Drug Free

| July 31, 2012 | 0 Comments

I have put up with the aches and pains for years, plus odd tingling sensations in my hands and feet as well. It’s just one of those things that comes with aging I thought, nothing I can do about it. I start out every morning with my stretching exercises. That seems to help a little bit. It’s just something you live with as you age. Then one day my shoulder started hurting so much that I saw my doctor, who diagnosed it as bursitis and gave me a cortisone shot. Just my luck, the next day I woke up with worse pain than before the shot. I called my doctor and was told I was experiencing a cortisone flare which happens to some people, and that it would subside within 24-48 hours. He was right and within days the debilitating pain was gone, although I still had the basic crop of aches, pains and tingling in other parts of my body.

While telling a friend about all of this she asked if I take a statin drug. Yes, I replied, I’ve been taking one for about 15 years ever since tests showed my cholesterol to be higher than desired. Get off it, she told me, it contributes significantly to muscle pain and neuropathy. She went on to tell me that she too had severe muscle pain, had heard about this statin reaction and went on to read a book “The Truth about Statins” by Barbara Roberts MD. She also did some research on respected medical sites on the web and as a result took herself off statins with the knowledge of her doctor. Within a few months she was virtually pain free. Although I trust and respect her intellect, I had to see for myself and began my journey of research. Many studies showed that women do not particularly benefit from statins unless they have known heart disease, plus there are undesirable side effects in many of these women, including the muscle pain and neuropathy my friend and I experienced. The more I read the more I realized there are risks to cholesterol lowering drugs, but there are alternatives as well.

All of my research led me to the conclusion that I wanted to stop taking my statin and see what happens. I was unsure of whether I needed to wean myself off or stop cold, so I checked with my doctor, something everyone should do before making a decision about drugs. He agreed I could stop cold as long as I checked back in three to four months for a cholesterol test.

It has been a month now and most of my muscle pain is gone. I also have a noticeable decrease in those annoying tingling sensations in my hands and feet. It’s happened in such a short time that I can’t help but wonder if it’s just mind over matter or if stopping the statin really did contribute to my pain free status.

Now without a statin to help regulate my cholesterol it is up to me to take the reins. My relatively healthy diet has to be even healthier. My now and then exercise routine has to be a daily part of my life. I don’t want the pain I had before, but I don’t want an unhealthy cholesterol count either. The power is not in the drug now, the power is in me.

Ilene Hubbs

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