If we go down medical memory lane and look back about 100 years we see that heart disease was congestive heart failure and a common cause of death. Heart disease was not the major cause of death. Diets weren’t full of chemicals, synthetic hormones, corn, grain, GMOs, Monsanto Roundup, etc. One hundred years ago we didn’t have an obesity/diabesity epidemic.
The term they used 100 years ago for congestive heart failure was dropsy. And the cause of death was hypothyroidism.
This article is not specifically about your thyroid that may not working so hot but……. the lab numbers telling docs if their patients have underactive thyroid have been changed nearly ten times. The European endocrinologists look at people and realize that thyroid is INSIDE the cell which is something we can’t measure. Treatment with appropriate \\\”natural\\\” physiologic doses of thyroid which contains both T4 and T3 and helps reduce heart failure, cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides. If you wish, read \\\”The Thyroid Solution\\\” by Ridha Arem, MD. We are an amazingly complex species. Usually one thing does not fix the problem. Numbers are respected as guidelines, not absolutes. Initially, numbers are treated with appropriate meds. But then I like to find the cause. I want to know why you need to be on a med for the rest of your life. Ask different questions and you get different answers.
I am a physician who has a lot of questions. I’m confused perplexed why it is legal for television to market pharmaceutical drugs seductively and dare I say, misleadingly. So while it may not be illegal to market drugs on television, it certainly seems unethical. Do you truly believe you are NOT going to have a heart attack or stroke if your cholesterol is less than 200?
Many years before there were prescription medications for cholesterol and at the turn of the 20th century, heart disease wasn’t the major cause of death. Television tells you to ask your doctor to prescribe cholesterol lowering medication. The TV marketing campaign then tells you that the medication doesn’t necessarily save you from cardiac problems and even has numerous side effects. Patients tell me they feel tired and their muscles hurt. Their muscles hurt because statin drugs increases Creatine Kinase (indicating muscle death), elevated liver enzymes. Furthermore, our brains need the cholesterol to prevent Alzheimer’s. Statin drugs also decrease the production of all your life-sustaining hormones. I often wonder why health care practitioners are lowering everyone’s cholesterol, and cholesterol is necessary to make the hormones which are declining with age. This seems like double trouble, and I am confused.
Now we are being advised to test 8 year old\\\’s cholesterol levels! Cholesterol meds were approved in 1987. EVERY ONE of the statins is reported to have a side effect called rhabdomyolysis, a sometimes fatal breakdown of muscle tissue. This is well documented in the medical literature (www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/NEW00721.html). Many patients take CoQ10 to help with muscle fatigue. I highly suggest taking approximately 400 mg of a quality CoQ10 if you are taking a cholesterol lowering med.
THERE ARE TIMES WHEN STATIN MEDICATION IS TO BE PRESCRIBED. There are a number of inherited diseases that result in high cholesterol, high levels of the various cholesterols, high triglycerides, and abnormal distritbutions of large and small chylomicrons that hold your fat. These RARE lipid diseases do need to be treated with medication and MANY other modalities. I suggest to my patients that they invest in a 64 slice cardiac CT scan. Your arteries are not two dimensional as the presently accepted catheterization study would have us believe. Our arteries make a circle and are three dimensional which a cardiac CT scan shows. Insurance doesn\\\’t usually cover this test. I had this test last year and paid for it.
The millions upon millions of patients taking statin medication amounts to billions of dollars of health care costs for your insurance company and revenue for the pharmaceutical industry. Interestingly, both the pharmaceutical and medical health insurance industries are being sued as we speak.
Even with the massive prescribing of cholesterol lowering meds people in the US and Europe still suffer the highest rates of coronary artery deaths in the world. We are 37th in health care. I often wonder if we would be happy if our athletes came in 37th at the Olympics. A horrifying question emerges – do cholesterol lowering meds for the MASSES only artificially suppress numbers, and the real culprit still slithers in silence. My patients realize that the chemicalized food we eat, the continuous overstimulating multitasking we do, the lack of meaningful socialization, and the lack of movement contributes a great deal to heart disease. As always, there are many unknown factors as well. I respect that there is more that we don\\\’t know than we do know. This shall not change if we do not continue to question, be willing to flexibly change, listen, and learn new modalities.
