Statins and constipation, trapped gas

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gutastrophe
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 2/18/2008 11:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Anyone taking cholesterol meds?  I just started and am already having some belly issues.  Not sure if it's the Zocor or the new reflux meds - protonix or aciphex (I'm trying them both). 
 
 

Sarita
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   Posted 2/19/2008 1:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Simvastatin (the generic name for Zocor) has a frequent side effect of abdominal pain, or so I've been told by my professors. Do you have really high cholesterol?
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spasman
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 361
   Posted 2/19/2008 7:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Is this constipating?

:o
-IBS induced by NSAID
-IBS-A,C with meteorism(trapped gas) and pubic burning-
 


gutastrophe
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 2/19/2008 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Sarita said...
Simvastatin (the generic name for Zocor) has a frequent side effect of abdominal pain, or so I've been told by my professors. Do you have really high cholesterol?

309.  I'd say that's pretty darned high!
I've definately been having stranger-than-usual abdominal pain and grinding, trapped gas.  Slightly worse c as well.  Last night, it woke me up about 6 times!  But I'm not sure if it's the zocor or the protonix/aciphex.  Doc gave me samples of the last two for acid reflux and I've been trying both for the last week.  Hard to know what is doing what at this point.  The side effect profile for all of them is essentially the same:  standard warnings about either c or d! 

Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 2/19/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's some stuff I learned while I was looking up statins for my husband (he ended up getting off his because he was suffering from bizarre shoulder pain and terrible insomnia).

Doctors often ignore statin side effects: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20479490/

Statins and insomnia: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21670715/

And the mother of all scary sites, all of the known and thought-to-be-linked statin side effects, why they're bad for you, etc.: http://www.spacedoc.net/

When my mother's cholesterol started to get bad, she got on flax seed oils and now it's perfect. My huband is on prescription-strength fish oil. Not sure how that's doing by itself, but he's refused to go back on the statins after finding that so many of the health problems he was suddenly suffering were linked or thought to be linked with statins. What's the point of living forever with good cholesterol if his shoulders are so messed up he can't move his arms and he can't sleep a wink? He's been very upset lately that he's not been able to do medieval fighting. He really misses that. However, he has seen a little bit of improvement since getting off his statin; it used to be that his shoulder ached all the time and he was always complaining about it and it interferred with his sleep, but now that he's been off his medicine for a few months, his shoulder tends to only ache when he uses it a lot or if he lifts it the wrong way; he's sleeping on it better now. This improvement has been seen in the absence of any form of physical therapy (although he's looking to get some of that).

gutastrophe
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 2/19/2008 10:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Keri.

Thank you for all the great links.  I have to confess that if I look at them (especially the one that you claim is the "mother of all scary things") I will immediately begin to have the symptoms.  I am that impressionable when it comes to reading about side effects.

My doc warned me about muscle pain and I've been monitoring that.  So far, I've not noticed anything unusual.  Sleeping problems are no worse than they are normally due to the IBS.  My main concern, as always when taking new drugs, is how will it effect my IBS. 

Since I am considered at risk for heart attack, I feel compelled to get the cholesterol down immediately.  My diet, prior to this new revelation, was quite excellent so the fact that it got this high leads me to wonder how much impact dietary changes alone will have.  In addition, I have had the same doc for 17 years and he is most definately not a pill pusher.  I feel confident that he would not have strongly recommended medication unless he reallly thought it necessary. 

My plan is to stay on the zocor for a few months and make necessary diet changes.  I will go back for blood tests and see what the results are.  If it has come down significantly, I will likely go off the mediciation and just stick to the cholesterol-free diet, checking back periodically to see how I am doing.

What I do find interesting is that the last time I had my cholesterol checked three years ago it was very good, with HDL readings off the charts. Shortly after that time, I was dx with the bowel impaction and my GI suggested I knock off the daily fiber supplement that I had been taking for 15 years.  We all know that Metamucil (which is what I was taking) helps lower cholesterol and I am almost certain that it must have contributed to keeping my levels so low.  Ah, why is it that we have to make these tough choices between our general health and our dopey guts?


Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 2/19/2008 10:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Suggest you use either Aciphex or Protonix for a while but not both. Aciphex has more side effects than Protonix and more people are sensitive to it. It is the least used of any of the PPI's.

I was told once you are on the statins you will have to stay on them all your life to keep your cholesteral in check if that is the only way you can get it down.

Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 2/20/2008 1:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Gut, do you have a history of high cholesterol in the family? Sometimes this has more to do with high cholesterol than diet does...although it's pretty much a mixture of the two...
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Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/20/2008 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
PPI's have also been shown, in preliminary studies, to increase your chances of catching C. difficile. They think that it's because they supress too much acid and that acid helps kill off bad bacteria before it can take root. So if you're not already on a probiotic, you might want to take one for general gut health.

Also, long-term usage of PPIs has been linked to increased bone loss (that's going to be especially obvious in women), possibly because the suppression of acid interferes with normal calcium absorption. So you might want to take a calcium supplement if you're not already on one, but look out! They typically cause constipation. One with a high amount of magnesium in it, though, is supposed to be the least constipating. If you can tolerate dairy or calcium-fortified orange juice or greens, like spinach, those are probably going to be better on your guts than the supplement.

There's a new theory out about cholesterol, but I don't know how long it will take to be mainstream, but some research has shown that bad cholesterol comes in two sizes, small and large, and that actually the large seems to be unharmful; it's the small cholesterol that gets stuck. Also, some studies have shown that some of the things recommended right now to get rid of bad cholesterol may actually break down the big chunks into the more harmful chunks. Of course, the medical community doesn't want to come out and say, "Oh, we've actually been making you all worse"--like what happened when they first discovered cholesterol and said it was all bad, then found out that only some was bad, and that actually in having people reduce the good, they'd been increasing people's likelihood to have a stroke! So they're going to test that theory out a lot before they declare that they have yet again been wrong about cholesterol (this information came from a book called "The Fat Fallacy" which is, interestingly enough, about the French Diet, which is actually high in "bad" cholesterol, even though French people have much lower levels of heart disease than the average American).

Someone on here said that their doctor told them once that, "We only understand how about 40% of the body works; we guess about the other 60%." Personally, I trust cholesterol information as much as I trust diet information. I saw on the news yesterday that, after the carb-free decade, diet "researchers" have discovered that potatoes and grains are actually good for you (duh, our ancestors have been living on bread since they took up farming, while potatoes have been a staple of the Western diet since the 1700's) and that now they're working on a carb-heavy diet.

These people really get on my nerves.

gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 2/20/2008 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Sarita said...
Gut, do you have a history of high cholesterol in the family? Sometimes this has more to do with high cholesterol than diet does...although it's pretty much a mixture of the two...

Sure do.  Mom, Dad, g-ma, etc.  Also, heart and stroke in the family.  Doc thinks the problem is more genetic than diet.  All I know is it's too darned high and that freaks me out. A two pronged attack is warranted, at least for now.
I don't know about being on statins for "life".  I'm not gonna worry about that right now.  Once I get it down to "normal", I will re-evaluate with doc and see if I can keep it under control with just diet. 

gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 2/20/2008 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Keriamon said...
PPI's have also been shown, in preliminary studies, to increase your chances of catching C. difficile. They think that it's because they supress too much acid and that acid helps kill off bad bacteria before it can take root. So if you're not already on a probiotic, you might want to take one for general gut health.

Also, long-term usage of PPIs has been linked to increased bone loss (that's going to be especially obvious in women), possibly because the suppression of acid interferes with normal calcium absorption. So you might want to take a calcium supplement if you're not already on one, but look out! They typically cause constipation. One with a high amount of magnesium in it, though, is supposed to be the least constipating. If you can tolerate dairy or calcium-fortified orange juice or greens, like spinach, those are probably going to be better on your guts than the supplement.

