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Do Statins Give You Diabetes?

Do Statin Drugs Cause Diabetes?

Do Statin Drugs Cause Diabetes?

If you’ve been listening to the news, reading the paper, talking to your friends, or perhaps simply breathing lately, you’ve likely heard about the latest controversy over statin drugs (medications used to treat elevated cholesterol) and their possible link to the development of diabetes. The FDA just announced that statins will now be required to list “hyperglycemia,” or the increase in blood sugar, as a possible side effect. However, if you are taking these medications, your doctor has deemed it necessary for either preventing or treating heart disease. You’ve possibly been taking them for a long while, so should you now stop them? Before you rush to your medicine cabinet and toss that bottle right into the toilet (which isn’t how you should be disposing of medications, anyway), I would like to dissect and discuss this issue in today’s episode. Sponsor: This podcast is brought to you by Betterment.com. Betterment offers users an easy way to invest. No prior investing experience is required. Users choose how to allocate their money between two pre-set baskets -- a stock basket and a bond basket. Signing up takes less than 5 minutes, and money can be added or withdrawn at any time without a fee. Users who sign up at betterment.com/housecall will receive a $25 account bonus as long as their initial deposit is $250 or more. Why Do People Need Statins? Cholesterol helps clog arteries, and clogged arteries stop the flow of blood (and hence oxygen) to our organs, such as the heart and brain, and can cause heart attacks or strokes, respectively. Therefore, it’s really important to help de-clog and keep these blood vessels flowing. And there are currently no approved medications that do this better than statins. Statins, such as lovastatin, atorvastatin, simvas Continue reading >>

Other Dangerous Drugs For People With Diabetes

Other Dangerous Drugs For People With Diabetes

A major problem with all drugs is that busy doctors often ignore potentially damaging drug side effects. Often they aren't even aware that these side effects are listed in the drug's official FDA-required label (called the "Prescribing Information" online.). That is because most doctors get their information about drugs from reps sent out by pharmaceutical companies or doctors who are well-compensated by these companies to promote the latest, most expensive drugs to their peers. Unfortunately, all the major drug companies have a long record of suppressing information about damaging side effects of all their drugs. Periodically, one of these drugs will kill or injure enough people that it comes to the attention of the FDA and the media. Even then, the FDA will usually only post an "alert" and will allow the drug to continue to be sold. Busy doctors apparently don't read these alerts, as they continue to prescribe drugs that have generated serious alerts in quantities that result in billions of dollars of drug company revenue each year. Proof that doctors are woefully ignorant of the side effects of even the most heavily prescribed drugs was provided by this study: Physician Response to Patient Reports of Adverse Drug Effects: Implications For Patient-Targeted Adverse Effect Surveillance.Golomb, Beatrice A, et al. Drug Safety. 30(8):669-675, 2007. TIt was a study of a group of patients prescribed a statin drug that verified that doctors ignore patients' reports of even the most significant side effects. As reported, it found that Eighty-seven percent of patients reportedly spoke to their physician about the possible connection between statin use and their symptom....Physicians were reportedly more likely to deny than affirm the possibility of a connection. Rejection of a Continue reading >>

Statins And Diabetes

Statins And Diabetes

The treatment of diabetes has traditionally focused on controlling the blood sugar level through diet combined with injections of insulin or tablets. There's no doubt that good glucose control is central to minimising the risk of long-term complications, such as damage to nerves, circulation, kidneys and eyes. But over recent years, attention has focussed on the fact that people with diabetes are up to four times more likely to suffer a major event involving the circulation – for example a heart attack, a stroke (cerebrovascular accident) or peripheral vascular disease (reduced blood flow in the blood vessels of the legs). In fact, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in people who have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. All this means it's now recognised that diabetes, particularly type 2, is as much a disease of the circulatory system as it is of blood glucose control. How can I reduce my risk? Cardiovascular means the heart and circulation. Cardiovascular diseases are those diseases caused by hardening of the arteries. This leads to: angina (chest pains) heart attacks stroke poor circulation. There have been significant inroads in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Stopping smoking and good blood pressure control has a significant impact in reducing long-term damage to the circulation. The benefits from stopping smoking, reducing cholesterol levels and lowering high blood pressure multiply up. Stopping smoking is probably the most important thing you can do to reduce your cardiovascular risk. Many GPs run special smoking cessation clinics. Diet, exercise and tablets help lower raised blood pressure. But how can you reduce cholesterol levels? While a healthy lifestyle plays a part, the most effective way to reduce cholesterol leve Continue reading >>

Can Hydrochlorothiazine And Simvastatin Cause Diabetes?

