Q. My doctor has prescribed several different statins over the years. He started me on pravastatin but I quit because of muscle and joint pain. I felt fine after I stopped.
Next came Lipitor, which brought my cholesterol down but also caused pain. It too stopped when I discontinued the drug. More recently he put me on simvastatin, which is causing terrible pain and stiffness in my hands. Is there any natural way to control cholesterol without statins?
A. There are lots of non-drug approaches to help with cholesterol control, including psyllium, niacin, cinnamon, fish oil, magnesium, walnuts, using olive oil instead of butter or margarine and cutting back on carbohydrates. There is research to support each of these approaches, but we think the best results might come from a combined effort.
One reader lowered her bad LDL cholesterol 44 points in five weeks without medications by using just such an approach. To find out how she did it and learn more about how natural approaches can improve heart health, you may want to read our book, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy . Here is her summary:
“With the help of a food scientist and the skeptical cooperation of my physician, I set about changing my diet to make a difference. Five weeks later, from changes in diet alone, my LDL cholesterol was down 44 points. I had a new way of eating, a permanent change, and I knew my cholesterol would continue to improve.
My old way of eating had not been disastrous, especially not before the loss of estrogen. After all, at the age of 60, I weighed little more than I had the day I graduated from high school at 18. But I made changes that made a difference.
Here is what I did:
- Avoided spikes in blood sugar
- Eliminated refined carbohydrates
- Ate a high-protein breakfast
- Substituted olive oil for other fats
- Added soluble fiber to meals other than breakfast
- Focused on fish
- Drank green tea
- Consumed other antioxidants
- Stopped eating before bed
The experiment worked. My LDL cholesterol not only went down 44 points in 5 weeks, it also continued on its downward course.”
To get more details on Laura’s successful plan, check out Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy.