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Can "natural" products cause same effects as stati

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:53 am
by kimbee
I'm wondering if "natural" products can have the same muscle-damaging effects as statin drugs?

I finally got insurance coverage after having none for 8 years. Went to a GP on Jan. 3rd for problems I was having (minor chest pain, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, a feeling that something was growing in my neck). After several tests, it was determined that I had LPR (laryngeal pharyngeal reflux) and told to take ranitidine 300 mg a day, along with lifestyle changes. The doc also told me I had EXTREMELY bad cholesterol readings (triglycerides 1,950, HDL 32, total cholesterol 299). He prescribed Lipitor and TriCor, but because my insurance wouldn't pay for them, I didn't fill the prescriptions and instead concocted my own "natural" regimen to lower cholesterol.

On Jan. 20th I began taking every day: Vitamin B6 5mg; Vitamin B12 1,000 mcg; Folic acid 400 mcg; Vitamin C 1,000 mg; L-Lysine 1,000 mg; L-Proline 400 mg; Fish oil 2,400 mg; Green tea extract 800 mg; CoQ10 50 mg; Soy lecithin 1,325 mg; beta sitosterol 150 mg; cinnamon 1,000 mg; fiber supplement 500 mg; Nicotinic acid timed-release 250 mg; Milk thistle 250 mg; and the ranitidine.

I also was having problems with an ankle I'd had surgery on years ago for osteonecrosis. It had been bothering me progressively more over the last few years so I went to the orthopedic dr. who'd done the surgery. When I saw her on Feb 6th she asked if I had any other problems. I told her that my hips, knees and shoulders had begun to hurt some but attributed that to getting older (I'm 50). I was told that "50's not old!" and it kind of dropped at that. When I returned to her 2 weeks later, my joints were really hurting, so she referred me to a rheumatologist (who it took 6 weeks to get an appt. with).

About a week before the rheumatologist appt. I went back to the GP to have my cholesterol checked again, and told him of the progressively worsening joint pain and my upcoming rheumatologist visit. My cholesterol numbers had come down some (triglycerides 916, HDL 31, total cholesterol 278), and he did an arthrides (sp??) panel too. It showed a sed rate of 22, negative anachoice screen, 5.5 uric acid and 11 rheumatoid factor (all normal except the sed rate). He also switched me from the ranitidine to omeprazole 20 mg, and gave me prescriptions for simvastatin 80 mg and fenofibrate 200 mg (my insurance will pay for the generics). I filled them and started taking them that day, along with the "natural" regimen. At this time I also upped the CoQ10 to 200 mg a day.

From about the first of February until the rheumatology appt on April 1st, my pain was progressively worse with each passing day. I noticed that the muscles around my joints were a little tender, but the pain seemed to be in my joints (what I REALLY thought is that the osteonecrosis had come back but in many more joints, since high lipids are thought to be a predisposing factor). As each day went by the pain got more intense and even my calves and heels were hurting, which I attributed to referred pain from the joints. The pain was also worse as the day wore on, and especially if I did much in the way of excersize, plus I just felt worn out. I was told that I walked like a 90 yr old woman, and sometimes the pain would nearly bring tears to my eyes. I began taking ibuprofen to get by, starting with 400 mg a couple times a day, then upping it all the time to where I was finally taking 600 mg every couple hours, just to be functional (not pain-free).

The rheumatologist examined me carefully and pronounced that it was my muscles, not my joints, that were the problem. He said I had proximal muscle weakness... I could not resist any force at all when he applied downward pressure on my legs, though my shoulders were somewhat better (although my left shoulder hurt the worst of all my joints). He ordered blood tests and a urinalysis, and said that " something is destroying your muscles, I'll have to study all this stuff you're taking and see if any of it is contributing to that". When he said that a little bell went off in my head (finally!!) and I thought back to when the pain had begun, and it corresponded to the time I began taking all the natural stuff for my cholesterol. I immediately quit taking everything except the omeprazole and ibuprofen.

