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Statins And Diabetes Should We Be Worried

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10 Truths About Statins And High Cholesterol

For every drop of scientific evidence that statins are safe and effective, there is a tidal wave of misinformation. Our patients are concerned about statin side effects they’ve heard about from family or friends, or read about on the Internet. Statins are the “gold-standard” for high cholesterol treatment. They’re a powerful medication, and they’ve been proven to save the lives of many men and women living with or having a high risk of heart attack or stroke. But if statins are so effective, why are some people afraid to take them? As with any medication, there are risks associated with taking statins, but the benefits far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of high-risk patients. In an effort to put statin side effects into context and provide honest, scientific answers about statins and their use, we’ve put together a list of common questions our patients ask us: 1. How are doctors sure that statins really are safe and beneficial? Statins have been studied more than nearly any other drug that people take. In fact, more than 170,000 people who take statins have been studied in detail and for extended periods of time. We certainly know the benefits of statins. We a Continue reading >>

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  1. netman

    Hi everyone,

    I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in January of this year. My AIC at the time was 7.0. My doctor advised me to start taking Metformin as well as a cholesterol lowering medication since my blood cholesterol was too high as well. I started taking the Metformin on half does of 500mg per day for about 3 days and felt terrible!! I felt very tired and like my head was in a constant fog. I decided to stop taking them 3 days later because i wasn't able to bear the side effects. I saw my GP shortly after to explain to her the symptoms that I was experiencing with Metformin. She told me my symptoms were not common and told me there's wasn't much else she could give me aside from Insulin. So I decided to change my lifestyle. I was about 70 pounds overweight at the time ( based on the BMI index ) and have since lost 37 pounds by reducing carbs and exercising almost every day. My fasting blood sugar ( tested at home ) has gone from 7.5 to 6.0 to 6.5 on most days. My last 2 A1C tests have come down to 5.8. My blood cholesterol as well as blood pressure are now in the optimal range. I have recently read a book by Rob Thompson called " The glycemic load , diabetes solution ". He's a doctor and diabetic and he recommends that anyone that is has an A1C greater than 5.6 ( considered pre-diabetic ) should take Metformin, no matter how well one is able to manage their diabetes. The reason for this he says is because in the long run diabetics will reduce the strain on the beta cells we have left. Those are the cells responsible for using our insulin properly which by the time we are diagnosed as diabetics we have killed half of them. So my question is...do I give Metformin another try? and if again i am not able to cope with the side effects is there anything else out there for me aside from insulin? I want to see my A1C lower than 5.8...but I cannot do any better than I have been doing to this point with diet and excercise alone. Any feedback would be great!

  2. greatunclebill

    my wife and i both have sleep apnea and sleep with a cpap. my wife also has diabetes type 2 and takes metformin. untreated sleep apnea generally causes low o2 problems at night and cpap usually resolves it by stopping the stop breathing episodes. i say this because at some point after starting metformin which can cause o2 to drop, her o2 started dropping at night. she had to go on an o2 concentrator at night because of it. to me your symptoms seem low o2 related and could be caused by the metformin. you could also have sleep apnea, but that is not my main thought. discuss this with your doctor. have him order an overnight pulse oximeter study and see where it all goes, rule it definitely in or out. the test is cheap. if it is low o2 at night, whatever the source, it is a serious thing.
    gout, sleep apnea, asthma, copd, high BP & cholesterol, Gerd, light headedness, muscle weakness.
    USAF MSgt (E-7) Retired
    1968-1990

  3. Lanie G

    Hi netman, welcome back! Well, you have discovered a truth about type 2, that diabetes responds quickly to diet and exercise. The diet and exercise will cause weight loss and lower blood sugar. The weight loss and lower blood sugar will help your body reduce possible side effects of diabetes.
    Typical side effects of metformin are typically gastro-related, acid stomach, upset stomach, that kind of thing. I don't know if your first experience was related to the medication or not. To avoid these kinds of side effects, the usual advice is not to eat a lot of carbs or greasy food. This may vary from person to person.
    There has been some recent 'good' news about metformin not only in relation to diabetes but for other health protection. Metformin is usually the first choice for a new type 2 along with a low carb diet and a more active lifestyle. This medication helps your body use the insulin you still make more efficiently. And, yes, I've also read that any help for the pancreas will help stop the beta cells from burning out. If they burn out, this means they won't produce insulin which means you have to have insulin.
    Metformin will not cause hypoglycemia as some other medication will. However, there are many other oral drugs that a doctor can prescribe before insulin. So, I'm perplexed why your doctor would tell you there's not much else for her to prescribe before putting you on insulin (which you may not need!). What your body can use is help with a better and more effective use of the insulin you're still producing, and that's what metformin does.
    If I were you, I would give it another try. Take it with food so it lessens the chance of gastric upset.
    Congratulations on all the improvement. There have been several new books on diet's effect on diabetes. I bought Richard Bernstein's Diabetes Solution which is really thorough and informative. Keep us updated, ok? By the way, did you ever find the name of the dark chocolate you were eating?
    Lanie
    diabetes moderator
    diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
    very low carb way of eating

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