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Do Statins Raise Blood Sugar

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Study Uncovers Why Statins Increase Diabetes Risk And Offers Solution

FDA Warns Statins Increase Blood Sugar and Cause Memory Problems

Statins are drugs that lower cholesterol in the body by interfering with the production of cholesterol in the liver. Though they lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, one side effect is that they increase risk of diabetes. Now, researchers have discovered why and offer a way to suppress this side effect.

One of the worlds most widely used drugs, statins have been hailed by the medical community for their ability to prevent heart disease.

Still, the researchers, who have published their findings in the journal Diabetes, were confused as to why diabetes was linked to statin use.

Recently, an increased risk of diabetes has been added to the warning label for statin use, says lead author Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, and Canadian Diabetes Association Scholar.

This was perplexing to us, he continues, because if you are improving your metabolic profile with statins you should actually be decreasing the incidence of diabetes with these drugs, yet, the opposite happened.

According to the team, around 13 million people could be prescribed a statin drug at some point in their lives.

In January of this year, the Food and Drug Administration released a Consumer Update outlining some of the risks associated with taking statins, which included an increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of type 2 diabetes.

To Avoid Diabetes More Urgent To Focus On Addressing Weight And Lifestyle

That people are mildly more likely to become diabetic is something to consider, he says other study results had suggested the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes is about 9%, he says, and is almost completely seen in individuals with a higher waist circumference, diagnosis of obesity, and higher blood triglyceride levels.

Statins seem to take anyone who almost has diabetes and push them over the edge, says Dr. Knowles. More to the point, the data suggest that the risks of T2D are similar whether you take a statin or not.

If you dont have prediabetes, are not overweight, and dont high triglycerides, your risk is closer to 3% over the next 7 to 8 years., and your risk is nearly the same at 2% if you dont take a statin. However, if you have prediabetes and are overweight, your risk without a statin is 15 to 18% and about 22% with a statin, he says.

The real significance of this latest study and other reports is that lifestyle changes, such as reducing excess weight and increasing physical activity can help avoid developing diabetes and reducing the risks associated with cardiovascular disease, Dr. Knowles says. The risks of not taking statins massively outweigh any risk that may come from taking them.

Research: The Benefits Of Taking Statins

There have been many studies seeking to identify the benefits and risks of taking statins. Like many medications, research can be found both supporting and dissuading the use of this medication.

Both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart association acknowledge the risks associated with taking statins but argue that the benefits outweigh the risks.

They also emphasize the theory that patients who developed type 2 diabetes after starting statin therapy were already facing a high-risk of the disease, and likely would have developed it anyway.

One of the most significant studies demonstrating the benefits is the Jupiter Trial, which involved 15,000 patients.

The trial showed that compared to patients taking the placebo, patients taking a statin had a 54 percent lower chance of heart attack, 48% lower chance of stroke, 46 percent lower chance of needing angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery, and a 20% lower chance of dying from any cause, explains the Cleveland Clinic of the trial.

Another study, Prove IT-TIMI 22, looked at the benefits of statins in patients who had already experienced an acute cardiovascular event, and whether lowering their LDL levels well below 70 mg/dL were more beneficial than lowering to just below 100 mg/dL.

The results showed patients taking a statin in this group had a significantly lower risk of death, heart attack, or stroke.

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Statins Help Reduce Heart Risks In People Diagnosed With Diabetes

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people without diabetes, and cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in people with diabetes.

Research has long shown that statins reduce heart risks among people with type 2 diabetes. For example, one study published more than a decade ago in Diabetologia examined the effect of statins on 589,091 people with type 2 diabetes. Before statin therapy, 94 percent of them had at least a 10 percent chance of experiencing an event like a heart attack or stroke in the next decade. After four months on statins, the proportion with this level of cardiovascular risk dropped by 7 percent.

People with diabetes should definitely take statins, because the benefits of statins in terms of reducing cardiovascular events far exceeds any potential risk of the statin, Dr. Newman says.

As for people without type 2 diabetes, concern about developing this condition shouldnt stop them from taking statins, either, Newman adds.

Statins increase the risk of newly diagnosed diabetes in a small percentage of patients, Newman notes. However, studies show that those patients who develop diabetes have multiple preexisting risk factors for diabetes, such as prediabetes and metabolic syndrome, and would generally develop diabetes in the long term even if they didnt take statins.

Dangers Of Statin Drugs: What You Havent Been Told About Popular Cholesterol

Do Statin Drugs Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

Hypercholesterolemia is the health issue of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease, a problem that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol exhibits no outward signsunlike other conditions of the blood, such as diabetes or anemia, diseases that manifest telltale symptoms like thirst or weaknesshypercholesterolemia requires the services of a physician to detect its presence. Many people who feel perfectly healthy suffer from high cholesterolin fact, feeling good is actually a symptom of high cholesterol!

