I recently had a patient come in to me who had been on cholesterol lowering medication for years. After working on their diet and exercising more regularly the patient went back in to their primary physician and had a follow up blood test. Their blood work came back great! Cholesterol was normal! Actually even low. So what was her doctor's response? Stay on the meds. What? Stay on the meds?
What is this doctor thinking? So I asked my patient what she did, she said she told her she wasn't going to take them anymore. I wondered if maybe the doctor thought that her cholesterol was that low just because of the drug, but my patient assured me she told her about her lifestyle changes. So what could it be then? Like I said before this patient's cholesterol was actually pretty low on the follow up, in the low 120's. I wondered if the doctor knew about the potential side effects associated with long term statin use. I wondered if she knew they were never designed to be on for longer than 6 months to begin with while the patient makes lifestyle changes. I wondered if she knew that there has been no long term testing of statin drugs. I wondered if she knew the risk associated with low cholesterol and frontal lobe disorders like dementia and Alzheimer's. I wondered if she knew just how much your brain needed cholesterol to thrive. I also wondered if she had ever had any patients in her office in liver failure from statins like I have. This patient was a female but I wondered if she was a male would she know about the link between stains and low testosterone, or would she put him on androgel if he had low T? So what did I say to my patient when she asked what I thought this doctor was thinking? I simply said she has nothing else for you.
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