Monday, January 14, 2013


   I've 'suffered' from high cholesterol most of my life.  Even when I was a strict vegan, my cholesterol tested high. 
   I resisted the statin drugs---I felt great, and was very hesitant to take a pill because of a number on a test----the annual physical I have to do for San Diego Fire results every year in a scolding by the doctor---"It's absolutely insane tp put your life in jeopardy with cholesterol levels like yours"----Never mind I hold the record for the 12-lead treadmill stress test for my age group.  Great blood pressure.  My calcium score, which shows plaque build up, is at ZERO.  Show me something else, something other than a single number.
   Well, this year had some particularly stressful parts----dealing with AM's health, building a house, work stuff---which led to chronic heartburn, then skipped heartbeats.  Then xanthelasmas around my eye---big yellowy bumps that are basically cholesterol deposits exuding out of my body. 
   There's the 'something else'.
   So, went in for bloodwork to my own doctor---total cholesterol of 252.  He started me on Lipitor 20 mg per day (lowest dose).  I stopped eating out at work (saving about $25-$30 per shift) and AnnaMarie sends me to work with healthy stuff.  My doc also has me on 2,000 mg of fish oil supplements a day, and I'm taking Coq10 (an important enzyme that statin drugs can block your liver from producing along with the cholesterol--main cause for most statin side effects)  and bumped up my workouts.  I'm on the stair stepper, one hour a day, right now up to level 15---according to the screen I burn 1113 calories--and I've dropped 7 pounds.  I really feel great---no more heartburn, no more skipped beats, sleeping well, and the xanthelasmas have all but disappeared.
   Here it is six weeks into the new program.  I'll violate my own HIPAA privacy laws and share these numbers with you
                                  was             is
Total cholesterol        252            176
HDL                          44               46  (good cholesterol)
LDL                         177             102
Triglycerides             157             141

     Unfortunately I can't say how much a role the statins played since I changed a bunch of things at once.  I do know I've always tested high.  I also know I don't want a stroke, heart attack, or any other life limiting event.  I don't like the fact I take daily pills now but it's not a big deal


Antonio C.M. said...

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May said...

Hello Firefighter, how are you?I had bookmarked your Blog quite some time ago & just this morning I happened to give it a look again.
I was surprised to see that you were talking about cholesterol. I was also told to start taking Lipitor, but after I found I wasn't feeling well with it & after reading a few things I decided to stop taking it. At least for now, especially since my doctor refused to give me my readings when I asked. He said "what for, you wouldn't understand them anyway, just do what I tell you". I'm not, makes me wonder if I'm part of a drug study. Especially since I hardly eat anything including cholesterol producing foods. Just so you know, I'm not any business person of any sort, just a mom trying to pass along some info I came across. Here is one link, I will try to send the others, just so that you are informed at least. We have to look out for our Firefighters. After all, they will be there when we need them, right?

May said...

Here's another link:

May said...


P.S. I would have put all the links together, but it doesn't allow me to leave the page without sending it first.
Remember, I'm only sending these to you so that you can be informed if you're not already..
If you feel it's ok & working for you then I guess that's ok. In case you're wondering why I'm
sending you these messages,
Well, I was on deaths door a few years ago & miraculously survived when others have not. (Bacterial meningitis) Since then I have made it my "mission" to help any one or anything whenever I can.
Take care.

flyingvan said...

Most side effects of statins have to do with blocking the liver's CoQ10 production. Statins work by blocking the production of cholesterol, and often CoQ10 along with it. Cells require CoQ10 for energy production, and neurons require it to do their work as well. CoQ10 supplements should be taken in tandem with statin drugs to avoid these side effects. Statin prescriptions are very, very common and side effects are fairly uncommon, but I'm going to hedge my bet anyway with the CoQ10. THey come to abour 20 cents a day for the dosage---I can handle that. It's been two months and I've had no side effects but the xanthelasmas are gone and I feel great

flyingvan said...

I don't think I'd go to a doctor that wouldn't give me every bit of information I asked for. Doctors aren't necessarily smarter than us, and I won't stand for arrogance--especially when it comes to my health. Thanks for sending the information---I try to read all I can on this stuff

May said...

Good Morning, I guess the main thing is that you feel great, so it must be working for you. Maybe I'll try Lipitor again with the CoQ10 supplements that you mentioned. As for the doctor...well, he "is" arrogant, but there is a shortage of doctors here & they tell me that if you're "lucky enough" to have one, hold on to him.
Take care & have a nice day.

Eagle1sgt said...

I have been on Lipitor for several years now and I have had no side effects that I know of. Your numbers are very similar to mine both before and after Lipitor. Not trying to discourage your fitness program but my experience is it is the drugs. Not proud of it but not much exercise here and I am a dedicated "meagen" as in opposite of "veagen". Took the magic pill and the numbers fell right into line. I am going to follow your advise and start the CoQ10. What dose? Sam's club has both 100mg and 200mg versions. Which do you suggest?

flyingvan said...

I'm taking the 100mg dose. They aren't cheap...I'm just going by articles I've read online and discussions with two different doctors....THey were both very familiar with CoQ10, maybe your MD will be too and have the best recommendation for you

Jeff said...

Not sure where you are getting yours for 20 cents a day. I picked my 100 mg gels up at Sam's club. 180 gels for close to $16. That is almost 9 cents per dose. Just trying to save a brother a buck.....