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  1. #1
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Off the dope, big delay in onset of muscle fatigue

    In close partnership with and at my Dr's advice I'm off statins for a 6 month trial period. This the result of him watching me drop ~60 lbs over 3 years and seeing me consistently exercising in our small town. If I can keep my numbers good, I'll stay off.

    What a change in the way I feel when riding. I've always been limited by when my legs would cramp. I've drank electrolytes, taken Tums, and always carried pickle juice as a last resort to limp in on. On a fast, for me, 50 miler I'd get what I call pre cramps and know it was time to back off. I'd spin like crazy on the hills in an attempt to postpone the inevitable cramps. I thought this was normal and just a sign that I was pushing hard for my fitness level. I thought everybody went through this. I often wondered how folks did two day rides like the MS events. I'd be so sore and crampy on the day following a 50 miler there was no way I could do anything but a 10 mile slow spin if that.

    Saturday was day 10 off the dope, I jumped on the hilliest ride I could find and hit it hard. At mile 35 I could still stand in the pedals and attack the hills, this lasted until the end. In the parking lot one of my friends rode over, looked me in the eyes and asked "Who are you and what did you do with Bob?". Sunday I went back to the hills, well our version anyway, and pushed my legs for another 57 miles. Same outcome, good speed and no cramps. This is when it really sunk in I'd been training with handcuffs on.

    I've got 6 months to prove I can control my cholesterol with diet and exercise. After last weekend I'm totally focused on doing just that. I've got several cycling friends who are on statins and suffer no such side effects as I do. For me statins are cycling buzz kill.

    Who knows, in my next race I may jump from 42/52 to say 35/52?...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    congrats bob what a nice outcome

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  3. #3
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Congrats

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    Senior Member Waxbytes's Avatar
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    Conngrats bbeasley! Statins are evil muscle killing enthusiasm destroyers. YMMV.
    Uhmm...

  5. #5
    I WILL BE YOUR LARRY arex's Avatar
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    ...pickle juice?
    "Ahab knew, baby...I lust." -- Vet-san

  6. #6
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Congratulations. Recently got my doc to cut my statins in half. I haven't had bad side effects from them, but still want the monkey off my back. He has also reduced my beta blockers and I can now cruise for hours at 140 bpm no problem, and sprint to 160.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  7. #7
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arex View Post
    ...pickle juice?
    It's stops cramps dead. There is even packaging for cyclists... Bob's Pickle Juice. You can google around and find research that backs up what we know. It will allow you to get home in comfort.

  8. #8
    XR2
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    Senior Member XR2's Avatar
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    Any clue on what in the pickle juice does the trick?
    I owe-therefore I am.

  9. #9
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
    Any clue on what in the pickle juice does the trick?
    If you google around a bit you'll find some research that points to receptors in the throat, yep throat. This seems to be why it works so fast, even before absorption in the gut.

  10. #10
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Talk to your Doc about trying Fish Oil, and Red Yeast Rice, as an alternative. My Doc suggested, and they have caused amazing results - actually lower than ever, with no side effects.................

    Like you, statins caused me major problems...............

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  11. #11
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    Good luck. Very little of your cholesterol comes from diet, it's mostly exercise based. Keep hitting in like that and you'll be fine!

  12. #12
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Congrats bb! That's awesome, I love stories of people getting off their medication because they are working at being healthier.


    Quote Originally Posted by arex View Post
    ...pickle juice?
    Quote Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
    Any clue on what in the pickle juice does the trick?
    Pickle juice is da bomb on long rides. Specifically dill pickles. I keep a jar after I finish the pickles in it and take a big gulp post ride, and sometimes pre-ride. I will stop at a gas station and get a dill pickle to snack on if I am really hurting. And mustard packets if you can stand the taste of mustard from being in the sun.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  13. #13
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Wow. Thanks for posting this, Bob. There is also a recent thread in the 50+ sub-forum talking about Statins also. I've been on a Statin for just under a year now and I'm really starting to wonder if it is acting as handcuffs on me also. I don't seem to have the strength that I had last year. My times are way, way off, (on some standard rides I do often). I put it down to loss of conditioning over the winter months where it was too bloody cold to ride. In the past, for rides of medium to long duration/mileage, I could consistently achieve 15 mph averages, a bit faster on the shorter rides. This year? Only on the shorter, flat rides can I get to that average speed. The only two things that have changed is that I'm a year older, (62 this summer), and taking those statins. I'm just about ready to stop on my own and try to control my cholesterol via diet, exercise, and continuing to lose weight. (For those of you who think I'm putting too much emphasis on "average speed", I use it as a metric on my conditioning. Riding the same routes frequently act as a good benchmark for my body's physical condition.)

