Statins are drugs that are prescribed by physicians to lower or control cholesterol. They are powerful drugs and when needed can be life saving. But like any effective drug, they can have life threatening side effects.
It has been known for some time that statins may cause muscle wasting and death. Liver damage is rare, but is a recognized side effect. Some users report cognitive imparment. A study completed in 2013 linked statin use to type 2 diabetes. It reported that in the study statins raised the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%.
A more recent study conducted in Finland looked at 8749 nondiabetic men and followed them for 5.9 years. When they examined them again they found that 625 had developed type 2 diabetes. This translates to a 46% increase in risk when taking statins.
Statins are big business. They have become the drug of choice for dealing with high cholesterol levels. By 2012 in the US 214 million monthly prescriptions were being written. As cheaper generic versions became available, physicians were even more ready to prescribe the drugs. In that year the world revenue for this group was $29 billion.
If you are taking statins and are experiencing uncomfortable side effects, you need to discuss your health with your physician. It is a bad idea to simply stop taking the medication. However it is important to assess your risk of life threatening side effects.
Diabetes, whether it is from a lack of ability to produce insulin(type 1) or an inability to properly utilize insulin(type 2) can be life changing. The recent Finnish study published in the journal Diabetologia noted that those on statins who developed diabetes produced less than normal amounts of the hormone as well as a reduced ability to use it to regulate blood sugar.
Medical News Today
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