Doctors who treat this new disease must first convince their patients that they are sick and need to take one or more expensive drugs for the rest of their lives, drugs that require regular checkups and blood tests. But such doctors do not work in a vacuumtheir efforts to convert healthy people into patients are bolstered by the full weight of the US government, the media and the medical establishment, agencies that have worked in concert to disseminate the cholesterol dogma and convince the population that high cholesterol is the forerunner of heart disease and possibly other diseases as well.

The drugs that doctors use to treat the new disease are called statinssold under a variety of names including Lipitor , Zocor , Mevacor and Pravachol .

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Cholesterol Is Not The Enemy

Sugar is.

High levels of sugar are extremely damaging to your blood vessels. To protect itself from this damage, the liver dispatches cholesterol. If youve eaten cholesterol it will use this, if you havent, it will turn on the cholesterol making machine and make a batch. How much it makes, depends on how much trouble youre in. It has very little to do with your diet.

Glyburide Taken With Statins Suppressed Immune Response

After investigating further, the research team found that statins activated a very specific immune response, which stopped insulin from doing its job properly, says Prof. Schertzer.

After connecting the dots, he and his team discovered that taking another drug called glyburide alongside statins suppressed this immune response.

This finding could yield the development of new targets for this immune pathway that do not interfere with the positive effects of statins, they say.

For future research, Prof. Schertzer and colleagues want to understand how statins advance diabetes by understanding how the drugs work in the pancreas, an organ that secretes insulin. Other side effects include muscle pain and muscle breakdown, and the team hopes to understand whether the immune pathway is involved in such side effects.

Its premature to say we are going to change this drug, says Prof. Schertzer, but now that we understand one way it can cause this side effect, we can develop new strategies to minimize side effects.

He adds that they could even possibly use natural products or strategies involving nutrition to counter these side effects.

Because statins are so widely prescribed, the researchers say understanding how they prompt adverse effects could lead to vital improvements in the drug, which could ultimately affect a large portion of the population.

Prof. Schertzer concludes by noting:

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Study Suggests Statins May Worsen Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Oct. 4 — Adults with Type 2 diabetes on statin therapy may need to adjust their diabetes treatment to avoid worsening symptoms, a study published Monday by JAMA Internal Medicine found.

That’s because those taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs may be more likely to experience worsening diabetes symptoms than those not using them, the researchers said.

Statin users had a 37% higher risk for diabetes progression, including extremely high blood sugar levels and elevated rates of disease complications, compared with those not on the prescription drugs, the data showed.

In the study, 56% of statin users showed signs of diabetes progression and needed to be started on insulin treatment and other blood sugar-lowering therapies, compared with 48% of those not on the drugs.

“Association does not prove causation, no patient should stop taking their statins based on our study,” co-author Dr. Ishak Mansi told UPI in an email.

However, “patients on statins may need to escalate their anti-diabetes therapy when they initiate treatment,” said Mansi, a professor of medicine and data and population science at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

Adjusting medications — either changing doses or drugs — is a common practice in the management of diabetes, anyway, he added.

Blood Sugar And Statins:


There is general agreement that statin therapy increases the risk of developing diabetes . Research has shown that there is a 10 to 12 percent increased incidence of new-onset type 2 diabetes in statin takers.

The higher the dose and the more potent the statin the greater the risk. Investigators believe that statins impair beta-cell function and decrease insulin sensitivity .

What remains controversial, however, is whether people with diagnosed diabetes have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels while taking statins. Many experts are convinced that there is no problem.

Most diabetes experts and cardiologists insist that the benefits of statins far outweigh the risks for people with prediabetes or a diabetes diagnosis. They state that should a patient develop type 2 diabetes after statin treatment they should continue on the statin and start drug treatment for their new-onset diabetes.

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Muscle Pain And Weakness

The most common side effect is muscle pain and weakness, a condition called rhabdomyolysis, most likely due to the depletion of Co-Q10, a nutrient that supports muscle function. Dr. Beatrice Golomb of San Diego, California is currently conducting a series of studies on statin side effects. The industry insists that only 2-3 percent of patients get muscle aches and cramps but in one study, Golomb found that 98 percent of patients taking Lipitor and one-third of the patients taking Mevachor suffered from muscle problems.4 A message board devoted to Lipitor at contained more than 800 posts, many detailing severe side effects. The Lipitor board at contains more than 2,600 posts .

