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Rough day with the doc

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Rough day with the doc

Old 8th Jun 2010, 21:49
  #21 (permalink)  
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Doctor, "I'm afraid it's the drink Mr Draper"
Draper, "Ah! ok Doctor I'll come back when your sober"

The old one's are the best.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 21:52
  #22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Lon More
have lately had severe cramps in arms and hands.
I occasionally get woken by these. Anybody any ideas as to possible causes?
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 22:18
  #23 (permalink)  
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Hmmmm... 8.8 is quite high.

A couple of questions pp,

Was the test fasting?
Any family history of arteriopathy (any close relatives dropped dead young of heart attacks /stroke).

The good news is, high cholesterol is only one of a number of factors that load the gun as regards heart disease, stroke etc. Limit the other factors, and a high cholesterol alone reduces significance.

'course, the best things to do are to stop smoking and choose better parents.

Simvastatin? If I had my way, I'd put it in the water.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 22:23
  #24 (permalink)  
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Yep, fasting test & dad had a heart attack in 1985, although he did smoke about 40 cigarettes a day

Dad's side, a bunch of alcoholic chain smoking paddys, mum's side Welsh/Geordie mix, not so alky, prone to strokes. Essentially a strong propensity to check out early.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 22:44
  #25 (permalink)  
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On the face of it, it sounds like your doc is taking good care of you. It's likely that you'll get dragged into the "medical" system, which can the sometimes be a bit daunting to the uninitiated, (the doctors love it, loads of blood tests, recalls, blood pressure checks etc), but essentially it's important to remember that this stuff works. Assuming you're a non smoker, you've probably made the greatest gains already.

I've recently returned to work in the place that I trained as a nurse, over 20 odd years ago. I remember a town of bereaved families and youngish men disabled by strokes. It just doesn't seem to happen any more,perhaps a reflection on the good work that is going on in the NHS.

Important to remember that you are not ill, the medication you're taking is designed to prevent you getting ill.

Last edited by gingernut; 9th Jun 2010 at 07:55.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 22:58
  #26 (permalink)  
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Does the fish oil lubricate the joints and stop them squeaking?

Should I be taking it?

. . . I think you're being a bit finicky

Crumbs Con. 6-5 and only 210 lbs. You're positively sylphlike.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 23:13
  #27 (permalink)  
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I was told that oatmeal bran was good for lowering cholesterol, also porridge, does this still hold good?
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 23:13
  #28 (permalink)  
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SB's old man has just completed quadruple bypass not 2 months ago. He had a minor heart attack back in the early 90's, 92 I think. After his heart attack he was on about 3 gazillion* tablets a day. His cholesterol has been monitored frequently ever since and never really played ball. Despite eating properly and exercising (as much as the old bugger can do) he developed late age diabetes.

So SB gets his cholesterol monitored every few months and it fluctuates about as much as the Dow Jones, but I have noticed it is leaning towards the high side over the past 2 years. I am now in a university trial to see how my cholesterol can be controlled by diet. I do know that exercise and diet together (in my case) produce good results - but as I get older I realise I will need to be a little more tentive to my levels.

The trial (which ends in September) will be very interesting to see what effect my changes have on said cholesterol, and I'll happily post the report findings here when I get them.

In saying all of that I must echo 421dog's post which says bad cholesterol is not the be all and end all of your cardio health. I don't smoke, I drink (sometimes often ) and I eat well and exercise a fair bit, all these go a long way to being generally fit & healthy. In saying that though, stress is a MAJOR factor, I don't care what anyone says it is a big factor too. I had a friend who was put on statins, massive change in diet etc. etc. and his cholesterol levels were climbing like Tensing Norgay shooting up Everest for a packet of fags! I digress, after 8 months of this mollarky the doctor was looking at some increase in drugs and other means of therapy when my friend threw his hands in the air and said, "Bucks". He stopped all meds, started eating like he used to and started having fun in life again and his cholesterol went down like Monica Lewinski looking for a pay rise. Still well and happy today he is, all of 70 years and full of rubbish.

As for the dud gene thing, well I've asked the old man for a refund, but he's busy tallying up the school fees, clothing, broken windows, blown up radios (SB teaching oneself electronics was less than successful) and wear and tear on the family car. His calculator has been going for months, I daren't visit!

* slight exaggeration - but ever so slight!
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 23:35
  #29 (permalink)  
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I hacked 18 months of 80mg Simvastatin then lower joints and cartilage started to seize up. Needed complete ankle support just to get up and down stairs, work was becomming impossible, had a change of meds,40g Atorvastatin/10mgEzetimibe, symptoms reduced then fadded out. Also on 75mg sol asp and 50microgrammes Levothyroxine to boost underactive thyroid.

lgl/hdl back round the correct way, 7.8 to 4.5.

No particular dietry trends followed.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 23:59
  #30 (permalink)  
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You also need to keep an eye on your liver function (LFT in blood tests). Simvastin can send it throught the roof, but the cure is as easy as stopping the simvastin.

This was a worry for me as I am scheduled for a bone marrow transplant in November, and liver function is a big concern for the medical people as the chemo and transplant can go for the liver. So my GP has determined that I stop the simvastin about a month before.

