The People's Perspective on Medicine

Statins and Nerve Damage (Peripheral Neuropathy): An Overlooked Side Effect!

Is cholesterol necesary for proper nerve function? Most prescribers are unaware of this idea, but statins and nerve damage in type 2 diabetes are related.
Foot cramps neuropathy nerve pain foot pain plantar fasciitis

By now, almost everyone agrees that statins like atorvastatin, lovastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin can cause muscle pain (myalgia). Most clinicians also acknowledge that statins are also linked to type 2 diabetes. There is far less agreement about statins and nerve damage (aka peripheral neuropathy or polyneuropathy). A study published in JAMA Network Open (May 31, 2019) suggests that lowering cholesterol levels (with or without statins) in patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with nerve damage.

Statins As Lightning Rods:

Statin Enthusiasts:

There are few drugs as controversial as statins to lower cholesterol. On one side are the enthusiasts. These health professionals believe that these drugs are among the most effective and the least dangerous drugs in the pharmacy.

A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (March 12, 2014) concluded: 

“Only a small minority of symptoms reported on statins are genuinely due to the statins: Almost all would occur just as frequently on placebo.”

They mention nothing about statins and nerve damage. Even muscle damage (myopathy) is discounted:

“No other symptom was significantly affected [by statins]. Importantly, the many side effects commonly attributed too statins (e.g. myopathy, fatigue, muscle aches, rhabdomyolysis, or rise in creatine kinase > 10 upper limit of normal) were no more common in the statin arm than the placebo arm.”

These conclusions were based on randomized clinical trials. Many were conducted by drug companies seeking FDA approval of their products. Even when statin enthusiasts acknowledge that statins can cause side effects such as muscle-related symptoms, they often conclude that such adverse reactions “generally resolve rapidly when treatment is stopped…” (Lancet, Nov. 19, 2016).

Statin Skeptics:

On the other side are doubters. They believe the benefits are modest for otherwise healthy people and the risks are not trivial.

Lipid specialist, David Dubroff, MD, concluded (Preventive Medicine, April, 2016): 

“The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists meta-analysis of 27 statin trials in people at low risk of vascular disease concluded that there is a clear benefit, but a subsequent meta-analysis of the same 27 studies concluded there was no significant mortality benefit. Similarly, a meta analysis of 11 statin trials involving 65,229 participants in high-risk primary prevention found no mortality benefit.”

Death is the ultimate outcome. We suspect that most statin takers believe their medicines will substantially prolong their lives. Few health professionals actually know the statistics and share them with patients.

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What About Statin Side Effects?

As with many controversies, there is no simple resolution to this debate. Clinical trials designed to convince the FDA a drug is effective do not always uncover all potential adverse reactions.

Pharmaceutical companies don’t always discover serious complications until after a medicine has been on the market for many years. Such was the case with statins and diabetes. Although readers of this column began reporting elevations in blood sugar by 2003, it wasn’t until 2008 that physicians became aware of this possibility.

JUPITER and Diabetes:

A large study called JUPITER tested rosuvastatin (Crestor) to see whether its anti-inflammatory action could prevent heart attacks. It did, but an unexpected side effect was revealed (New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 20, 2008).  The authors noted, “physician-reported diabetes was more frequent in the rosuvastatin group.”

It wasn’t until February of 2012 that the FDA included information on increased blood sugar and HbA1c levels on statin labels. Initially, many doctors were skeptical. Others agreed with the FDA that even if these drugs raised blood glucose, the benefits of statins outweighed the risks.

Statins and Nerve Damage:

Now a different statin complication has come to light. It isn’t exactly new, however. In April, 2003, we received a letter from a woman who said that her husband had been taking atorvastatin to lower his cholesterol.

It did, she continued:

“but he has developed pain and tingling in his legs. His doctor said it had nothing to do with Lipitor but switched him to Zocor to see if it made a difference. The problems remain.”

She wondered if the statin drugs could be responsible.

