Statins for Cholesterol: Definition and Side Effects. Statins comprise of a group of medicines that help to bring down levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol present in the blood. Sometimes LDL cholesterol is labelled as bad cholesterol. Statins are designed to minimise its production in the liver.
The presence of LDL cholesterol is potentially hazardous because it can cause the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. In turn, a person might end up suffering from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular diseases include angina, heart attacks, stroke and coronary heart disease.
If your doctor has prescribed statins to you, or someone you know, it’s probably because of the following two reasons:
♦ If You have been diagnosed with a type of CVD or,
♦ Your personal or family medical history indicates the possibility of developing CVD at some point in your life over the next ten years and lifestyle adjustment doesn’t seem to reduce the potential risk.
How Do Statins Work?
- Understanding Statins entail learning how they work. They work in the following ways:
♦ Statins bring down triglyceride levels.
- ♦Statins work by blocking the liver enzyme responsible for the production of cholesterol.
- ♦ They also work by lowering LDL cholesterol as well as general levels of cholesterol in the body.
♦ Raises the level of HDL cholesterol — high-density lipoprotein which is also known as the good cholesterol.
♦ Help in stabilising plaques in the walls of the arteries and therefore lessening possible heart attacks.
To increase the effectiveness of Statins, patients are advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This entails regular physical exercises, strict observation of the right dietary habits, and avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol, and if possible quitting smoking. It is imperative that you maintain a healthy weight to increase the efficacy of the drugs. Also, try to manage your anger and stress much better.
Read more about Natural Remedies for High Cholesterol and Triglycerides
♦ Health Risks and Side Effects
The majority of people who have used statins claim to experience little or no side effects at all. The most common side effects associated with statins include insomnia, skin flushes, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting and tenderness, aches and weakness of the muscles. Abdominal cramps and pain, bloating and gas, constipation, diarrhoea, and rash are other side effects of statins.
Statins also interact with some medications. For this reason, it is imperative for patients to have a detailed discussion of the side effects with their doctors. Make your doctor aware of any over the counter prescriptions, vitamins or herbal supplements you are taking currently. Individuals suffering from chronic liver disease and pregnant women shouldn’t use Statins.