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statin

“I don’t have a problem with cholesterol.  I take a statin.” 

This is an actual statement made by an acquaintance that is pre-diabetic and severely overweight.  In one sentence she sums up the entire government, medical and pharmaceutical solution for heart disease.

I am fed up.  All week I have been watching the government push 40 million Americans into a health system that is not going to do one thing for them.  No one is talking about that.  I would venture to say the vast majority of those 40 million uninsured people need more than just a pill plan.  The current health system offers ZERO prevention anywhere within its system.  Can you imagine the results in health if the government forced 40 million Americans to take a walk once a day?

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An old friend of mine had a heart attack yesterday, he was literally driving past a hospital at the time and drove in.  He is 50.  They stented him and will discharge him later today.  He is now on a thinner, statin, blood pressure med and fenofibrate.  Not one conversation about diet, lifestyle or exercise.

ON Tuesday, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new cholesterol guidelines that essentially declared, in one fell swoop, that millions of healthy Americans should immediately start taking pills — namely statins — for undefined health “benefits.”

(The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, while nonprofit entities, are heavily supported by drug companies.)

I have written on numerous occasions throughout my 2 year span since my quadruple bypass on this topic.  I have documented my frustrations with my cardiologist and the lack of any plan of attack other than pill based.  Stanford Medical article I wrote., A Moose No Longer…   I dropped my statin this summer, Goodbye Big Pharma, Good Luck.

I want control and I want results.  I will always choose the most effective tool in the chest and sometimes you don’t need a hammer to push in a tack.           -Ian Welch

If you recall the American Medical Association pushed to define obesity as a disease earlier this year.  Essentially pushing 100 million Americans into a 30 BMI into a disease category covered by insurance.  And what is the number one pill recommended by doctors as a preventative measure to obese people… statins. I wrote about that as well, Am I Diseased or Just Fat?

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This may sound like good news for patients, and it would be — if statins actually offered meaningful protection from our No. 1 killer, heart disease; if they helped people live longer or better; and if they had minimal adverse side effects. However, none of these are the case

Statins are effective for people with known heart disease. But for people who have less than a 20 percent risk of getting heart disease in the next 10 years, statins not only fail to reduce the risk of death, but also fail even to reduce the risk of serious illness — as shown in a recent BMJ article co-written by one of us. That article shows that, based on the same data the new guidelines rely on, 140 people in this risk group would need to be treated with statins in order to prevent a single heart attack or stroke, without any overall reduction in death or serious illness.

At the same time, 18 percent or more of this group would experience side effects, including muscle pain or weakness, decreased cognitive function, increased risk of diabetes (especially for women), cataracts or sexual dysfunction.  – Wall Street Journal, John Abramson Harvard Medical (Click for full article)

 

The recommendation that more people be placed on statins is dangerous.  Instead of the AHA recommending more pills they should be recommending a preventative lifestyle.  How about hiring a Dean Ornish or McDougall to lead a charge towards educating Americans on preventing heart disease, obesity, diabetes?

What is a major side effect of statins?  Diabetes.  Diabetes kills one person every six seconds and afflicts 382 million people worldwide, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

Another side effect, erectile dysfunction.  Don’t worry, billion dollar industry here to help you through that issue.

The Standard American Pill Plan

The Standard American Pill Plan

Back to “I don’t have a problem with cholesterol…I take a statin.”

You do have a problem.  A major one.  Bigger than your problem before the pill.  You now believe you are cured. 

Perhaps more dangerous, statins provide false reassurances that may discourage patients from taking the steps that actually reduce cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of cardiovascular disease is caused by smoking, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, and other lifestyle factors. Statins give the illusion of protection to many people, who would be much better served, for example, by simply walking an extra 10 minutes per day.  (WSJ article cited above.)

It is not that complicated.

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Examine every aspect of your lifestyle that contributes to your medical problem.  Do a little homework.  Embrace a comprehensive approach to an overall solution versus a micro one.  A pill ain’t gonna do it.

 

 

Ian

 

 

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