There was almost nothing in the official prescribing information. However, a year earlier, Danish doctors had published a case-control study showing that polyneuropathy (nerve pain, tingling and so forth in more than one part of the body) was four to 14 times more likely among patients taking statins (Neurology, May 14, 2002). 

In 2005, Australian researchers reported that (Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin, April 2005):

“Statin-associated peripheral neuropathy may persist for months or years after withdrawal of the statin”  

This research almost disappeared without a trace. The FDA did not require statin manufacturers to mention anything about statins and nerve damage that persisted “months or years after withdrawal of the statin.”

What Causes Statins and Nerve Damage?

Why might statins affect nerves adversely? It turns out that nerve cells need cholesterol. A recent study from Heidelberg, Germany, demonstrated a link between low LDL cholesterol and neuropathy in people with type 2 diabetes (JAMA Network Open, May 31, 2019).  The authors suggest that nerves can’t repair themselves when cholesterol is too low.

This suggests that neuropathy may not be limited to statins and nerve pain. Other treatments that lower total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol could be affecting nerve function. This may not be limited to people with type 2 diabetes.

Here is an important finding of these researchers:

“Our study contradicts the results of previous studies that indicated that lowering serum cholesterol levels potentially slows the progression of DPN [diabetic polyneuropathy] by lowering total serum cholesterol and LDL-C levels. Instead, our findings are in line with results of previous studies that found that the intake of statins and a decrease of serum cholesterol level are associated with neuropathic symptoms, microvascular damage, and an accelerated deterioration of peripheral nerve fibers.”

The authors suggest that lowering serum cholesterol “impairs peripheral nerve regeneration.”

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Stories from Readers:

Scientific language can be daunting. Perhaps it would help to read some stories from readers to better understand statins and nerve damage.

Ron reports this link between statins and nerve damage:

“The medical community appears to be blind to the side effects from drugs like Lipitor (atorvastatin). The side effects of peripheral neuropathy came on slowly for me after a few years. I had to do my own research to find out the evidence of linkage. Then I had to go directly against the advice of my cardiologist and even a 2nd opinion.

“If I had listened to them, I would probably be heading to a nursing home. After 6 months off the statin, things have stopped deteriorating and the nerve damage appears to be slowly getting better. I know there are always accusations of crazy conspiracy theories, but at least for my circumstances the link appears completely legitimate.”

No one should ever stop a statin (or any other drug for that matter) without discussing the pros and cons with the prescribing physician. There are instances where the benefits far outweigh the risks!

Miles in Ohio also describes statins and nerve damage:

“I was on 40mg of Crestor for 12 years. My lipid levels were very well controlled. Over the last two years four specialists have diagnosed the limping and numbness on my left side as neuropathy. They had no idea what the cause might be.

“After some search on various forums I found other people with similar symptoms that stopped their statins and were relieved of problem. They were told by their doctors that the statins were not the problem.

“Have you heard the joke from med school where the final speaker tells the graduating students that ‘half of what we’ve taught you here in the future will turn out not be true, but the problem is we have no idea which half.'”

Vivian reports:

“My experience mirrors Miles in Ohio. Neurologist diagnosed nerve damage but couldn’t determine the cause. My primary care physician believes 40 mg of simvastatin is not the cause.”

You can read more case reports at these links:

Statins, Low LDL Cholesterol and Nerve Damage in People with Diabetes

and 

Do Statins Cause Nerve Pain (Neuropathy)?

Statins and Nerve Damage: What Does the Future Hold?

The FDA may need to bring the new research to physicians’ attention. In the meantime, patients and doctors will need to determine whether the balance of benefit to risk is favorable. For some, the answer is definitely yes. For others, especially those with no history of heart disease, the answer may be less obvious.

Share your own story about statins in the comment section. If you have had no side effects please tell us. If you have experienced statins and nerve damage, please share that information as well.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Citations
  • Jende, J.M.E., et al, "Association of Serum Cholesterol Levels With Peripheral Nerve Damage in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes," JAMA Network Open (May 31, 2019), doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.4798
  • Golomb, B. A. and Evans, M.A., "Statin Adverse Effects: A Review of the Literature and Evidence for a Mitochondrial Mechanism," American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs (vol. 8(6), 2010), DOI: 10.2165/0129784-200808060-00004
  • Finegold, J.A., et al. "What proportion of symptomatic side effects in patients taking statins are genuinely caused by the drug? Systematic review of randomized placebo-controlled trials to aid individual patient choice," European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, March 12, 2014, https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487314525531
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15 years ago, I went from being a strong healthy 45 yo man. I was feeling good but was put on Zocor because my cholesterol was looking a bit high. Extreme pain, weakness, mental confusion and neuropathy soon followed. Against my doctor’s advice I finally took myself off Zocor. Much of the pain went quickly away but the weakness, neuropathy and lameness still remain today. Even now my doctor still ridiculously keeps on insisting that I need to be on a statin. I will never again be strong, pain-free or abce-bodied again. I can barely walk today. Never will I take another pill of these poisons. I would much rather die and be done with it than go out this way. When did doctors quit listening to their patients?

I have high cholesterol due to genetics and had been taking statins for years (since early 90s). About 10 years ago I began to feel numbness and tingling in my right foot. It didn’t go away and eventually got worse. I was told by two doctors that it was idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. I went on my own journey, including a visit to Mayo Clinic, to find out what was happening to me. At his point I have ruled out every possible cause except statins. As soon as I read some of the studies linking statins to neuropathy I was convinced and have stopped taking the drug. After 3 years of no statins there has been no improvement. I believe the damage is done.
This has significantly impacted work performance and quality of life. It should be criminal to approve and prescribe drugs without knowing the extent of the damage they can do.

I just buried my husband March 27. His death was due to statins and their terrible side effects. 2 years on Lipitor. Had horrible muscle cramps all over his body including abdominal muscles. Told doc. & he prescribed magnesium. No change. I decided, after talking to pharmacist, to stop Lipitor. 3 days later, no cramps. Off 2 weeks. Started back on Lipitor & started having cramps again. Stopped Lipitor. Had to fight with various docs over the years but we said NO STATINS! Current labs during this time showed a rise in BUN & Creatinine. He was in Stage 2 Chronic kidney disease. That was 2002.

His kidneys did not worsen until 2016 when he had food poisoning. In the meantime, he was diagnosed with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy in 2009. The kidney disease was a direct result of the muscle cramps: rhabdomyolysis. Docs thought I was crazy until his urine protein levels returned to normal. That doesn’t happen with diabetic or hypertensive renal disease. He ended up on dialysis last year. Complications from dialysis: low calcium and low blood pressure led to 2 compression fractions in the thoracic spine. The irritation and pain of that coupled with low blood pressure led to a spinal cord infarction that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He chose to go to Hospice since the doc wouldn’t give him pain meds if his BP was too low. The pain of the cord infarction was more than he could bear. In Hospice he received IV Dilaudid every hour as needed. Being a retired police officer, he knew about opioids and the side effect of depressed respiration. He went into Hospice on Wed, afternoon and died early Friday morning.

If I had the chance to go back in time, I would have never allowed him to take the statins. The irony is that when he had a heart cath in 2009, he did not have any significant coronary artery disease & didn’t need to be on statins.

I have been having physiotherapy after 2 falls it should be fine by now however she has told me that me to go back to my go because she thinks it’s nerve damage am on station’s as in lipitor andavorstatin having read this page was shocked yes I am type 2 diabetic so also amartriptolene as well so I will be seeing my gp because now I am worried after coming across this article so yes I am verry grateful

I have been on and off of different Statins for many years. Over all those years I developed Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy in my legs and feet. I have suffered plenty but the ignorant Doctors who put me on Statins don’t have to suffer one bit for prescribing these terrible drugs. We pay the price and it just isn’t fair. I went off my last Statin med against Doctors advise. I’m into Holistic Medicine now.

All of the cholesterol lowering drugs caused sever body pain. My left foot was numb on top, both arms/shoulders hurt so much the pain woke me during the night. Doctor said there was nothing wrong with my arms; numb foot was nerve damage due to an injury… cholesterol was lower… When my friend died, I did not recognize her name or face in her obituary…

I quit taking the statins! ALL of my pain went away, brain function returned. An Urgent Care doctor recently told me that unlike a car, the body will heal itself. Healthy choices makes such a difference..

Directly to the right of this article is an ad on How to Lower Cholesterol with a natural remedy, which upon reading turns out to be Bergamonte. The pills being sold also contain green tea extract and a few other bonus supplements. Some patients have shown lower blood sugar levels and higher HDL in addition to the lowered LDL that is the purpose of this naturally based compound.

But if nerves need LDL cholesterol, wouldn’t even a natural remedy have the negative side effect of nerve damage from lowered LDL?

Not everyone will see the same ad you see. However, your point about lowering cholesterol, whether with medications or supplements, is well taken.

I take 40 mg of atorvastatin daily, at night. I have symptom-free coronary artery disease (though significant family history of heart attacks), in that I exercise 4 times weekly, live a very active life for a 69 year old, have normal blood pressure, low pulse rate, reasonable weight, good dietary habits, don’t smoke, etc, etc. Previously I only took the atorovastatin 3 times a week in the hope that I would not have any issues, but after a blood test last year showing elevated particle counts and total cholesterol at 205, the cardiologist convinced me to go to the daily dose. Since then, I have noticed numbness in the soles of my feet and excessive dryness on my toes and the soles of my feet. It continued to worsen so I discussed it with the cardiologist at my visit last fall. He said it was a form of neuropathy and told me to take Vitamin B-12 2-3 times weekly to help alleviate these symptoms. I have been doing so and have found some relief, in that the numbness feeling has decreased, but the dryness continues. (Though nothing I have read suggests the dryness is related to the statin, I did not develop it until I increased my dosage.) Thanks for the information article.

I was diagnosed with type II diabetes about 7-8 years ago. There is no history of diabetes in my family, but I am slightly overweight and did maintain a horrible diet for myself. I don’t know what came first – the cart or the horse – but I was prescribed simvastatin around the same time, either to prevent the transition from pre-diabetes or to help control the newly diagnosed diabetes, I don’t recall.

Since that time, I have suffered from joint and muscle pain. After a 2 week trial taking me off the statin and replacing it with fenofibrate, the doctors have attributed my pain to arthritis. My x-rays do show the minimal beginnings arthritis.

However, recently my new primary doctor felt my cholesterol was a little high and I should go back on a statin. I did this for less than a week and the pain in my joints and muscles increased so dramatically that I could not sleep at night.

I quit the statin and the pain decreased slowly, but it has never gone away. I expect it never will.

Is there any information about fibrates and pain?

I’ve been on Atorvastatin for several years. In the past year I occasionally have had a quick stabbing pain in my foot. It lasts just a second or two but is enough to make me jump. I don’t know whether this is related to the statin but this article got me thinking about it. At 78 it is often difficult to know whether minor aches and pains are significant or just part of getting old.

I started on statins about 10 years ago without thinking about side effects. In the last 3 years I’ve stopped them off and on after hearing about side effects of muscle pain and brain fog. I lost weight, increased my exercise and watched my diet. I tried natural holistic options. My cholesterol always went back up and my internist recommended that I continue to take them and agreed to half the dose.

I have tingling and numbness in my hands every night. I will share these studies with her and my husband who is also taking a statin and recently developed type 2 diabetes.

