Dr Chris: Statins could reduce breast cancer deaths by 40%
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Having high cholesterol levels is that the fatty substance can hike your risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s where the medicine steps in. Statins are able to lower the production of the “bad” cholesterol kind in the liver but could also cause unusual changes in your urine and stools.
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.”
People who take high doses of popular cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may be more likely to develop kidney problems, a BMJ study suggests.
Specifically, those participants who took higher doses of statins were 34 percent more likely to be hospitalized for acute kidney injury during the first 120 days of treatment, compared to their counterparts who were taking lower doses.
This risk remained elevated two years after starting treatment.
Excessive bubbles in the urine – especially those that require you to flush several times – may indicate protein in the urine, warned the National Kidney Foundation.
The health site added: “Protein in the urine is an early sign of kidney disease, so ask your doctor to perform a urinalysis to check for protein.
“The colour of your pee can offer clues into your health, but kidney disease typically doesn’t show any visible symptoms, so the only way to know if you have it is to get tested.”
The Mayo Clinic discusses how taking certain statins such as Atorvastatin and medical problems which may affect the use of the medicine.
- Alcohol abuse, or history of or
- Diabetes or
- Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) or
- Liver disease, history—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Convulsions (seizures), not well-controlled or
- Electrolyte disorders, severe or
- Endocrine disorders, severe or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Metabolic disorders, severe or
- Sepsis (severe infection)—Patients with these conditions may be at risk of developing muscle and kidney problems
- Liver disease, active or
- Liver enzymes, elevated—Should not be used in patients with these conditions
- Stroke, recent or
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA), recent—Atorvastatin may increase the risk of stroke in patients with these conditions.
“The risks of any side effects also have to be balanced against the benefits of preventing serious problems,” the NHS stated.
Lifestyle measures must be done in tandem with statin use – no matter what medication you are prescribed.
In order to help extend your life, you can reduce your cholesterol levels by exercising regularly.
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