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Old 05-24-07, 06:32 AM   #1
HopedaleHills
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Cholestrol Meds

I've been on Cholestrol meds for about a year now. Last summer I went through about 3 different ones because all of them cramped my legs while riding, or even going up stairs. We finally settled on Zetia, which works a little differently. But this spring the cramping has started again, it's actually pretty painful for me to ride especially on hills. Has anybody else experienced this. I think I'm going to call the doc and see if I can try just diet and exercise for a month to see what happens. I definately don't want to give up cycling just to take the meds.
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Old 05-24-07, 07:36 AM   #2
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I have have used Lipitor and Lescol, the Lescol produced aches in my calfs but not cramping. The Lipitor caused an increase in my Liver enzymes. I am now on Zocor for about 2 years with no noticable side effects. Are you sure these meds are causing the cramping? I thought Zetia worked in the intestine to prevent absorbtion which is different than the others which affect production by the Liver. The statins all have risk of muscle side effects but I don't see that listed with Zetia.
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Old 05-24-07, 07:36 AM   #3
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The threat of taking meds for my cholesterol levels has been a major incentive to keep me riding regularly for the past few years. So far it has worked well.
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Old 05-24-07, 07:50 AM   #4
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I take Lipitor...does not bother but I have to add that I don't do a LOT of riding. Just enough to say that I am exercizing.. Also take Altace for high blood pressure. That is another reason to get more of that exercize... ... .... ..peace
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Old 05-24-07, 07:50 AM   #5
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Yep, I was on Lipitor for a few monrths and almost died...first the cramps, muscle pain, joint pain, that's before the heart palpitations

after two months the doctor reduced the dosage to half a tab...eight weeks later I was walking with a cane

Apparently I was one of those with them rare side effects...same thing happend with my BP meds (Altace) and diabetes medication (Metformin).

So I had no choice but to lose weight and get into shape
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Old 05-24-07, 08:15 AM   #6
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Knock on wood. So far I haven't reacted to my Lipitor or Metformin. I was on an ACE inhibitor 3 years ago for blood pressure. It gave me Asthma that was so bad it put me in the hospital
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Old 05-24-07, 08:34 AM   #7
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My cholestrol started sneaking up and I took red yeast rice. Knocked it down from 215 to 164 in 4 months. No cramps or pain in legs. I also took CoQ10 w/it. My dr wanted to know how I did it--I told him. He said he'd really check into that because he has high cholestrol--but no wonder the way he eats.
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Old 05-24-07, 08:36 AM   #8
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I take a statin and that could be part of my cramping problems-although mine seem hit and miss. I really think mine are more related to potassium levels and improper hydration as I generally to not have cramps until after some over exertion. I'm continuing to experiment. Who knows......

I'd love to get off the stuff completely but I'm blessed with the genetics of high cholestrol (LDL) even with a decent diet and hours and hour of exercise. Just no good choices here.
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Old 05-24-07, 08:53 AM   #9
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Well I just got off the phone with the doc and he confirmed it could be a Zetia effect. He agreed to let me go med free for a while to see how it goes.
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Old 05-24-07, 08:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
The threat of taking meds for my cholesterol levels has been a major incentive to keep me riding regularly for the past few years. So far it has worked well.
Good move! Couple that with a very high-fiber, low-fat diet. I start every day with a grapefruit and a bowl of steel-cut oats.
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Old 05-24-07, 10:27 AM   #11
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I do Lipitor but only every other day (my cholesterol wasn't horrible, but now I am below average risk). I don't have any problems with cramping other than with over exertion, like a long, tough, hilly ride.
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Old 05-24-07, 11:44 AM   #12
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Another non-pharmaceutical that has worked well for me, my wife and a friend is policosanol. Get it at WalMart for like 8 bucks.

Mike
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Old 05-24-07, 12:03 PM   #13
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I take statin and been on it for few years and never give me any problem. Just rode 45.5 miles this morning on a 20" folding bike and I dont have any leg pain or cramping at all. Perhaps you should seek advice from your doctor and the thought of giving up temporarily on the choleterol meds is a good idea. I also take Atenolol for high BP and has helped me maintain a reasonably stable BP. Diet, meds and excecise are essnetial for our aging body to keep fit and healthy. But if we could get way from meds to be fit and healthy, that would be terrific.
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Old 05-24-07, 12:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
Well I just got off the phone with the doc and he confirmed it could be a Zetia effect. He agreed to let me go med free for a while to see how it goes.
Hope you have success lowering it through diet and exercise. I've never had a cholesterol problem so I don't have any experiences to pass along. I have heard oatmeal and other foods high in fiber are recommended for people with cholesterol and I eat oatmeal for breakfast 95% of the time.

Do you have a diet plan in mind?
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Old 05-24-07, 12:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverly
Hope you have success lowering it through diet and exercise. I've never had a cholesterol problem so I don't have any experiences to pass along. I have heard oatmeal and other foods high in fiber are recommended for people with cholesterol and I eat oatmeal for breakfast 95% of the time.