When the lab results (CPK, aldolase, APLA, CCP) came back about a week later, I got a letter from the rheumatologist saying that my lab results were all normal and he would like to schedule me for a sleep study. A sleep study!?!? I called and talked to his nurse, and asked her why a sleep study, does the dr. think I making this pain up or what? She didn't have any answers at all. After talking it over with my husband we decided that I'd go back to the GP and seek his advice, and find out if he thought a sleep study would have anything whatsoever to do with the problem.

When I went to see the GP I got a very long lecture about the dangers of cholesterol, my need to lose 25 pounds, my smoking, and my blood pressure, which was somewhat elevated (gee, doc, ya think that has anything to do with the fact that I feel like I'm being crushed in a trash compactor?). He told me that I should be thankful that my rheumatologist's lab work came back normal and I don't have a life-altering disease. He thought maybe the rheumatologist was "grasping at straws" by ordering the sleep study BUT that sleep apnea can cause all sorts of problems. I did ask him if all that natural stuff I was taking could have the same effects on muscle as statins, and he completely skirted the issue. At the end of the 20 minute lecture he did write me a prescription for generic mobic, since he didn't want me taking all that ibuprofen, and also said he wanted to schedule me for a sleep study. (BTW, I did NOT tell him I'd quit taking the simvastatin and fenofibrate.)

The mobic helps to the same degree as the ibuprofen did (keeps me functional, but not pain-free). I have a pretty physically demanding job (retail sales at a plant nursery) and our busy season is nearly here... I'm wondering day to day if I can continue to fake my way through work. Right now it's not too busy at work, and there are some new hires that I can delegate much of the "grunt work" to, but I am exhausted by the end of the day, in pain, and don't know if I can make it through a full day when it gets busy.

At this point in time I'm not sure what to do. I'm afraid to take anything more than what I'm taking now. The pain is not letting up any, any the dr only wrote the mobic prescription for 30 days, no refill. I am kicking myself in the rear thinking that I may have poisoned myself by taking all that stuff. Does anyone know if the stuff I was taking could have caused these symptoms, or know a dr in the Kansas City area that won't just blow me off? Thanks in advance for any help, and sorry for the long post.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:23 am
by Allen1
Hi there kimbee,

I hope you start to improve soon and I am please to see you have stopped the statin drugs especially with the problems you have already experienced. The cinnamon 1,000 mg you were taking is basically a statin and may have been what started your problems, I also think Nicotinic acid has something to do with lowering cholesterol LDL too but I may be wrong.

Hopefully Adec, Biologist, Darrel or Cjbrooks will look into this as they are really knowledgeable on most of these compounds/vitamins and their effects, I didn't notice any L-Carnitine on your list (it would be good for your muscles).

Have a look for Cjbrooks or Ray Holders post on Carnitine and see what it may do for your problems ok

All the best,

Allen. :)

I think you may be right

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:11 am
by kimbee
Alien1, I think you may be right about the cinnamon. I recall reading elsewhere on these boards that someone else had problems when they took cinnamon and niacin together. I bought most of my supplements from OurHealthCoop, here's what their website says about cinnamon...

"Cinnamon has also been shown to reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in tested patients with Type II Diabetes. A 40-day study in Pakistan, using subjects with Type II diabetes, found that one gram a day of cinnamon – or one-fourth of a teaspoon -- twice daily significantly lowered blood sugar, triglycerides (fatty acids in the blood), LDL (or "bad") cholesterol, and total cholesterol.

Interestingly, another study found that the beneficial effects of cinnamon on cholesterol levels lasted for at least 20 days after people stopped taking it -- a phenomenon never observed in comparable drugs."

I thought I had done some pretty thorough research before I started taking all of this stuff, but either the research on this cinnamon/niacin combo just isn't out there or I didn't do a very good job. I wish I had found this message board BEFORE I started taking all this stuff. I knew the niacin could have the same side-effects as statins, but figured at the fairly low dosage I was using that it wouldn't hurt. So I still don't know if simply the cinnamon, simply the niacin, or the combo of them (or perhaps in combo with the other stuff) that caused the problems. I feel pretty stupid, but perhaps someone else can learn from my mistake.

