Statin drugs are medications that are prescribed to treat high levels of cholesterol. Despite the fact that they do a good job of keeping your cholesterol in check, these drugs may have serious and even fatal side effects. In this post, we’ll take a look at the action of statin drugs on LDL cholesterol, and some of the things you can do to mitigate statin side effects.
Statin drugs block the production of an enzyme that’s needed to produce cholesterol. Produced in the intestines, cholesterol may have a negative effect on the cells of your body if left unchecked. Bad cholesterol leads to plaque formation, one of the causes of arterial blockage, which leads to heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Can Increase the Level of HDL
Statin drugs can also increase the level of HDL, which is considered the good cholesterol that should feature prominently within your body. When you stop eating foods that lead to the production of cholesterol, your body stops producing LDL cholesterol. However, there are some individuals with a genetic predisposition to the overproduction of cholesterol.
This happens on a gene level where the body doesn’t have the checks and balances needed to identify the overproduction of LDL cholesterol. For these people, statin drugs can be a lifesaver in managing this condition.
One of the common complaints that come as a result of taking statin drugs is muscle pain. This happens due to the drug’s inhibitory nature within the mitochondrial cells present in the intestines. Mitochondria are responsible for the production of energy needed by muscles to work well.
Given the fact that we’re always using our muscles at any given time of the day to control movement, pick things up, swallow and breathe, this can be an uncomfortable feeling that can lead to fatigue and depression.
This condition is called statin myopathy, and it can also cause kidney damage to an extent. The risk of this serious yet rare side effect increases with your statin dosage, as well as the length of time that you take the drug. Most doctors will discontinue statin medication if muscle pain becomes unbearable and place you on another regimen to lower your blood cholesterol.
Another side effect related to statin medication is liver damage. This is because statin drugs increase liver enzymes on an exponential level. This can cause serious liver damage if left unchecked. It’s unclear as to how statin drugs lead to the overproduction of liver enzymes, but your doctor will monitor you periodically to check for this condition via routine blood tests.
More Side Effects
Peripheral neuropathy is also another side effect associated with statin drugs. This refers to nerve pain and damage, and it can be a distressing symptom for people who aren’t prepared for it. Peripheral neuropathy may cause numbness in your toes and fingers, and it is associated with the long term use of statin drugs. However, this is a reversible condition that can be mitigated by taking ubiquinol supplements.
CoQ10 helps in managing statin side effects since it stimulates mitochondrial energy production, helping ease muscle pain. At the same time, ubiquinol and statin drugs can be taken at the same time without any potential drug interactions. As always, speak to your doctor for more information on statin side effects so you can get adequate and timely treatment.