The test for muscle wasting or rhabdomyolysis is elevated levels of a chemical called creatine kinase . But many people experience pain and fatigue even though they have normal CK levels.5

John Altrocchi took Mevacor for three years without side effects then he developed calf pain so severe he could hardly walk. He also experienced episodes of temporary memory loss.

Active people are much more likely to develop problems from statin use than those who are sedentary. In a study carried out in Austria, only six out of 22 athletes with familial hypercholesterolemia were able to endure statin treatment.9 The others discontinued treatment because of muscle pain.

If Statins Raise Blood Sugar Will It Go Back To Normal Once You Stop Statins

4 Apr 2012 by auntistatin
diabetes, type 2

after taking statins for years i was told i had type 2 diabetes… if it is due to statins raising my blood sugar … will it go back to normal once i stop the statinsi stopped taking them a year ago… my blood sugar levels are usually between 5.7 and 6.7 not on any medication

Added 5 Apr 2012:

i take thyroxine for underactive thyroid,atenalol,weigh just under 12 stone…the last blood glucose reading from gp was 5.4 and 5.7 have this done every 3 months

Added 5 Apr 2012:

Your A1-C’s are not that bad, but what does your fasting glucose run?Do you have a genetic predisposition to diabetes etc… Need more answrs to answer your question… Mary


You wil note in the link I gave you that statins are given to people at risk of getting diabetes from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, & heart disease. It did also state if you have a low thyroid you should not be on statins… Mary

thank you for your help i greatly appreciate you taking the time to answer…


thank you mary for taking the time to answer my question… i will look up the liknk you gave me… hope you keep well…

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Taking A Statin Is Seldom The Answer

If your LDL cholesterol levels are HIGH, it is a sign youre in trouble. Youve got a fire brewing your metabolism is BROKEN.

Ignoring the problem, is not wisdom, but neither is jumping in and taking a statin.

You need to establish if your cholesterol levels are really high. Levels above 7.5 mM or 290 mg/dL are red flag levels, if youre somewhere in the 6s, youre fine. NOTE : Extremely low levels i.e. below 4.5 mM are not a sign of health either, theyre a red flag too, when levels are too low, your membranes dont work correctly.

Myth #: Statins Frequently Cause Memory Loss

Which Statin Does Not Raise Blood Sugar

Truth: In 2012, the FDA changed statin drug labels to include information that some people had experienced memory loss and confusion while taking the medications.

Unfortunately, that change was based on some poor-quality studies and evidence, Martin explains. People became seriously concerned that lower cholesterol levels could affect the brains function. But in fact, the brain makes its own cholesterol. It doesnt depend on the cholesterol in the blood.

My colleagues and I at Johns Hopkins specifically researched the issue of statins impacting cognitive dysfunction or dementia, says Martin. We reviewed all the studies that had been done, and found that the most rigorous studies show that statins do not commonly cause memory loss. If anything, long-term use of statins might have a beneficial effect on the brain since they help prevent strokes and protect the health of arteries in the brain.

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Do Statins Cause Diabetes

Health Canada is telling all citizens that the labels on statins have changed. All prescriptions that lower cholesterol now carry a notice warning of a raised risk of higher blood sugar content and a somewhat lesser increased risk of diabetes. The possible side effects particularly affect patients who have a pre-existing weakness for heart disease.

Health authorities everywhere have now reviewed all the available data from statin studies and concluded that the possibilities of developing diabetes is mostly among those people a propensity for the disease already. For example those people with extra high levels of glucose or triglycerides, or those people who are obese and or with hypertension. But still the overall benefits to the heart and blood systems within the body benefit more than they risk by having statins cut their cholesterol. The whole picture around statins is very complex and messages are confusing. There have been a number of health scare stories appearing in the media that receive an undue amount of attention.

Readers Share Stories About Statins And Diabetes:

Berry in Surprise, Arizona, had a similar experience:

I had my A1c go to 6.5, I was taken off of statins and it went to 5.4. Why arent people told the cause of diabetes is the statins?

Geetha in India developed diabetes after taking rosuvastatin :

I had no problems with my sugar until I started taking rosuvastatin. At first, the statin caused body aches and pains and unexplained abdominal discomfort. I stopped taking it and felt much better. But my doctor said because of my borderline cholesterol and high trigs including LDL and VLDL, I had to take statins.

Now, after a year of taking statins my cholesterol levels are completely normal but I have diabetes. My glucose is 216. I have body aches and extreme fatigue along with leg cramps, thirst and frequent trips to the bathroom at night. This makes it hard for me to sleep well at night.

During the day I tire easily and suffer from extreme fatigue after the mildest of activities. I am 62 and female.

T.S. shared this story of statins and diabetes:

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