If I ever get over this, I'm going to CAREFULLY try taking what Linus Pauling recommends for circulatory health, a combo of Vitamin C, L-Lysine & L-Proline. If that doesn't cause any side effects, I may slowly add in some fish oil.

I don't care what my cholesterol levels are as long as my arteries don't clog up!

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:56 pm
by Allen1
Hi there kimbee,

it was also on this site that I read about cinnamon and its effects. I wouldn't say you did a bad job in your research mainly because like statins there is so many conflicting stories or a great lack of real information along with individual reactions and tolerances to what we use.

I personally took 11 years to find what was causing my problems and I can assure you that taking statins to reduce cholesterol does not necessarily stop your arteries from blocking up, so cholesterol is not the only problem as our doctors seemed to believe. The reality is that most of us believed what we were told (Doctors included) and are now paying for that lack of information and all that misinformation that the drug companies have provided over the years.

All the best,

Allen. :)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:40 pm
by cjbrooksjc
KIM: Niacin, Niacinamide, and Nicotinic Acid have all been known to exacerbate joint pain and muscle tenderness in statinized forum members; likewise, cinnamon has been touted to be a statin in and of itself. For that reason, I would try your regimen without those elements, and introduce them later to see if they are causal. The rest of your formula seems innocent enough. Also, Krill Oil has been known to lower cholesterol... see the following link from kimsuoil:



I get a Krill oil/astaxanthin combo from ** It comes in 1Gram pearls, is easy to swallow, and it is labeled KRIAXanthin on the web site; again, remove the **.
I've no experience with the Rx drugs you refer to.



PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:59 pm
by Biologist

I agree with all the comments made. One other thing is that doctors are taught "to first try diet" to improve lipid levels. Good advice, but they then proceed to prescribe the EXACT WRONG diet per instructions provided by drug company propoganda through their many shills.

Cutting carbs will do wonders. If you eat like the typical American, you will need to change your habits. But it works. A book I am currently reading ("Protein Power") may serve you well. Its found at this website and is written by the website owner (Dr. Mike"):



Can someone give me a link

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:43 pm
by kimbee
Can someone give me a link to the study that showed that muscle damage can be present even if CPK levels are normal? I know I've seen it both here and elswhere on the net, but now can't seem to locate it. I've decided to write a letter to the neurologist begging for help and want to enclose a copy of the research results with my letter. Thanks!

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:57 pm
by cjbrooksjc
Maybe one of these links will help or at least point you in the right direction:




PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:39 pm
by Darrell
Here it is:
"Statin-Associated Myopathy with Normal Creatine Kinase Levels"

Statin-induced muscle damage with normal CPK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:13 pm
by kimbee
Thank you for the link, darrell. Here's hoping the neurologist will help me out!

Maybe my letter to rheumatologist worked???

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:12 pm
by kimbee
I sent a letter off last week to the rheumatologist who seemed to have blown off my concerns by recommending a sleep study. Well, I got a phone call from his nurse today to "come in and discuss this, as this was something that can't be handled by mail or phone". The nurse set me an appointment for a week from today. I must say that I have some trepidation about going into to see him, since I really feel that he has already branded me a hypochondriac and all I'll get from him is either a lecture like my GP gave me or a patronizing pat on the head.

I will say that I feel I've gotten a tiny bit better... now, unless I do much physical work (which is what I do most days at work) my joints don't hurt quite so bad, but I do feel as though someone has hit me all over with a baseball bat. I am not quite so exhausted either, but I definitely am not my old self.

What scares me the most is if he says that yeah, the stuff I was taking probably caused this, but it will just take time for it to go away and there's nothing I can do for you. I can't imagine having to look forward to this for the rest of my life.