There's a new theory out about cholesterol, but I don't know how long it will take to be mainstream, but some research has shown that bad cholesterol comes in two sizes, small and large, and that actually the large seems to be unharmful; it's the small cholesterol that gets stuck. Also, some studies have shown that some of the things recommended right now to get rid of bad cholesterol may actually break down the big chunks into the more harmful chunks. Of course, the medical community doesn't want to come out and say, "Oh, we've actually been making you all worse"--like what happened when they first discovered cholesterol and said it was all bad, then found out that only some was bad, and that actually in having people reduce the good, they'd been increasing people's likelihood to have a stroke! So they're going to test that theory out a lot before they declare that they have yet again been wrong about cholesterol (this information came from a book called "The Fat Fallacy" which is, interestingly enough, about the French Diet, which is actually high in "bad" cholesterol, even though French people have much lower levels of heart disease than the average American).

Someone on here said that their doctor told them once that, "We only understand how about 40% of the body works; we guess about the other 60%." Personally, I trust cholesterol information as much as I trust diet information. I saw on the news yesterday that, after the carb-free decade, diet "researchers" have discovered that potatoes and grains are actually good for you (duh, our ancestors have been living on bread since they took up farming, while potatoes have been a staple of the Western diet since the 1700's) and that now they're working on a carb-heavy diet.

These people really get on my nerves.
Mine too.  In general, I also greet "news" with a great deal of skepticism but I do have a great relationship with my doc and fortunately I am able to trust him.
I know about the downside of PPI's.  I have tried, unsucessfully, to wean myself off them over the years by using more naturopathic approaches and dietary changes.  It's an ongoing struggle for me trying to balance risk/benefit on this one.  I've not taken anything for the last three days in attempt to discern what is causing the increased c and stomach pain.  It's an interesting experiment to see how long I can go before the discomfort of reflux becomes unbearable.  So far, it's manageable.  But still, the stomach pain and c has not subsided. 
I'm still curious to know if anyone else has taken statins and experienced this increased c? 

Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/20/2008 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
<<It's an ongoing struggle for me trying to balance risk/benefit on this one. >>

Yeah, it's crazy. A lof people are stuck in that same spot too, in that the medicine causes as many problems as it cures, so you have to figure out which problems are personally worse for you to have. Some people would say "give me the bone loss; I can't stand being up all night with the burning and belching" while others might say, "bone loss cripples the women in my family; I'll eat Tums and try and make do." I think you can only do what seems best for you in this situation.

The Lipitor that my husband was on didn't give him C that I'm aware of; he's more likely to complain of D--but we've traced that to some of the things he eats.

Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 2/20/2008 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I did read that the Tums have a rebound effect on acid so I quit with them. As for the PPI's when I had to wean off for my h. pylori test since you can't be on PPI's for a few weeks before that test I did the Tagamet and it helped with the PPI rebound which was bad.

As for the size of cholesteral, there is a much more complete test that the cardiologist ordered for me last time when he checked cholesteral. It had to go to a different lab. It takes the bad cholesteral and breaks it done to bad and badder so to speak. It was based on that one that they decided to put me on statins since my bad was the really bad kind. I still haven't started them on a regular basis. I am a baaaaad pill taker. Prior to this last test they did not feel that my risk was very high but this one calculated my risk much higher. He nor my regular Dr. said fish oil would help with cholesteral but would help with Triglycerides but mine are already low. I know that not all agree with that but that is what they told me so I gave them away.

kim123
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 2/28/2008 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Statin drugs were originally used as antifungal drugs. Cholesterol in the blood is made in the presence of fungus. I believe high cholesterol is influenced by diet. Most grains are commonly contaminated, and all corn is universally contaminated, with fungal poisons...........What does the Standard American Diet mostly consist of..............

Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 2/28/2008 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Kim, I had never heard that about statins. I was told by my doctor that heredity plays and even bigger factor than diet it in many people. Probably talking about me since I eat a very low fat diet and have cholesteral which is a little high.

kim123
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 2/29/2008 5:49 PM (GMT -7)   
My sister and brother-in-law actually reduced their high chol. by following a lo-carb diet, eating healthy fats. Lo-fat does not necessarily reduce your chol., especially if it "is" a fungal condition. Lo fat diets feed the fungus....too much carbs/sugar.
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