Fingers all crossed
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 23:59
  #31 (permalink)  
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Recently stopped taking one particular drug for blood pressure, Amlodipine? a lot of aches pains tiredness and upset stomachs disappeared almost overnight,I think a lot of folks are walking about feeling like poo because of the tablets. they take
In the nature of scientific curiosity I took two weeks tablet holiday I have two types for blood pressure tablet,so one week I took just one type and the second week I took just the other buggah,felt so much better not taking the Amlodipine I decided that they go in the bin.
SIL takes the same drug for BP and suffers similar side effects,told her to do the same but she is one of these peeps who still thinks Doctors know best.
Incidently my BP was perfectly normal at my last visit to see nursey so my act of rebelion does not seem to have had any ill effect.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 01:30
  #32 (permalink)  
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Be very careful about stopping BP medication, Father in Law had a very serious stroke followed by eight years in a wheelchair, totally incapable of helping himself, unable to communicate, no idea who the people around him were. When admitted to the emergency ward the cardiologist asked what BP medication he was on, "None now, our GP stopped it", "Pity", said the cardiologist, "If it had been continued this would, almost certainly, not have happened". Have heard other, similar tales, including tales of people who decided for themselves to stop taking their pills and then one day just keeled over.

The doctors and nurses here on JB can probably add their thoughts too.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 02:18
  #33 (permalink)  
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Not that it is of more than passing curiosity, but nobody has actually shown that having a diet-lowered cholesterol is associated with a reduction in atherosclerosis/risk of heart disease.
What HAS been shown fairly definitively is that statins are effective in lowering that risk. What is interesting is that this effect may be independent of ones cholesterol level/ratios. Statins have potent anti-inflammatory properties which may account for their proven efficacy in keeping us out of the clutches of the interventional cardiologists.
Absolutely. The menfolk in my family all seem to grab their chest around 63-66 and go bye-bye. Portly, reasonable thin, sedate, very active, doesn't seem to matter.

So I got that going for me.

But might as well try to game the system; nothing to lose.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 02:42
  #34 (permalink)  
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I used to take fish oil tabs but then I heard about flax seed oil: they seem to work for me helping keep it down to respectable levels, and no oily fishy burps which is a bonus.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 06:32
  #35 (permalink)  
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Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease

Am J Clin Nutr (January 13, 2010)

Results: During 523 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.

That being said, I must reiterate the fact that the data showing reduction in risk of CV and stroke morbidity and mortality associated with the use of statins are fairly unassailable.

So, have a steak now and then, but take your lipitor.

I think what it's all gonna boil down to is that your grandmother was right;
All things in moderation.

(by the way, I found it necessary to go to medical school to keep my flying businesses afloat) (aloft?)
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 07:54
  #36 (permalink)  
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Diet has only a limited effect on cholesterol levels (given that it isn't a stupid diet in the first place). Only about 10% if I remember correctly. Statins certainly work and brought mine down considerably. I had been taking 40mg of simvastatin for about 5 years but in the last 12 months or so was starting to develop aching joints and muscles. Problem was my triglyceride levels were horrible so my GP stuck me on 80mg. Stiffness got worse and night cramps started, followed by frothy urine and then one evening quite heavy oedema on my ankles. Given an underlying renal problem I was a little worried. Stopped the simvastatin and the oedema went within 48 hours. Had a statin free holiday for about 3 weeks and joints etc improved. I've now started back onto the statins but with the dose split at 40mg in the morning and 40 mg at night. Seem to be tolerating that quite well.
Now the hard bit, confessing that lot to my GP.

Agree with all the above comments with regards to fish oils, weight loss, exercise and lots of water but particularly the red wine bit.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 08:23
  #37 (permalink)  
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I was given Amlodipine for blood pressure although it was only just above the treatment threshold, after about 3 weeks my legs looked as though I was suffering from Elephantiasis so I stopped taking them, they're still swollen after 2 months.

The answer to high cholesterol levels, is to go on a strict diet 3 weeks before the test is due and get lots of exercise, do the test, then go back to normal for another 6 months.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 09:42
  #38 (permalink)  
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Some time ago, I penned this: Post 7

just for general interest.

However, I know what I meant, but the UK in wartime probably made use of cheese where possible, and that's really not a good idea.

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Old 9th Jun 2010, 09:53
  #39 (permalink)  
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Not that it is of more than passing curiosity, but nobody has actually shown that having a diet-lowered cholesterol is associated with a reduction in atherosclerosis/risk of heart disease.
What HAS been shown fairly definitively is that statins are effective in lowering that risk. What is interesting is that this effect may be independent of ones cholesterol level/ratios. Statins have potent anti-inflammatory properties which may account for their proven efficacy in keeping us out of the clutches of the interventional cardiologists.
One of the frustrating things about miracle-cure medical treatments is that it seems to take 4 to 8 human-life generations of their administration to score accurately which ones are net winners and which are losers due to side-effects, cost, or interference with other meds. The curt version of this is that we'll all be dead, from one thing or another, before the final votes are properly counted in regard to medication x.

