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statins for diabetes - not cholesterol?


MickinMD
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Any medical insights on taking statins for diabetes - not for cholesterol, not for lowering blood sugar, but because diabetics on statins allegedly live longer?

I just came back from my 2nd-in-a-row-good, every-three-month. diabetes blood-test follow-up with my family doctor. He was pleased with my numbers but he asked me to consider taking statins, mentioning Crestor and Lipitor.

I pointed out my total cholesterol is always between 128-150's, my HDL (good cholesterol) is always close to 60 (over 40 is good), my LDL (bad cholesterol) is always under 90, which is great for non-diabetics and on-target-good for diabetics.

He said studies in England showed that statins do things other than lower cholesterol including helping to flush the kidneys of "gunk" and dissolving stuff stuck on blood vessel walls.

He said the studies show that people on statins live longer than others and even more so, diabetics on statins live an even greater amount than diabetics not on statins.

Of course, I haven't seen statistics for diabetics who consistently have excellent cholesterol levels on statins.

A quick google shows:

The most common statin side effects include:
  • Headache.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Flushing of the skin.
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia)
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Abdominal cramping or pain.

"One of the most common complaints of people taking statins is muscle pain. You may feel this pain as a soreness, tiredness or weakness in your muscles. The pain can be a mild discomfort, or it can be severe enough to make your daily activities difficult." - Mayo Clinic.

So I told the Doc I would talk to the diabetes specialist with whom I have an appointment next week - to whom he sent me at part of the U. of Maryland Hospitals training program for diabetics; to my sister, a research-nurse at Johns Hopkins;  to my brother who has higher cholesterol (he didn't get Dad's genes for low cholesterol despite diet) and takes statins, and do some online research and then talk to the Doc about it within the next three months - or maybe do it if the specialist is enthusiastic about it.  I have very low copays for prescriptions and can always stop.

Any comments pro or con are helpful. Thanks in advance.

 

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I take statins due to cholesterol issues but not as a result of diabetes.  However because of my diabetes my Dr never lets my cholesterol get out of whack so has adjusted it numerous times over the years.

Now BP medications like lisinopril are always prescribed with metformin as it aids in liver function. My mom and all of my siblings take some sort of BP med (mostly  lisinopril) 

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I take a very low dose of a statin (Simvastatin 10mg) and blood pressure medicine (Enalapril Maleate 2.5mg) daily. The blood pressure medicine is for maintaining my creatinine levels.  I've never felt any abnormal muscle pains that I do not normally encounter with my daily activities. Different folks respond differently to different statins and doses.

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I hate the idea of taking meds.  Before you take on another RX, consider extreme things like cleansing diets.  At least that's what I would do.  It seems to me counteracting bad input with good input makes more sense than continuing bad input and fixing it with drugs.

 

This is easy for me to say...I have no health issues and my family tree is pretty robust...but for a couple of twigs. 

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28 minutes ago, sheep_herder said:

I take a very low dose of a statin (Simvastatin 10mg) and blood pressure medicine (Enalapril Maleate 2.5mg) daily. The blood pressure medicine is for maintaining my creatinine levels.  I've never felt any abnormal muscle pains that I do not normally encounter with my daily activities. Different folks respond differently to different statins and doses.

Do you take the statins because of high cholesterol or for liver function?

Ive actually never heard of statins being used in the manner Mick references.

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I take 20 mg a day and have been doing so for a number of years.  My cholesterol numbers improved dramatically (I also changed my diet).  My doctor says I can stop them and see what happens, but he doesn't recommend it.  My family has a history of heart disease and early death from heart attacks.  

I read of another good side effect somewhere.  Not sure of the validity, but some study seemed to suggest that the incidence of glaucoma was reduced among people taking statin drugs.  If interested, I'm sure you can google it.  

I have had none of the adverse side effects that they caution against, muscle or joint pain, etc. 

Glad to share my experiences if you have any other questions. 

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Uncle google says it’s controversial. Lipitor is going to have to kick back more money if they want to squash the controversy.

 reported that hyperlipidemia patients who use statins had the same risk of developing glaucoma as those who did not use statin; they also found (importantly) that a higher statin dosage results in a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Since the recent evidence regarding whether or not statin use has a protective effect against glaucoma is controversial,”

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I took Statins following two heart attacks which left my heart damaged. I experienced nearly all of the side-effects which made life pretty miserable. As I grew older I opted to stop taking these after I found that Statins compromised the immune system and as a result, I was continually on some type of antibiotics. The difference since I stopped has been amazing and I now feel human again.  

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Thanks for a lot of useful advice!  It gives me more things to run by the Diabetic Specialist M.D. assigned to me by the U. of Maryland Type II Diabetes program I was in last Summer that helped me get my sugar levels under good, stable control.  I have an appointment with her next week.

My sister is a type-II diabetic and, though she's a master nurse in cancer research at Johns Hopkins Hospital, she's in contact with a lot of eye, diabetes, etc. researchers and often has some not-yet-published, top-of-the-line research results.  She was out last night so I didn't get a chance to talk to her about my family Doc's statin recommendation.

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