Can Hydrochlorothiazine And Simvastatin Cause Diabetes?

Our pharmacist answers the latest question regarding the possibility of hydrochlorothiazide and simvastatin causing diabetes. I am taking simvastatin 10mg, lisinopril/Hctz 20/25mg, and atenolol 25mg. I have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Can taking these drugs be part of the cause. I do have a family history of diabetes and am overweight. I go to the gym 5 times a week. Answer Out of the medications you listed, both simvastatin and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) have been known to cause an increase in blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and a possible increased likelihood of developing diabetes. In many of the studies that have been done regarding the issue, it's always been tough to conclude that either is a significant CAUSE of diabetes since patients that are hypertensive and have high cholesterol are statistically more likely to have diabetes anyway, regardless if they are taking something that is known to cause an increase in blood sugar. Let's tackle each drug separately. The class that HCTZ is in, known as thiazide diuretics, is linked with an increased the risk of hyperglycemia and in fact, with new-onset diabetes. It's very possible that HCTZ could be a contributing factor to your newly diagnosed diabetes. Having said that, thiazide diuretics are only considered a small risk factor for diabetes and typically if the medication were to be stopped or never taken, many patients would develop diabetes at some point in their lives anyway if they were at significant risk for it. Medical guidelines and recommendations are somewhat muddled when it comes to thiazide diuretics and diabetes. The top two guidelines for hypertension treatment in diabetics come from Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure and the Continue reading >>

Do Statins Cause Diabetes?

Do Statins Cause Diabetes?

Image from netdoctor.com Millions of Americans suffer from high cholesterol and/or diabetes. High cholesterol and lipids lead to arteriosclerosis, which could cause heart attacks and stroke. High blood sugars in those suffering from diabetes increase arteriosclerosis as well, catapulting the risk of heart disease if one suffers from both conditions. Statins, [such as simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor)] have been found to significantly lower LDL, or “bad cholesterol”. They gained huge popularity in the 90’s and 00’s and at one time were suggested to be used in diabetics without high cholesterol due to their cardio-protective nature. Unfortunately studies began to suggest that statin medications may increase one’s risk of diabetes. This week a study from Australia found an increase risk in diabetes in older women who took statins. Now, many individuals with high cholesterol eventually develop diabetes, either through their eating habits, or the body’s inability to control rising blood levels of each. Sometimes high cholesterol precedes diabetes by a decade or more. This study, however, looked at 8300 women born between 1921-1926 enrolled in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. They were free of diabetes in 2003 (averaging approximately 80 years old) and were followed for 10 years. Half of these women filled prescriptions for statins and of these 5% started filling medications for new onset diabetes. According to Medical News Today: Statistical analysis revealed that statin exposure was linked to a 33 percent higher risk of developing diabetes. The risk increased with dose of statin – up to 51 percent for the highest dose. Dr. Mark Jones of the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia said, “What is most concerning was Continue reading >>

Statin Scam Exposed: Cholesterol Drugs Cause Rapid Aging, Brain Damage And Diabetes

Statin Scam Exposed: Cholesterol Drugs Cause Rapid Aging, Brain Damage And Diabetes