6 yrs ago I had a TIA & was put on Lipitor & It worked well for several months,until my feet got sore . I tried everything i.e. foot pads etc. Only got worse to the point I could barely walk. Never had this problem in my life. Finally decided to STOP Lipitor cold turkey. Called my heart doctor & told him what was happening & what I was doing about it. He said ok.Long story short, All soreness gradually went away. That was 5 yrs ago. I now walk 2+ miles almost every day.(over 3,000 mi in 5 yrs) Take no heart meds other than 81mg aspirin, I must include that I do not have any high blood pressure or new heart events.
Just my story, Not recommending anything. Has worked for me & I will be 90 next yr. See my doctor annually,cardiogram etc.

I knew a neighbor woman who began taking statins and within a year she was unable to walk and became bed ridden with nothing wrong with her physically that her doctors could find. She soon checked herself into a nursing home because she could no longer care for herself. I don’t know what happened to her after that.

I have been taking Simvastin for a number of years. I presently have decreased feeling in both my feet and find that this is traveling up my legs and stops at myknee caps. I can feel touch but no pain. I do not have any pain in my lower extremeties. My doctor has placed me on CoQ10 to help with this effect.

I have taken atorvastatin for approximately 20 years with no side effects whatsoever. I am 76 years old.

I have noticed in 3 of my fellow male veterans, some interesting simularities. all 3 were men, all 3 were slim and of normal weight and height… all 3 were on statins, were dx with diabetes type 2..( why slim men would get this?).. all three died of liver cancer.. within 1.5 years of each other. coincidence? maybe…. I don’t think so. cholesterol is made by the liver… the pancreas is tucked up under the liver…. i’m not a big believer in coincidence…. and the “we don’t know why” response from providers is a copout…

I have been taking statins for 15 years, first Lipitor, then simvastatin, and now prevastatin. About 5 years ago I noticed a numbness in my left toes but my doctor checked my circulation and didn’t find any problems. I’ve noticed lately that the toes seem to be getting worse and I plan to discuss this with my doctor on the next visit. I really would like to discontinue my statin drugs but am afraid to do so.

6/2019
I have been diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy by a Neurologist about 6 mos.. I’ve known something was not right for longer. I don’t have pain, but do have imbalance issues and lack of some feeling in both legs up to knees with lack of sensitivity to heat/cold and numbness and tingling in feet .some days less, some more. I have NOT been diagnosed with diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I have had slightly elevated cholesterol, but only occasionally over 200 when I would ask Dr if I could try to stop taking statin. When blood tests were done, Dr said I should go back on it. I have been on simvastatin, 20 mg over f20+ yrs , on the advice of me GP. I’m a 77 yr old female.
My neurologist referred me to Cardiologist @ 4 mos ago because my Brain MRI indicated a “small TIA had occurred in Cerebellum area at some pt with no noticeable symptoms to me at the time. Cardiologist preformed usual tests, and determined no iblockages were present. His only recommendation was to up the dosage to 40mg of Simvastatin! I told him I’d prefer not to take higher dose, but in the end I deferred to his expertise, and am now taking 40 mg.. The topic of A possible relationship between PN and Statin never came up with either doctor. If it is a cause of my NP, it is probably too late for me to reverse it. I’m not happy about this.

I’ve had Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy (IPN) for around 20 years, and was probably pre-diabetic (but that was typically not diagnosed in the past) as well. It was never more than a nuisance until I went on my first statin (Pravastatin) in early 2016. I stopped taking it after a couple weeks, when I noticed my cycling speed was falling, and effort was rising. I saw no improvement, but at least it didn’t get worse. But in late 2017 I was scheduled for bypass surgery, and put on Rosuvastatin. During the surgery period (about 3 months all told) I didn’t pay much attention to side effects, but after 5 months I was really beginning to see weakness and loss of balance. My cardiologist agreed that I should probably not be on statin medication, and I stopped in May of 2018. But my condition worsened, experienced my first fall in July, and now (July 2019) I am severely disabled, unable to walk without braces, cannot stand for more than a few minutes, and am slowly losing control of my hands as well. All that my doctors have offered so far is physical therapy, which hasn’t helped at all, and my PT therapist has dismissed me. My formal diagnosis remains “marked sensory and motor axonal polyneuropathy of unclear cause”.

