Lowering Your Cholesterol With Niacin?, Statins?, Or...?

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Teri16
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   Posted 5/1/2005 10:48 PM (GMT -7)   
There are many cholesterol lowering med.'s out there and each one has it's merits and definitely their downsides. 
 
Some people seem to be able to take statins and have no apparent problems, and others are unable to take them at all.  Niacin is used instead of, or along with some cholesterol lowering med.'s.
 
Though most Statins and even Niacin have side effects...liver problems are possible when taking them and you have to be very careful and prudent to the point of having blood tests done frequently (6 mos. to 1 yr. depending on your history, and your Dr.) to make sure that they aren't causing you any trouble.
 
I tried Niacin many years ago, but the flushing really got to me.  My Mom took it for years and found that it really helped her.  Remember we're talking about the prescription Drug, Niacin here.  Don't take over the counter types thinking the benefits are the same.
 
I've taken Zocor 40 mg. for 7 years now with fantastic results and no apparent problems.  I also use a lot of Olive Oil and fresh garlic in my cooking, and believe that whole grains and lots of water aid in flushing cholesterol from your body.
 
Let me know what you think!  What medications or natural things to you take to help lower your cholesterol??
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
 
Good sites to read;
 
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/chd/meds.htm#statins
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/2/2005 10:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't forget to let us know how you keep your cholesterol low!

Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Kathlyn1950
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Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 5/2/2005 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm taking Lipitor. My total cholesterol was 199 when my cardiologist prescribed them for me. They went down to 166 in less than 3 months. I was going to share my LDL and HDL numbers, but I can't find them. I had saved them to my computer hd someplace! My triglycerides went up after beginning the Lipitor, but do not know if that had any connection or not. It was interesting that right after the newspaper had a large article on statins and how they reduce the risks for additional heart attacks for people who have already had them, my doctor prescribed  them to me that month. He told me that he wanted my cholesterol to be lower than the high end. I was relieved after reading that article. The cardiac rehab team had brought it all their patients' awareness. New tests to be done this month as it will be my six month checkup. I'm crossing my fingers!
Had a CYPHER stent January 5, 2004 after a heart attack. Diagnosed with CAD and CHF. Need to care more about myself and do my exercises, lose weight and eat better. Still the happy grandmother of 4 beautiful grandchildren!


heartangel
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Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 5/2/2005 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   

ok for 15 years and 2 heart attacks not one but 2 one in 199 and one in 2003 which was a silent one the Dr said no statins etc diet only so low fat low cholesterol no white stuff  no trans fats nothing from deli or bakery but in 6 months my cardio tracked my progress oh me oh my I am ashamed of myself even though eating healthy foods I have gained from 130-153 back to 144 now 14 poiunds to lose I donto smoke and have an occasional glass of red wine if we got the money to buy a botle of red wine since hubby is on SSDi but here I go

My HDl from 6 months ago went from 59 to 50

My LDL from 124 to 190

My Triglycerides from 57 to 54 total Vholesterol from 170 to a whoppiong 290

now on 10miligrams of Lipitor no side effects I do take an Ace and 2 diuretics too and then since Lipitor drains yur body of Co Enzyme Q-10 I daily take a 1,000 milligram flax seed oil, fish oil and a 100 milligram co enzyme q-10 in the afternooon.

Then for eating I use olive oil and  Smart Balance Butter and eat a vegtable meal 2ce a week I love sliced tomatoes with Mrs Dash on them then no white stuff nothing from Bakery or Deli and Low fat milk and cheese and  no creamy sauces too for myuu Cardio told me I have onl damage the size of a quarter and survived 2 heart attacks and the Good Lord mightnot let me survive number 3 so follow this eting plan low ft low cholesterol next to low sodium 800 miligrams a day and then certin foods not to eat with my hypothyridism butt Yes I am trying to follow a low fat low cholesterol diet make my own bread but the killer for me is cheese I love my cheese and the lowfat tastes like cardboard. but I will eat right stay fit and die anyway.

Heidi


 Heidi
Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle
Plato
 
 
 
Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings
have trouble remembering to fly.
 
Mighty hands are guiding me to protect me
from what I cannot see
 
I am a SURVIVOR :)


LibbyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 5/2/2005 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   

hi all,

i believe if you can tolerate the flushing with niacin it is one of the best things you can take.  teri, i'm not sure i agree that all OTC niacin's aren't OK?  particularly, to those who haven't tried niacin yet, you should!  they can be taken with statins, but as teri says you must carefully monitor liver functions (with blood work each 6 months).  but probs are few.  you can take SR niacin, which is slowrelease and helps with the flushing.  also "enduracin" which is SR and is great with that. 

also, to lower bad cholesterol and raise good, lots of things we used to think were bad aren't.  like certain nuts (almonds, walnuts), salmon, avocados, etc.  eating moderate amounts of these, with canola or olive oil and oat bran/oatmeal products can help raise the HDL.  so important for all, but seems to be harder for women to accomplish that with exercise.  instead of only flour, try to use half flour half oat bran.  also, smart balance "spread" has phytosterols which are research proven to be a big cholesterol-building blocker.  that is, if you consume phytosterols in this form (it's also available in capsules) you can even have the occasional eggs and red meat.  but i'm happy with egg beaters and fish. 

there is by the way some new red meat, Belgian Blue, that is EXTREMELY low in fat, you can get it online, i've done this, it's excellent.  and it has much less fat than chicken, etc.  it's very moist, surprisingly.  i've tried their ground beef and a sirloin steak. 

everyone, these kinds of fats mentioned above, in moderation, will help lower total cholesterol and LDL and raise HDL, thereby lowering your ratio, which seems to be one of the most immportant indicators of CHD and preventing AND reversing it. 