Big kiss-off by rheumatologist

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 3:37 pm
by kimbee
Well, I went back to the rheumatologist today and paid my $25 co-pay so I could be told to kiss-off. Apparently questioning anything this guy does is a big no-no. He told me that all of my tests were normal, that I was in apparent good health, so he had NO CLUES WHATSOEVER as to my problems. When I asked him if he thought the stuff I'd been taking had caused my problems, he said "sure, anything's possible, but it's not likely."
He asked why I didn't want to do a sleep study... I told him because while I may snore, etc, I'm sleeping the same way I've slept for the last 20 years, there's been no changes so I don't believe that my sleeping has anything to do with the rather sudden onset of my symptoms. I just felt that the sleep study was "grabbing at straws" and that I had the feeling he thought I was making this all up. He said he didn't think I was making it up.
He said there was basically no medical evidence that would point him in any direction as to a diagnosis. I asked him about how, when I'd seen him before, he said that something was damaging my muscles. He said that maybe because I was tired that I just didn't try hard enough to resist his pushing on my limbs. He said that he was at a loss as to a diagnosis but could just start going thru a giant list of all the things it could be, that it could be nearly anything. I said what, you're just gonna make up a big list? Well, that pissed him off big-time and he told me I needed to go see someone else.
So I'm now back at square one.
I think I'll go back to totally avoiding doctors. I can always go to urgent care if I need antibiotics, there's always ibuprofen, and I no longer give a rat's a** what my cholesterol is. When it's my time to go, it's my time to go, I just hope I don't have to go thru alot of pain beforehand since apparently doctors don't believe in pain and refuse to believe it exists unless some test tells them it's there.

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 5:33 pm
by Allen1
Hi there kimbee,

sorry to read you had such a bad time with your rheumatologist. I had to see one here in the UK, he is a brilliant man and very highly respected by all that have worked with him. Although he agreed that Statins can cause a wide variety of problems, he believed that they would desist after a few weeks when the statins were stopped. I had a sleep study through this rheumatologist care, I already knew I had sleep apnoea prior to the study and even tried a CPAP unit but it terrified me. Anyway the throat problems have recently got worse and air often gets expelled uncontrollably even when wide awake during the day (out of my mouth :) ) similar to a horse braying type of thing.

I think we will all have to get a lot worse before the doctors can categorically state that it was the use of Statins that caused or contributed to this or these health problems, but even my doctor now accepts that there is evidence to show that there are real issues with statins.

I hope your pain lessens and that your health picks up soon, it is frustrating to feel isolated when you see doctors who act like they have never heard of anyone else with these symptoms and I do not know why they act this way at all (maybe it is easier than having to do some research).

Take care,

Allen :)

Arrogance and Greed

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:07 am
by pgrimm
Kimbee, I'm assuming by your name that you are a woman? If I'm right about your gender, then according to Dr. Beatraice Golomb, you shouldn't be concerned about your cholesterol, it's not relevant. By the way, I completely agree with your conclusion to avoid doctors, and just go to urgent care. I am starting to hate the lot of them and the poisons that they prescribe. If we can buy supplements without their stupid prescription pad, then we really have access to something that's much better than their drugs anyway! The side effects of drugs are really shocking if we take them seriously. I can't believe how I used to just write them off, as though they only happen to the rare unlucky few. I have vowed to always try a natural remedy from now on rather than to accept anything from the incredibly greedy pharmaceutical companies. I have yet to get off of my single drug for my HBP, but I'll get there.

You desribed your doctor's arrogance just perfectly. Aren't they the most egotistical narcisists? I know you can find this sort in any walk of life. But the inherent power of some occupations attracts them or helps to fosters this feeling of superiority. Example. When I was marrying my ex, who was a Catholic, I had to take those instructions from the priest. I was really taken back by his pronouncement: The only person who can accurately interpret the Bible is a Catholic priest, he is in order the next person to God. I was always the doubting Thomas, and had made a comment about how various things could be open to different interpretations, thus this statement to shut me up. We hand over all this power to individuals and we are surprised at how they just run with it.

Our society has been giving physicians carte blanche to dictate everything we do to our bodies. Just now, we, this wonderful baby boomer generation of ours, dare to question their accuracy or even veracity. And what of the holistic approach to health? How many doctors are willing to even discuss supplements? If you dare to mention taking them, they will openly sneer or laugh at you. You start to understand why so many people travel to exotic countries to attempt to heal themselves outside the first world doctors and drugs.

