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Statins and Side Effects
Statins are frequently used medications prescribed by doctors to help patients lower their cholesterol levels. However, there are numerous statins side effects that have raised alarm within the doctor and patient communities. Some of the most well-known statin side effects include myopathy, memory loss and fatigue. These medications remain effective in treating high cholesterol, but questions about statins and side effects continue to arise.
One of the most serious side effects from statins is muscle pain and damage. Often, statin muscle pain is characterized as soreness or tiredness of the muscles, and patients may have a difficult time doing things that would have usually been very easy. Sometimes, this statin side effect can lead to a more serious condition known as rhabdomyolysis, which can result in damage to the liver or kidneys. This statin side affect can be fatal without medical intervention. Rhabdomyolysis is caused by statin myopathy, which is defined as a severe inflammation of the muscles.
Among the other serious side effects from statins is memory loss. Of all the statins side effects women get, this is perhaps the most troubling, considering that women are already more prone to suffering from memory issues later in life. Any kind of issue pertaining to memory loss should be dealt with immediately by you and your doctor. The use of statins can cause neurological side effects as well, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Even patients who don't suffer statins memory loss may still suffer from confusion or disorientation as a side effect.
People who take statins may also experience elevated blood sugar levels, which can eventually cause diabetes. Among statin side effects for men, this is an issue worth looking out for, because men are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as they grow older. The risk of developing diabetes from statins is very small, but this has been known to happen. Anyone who uses statins and is at risk of diabetes should understand the risks of this potential complication.
Digestive issues are also known side effects in people who take statin medications. However, digestive health issues are rare side effects. The potential side effects include bloating, stomach sickness, constipation or diarrhea. Many doctors urge their patients to only take statin medication when they eat, which significantly reduces the risk of developing digestive health problems as a statins side effect.
Statin Side Effect Risk Factors
Not everyone who uses statins faces the same risk of harmful side effects. Large studies surveying scores of patients have found that female patients have a higher risk of side effects from statins than men. Also, people with smaller frames are more at risk than medium-sized or larger-framed people. Age is also a big risk factor, with people older than 65 facing a heightened risk of side effects from statins. People with preexisting liver and kidney problems are more vulnerable to statins side effects, and people who have blood conditions such as diabetes may also experience more frequent complications.
Statins are powerful medications that are commonly used in the treatment of low cholesterol, but they must not be used without a lack of awareness of the potential consequences. When used properly and carefully, these medications can help people reduce their risks of heart disease by helping them to regain normal cholesterol levels. But when used improperly without careful monitoring, statin medications can end up doing more harm than good. Be sure to communicate constantly with your doctor if you are prescribed statins for reducing your cholesterol levels.