I am of Chinese descent and I am given chronic simvastatin. My diabetes doc said to stop immediately if I get any muscle pain. I think she might have been reluctant to countermand my GP. What do you think? :eek:
 

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I was on 40 mg of prevarstatin. I am not of Chinese ancestry. I also take metformin for my diabetes , the maximum dose. I wonder if the combination of the two gave me such a severe reaction. I was on it for over a year before the severe muscle aches started. Thinking back I probably had small aches and pains and some shortness of breath but I checked it off to turning 60 or arthritis. I exercised a lot so I figured maybe I just worked out too hard. What I found is after normal exercise my muscles wouldn't rebound in 24 hours like they normally would. So a short 15 minute workout with weights would hurt for 4 days. That is when I knew something was wrong. I had always been flexible in yoga and pilates. But with this muscle attack it seemed my ligaments and tendons were so stiff I could barely bend and no way could I do most of the poses. After 6 months off the statins I am about 80% back to normal. I still have some residual pain, which I am hoping will eventually go away. I have most of my mobility back.
 

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Ken? Do you think your lipid levels are so bad that a risk of this nature is even warranted? What does your panel look like?
 

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Simvastatin and myopathy

Ken? Do you think your lipid levels are so bad that a risk of this nature is even warranted? What does your panel look like?
Well I don't have an opinion here just following the doctors prescription... here are lab results from last month. I am still a relative neophyte to these numbers so I don't have a sense of bad or good. -Ken
  • Cholesterol 212;...recommended is <200
  • Triglyceride 74;.....recc. <150
  • HDL = 47;............recc. >40
  • LDL = 150;..........recc. <130
  • VLDL = 15;..........recc. 0-50
  • HbA1C = 7.3........recc. <6
  • Glucose = 108.....recc. 74-100
 

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My doctor tells me the best numbers to look at are the ratio of your Trigs to your HDL. Yours are 74/47 which is a good ratio. My overall cholesterol cam in at 204. My LDL was 96. My trigs were 95 and HDL was 89. So since my HDL is high it drives my overall numbers up. The LDL is just a calculated number anyway and the proof that high LDL causes heart disease is sketchy. I am not familiar with the VLDL but I think that has to do with the size of your cholesterol.
 

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There are several kinds of LDL - among them small dense particles and large "fluffy" particles. Some medical writers liken them to bullets and beach balls. The "bullets" are the villains that get deposited in arterial walls where they don't belong, creating the dreaded plaques; the "beach balls" bounce around and do no harm at all.

Low triglyceride levels like yours, Ken, are often indicative of beach balls, and if your doc ever suggests a vertical auto profile (VAP) test, go for it! That is the one conclusive test for LDL particle size.
 
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