Leading cardiologist says there are concerns over statins
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Millions of people are prescribed statins to help lower their cholesterol. It has been widely reported that statin use does affect the muscles, but it may also affect a person’s digestive system causing these coloured stools or urine.
According to the NHS, serious side effects when taking atorvastatin – a type of statin – are rare and happen in less than one in 1,000 people.
The health body says to stop taking atorvastatin if you have pale poo, dark pee or yellow skin – this can be a sign of liver problems.
“Severe liver impairment is very rare,” Dr Larry Goldstein, professor and chairman of the department of neurology said.
He added: “Symptoms can include skin and eyes becoming yellow, dark urine, abdominal pain, itchy skin, pale stool and bruising.”
Once you have decided to take a statin, you’ll need to stick with it to get the benefit.
If suspected side effects crop up such as your mobility being affect its important to speak to your healthcare professional immediately.
If the side effects continue, it’s been advised to stop taking the statin, wait a few weeks for the drug to clear out of your system, and start taking it again.
If the problems doesn’t come back, then the statin probably wasn’t the cause.
If statin-related symptoms return, you can either try a different strain or take a more potent strain at a lower dose.
The rare risk of side effects must also be weighed against the demonstrable benefits of taking statins.
A review of scientific studies into the effectiveness of statins found around one in every 50 people who take the medicine for five years will avoid a serious event, such as a heart attack or stroke, as a result.
Nonetheless, you should discuss the benefits and risks of taking statins with your doctor before you start taking the medicine, advises the NHS.
“If you find certain side effects particularly troublesome, talk to the doctor in charge of your care.”
You can also reduce harmful cholesterol levels by making healthy lifestyle changes.
Diet is key and there are some general dietary rules that you should follow.
According to cholesterol charity Heart UK, vegetables, pulses (such as peas, beans and lentils), fruits; nuts; seeds and whole grains are full of nutrients and good for your cholesterol and your heart.
As Heart UK explains, these foods are high in protein and nutrients but low in saturated fat, which is key to staving off high cholesterol level.
According to the NHS, doing 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week can improve your cholesterol levels.
Moderate aerobic activity means you’re working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat.
“One way to tell whether you’re exercising at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk but cannot sing the words to a song,” explains the NHS.
Walking and cycling are common examples of aerobic activity.
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