 


ChevyAsylum
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 5/2/2005 11:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm doing the Niaspan thing along with Vytorin. I've been on them for a month. I'm just at the point where I have to double the dose of Niaspan to 1000 mg per day. I got thru the initial flushing problem by takin half a tablet in the morning and half at nite. Now it looks like I'm gonna have to start tolerating a hgher dosage. I'll letcha know how it's going in a coupla daze.
Ray

ChevyAsylum.com


Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/3/2005 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
One of the reasons I'm cautious about telling anyone about something they can take in pill form otc (over the counter) is the following reasons...
"Before taking niacin,
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to niacin, aspirin, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and drugs), or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin), medications for high blood pressure or diabetes and other vitamins. If you take insulin or oral diabetes medication, your dose may need to be changed because niacin may increase the amount of sugar in your blood and urine.
  • tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol and if you have or have ever had diabetes; gout; ulcers; allergies; jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or gallbladder, heart, or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking niacin, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking niacin.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • you should know that niacin causes flushing (redness) of the face and neck. This side effect usually goes away after taking the medicine for a few weeks. Avoid drinking alcohol or hot drinks around the time you take niacin. Taking aspirin or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) 30 minutes before niacin may reduce the flushing. If you take extended-release niacin at bedtime, the flushing will probably happen while you are asleep. If you wake up and feel flushed, get up slowly, especially if you feel dizzy or faint."

Not everyone knows the different side effects to be alert for, so I just think before telling anyone to go ahead and take this or any other OTC, their Dr. should be told and he/or she can recommend a safe dosage for them to be taking.

Teri

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/medmaster/a682518.html

 
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/3/2005 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Also...

"Some strengths of niacin are available only with your doctor's prescription. Others are available without a prescription, since niacin is also a vitamin. However, it is best to take it only under your doctor's direction so that you can be sure you are taking the correct dose."

Hugs, Teri :)

Guess I'd rather err on the side of caution here...
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/uspdi/202404.html
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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LibbyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 5/3/2005 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   

hi all,

teri is definitely right, of course - you should always check with your doc before starting anything new, even if it seems like it's just an OTC "vitamin" like niacin.   as with all drugs there can be interactions and side effects and your doc should know and approve everything you take.  niacin is usually well tolerated with other drugs, except for the flushing, but i sure didn't mean to indicate that i'm "prescribing" it for everyone on the forum!   i just mean that i've done my research, and niacin seems quite proven at helping with the cholesterol prob, and SOMETIMES can in fact do a great job along with or without statins.  just want to recommend that if you want to consider it read up on it, there's plenty out there, especially by robert kowalski, who has researched it for over 20 years.   AND talk to your doc.

libby


Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/3/2005 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Libby!! tongue
 
Niacin has helped many people along the way, and as I mentioned earlier there was a time that my Mom couldn't take any statins and used Niacin only.  That & her great eating habits over the years kept her cholesterol at bay...and that's a whole 'nuther' story~Eating habits!! lol
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/3/2005 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Another way to lower your cholesterol besides med.'s can be watching what you eat! yeah The following is an excerpt and the site of a new study that was just released re what we eat and our health! 
 
Take a look, it won't hurt, I promise! lol  Hugs, Teri tongue
 
"Though low-fat diets have long been advocated for lowering high cholesterol levels, a study published Monday points up the importance of replacing fatty foods with nutritious fare -- not fat-free cookies and chips."
 
 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_24404.html
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:


LibbyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 5/3/2005 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
teri,
 
absolutely!  i think the mass marketing of all the "fat free" stuff is
ludicrous.  so many other things matter equally or more.  fat free
is not necessarily a good thing.  so many good fats have been shown
to REDUCE cholesterol and LDL.  in fact, those doing best in all the
studies are those including healthy, good fats, like those we've
mentioned recently:  nuts, avacados, good oils like canola/olive,
etc.  those eliminating ALL fat actually have a harder time, in
general, reducing total cholesterol, LDL, and raising HDL.  i think
one of the most important things to look for is anything that has
the ingredient "partially hydrogenated..." anything!  now that i'm
looking at cholesterol counts, i notice that so many things that
are fat free and cholesterol high! 
 
my favorite fast food pet peeve are this silly wraps.  they sound so
healthy, they are reasonably low fat (less than 10 grams) but sometimes
65+, 130+ of cholesterol.  so they are actually damaging to those of us
being careful.  i used to rivet my eyes to the low-fat and now i'm
horrified to see how wrong i was in my label reading all this time.
now that i'm eating healthy fats my cholesterol has gone way down!
 
libby

heartangel
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Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 5/7/2005 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   

Also with fat free be sure to check the sodium content sometimes the sodium content is sky high and I am only allowed 800-1,000mg of salt a day if I get over 850-900 my bp starts to go up but i also very healthy eating I thought and still on a cholesterollowering medicine we figured abuot time and my age too oh well. It beats the alternative.

Heidi


 Heidi
Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle
Plato
 
 
 
Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings
have trouble remembering to fly.
 
Mighty hands are guiding me to protect me
from what I cannot see
 
I am a SURVIVOR :)


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/28/2005 8:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to bump this one up for the newer members...Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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