It’s a fact that every drug your doctor prescribes comes with the potential for side effects. Some are worse than others.
Drugs for high cholesterol — commonly referred to as statins — are no different. These drugs include names that you hear often: Lipitor®, Crestor® and Zocor®, just to name a few. High cholesterol is a very common health problem and 70 million Americans are candidates for statin drugs.
If you’ve taken a statin for high cholesterol, you may have already experienced the number one side effect: muscle aches.
It turns out that up to 20% of patients report this side effect with about 1/3 saying the aches were serious enough that they gave up exercising, and a handful even saying they found it too hard to get out of bed. Think about that for a minute. We are prescribing drugs that discourage nearly 5 million people from exercising.
But, if this is such a big issue, why have doctors not always recognized it as such?
Turns out, drug companies never told physicians muscle aches were a common side effect because their own clinical trials never identified it! This is probably due to “enrollment bias,” which means people who couldn’t tolerate the drugs were disqualified from participating in the studies in the first place.
That led physicians to dismiss the concerns of their patients who reported it. Patients who take statins tend to be older, so doctors could, reasonably, blame it on normal aging. Or doctors attributed it to a “placebo effect,” a well-documented phenomenon where the effect is “in your head” instead of being real.
Not every patient will experience a muscle side effect, and some patients should do everything they can to stay on statins because their risk for developing heart and vascular issues is so high. But the best way to reduce your chance of experiencing a statin side effect is to minimize the dose of the medication needed to control your cholesterol readings.
The food we eat has a tremendous impact on cholesterol profiles, so adjusting your diet is the most direct way of helping reduce your statin requirements. At Step One, we formulated our foods from real whole-food ingredients proven to lower cholesterol. There are no wasted calories, no extraneous additives or preservatives, and no side effects.
Best of all, our foods are clinically proven to lower cholesterol, and you can determine if you are a "food-responder" by trying our approach for just 30 days. Simply eat two servings of any Step One Foods as a substitute for something you're eating already and get your cholesterol profile rechecked towards the end of the 30 day trial (eating the foods up until the day of your blood test).