Cholesterol problems... Niacin?.... Tricor???

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tangerine bear
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 941
   Posted 7/18/2007 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I figured this was the most appropriate forum to post this on, although I normally post on diabetes and anxiety. I have HIGH cholesterol, and have for years. I tried statins for about 6 months, and it took me 3 years to get my liver readings back down to normal. In April, I was diagnosed with diabetes, and my triglycerides were REALLY high then... 675 or so. I just had my 3 month check-up, and my cholesterol came down slightly (from 300 to 264) and my triglyceride came down to 381, which is a lot better but nowhere near normal. My doc is trying to give me Tricor, but I just read up on that and it sounds as bad or worse than statins, and I bought some over the counter niacin (500mg- non-flushing) and I think it's been giving me some symptoms although not as bad as Niaspan did (stinging pains). I don't want to get my liver acting up again. It's been normal for a few years, until the diabetes came on, and even now it's barely elevated. After the statins, they were already thinking it was liver cancer it was so bad (12x normal), so I went on a vegetarian diet for a year and it finally came down. I am at a loss what to do. The doc wants to get my readings down, but I don't want to risk the liver side effects again, and from what I've read... YIKES! Any suggestions would help a lot!
"It's a jungle out there....." 
Theme song from "Monk" by Randy Newman
OCD: Obsessive...Compulsive...Diabetic
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 924
   Posted 7/28/2007 3:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi bear,

My tri's were up as was my total cholesterol and the dr. had me on Lipitor, which I took for 3 years. I had all types of digestive problems, and to make a long story short, I just stopped taking it. It really interfered with quality of life for me. I am from the fibro forum and have had fibro a number of years. One problem I have (as many others) is I have problems with alot of medications and can have different side effects. So--my dr. put me on Tricor. I got such terrible leg cramps from it, I stopped taking it. My doctor then suggested taking a lesser strength so that my body would adjust better to the med. Did that. Now I am back on full strength for several months, and the other night got one of those super leg cramps--my calf has been sore for three days!

My doctor has suggested I take this OTC supplement to deal with the leg cramps but it seems now I am having other side effects like bloating, etc. Guess you have to have some really tough "inners" to take this stuff, I don't know!!! I discussed niacin with my doctor and she claims you would have to take too much of it to have an effect on cholesterol level.

I see my doc in Sept, I'll see how things are going by then. I don't really have any suggestions for you (I guess you can tell) but I can commiserate with you. I don't blame you for being cautious about the liver problem--that can make you feel really sick! The thing about this cholesterol problem is when it runs in the family, there's not alot you can do. I'm not saying I don't eat things I shouldn't from time to time but in general, my diet is low-fat because my hubby is diabetic.

When I see my doc in Sept, I'm going to ask her if there are any options (conservative) left. If I am able to bring everything down and remain steady--even if they aren't as low as they may like, I'm going to have to go that route. If you hear of anything other than the statins or Tricor, let me know. I'd be willing to share with you any info I can get also. Please realize that I also have difficulty with other meds, so don't let what I say about it affect your decision to try it. I'm sure it is very effective for some, just as the statins.
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