    p.s. No problems with cramping anymore since I started taking over-the-counter magnesium and potassium pills. Recently added calcium. When I went up GMR last week, I got a late start and by all rights, I should have cramped. It was pretty hot. It's a long, sustained climb. About nine miles at around 4-5% or so, (I think). That is the perfect conditions for me to cramp. No more since I started taking those vitamins.
    Deut 6:5

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    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  14. #14
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    Wow. Thanks for posting this, Bob. There is also a recent thread in the 50+ sub-forum talking about Statins also. I've been on a Statin for just under a year now and I'm really starting to wonder if it is acting as handcuffs on me also. I don't seem to have the strength that I had last year. My times are way, way off, (on some standard rides I do often). I put it down to loss of conditioning over the winter months where it was too bloody cold to ride. In the past, for rides of medium to long duration/mileage, I could consistently achieve 15 mph averages, a bit faster on the shorter rides. This year? Only on the shorter, flat rides can I get to that average speed. The only two things that have changed is that I'm a year older, (62 this summer), and taking those statins. I'm just about ready to stop on my own and try to control my cholesterol via diet, exercise, and continuing to lose weight. (For those of you who think I'm putting too much emphasis on "average speed", I use it as a metric on my conditioning. Riding the same routes frequently act as a good benchmark for my body's physical condition.)

    p.s. No problems with cramping anymore since I started taking over-the-counter magnesium and potassium pills. Recently added calcium. When I went up GMR last week, I got a late start and by all rights, I should have cramped. It was pretty hot. It's a long, sustained climb. About nine miles at around 4-5% or so, (I think). That is the perfect conditions for me to cramp. No more since I started taking those vitamins.
    Be careful, this would be a great conversation to have with your Doctor. My Doctor is an athlete and he understands, but he made it clear this is a six month trial period for me to see if my diet has changed enough to allow me to stay off them.

  15. #15
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
    Be careful, this would be a great conversation to have with your Doctor. My Doctor is an athlete and he understands, but he made it clear this is a six month trial period for me to see if my diet has changed enough to allow me to stay off them.
    Understood. I saw my doc about four weeks ago and again in another two. Need to do some more blood work before going in. I can tell that my doctor doesn't understand athletic injuries and issues. He always asks about my tennis and seemed to be impressed with my 475 mile cycling month in May, but I could tell he doesn't make that soul link between exercise and health, other than to encourage me to continue exercising. The amount or frequency doesn't seem to register with him, or else he understands and knows within himself that I'm doing it "right". (No, I don't want a different doctor. I've been with this guy for about 30 years now. I'll have to change soon enough when I retire and move someplace else.) I will talk to him when I see him.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  16. #16
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
    Be careful, this would be a great conversation to have with your Doctor. My Doctor is an athlete and he understands, but he made it clear this is a six month trial period for me to see if my diet has changed enough to allow me to stay off them.
    My doctor works for me.. if he won't treat me if I refuse to take a statin, I'd find a new one. I'm convinced that statins are next to useless. Muscle pain and memory loss are the 2 most common side effects.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  17. #17
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    bbeasley
    If I might ask
    which statin and what was your dose?
    I ask because my wife was placed on 80 mg Lipitor-atorvastatin- a max dose-
    after a serious MI-
    Her numbers are very good on the statin-but she does have plenty of fatigue-hard to sort out which drug most responsible since she takes beta blocker+cellcept(immunosuppressant) Renexa (anti angina med)
    The max dose of lipitor puzzles me-since lipitor is slightly more likely to cause various problems-
    I suspect they had some good reason for the choice-
    Maybe folks could mention which statin the dose duration and how well they are tolerating it??
    Thanks

  18. #18
    Senior Member Notgrownup's Avatar
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    I started Cycling to get off the DIabetes meds... taking 4 of them so it will have an impact... Was 275 5 moths ago , now heading towards 240.... getting there.....Cycling for a month now and loving it also..Nice to have an exercise you love to do...Congrats and keep at it ....
    BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.....

  19. #19
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    My last numbers were good, on a statin, but I had also started taking Red Yeast Rice capsules just before my visit. Am cycling more and have cut my statin dosage in half and will get blood work and doctor visit in early August. If the numbers are still good I will probably stop the statin completely for the next three months to my next visit (monitoring very minor diabetes....I hesitate to say problem but I guess that is what it is...we monitor it every three months). Then at my regular November physical I will discuss the whole thing with the doctor about giving up statins and lowering by BP medication....cycling has helped there also. And I'll let him win our yearly argument about vaccines this time. I'll be good and take the flu shot and probably the shingles vaccine.
    The Old Sarge

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