I applaud every word you wrote about mistrusting doctors. And I for one, am frankly mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. You and I have worked equally hard in our own fields and have not developed the arrogance of these pompous pill-pushers. Yes, I know a doctor or two for whom I still have some respect. The true test for me is are they willing to discuss the statin issues openly. If not, I have absolutely no confidence in them. Read Biologist's latest entry under Statins/Are you with me. He wrote it brilliantly. It's the Perfect Storm for doctors, there are so many, who are we to disagree, where are the studies to back us up? AND, read what Biologist suggests about creating your own webpage to warn others about your arrogant doctor! It's the perfect storm. Doctors + Pharmaceutical companies. Arrogance + Greed. Safety in Numbers. The Perfect Storm.

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 2:45 am
by Brian C.
The controlling professions (e.g. medicine, religion, policing) attract sociopathic/psychopathic personalities. The SS attracted many doctors into its ranks, more perhaps than any other single profession or trade.

Such individuals lack empathy and are entirely narcissistic.


PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 6:49 am
by Allen1
Thank goodness there are still some excellent friendly and caring doctors out there too. My own doctor and many specialists that I have seen were not aware of the statin link to almost everything that was wrong with me, everyone here knows how the side effect issues have been played down to be mild or rare, and this is what has been fed to the doctors as well as us victims.

The people who we should be mad as hell about are the ones who keep denying that the side effects exist and feed that lie to the doctors in the first place. Of course the arrogant or is that ignorant doctors who do not take you seriously and have never looked up any new relevant information since qualifying is another story!

As I mentioned, even my own doctor was unaware of the real problems associated with statin therapy till just about a year ago. He does believe me now when I mention a problem and as always has tried to sort things out as best as he can with the information that he has available. When false information is being passed on to a doctor or at least played down the way it has been and further fuelled by targets to be met as here in the UK, where does that leave both the doctor and the patient/victim?

I do know that my doctor is a very kind and caring man, he has always been there for the whole family especially when my mother in law was dying from cancer and also when I had my heart problem, Great Man and a Great Doctor, but he can only work with the information that he has.

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 7:58 am
by Brian C.
My GP, who is also a good and caring person, agreed that he and his colleagues are treated like mushrooms - kept in the dark and fed horsemanure.

When I go for my bi-annual checkup I always give him a tutorial :wink:
I have also been sending him relevant studies and other material.
He has read Dr Kendrick's book and has it on his office shelf.

But last time we spoke he was still taking Lipitor and claiming no side effects!
I told him he was mad.


PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:58 am
by Ray Holder
That makes three of us in UK who give their doctors "tutorials"
My former doctor, now retired, was glad to receive any real information on statin caused problems, and recommended Q10 to his patients.

His replacement is also very receptive, and tutorials are beginning, but I think he might still be thinking cholesterol measurements might be useful. I shall have to de- brainwash him on the subject!!!

I like Brian's doctor's description of guidelines for doctors!!, I must remember to have that ready to quote at the appropriate time.


Red yeast rice

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:36 pm
by crafty
Didn't see it on your list But do not, do NOT, take red yeast rice. It was my undoing. Spacedoc says RYR is same chemistry as statins. Also recommend "Eat Right 4 Your Type," by Dr. Peter Dadamo. Very easy read which recommends foods according to blood type. Helps to reduce inflammation in body. Best wishes.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:38 pm
by catspjs
I, too have experiened the holier than thou attitude of doctors and their assistants...I had a so called cholesteral specialist laugh in my face when I was referred to him for a statin alternative...It was then I said no more doctors..Lately I have seen their inability to properly diagnose simple things.with my 50 yr old limited nursing knowledge I know more than they do about diet..and cholesteral. I cut out sweets and lowered the carbohydrates from my diet and my triglycerides went from 400 to normal in about 6 months. The supplements do work...but frankly I don't care what my cholesteral numbers are anymore...I started taking Vit D 3 because mine was very low....I take 2000 iu of vit d/3 and 1200 mg of calcium and I really feel much better..muscle and energy wise...Vit D is used by just about every organ/system in our body and most of us don't get enough...esp in climates where there isn't much sun...I feel I am making progress ...just wish the pn would let up .but thats my " gift" from that will last a lifetime I am afraid....