I've spent a bit of time helping to create new technologies for measuring and testing various physical effects and parameters related to medicines, and in the doing have seen medicine from the grease-monkey's perspective quite a bit -- that is to say, looking at the world of it from the down-side of the oil-pan -- while also sometimes getting to participate in academic conferences and presentations and corporate consciousness-raisers designed to promote one or another drug or treatment.

Net impression from all that is that the Docs and other front-line people are usually very ethical and are mostly motivated to do the best things they know to do for the folks in their care. A limitation is that they also are thin-spread and inherently very busy in delivering health, so they must rely on the commercial shills pushing products and technologies for guidance about what works best - and then try it and form an opinion.

Drug companies live or die on the success of a few products per decade. They will do almost anything to sell the products that their researchers have managed to husband through the long, expensive, and quirky approval cycle for meds. One wonders how many docs have ended up married or otherwise liased to the very pretty nice ladies who are quite often the leading edge of new drug sales contact with the dispensing practitioners. One would not go so far as to suggest actual impropriety in this regard, but just a highly advanced understanding and use of the human nature of the front-line prescribers who are key in the revenue chain for drug success.

So there are some reasons that cause drugs to become wildly popular that do not exactly jibe with efficacy.


Statins actually do seem to work, everyone says, because there are measurements that can prove it.

That leads to Rant item #2, which is that politicians and doctors are overly quick to ratchet up their interest in and focus on certain things when technology by some happenstance makes them easier to measure.

Identifying substance X as the cause of a problem is something that often brings acclaim and success to the sources of such wisdom. This is especially true when business enterprises can make impressive profits from offering versions of anti-x treatments to the clamoring throng of potential consumers. And it is made all the more true when various low-level technicians and commercial functionaries can be gainfully and near perpetually employed, at considerable profit to their employers, giving endless tests to people to inform them as to their level of substance X. So the progress of a new symptom from suspicious to worrisome to deadly and yet eminently testworthy is often accompanied by a chorus of hallaleluias from the vast throng of support folk made more secure in life thereby.

Cholesterol is a bad-guy and a good guy. Someone please correct me if wrong on his, but aren't we humans pretty well held together by cholesterol? One recalls something about it being an essential component of most all of our cell walls - billions and billions and so on of them, with at least some of those doing necessary things, maybe? Where the cholesterol makes for trouble (the very name of it comes from an ancient Greek expression for "sticky stuff", or "chewing-gum", if one recalls properly) is when it accumulates inappropriately in our pipes and plugs them up so much that they are no longer pipeing - a concept easy enough to remember.... if only as one keels over for the second or third-to-last time.

If statins help this by downscaling measurable cholesterol -- and it seems they really do that very well -- then more power to them. Nice resource to have as a kind of Viagra for the capillaries. But what other alternatives are possible?

An alternative is to simply stop eating things that contain measurable cholesterol. One does not know if this is possible as an absolute, but certainly subsisting on less-oily nuts and grains and vegs and fruits and the like that are mostly nourishing due to starches and sugars will provide nourishment without allowing much or any more cholesterol into one's self. If that's accomplished, then the challenge remaining is to drain out whatever surplus one may have accumulated in one's "envelope". This is where exercise and oily fish come into play.

One understands that the exercise will actually metabolize the choles into energy, albeit very gradually. Efficiency of this can be increased by exercising intensely while in the buff in arctic-like conditions, if one really wants the top score for points.

One believes that Oily fish, fish oil, etc, are mainly useful because they are comprised principally of high-density cholesteric molecules that are an effective solvent for the nastier low-density chole molycules that want to plug you up and topple you over. The reason the fishies have this marvelous juice in them is that it helps them survive in chilly depths where the surrounding water temps would have them freezing solid if not thus equipped. Not so clear why the flax oil is so similar, but time surely will tell.

I suggest that each and every one who might be earnest about this topic should learn to substitute the phrase "carburetor cleaner" for the phrase "fish oil". This would clarify cause and effect and also provide some guidance. Our research has determined that appropriate fish oils transfer quickly from oral ingestion into the blood stream and from thence move sprightly through the plumbing and out the whizzer, in large part. What better way to shed one's LDL cholesterol, eh? Good for roses, it is, and very efficient nutrition in the doing. One very plausible reason for high chole readings in lab tests after adopting such a regimen is that the test isn't doing very well at distinguishing between the high and low density lipo-bits, because the low and high-density components are intimately entwined while in solution.

All said, Con-Pilot's comments are pretty much right-on -- and much less wordy than mine.

Last edited by arcniz; 9th Jun 2010 at 10:18.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 10:15
  #40 (permalink)  
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Yeah, but.....

.....do statins actually reduce the amounts of already deposited cholesterol?

I just had the results of my latest bloodtest yesterday and my cholesterol levels were down on last year's ones. The quack was sucking his teeth last year and said that any increase and he'd recommend I took statins. I asked him to go back to my paper records and look at all the tests I'd had in the RAF since 1985 and lo my current result was slightly less than it had been 24 years before!

One of the side effects of being on permanent medication such as statins is that insurance companies use it as an excuse to hike up premiums for travel insurance. Barstewards!

The Ancient Mariner
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