Please realize that even the FDA is not pure. Earnest mathematicians will tell you that you can prove anything with stratified data. Statistics don\\\’t lie, but data can be massaged a bit one way or the other. My heart broke when I learned that science is not pure. Fortunately, hearts heal and you eventually learn to graciously deal with what is.
Cholesterol is a steroid. Some steroids are good so you please question yourself if you think all steroids are bad. We need cholesterol to make Pregnenolone, Estrogen, Estrone, Testosterone, DHEA (Dehydroepiandosterone), Cortisol, and Progesterone. Cholesterol even produces the pregnancy hormone called Estriol. Maybe that\\\’s why the TV ad says not to take the cholesterol meds when you are pregnant. Even Vitamin D needs cholesterol to work optimally.
The 21st Century Disease is called adrenal exhaustion. The adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and produce many necessary stress hormones such as DHEA and Cortisol. If your thyroid isn\\\’t working so hot, then your cholesterol increases to produce more hormones. If a woman has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with too much Testosterone that is unbalanced with her Estrogen, her cholesterol will increase. This line of reasoning could continue for pages and would require much of your time, so I shall spare you. When I treat men with real Testosterone, their cholesterol decreases. Testosterone is a first line treatment for cholesterol and heart related diseases in Europe. The heart has more Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone receptors than any other muscle in your body. THE MAJOR POINT HERE IS THAT MOST TIMES YOUR HIGH CHOLESTEROL IS A SIGNAL THAT YOUR NUTRITION AND HORMONES ARE IMBALANCED. Also, your doctor needs to factor in your hsCRP (inflammation), Homocysteine, Methylmalonic Acid, waist and omentum measurement, LpA, LDL particles, etc.
Let\\\’s briefly review what I actually learned in biochemistry during the first year of medical school. CHOLESTEROL IS NECESSARY FOR HUMAN FUNCTION. Without enough cholesterol, the following stuff doesn\\\’t happen:
If cholesterol doesn\\\’t convert to bile salts (you need thyroid to convert cholesterol to bile salts), then you don\\\’t absorb the fat soluble vitamins which are A, D, E, K – and the 22
minerals are not absorbed. We need the 22 minerals to make a new skeleton every 7 years and to make the bajillions of biochemical events in your body go forward every second
you are reading this
We need cholesterol to make Vitamin D (Vitamin D is actually a hormone and beyond the scope of this writing)
Cholesterol is inside every cell wall – on purpose, it needs to be (it just shouldn\\\’t be the gooky kind)
Cholesterol is put in the myelin sheath which insulates your large peripheral nerve cells
Cholesterol improves the action of your T-cells, lymphocytes, and helper B-cells – your immune system
I shall repeat that their are times that a cholesterol lowering drug is required. However, there is no proof that the billions of dollars paid to the pharmaceutical industry by your \\\”health care insurance\\\” is doing anything to improve human health. This usually just gives the insurance companies a preventive complexion. We do have a disease care system that does a relatively decent job.
Please realize that even the FDA is not pure. Earnest mathematicians will tell you that you can prove anything with stratified data. Statistics don\\\’t lie, but data can be massaged quite a bit. My heart broke when I learned that science is not pure. Fortunately, hearts heal and you eventually learn to graciously deal with what is. I had to stop reading the book \\\”No Evidence of Harm\\\” by David Kessler, MD (the former commissioner of the FDA in the Bush and Clinton administrations) which was about what goes on in the FDA and what actually happened with the tobacco companies. My sister has emphysema, spends $900 a month for meds which the tobacco companies are not responsible for. Like you, I am confused about a lot of stuff in life, including our American medical system of disease care.