(NaturalNews) Statins, the widely prescribed class of drugs said to lower "bad" cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart problems, has recently come under fire after a study revealed that they destroy human health more than they work to improve it. Sadly, many people take statin drugs, which are commonly known by brand names including Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor. Prescription drug spending in the U.S. shot up to about $374 billion in 2014, representing the highest level of spending since 2001. Statins undoubtedly made up a significant portion of this spending, and now consumers who take such drugs have much more to worry about than the dent it's making in their wallets. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Physiology, states that statins' "...impact on other biologic properties of stem cells provides a novel explanation for their adverse clinical effects." Specifically, the study states that such adverse effects include advancing the "process of aging" and also notes that "...long-term use of statins has been associated with adverse effects including myopathy, neurological side effects and an increased risk of diabetes." Myopathy refers to skeletal muscle weakness. Statins make cells unable to repair properly, create nerve problems and destroy memory Experts involved in the study suggest that the health problems associated with statins have likely been downplayed through the years. In reality, those taking such cholesterol-lowering drugs have been experiencing cataracts, fatigue, liver problems, muscle pain and memory loss. Simply put, the drugs have been found to tamper with cells in such a way that their primary purpose of reproducing and helping the body repair is thwarted. With that comes the onset of terrible health issues or the worsening of ex Continue reading >>

Statin Side Effects: How Common Are They?

Statin Side Effects: How Common Are They?

You are unlikely to experience side effects from these drugs. If you do, there are ways to reverse them. Do you take a cholesterol-lowering statin drug or are you considering it? If so, you may be concerned about potential side effects. The most commonly reported ones are muscle aches, but you may have also heard that statins cause diabetes and memory problems. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. Continue reading >>

10 Truths About Statins And High Cholesterol

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 also understand the risks of statins. In some instances, after doctors have prescribed a drug for 10 years or more, it is taken off the market because of unforeseen, adverse side effects. We’ve been prescribing statins since the 1990s for patients at high risk for stroke and heart disease. With statins, the side effects actually are well known. But how can we put that in perspective? Any focus on statin side effects needs to be counterbalanced by the fact that statins reduce people’s risk of dying from heart attack, heart disease, or stroke. Data from the 2008 JUPITER Trial suggest a 54 per Continue reading >>

Can Statins Cause Diabetes?

Can Statins Cause Diabetes?

Statins may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by 46 percent, a new study finds. Finnish researchers tracked the health of nearly 9,000 men, none of whom had diabetes at the beginning of the study. But after six years, those who took Zocor or Lipitor were significantly more likely to develop the disease than the guys who weren’t on a cholesterol-lowering drug. There are multiple ways in which statins can heighten diabetes risk. “Statins have been shown to make insulin less effective at keeping blood sugar normal,” says Dr. Robert Eckel, former president of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado. “These drugs also may make the pancreas less able to produce insulin. Moreover, statins are associated with some weight gain — and carrying additional weight is another important risk factor for type 2 diabetes.” But it works the other way too. Although these guys’ statin use likely contributed to their increased diabetes risk, there’s a good chance that some of them had been more prone to diabetes in the first place. “Typically, we see statin-induced diabetes in people who are already at high risk,” says Dr. Robert Ratner, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. “If your blood sugar is elevated to a pre-diabetes state, or if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes, statins can tip you over the edge.” Even so, Ratner says that if you’re flirting with diabetes, your main mission should be eating right, exercising, and taking overall better care of yourself, rather than worrying about a statin’s effect. SPECIAL FEATURE: When to Say No to Your Doctor Although statins can make diabetes much more likely, both doctors insist that, in many cases, the drugs Continue reading >>

Do Statins Cause Diabetes And Heart Disease?

Do Statins Cause Diabetes And Heart Disease?

I WAS READING A SCIENTIFIC PAPER in the Journal of the American Medical Association a number of years ago by Dr. David Jenkins from the University of Toronto. He showed that using a combination of soy, fiber, almonds, and plant sterols (cholesterol-lowering fats) could lower cholesterol levels as much as statin medications.(i) Diet can lower cholesterol as much as statins — a surprise to many but common in my practice. Using a comprehensive approach of diet and lifestyle change, I routinely see effects that are more powerful than any medication. That was not why the article struck me. It was a finding buried in the text of the paper. What I found fascinating was that the patients who lowered their cholesterol with statins had higher levels of insulin, while those who lowered their cholesterol through diet had lower insulin levels. Why is that important? Because elevated insulin levels are the first step on the road to diabetes — they make you gain weight around the middle, cause high blood pressure, increase inflammation, and promote stickiness of the blood. Each of these conditions, in turn, contributes to heart attacks and heart disease. On reading this, the question that lingered in my mind was: Did statins contribute to the development of pre-diabetes and diabetes which are among the most significant risk factors for heart disease? In other words, did lowering cholesterol with statins — a treatment purported to reduce the risk of heart disease — actually increase the risk of heart disease by some other mechanism? In treating thousands of patients with pre-diabetes, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease, I have noticed one thing: Lowering insulin through diet and lifestyle corrects almost all of the risk factors for heart disease. It lowers blood pres Continue reading >>

