Lipitor in Afghanistan

A message board to discuss personal experiences of Lipitor and its effects.

Lipitor in Afghanistan

Postby robk » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:28 am

I am a 48 yr old male who suffered an MI at age 43. Genetics is my problem. I am 6'3" 185 and was in pretty good shape. I had my blockage in the LAD and had a bare metal stent inserted. This happened to me in Poland so no more Polish jokes as they saved my life.

I was flown back to Germany by ADAC privately since I had their "super insurance" of 200 euros a year. Paid nothing for hospital or flight. Germans took over from there and they were great... They found a thrombosis in my left ventricle though and treated. I guess by God's grace it moved to my kidney and dissolved with extreme pain in a couple of days. Finally able to leave hospital after 3 weeks and went to 2 weeks at a rehab clinic. That was the best!!! They really got me back on my feet. See if you can get this without going broke in America.

Anyway now for my problem... I was taking a German version of a statin and had to move to Lipitor 20mg a year ago. I was doing fine. Actually better than fine. I exercise 4-5 times a week. Company had me come to Afghanistan and about ready to leave now and when I got here I was in the gym almost every day running or riding bike. Then I ended up walking a lot since I didn't have the gym time. I walked 5-7 miles a day. After 4 1/2 months I noticed I couldn't walk that far anymore. It progressively got worse. I thought my heart might be acting up... I had a stress test with good results and my blood work was done.

cholesterol = 127
triglycerides = 44
HDL = 39
chol tgt/hdl 3.3
LDL 79

but I was starting to feel several things... Felt like legs and feet weaker some how. Then had the chest pain moment but that was most
likely anxiety induced and digest disorder. Could not sleep and waking up with startle and heart beating fast. Like I stopped breathing. Urinating in the middle of the night. Just feeling old.

feeling of dizzyness... just feeling out of sorts.
anxious panic attacks.

I stopped the Lipitor with those cholesterol results as I thought this is too low for any drug. It took about 2 weeks and I started to feel better but for whatever reason I took another pill. I felt awful the next day. Anxious could not work weakness in arms and felt out of breath just walking a short distance. It has been another day or so and am starting to feel better.

I purchased Omega 3 and Nature Made CoQ10 100mg but have not taken them yet. I am now worried about taking anything else. I currently take an aspirin and 10 mg very mild beta blocker.

I am due to leave here next week and hope to feel well enough just to fly home...
robk
 
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Postby lars999 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:33 pm

robk,

Your experience with Lipitor has one thing in common with mine -- your total cholesterol came down to 127 and mine to 143 Your HDL is same as my lifetime value of 39 - I am sneaking up on 73. My normal total cholesterol has been 240-300, pre Lipitor and post Lipitor it was 270-280. The level of total cholesterol in my blood is genetically controlled and could not be altered by changing diet or amount of exercise (exercise actually seemed to increase it!!). High total cholesterol is the ONLY "risk factor" I have ever had -- to be prescribed Lipitor and to have agreed to take it was and remains "JUST PLAIN STUPID!!'

Before I quit Lipitor (10 mg daily for about 6 years) I was down to being able to walk only 15 min or so, using two canes, before I had to sit down for at least that long. I could only drive a car on Interstates for 1,0 hour, with cruise control, before I had to stop and rest for at least 30 minutes. Two weeks after I quit Lipitor, I was able to do all but one hour of a 4 day X 6 hours/day cross country auto trip!!!! I will NEVER take any statin drug again and now list it prominently on my list of drugs to which I am severely alergic -- that get attention of docs and nurses!!

After almost 3 years of rehab and trying to determine what was primary mechanism by which Lipitor so extensive trashed my life, I am finally settling on the extensive reduction of my total cholesterol as the most important. Simply put, my body needed the amount of cholesterol it was producing -- duh!! -- and steadily degraded when it did not have enough cholesterol to maintain its various component parts and biological systems. I continue to see steady, slow returns to my pre-Lipitor normal state.

I MAY differ from you in a few very important biochemical ways:

1) My level of lipoprotein (a) is very low, most certainly a consequence of having only one copy of gene that determines this. This biochemical plays a very important role in repairing damage to the single-cell-layer thick muscle layer that lines our arteries. Too much of lipoprotein (a) and your body does "too good" a job of repair, resulting in overly extensive layers of plaque.

2) The total level of inflammation in by body has always proven to be quite low -- other than in times of illness. It is presistant inflammation that is one of main mechanisms leading to damage to arterial walls, and subsequently to plaque.

3) I also have low concentrations of homocystein, another biochemical that can damage linings of arterial walls when too much is present. (read Dr Kylmer McCully's stuff, referenced on Space Doc's website).

4) I have no detectable plaque in any of my arteries that can be subjected to external analysis by doppler ultra-sound analysis (carotid arteries in neck and femoral and subsequent arteries in legs).

You may, or maybe not, have been victim of a blood clot resulting from rupture of a "plaque boil" (aka vulnerable plaque -- vulnerable to rupture) and your body having formed a blood clot around the released contents of that "plaque boil". The location of these "plaque boils" or their prior existence is seldom able to be determined. These can affect even highly physically conditioned persons, folks commonly thought of as "heart attack proofed". This is the kind of heart attack that strikes the seemingly most unlikely persons. Treating these persons with statins, to prevent a recurrence, is far more problematical than treating a person that has high and numerous "risk factors".

