Tag Archives: statins

Book review: Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You

This book, Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You, is a careful, documented analysis of what goes on in our minds as we make decisions whether to take a drug or undergo a procedure that our doctor recommends. I see myself in here – a doubter is my profile. And I see a friend who enthusiastically takes anything and everything her doctor mentions – her profile would be that of a believer. The authors say which one we are depends on several things, including our family members’ experiences with doctors and medicines as well as the medical stories of people we know.

Illegal Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse

These are illegal, but they could just as easily be common prescription drugs. (Photo credit: epSos.de)

It also mentions the incredible power of advertising to affect our beliefs about medications. Gives a good breakdown of how ads are designed to get us to focus on the potential positive effects without really “hearing” the negative possibilities. In fact, it said a study was done a while ago that showed the more information people were given about risks versus benefits, in clear written form, the less likely they were to agree to take any drug.

And one of the first drug types he discusses is statins – currently the world’s most-prescribed drug. He describes the case of a woman whose level was 240, but whose father had had the same level, never took a drug, and lived an active life to a ripe old age. Then he makes a fascinating argument that although when doctors think of statistics in terms of millions of people with high cholesterol, statins may seem like “an imperative,” but “when framed as a personal health issue, the benefits of taking statins may seem less compelling.”

The bottom line, they say, is that it’s you who benefit from a drug or suffer the consequences of its side effects, so if you are uncomfortable with a drug, you have every right to question. The doctor can challenge you, but you should feel free to do your own investigating and state your position and expect it to be respected. Every individual will experience illness or disease in a way that’s unique to him or her.

It’s always nice to have doctors officially come out in favor of what you already believe.

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CoQ10 improves functionality and mortality in heart failure – and statins decrease CoQ10

The jury was out for a long time on the effectiveness of taking CoQ10 supplements for people with various heart

English: The illustration shows the major sign...

English: The illustration shows the major signs and symptoms of heart failure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

conditions. I used to take it because I’d read many doctors’ favorable accounts. However, my cardiologist never recommended it specifically, so I stopped when I realized how much I was paying for it.

New research points to the idea that this substance may be even more valuable than previously thought by its proponents. CoQ10 is said to improve every measure of functionality – and now to dramatically decrease mortality – in heart failure patients, according to an article on FireEngineering.com. I’ve included the article’s references below.

Further research shows CoQ10 levels decrease naturally as we age, and they actually decrease further when patients take statins. Statins are those over-prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs that gradually damage people’s livers and can produce other nasty side effects such as blocking the effects of cardiovascular fitness training and inclining patients to develop diabetes.

Compelling reading.

References

  1. Heart Failure 2013
  2. SA Mortensen, A Kumar, P Dolliner, et al. “The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure.” Results from the Q-SYMBIO study. Presented at Heart Failure Congress 2013 Final Programme Number 440.
    The full title of the Q-SYMBIO study is: “Coenzyme Q10 as adjunctive treatment of chronic heart failure: a randomised double blind multicentre trial with focus on changes in symptoms, biomarker status with BNP and long term outcome.”
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