I believe cholesterol drugs (statin drugs) are over-prescribed by doctors. I have several friends who were put on statin drugs over the last few years because their cholesterol was normal and their doctors wanted them on cholesterol-lowering medicine in case their cholesterol might go up as they grew older. Is that a really legitimate reason to prescribe a medicine? Something might happen, not something that did happen?
Statin drugs are typically used to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Some doctors prescribe statin drugs to reduce high CRP (c-reactive protein) levels (inflammation – see yesterday’s blog). Your liver makes cholesterol. Cholesterol is needed in every cell in your body, especially your brain. It is used to make the hormones needed for normal development and function.
Your body can usually make all the cholesterol that it needs. You can also increase the cholesterol levels in your body by the foods you eat – animal fats. Your body adjusts its own cholesterol manufacturing processes to accommodate the dietary intake of cholesterol to keep everything in balance.
If your body needs cholesterol, why do doctors prescribe statin drugs to reduce it? Many doctors will tell you that statin drugs reduce the risk of heart health problems – heart attack and stroke. Yet, half the people who die of heart and stroke problems have normal cholesterol readings. Does it make sense to rely on a drug that is only 50 percent effective?
Conventional medicine treats symptoms. Functional medicine attempts to treat the cause of disease. Functional medicine doctors usually prescribe a lifestyle change to reduce inflammation. Some lifestyle changes include:
● Balanced nutrition
● Weight loss
● Quit smoking
● Stress management
● Alcohol reduction
What else can be done if no other test tells you what is causing your CRP levels to be elevated? There are several diseases that have no tests to detect them. It is up to your physician to determine an action plan based on your medical and health history. Low-level chronic inflammation is the genesis of almost every disease. CRP tests are inexpensive and give you and your doctor a starting point to assess your current level of health.