I suspect that knowing lots more about your body's biochemistry and plaque-formation (or lack of) would lead to a much more appropriate treatment than just "statins forever".

Lars
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Postby robk » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:52 am

Lars,

Thanks for all you information. I don't see where they measured my homocystein or Lip-A although my doctors in Germany said that it was high in my blood at that time. I have been given Carotid doppler ultra sounds on a few occasions and they stated I did have some build up there and that it has gone down. This has been almost 2 years ago though and since coming back to the states I have not had that procedure done. I guess that takes the last part about the blood clot out of the equation out.

I will read more about Dr McCully and have gotten a great education on this site as to the harm of statins.

I had a different form of the Lipitor statin in German when living there and I think they increased the strength of it to 20mg when I came home. I am getting ready to leave here next week and will get a check up once home.

I have been hesitant to start taking my CoQ10 or L-Cartinine until I get home. I feel more comfortable trying that out at home.

Plus I purchased 100mg Natures Made CoQ10 and am not sure that's the best brand. I would be more than interested in best brand names that anyone is taking?

I think I probably would need to up my dosage to 200-300mg for my history.

thanks again for your response.

Rob
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Postby lars999 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:34 pm

robk,

Basically, there are three forms of CoQ10:
1) the least expensive, which is simply finely ground solid CoQ10. It is orange color and is quite insoluble (this is Ubiquinone in chemical name). It is basically a waste of money because so little dissolves in blood.

2) various more soluble formulations, which is touted on the lable and can be achieved in several ways. I never did much on-line researching information about how well any of them actually worked -- most certainly better than the cheap stuff.

3) Ubiquinol -- this is CoQ10 in the reduced chemical form that is actually dissolved in blood and is the strong anti-oxidant form that makes CoQ10 such an effective antioxidant inside our mitochondria, protecting its critical function from oxidative damage. Last I knew, ALL Ubiquinol was made in Kaneka, Ltd plant in Japan. This is also the most expensive formulation. I used it up until recently and was able to demonstrate for my self that it actually improved my stamina during demanding aerobic activity (such as cross country skiing at altitudes of 10.000 feet or so), which other formulations did not. Presently, I am trying to establish a baseline of my aerobic performance without taking Ubiquinol. Then I will repeat treadmill and other excercises while taking Ubiquinol.

Ubiquinol, in a formulation that was stable enough to be shipped and marketed, was developed by Kaneka on request by Drs. Per and Peter Langsjoen (Långsjøn), a father and son team of cardiologists in Texas that were treating patients with advanced congestive heart failure, made much worse by statins prescribed by previous doctors. These patients were so weak that their bodies could not convert enough UbiquinONE (CoQ10 in most formulations) to UbiquinOL to successfully reverse their congestive heart failure.

Lars
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Postby robk » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:57 pm

Lars,

Yes after all the reading and with your added assistance plus Dr. Sinatra's book I figure I need to start a supplement try on my own body. I just never see what actual brands are being used by people. When I get home in the next week I will try to get the type that will work for me.

I will start with the low dose and see how I feel then go to 200-300mg I guess. I will add in the L-cartine, Omega 3 and see how it goes.

Why do you want to stop or try going without your supplements? Maybe just to see how the difference is in your body.

I am hoping I can get the right one's for me... thanks for your help.

Rob
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Postby lars999 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:25 pm

Rob,

Why? Cause I really like to know what does or does not work for me. Two ski seasons ago, when I was still clearly recovering from nasty degradation from Lipitor, I determined that Acetyl-L-Carnatine and Ubiquinol improved my cross country skiing stamina, presumably because they were both helping my old bod repair or compensate damage Lipitor had done to my mitochondria and its ability to provide my old bod with enough ATP and hence energy to meet the substantially greater energy expenditure of cross country skiing. Following ski season I could only convience myself that Ubiquinol improved my cross country skiing stamina. In both seasons this was based on taking, or not, one or either or both of these supplements on the day I was skiing.

FYI -- sports and workout addicts seem to have demonstrated that Acetyl-L-Carnitine does little or nothing to increase physical capabilities of HEALTHY persons. My first ski season I was sure not a HEALTHY person and Acetyl-L-Carnitine clearly improved my performance. My most measures, I was "healthy" my second ski season after Lipitor and Acetyl-L-Carnitine did not produce any noticeable improvement.

Being an old guy, well into years where my bod will be less and less able to produce critical biochemicals, I am keenly aware that my physical prowess is decreasing, simply because of aging. Production of CoQ10 is one of these critical biochemicals. SO, is my supplementing with Ubiquinol still effective, or not? If so, how much?

I recent years I have been seeing my aerobic capacity decreasing, from well above average for my age to average for a 70 something old man. That is really a disadvantage when skiing at higher altitudes. For us old guys, that can be as much as 25% less aerobic capacity per year -- YIKES!! SO, now I am increasing my aerobic workouts to see if I can reverse that -- so far, so good -- apparently. Perhaps as early as next week, I will go back to taking Ubiquinol at my previous rate to see if that will further increase my aerobic workouts (at 5000 feet). Hopefully, by end of November I can put on skis and go see where things stand for start of this, my third ski season after quitting Lipitor.

You note that you are 48. I was at my peak aerobic and physical stamina at 55. AHHH! to be 55 again!! Best wishes for your return to our self!!
Lars
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