Nerve damage ( Neuropathy) from statins is not “ overlooked” and it is a “risk
“ not a side effect. It is continuous denied, and as a result Only the benefits of statins are communicated and the potential “risks” buried

I have been on 40 mg of Simvastatin for 19 years. No neuropathy or noted nerve damage yet.

I have been on atorvastatin for the last 10 years, since a heart attach and 2 stents. My diabetes has worsened, even though I lost the recommended weight or 25 lbs. I now have terrible pain beginning on my right hip and radiating down my leg. It began in earnest after taking Levoquin for diverticulitis. I have nerve pain in one arm along with carpal tunnel and almost no feeling left in my toes. Every time I bring up these issues to my family doctor and cardiologist it is always blamed on the diabetes. Even when I had cortisone shots in my back and my blood sugar went crazy, that doctor blamed me for letting my blood sugar get out of control. It has been implied that I am causing these problems in spite of exercise, diet and all attempts to get relief. I don’t trust any of these doctors any more and now am wondering how much of this suffering is from another cause, like the statin drug.

I have just been diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cholangitis. After one week taking the medicine Ursodiol, I am experiencing very similar symptom in my limbs, especially my legs, extreme muscle aches and pains. I was hoping it was just adjusting to the medicine but can it also be a long term affect?

We haven’t seen neuropathy listed as a side effect of Ursodiol. Consequently, we don’t have any info on whether it might be persistent.
Here’s a list of Ursodiol adverse reactions: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=fff2640b-b704-4303-acae-8647fce58a08

Seems to me that the real problem is knowing exactly the role of cholesterol in the body. We are constantly going back and forth and after 40-50 years, the medical experts still do not have a concrete answer. Thus, the medical mafia has created the need for possibly harmful drugs to combat a problem that I believe doesn’t really exist. But that is the game plan and it has provided riches to many involved in the execution of extracting dollars out of our pockets based on faulty conclusions and science.

I’ve had one prescription filled by a reputable Canadian pharmacy, which I found in The People’s Pharmacy book Saving Money on Medicines. Now, having used up the prescription refills, I must request a new paper prescription from my doctor. I was able to get the original paper prescription from him by stating that I wanted to have it with me when I travel. However, I’m uncertain about using the same excuse again.

Any comments about what I might say to my doctor when requesting a new paper prescription will be much appreciated. My understanding is that if I tell him outright he’ll refuse to issue it, because technically it’s illegal to order drugs from Canada.

Thanks. Ed Q.

Years ago, I realized that ALL new miracle drugs are only a ‘miracle drug’ because it generates money out of lies and deceptions. I also know that if the mindset of a patient is that the doctor knows best….then one has abdicated their responsibility to themselves to get educated with information about themselves and their health. I told my Doc,”Forget it…medical knowledge about the relationship between the HDL and LDL is a MAJOR mystery to these medical researchers and lowering one because it has become the medical boogieman(drug company induced) is ludicrous!” 20 years later….I’m still here with no adverse side effects from making my OWN medical informed decision FOR MY SELF and NOT the drug companies. Folks, WAKE UP and TAKE CONTROL OF YOURSELF, FOR YOURSELF!

I would like to expand on the items all listed above , but time and space will not allow me that options. I take RED YEAST RICE for years, I am type two diabetic , have neuropathy, and many other issues, also LOSARTAN was a near death experiance in 2012 after only five caps. Calling the FDA is a total waste of time for me. I would really like to “get on my stump” here , but time or space will not permit and the fact I am 87 years and talk to my doctors often and just as often are met with ” try it for two more weeks ” and to have done that with LOSARTAN –, I would not be here today. I was taken by ambalance from church and that was a bad mistake. The last two times I was taken to a hospital after 6 to 7 hours I knew no more than when I went in.