Can Cholesterol Drugs Cause Diabetes?

Can Cholesterol Drugs Cause Diabetes?

For every prescription drug that is developed and offers benefits to patients, there are those that also pose significant risks. Physicians must always weigh the benefits to risks in order to make informed decisions as to whether a particular medication should be used for treatment. Recent findings suggest statins, a class of prescription drug used to treat high cholesterol levels, increase the risk of developing diabetes. No one argues the fact that statins are able to prevent major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, in patients who have already experienced a previous cardiovascular episode and are very likely to experience another one. But there is cause for concern over the widespread use of statins in patients with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and the potential for these patients to eventually develop another disease, diabetes. What Do Statins Do Exactly? Elevated blood cholesterol levels, specifically LDL (the bad kind), have been shown to increase a person’s risk of heart attacks and stroke. By testing LDL levels in patients, a fairly accurate prediction can be made of future cardiac events. [1] As more research has been gathered on the role of LDL levels and heart disease, national guidelines have called for optimal LDL cholesterol levels to be lowered. Enter statins. Statins have the ability to block a critical step in the formation of LDL cholesterol within the liver, hence, the overall level of LDL in the blood drops. Because of this, statins are currently the most commonly-prescribed class of drug used to treat high cholesterol. Until very recently, statins were thought to be safe and well tolerated by patients, though some studies reported temporary memory loss that disappeared once medication was switched. Though there is al Continue reading >>

Controlling Cholesterol With Statins

Controlling Cholesterol With Statins

Whether you’re taking a statin or not, the following tips can help keep your cholesterol in check: Talk with your healthcare provider about how often you should have your cholesterol checked. Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise regularly. When buying groceries, use the Nutrition Facts Label to choose foods lower in saturated fat, trans fats, and calories. Eat more fruits and vegetables. And remember, you should not stop taking any cholesterol-lowering medication you may be on without first talking to your healthcare provider. Subscribe: FDA Consumer Health Information You go to the gym faithfully, and try to watch your diet. But after your annual physical, you find out that your blood cholesterol is surprisingly high. Your doctor calls you back to discuss taking a medication known as a statin. Here are some commonly asked questions about cholesterol and statins. 1. What are statins? How do they work? Statins are a class of medicines used to lower cholesterol in the blood. Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by the liver. Statins work by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver and by helping the liver remove cholesterol that is already in the blood. According to James P. Smith, M.D., M.S., deputy director of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “An important first step is to have a discussion with your healthcare provider about your risk of having heart disease or a stroke, how a statin would reduce that risk, and any side effects that you should consider.” 2. Why is it important to keep cholesterol levels in the blood low? Your body needs cholesterol, but too much of it in your blood can lead to buildup on the walls of your arteries (this buildup is called “plaque”), putting you at Continue reading >>