Do you have a diet plan in mind?
Glad you mentioned oatmeal, I agree that it could drastically help reduce cholesterol level. My typical breakfast is either a bowl of oatmeal or grits and a banana or whatever fruit is available on the fridge. Or just 2 cups of coffee is fine with me.
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Old 05-24-07, 01:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverly
Hope you have success lowering it through diet and exercise. I've never had a cholesterol problem so I don't have any experiences to pass along. I have heard oatmeal and other foods high in fiber are recommended for people with cholesterol and I eat oatmeal for breakfast 95% of the time.

Do you have a diet plan in mind?
I do not, but my wife is the food czar in the house. I'm sure she will come up with something. I would eat like a scavenger if left to my own devices.
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Old 05-24-07, 02:03 PM   #17
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If your cramping issues show up mostly in the spring, it's likely they're related to your training (or, lack thereof), rather than the statins. I'm not on statins, but have a tendency to cramp on spring rides that are long, hilly, or hot. By mid-season, they're no longer a problem.

Make sure you're drinking enough, and you might want to add some supplemental potassium (a dash of No Salt) in your water bottles. If you're only drinking straight water, consider using Gatorade, or something else with electrolytes.

Finally, if you want to experiment with non-statin alternatives, you might want to look into Niacin. I've had really good luck using non-prescription Niacin (under doctor's supervision) for 10 years. Unlike most of the other meds, it is one of the few that raises HDL (the good stuff). However, it can have side effects - a "flushing" reaction is common until your body gets used to the stuff. And, it can affect your liver (so you need to get regular liver function tests...but, that's the same as for statins).
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Old 05-24-07, 02:58 PM   #18
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Vytorin works for me. I have had no unpleasant side effects from taking this medication.
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Old 05-24-07, 05:10 PM   #19
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I initially tried Provochol. I had severe abdominal cramping and stopped taking it after about 3 weeks. Under a different physician, I tried Lipitor and used it successfully for 8 years. When I became serious about cycling I noticed that my leg muscles were not building up anywhere near expectations, that is, improvment in leg strength was minimal, (but I did not have leg cramps).
So about four months ago I changed to Zetia. The cycling season has only begun and this year leg strength is improving substantially, and still no cramps. The improvement is noticable, even to my road riding partner. But Zetia causes dizziness. I dismissed this at first, but after two major falls in the last five weeks, one on the road and one on the MTB trail, I'm asking myself if the Zetia is a factor in slowing down my reaction time or if I'm just riding faster and need to watch my control.
As for cramping, I hydrate liberally before all MTB rides or and road, mup ride over 10 miles and I can not recall ever having a problem.
For me the cholesterol meds are a must. I've cut my Cholesterol level from over 300 to under 150 and triglycerides (sp) are finally under control, thank mostly to cycling.
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Old 05-24-07, 06:46 PM   #20
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I take Mevacor, and it's done wonders (238 to 150 ). I was going to get off of it, but the doctor told me it has more benefits than just lowering cholesterol. Anyhow, I asked how come my cholesterol is so high, I watch my diet and exercise. He told me, and I've read about it as well, your body just produces more than what you need. It's hereditary and taking drugs is all you can do.
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Old 05-25-07, 06:16 AM   #21
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I had leg problems on any statins like Crestor, and Lipitor. I was put on Zetia and 1000mg of Niaspan (niacin). The Niaspan worked fine on the cholestrol problem, but the Niacin increases the uric acid levels in the body which contributes to gout symptoms. The doctor cut the Niaspan dosage in half, and I'm doing better on less.
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Old 05-25-07, 09:50 AM   #22
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I take Lipitor and Niacin (2000 mg at bedtime). My cholesterol went from high 200's to 105 and my trigycerides from several thousand to 70 with no side effects other than "flushing" which is tolerable. Tried Zocor once several years ago; gave me such severe back pain that I was out of work for a month.
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Old 05-25-07, 08:15 PM   #23
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I was on Lipitor for a while, but had to quit because my arms would go dead from the shoulders down, several times per night. Also, I was losing leg strength; the more I worked out the more I lost, it seemed. At the end of last year, almost 2 years after I quit it, I finally started regaining some of my lost strength, and the dead arms problem has mostly gone away. Man, those side effects can be NASTY!!!

I tried the Niaspan, but it didn't do a thing for my cholesterol levels and at the end of the experiment the flushing episodes were lasting an hour at a time - totally intolerable. I am currently on Trichor, which is a blotter-type chemical, much like oatmeal. My cholesterol is at 185, and that'll have to be good enough.
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Old 05-28-07, 07:00 AM   #24
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I am on a minimal dosage of Altoprev. No noticeable side effects in 4 years--hope it stays that way.
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Old 05-28-07, 11:35 AM   #25
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My Cholesterol numbers are in the 200 to 210 range and my doctor jeeps wanting me on meds. I have refused so far, telling him I'll go for it if my numbers reach 300. Needless to say, this attitude is not received well by him. So, I have to stick with being just ornery. I lost 55 lbs. gave up all the foods we found out I was allergic to, and have gotten in shape. How much do they want? I've told him I will not eat science. bk

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