I have tried all statins and all have given me leg Cramps. My doctor Prescribed Livalo 4mg and said there is no side effects. It has lowered my cholesterol to under 200, however after 6 months I am now experiencing nerve pain on both feet. It hurts to walk in the mornings however goes away as the day passes. Not sure what level of cholesterol is needed to repair nerve issues. Prior to this med, cholesterol was 274! I have heart disease in my family.

My husband had a stroke at age 49 and was put on simvastatin 20 years ago for this reason. He’s had no side effects; but it worries me. His doctor dismisses any suggestion to try Red Yeast Rice or any other alternative to the statin, stating the risk of another stroke. I’m in a quandary. I wish doctors were open to discussion about the statin subject, but it’s been our experience that they are not. We just sit and wait for the other shoe to drop. And hope it won’t.

At about age 50, I had a 5 bypass surgery. After the surgery I went on Lipitor and very shortly had major electric shock pain in both my feet and my right hand. Twenty years laters I am now taking Crestor and have discussed getting off of it as a trial with my doctor and they have declined. My genetics make small particle size HDL and LDL. My total cholesterol now is 60 with LDL 50, HDL 60, Trig 40 and pain is managed with Lyrica and Nucynta. In addition, I do twice a day Andodyne Light Therapy to dilate blood vessels and TeslaMax to push that blood into the capillaries to keep some feeling in my feet. I also walk 2.5 miles 3 to 4 times a week. Without the medical devices my feet would be totally numb and my balance would be terrible. With the medical devices I keep some nerve feeling and maintain my balance pretty well.

About 25 years or so my wife started taking statins. She fell three times breaking four bones over the next 10 years or so. She also gradually lost her ability to move her feet. A neurologist thought it might be a case of hereditary spastic paraplegia and asked me if anyone else in her family had problems. I said her mother hesitated before she started to walk so HSP was the diagnosis. I did not say she seemed to walk OK afterwards but the neurologist had his diagnosis so could feel successful.

At this time my wife could walk around the house which I had modified with rails. The neurologist prescribed Baclofin for spasms which she was having. After that something (the neurologist thought the Baclofin) my wife had several episodes of what seemed to be petit mal seizures. The neurologist added some anti-seizure medicine to the mix. Three days later my wife could not walk, and never really has since and ended up in a nursing home. After two months I took her out and became a full-time caretaker since the nursing home OT/PT people could not help her in spite of trying hard. She was a zombie on the medications.

Since my wife is from a family of ten with lots of nieces and nephews and nobody has HSP I always wondered about the diagnosis. My bet is our situation came from the statins made worse with the anti-seizure medication added to the mix. Another option was she really has HSP and the statins made the gait disorder worse.

We were able to get off the anti-seizure medication after about a year but in spite of the fact the neurologist’s office said she could not stop. We got help from another doctor who said he could not tell her to stop the anti-seizure medication but here was how to do it. He had her on and off of Baclofin so helped us stop that also. We started taking magnesium and she now has few spasms but who knows for sure if that helped. She has had a few of the seizure-like episodes but the cause could not be the Baclofin like the neurologist thought. She never had any before taking statins.

Her walking only came back a little and only for short periods of time so we need a ‘sit to stand’ lift to keep her living at home. We also stopped her blood pressure medication and also her cholesterol medication without help but fortunately did not have any problems. Her blood pressure was normal without the medication when she last saw a doctor. I should add my wife had a UTI and was in the hospital getting IVs with antibiotics for two days and modern medicine was wonderful. It’s the statins I wonder about. I should add a ‘thank you’ to People’s Pharmacy for telling me about Duane Graveline’s book ‘The Statin Damage Crisis’.

Many years ago, I took Crestor and, later, Lipitor and developed Neuropathy… burning, pain, cramps, you name it, in my feet. After I stopped taking them, the Neuropathy did not progress to other areas, but the burning, pain and cramps continue. I wake up several times a night with severe pain in my feet and have to walk around a while. I do not have diabetes.

I have controlled the Cholesterol with diet, which I should have done instead of taking those drugs. Doctors are way too quick to try to fix stuff with a pill.

Overlooked?

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