Do Statin Drugs Cause Diabetes? Risk Is Higher Than You Think

Do Statin Drugs Cause Diabetes? Risk Is Higher Than You Think

A shocking new study by researchers in Finland suggests that statins may increase the risk of diabetes, perhaps as much as 46 percent. This news has led to a flood of questions from concerned patients, asking if they should still be on their cholesterol lowering medications. As a practicing cardiologist, it is my responsibility to tell my patients that statins (cholesterol lowering medications such as Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor) do have many great benefits. Not only do they lower cholesterol, but if someone has had a heart attack, bypass surgery or stent, there is no doubt that taking these medications can also decrease the risk of another coronary event, or death. I believe physicians and alternative practitioners who deny the benefits of statins entirely are on a fringe. But, what if statins are really not as effective as we think, and have side effects that we have not yet completely realized? Could it be that some of these statin critics are correct? History can be a great teacher as there are many instances in medicine where conventional wisdom has turned out to be wrong. Forty years ago, we did not know that environmental toxins could cause cancer or that stomach ulcers were often caused by bacteria. Could conventional wisdom also be wrong when it comes to statins? According to this Finnish study, statins, especially in higher doses, markedly increase the chance that someone may develop Type II diabetes. This likely occurs because these medications seem to decrease insulin production and inhibit the ability of the body to process insulin appropriately. In addition to diabetes, there are other possible ill effects of statins. An estimated 10-20 percent of people taking statins experience muscle aches that lead to them stop their medication. Others complain of a ki Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes (t2dm) Cholesterol And Statins.

Type 2 Diabetes (t2dm) Cholesterol And Statins.

As part of the Open Data Campaign (1) An editorial ‘Statins for people at low risk’ stated, ‘In particular, how can it be right to recommend mass treatment of healthy people without independent review of the patient level data, especially the data on adverse effects?’ (2) The use of statins to manage cholesterol levels is not a straightforward proposition. The diet heart hypothesis needs urgent clarification. The use of statins in a low risk population can actually risk taking those people into a high risk one. A wealth of evidence has established that cholesterol lowering statin drugs, widely used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, do increase the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes. (T2DM) (3) Statins have been associated with a 46% rise in type 2 diabetes risk. (4) As statins have been associated with hyperglycaemia it potentially opens another avenue for the prescribing of new and controversial diabetes drugs, which have limited or no safety profile. Especially as diabetes management is glucocentric (Defined as: Focus on glucose as the cause of a condition - to the exclusion of other factors). Perhaps ‘cholesterolcentric’ falls under the same misconception? Concerns have also been highlighted that statins block the endogenous production of co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (5) (6) (7) (8) Studies conducted on CoQ10 levels provide a gathering body of evidence highlighting the importance of CoQ10 in diabetes management. (9)(10)(11) Further studies in the role of co-enzyme Q10 are obviously needed. Cholesterol has been portrayed as a villain in cardiovascular health. However it holds an essential role in homeostasis. Vitamin D is Synthesized from Cholesterol and found in Cholesterol-Rich Foods. Vitamin D is manufactured in the body from cholesterol, specifical Continue reading >>

Atorvastatin Lowers Cholesterol But Raises Blood Sugar

Atorvastatin Lowers Cholesterol But Raises Blood Sugar

As many as 40 million people may be taking statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs daily in the U.S. Although medications like atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, and rosuvastatin can bring cholesterol levels down dramatically they can also raise blood glucose levels or make diabetes harder to control as this reader relates: Q. I used to have good blood sugar readings when I was on glyburide. Since I was put on atorvastatin to lower cholesterol I have had trouble with high blood sugar. I read in your Guide to Managing Diabetes that statins can affect blood glucose but the clinical pharmacist at the VA said you are wrong. She insisted that atorvastatin does not affect HbA1c or blood sugar. They now have me on both glipizide and Onglyza and the clinical pharmacist admitted that my HbA1c will not come down. She still insists I have to keep taking these medicines even if they are not working to control my diabetes. A. We are puzzled that your pharmacist was not aware of the official prescribing information for atorvastatin (Lipitor): “Increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors [statins], including LIPITOR.” HbA1c is a measure of how high blood sugar levels have been over the past three months. Clinical trials and other studies have shown that statins can indeed raise blood sugar levels, making it harder to control diabetes. Blood Sugar and Statins: There is general agreement that statin therapy increases the risk of developing diabetes (Current Atherosclerosis Reports, Jan. 2015). Research has shown that there is a 10 to 12 percent increased incidence of new-onset type 2 diabetes in statin takers. The higher the dose and the more potent the statin the greater the risk. Investigators believe tha Continue reading >>

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