“I’d rather die of a heart attack than feel the way I do.” That is how I announced to Jessica on Tuesday that I had decided to stop taking statins.
I was going to wait another week or two and give the new statin my doctor prescribed for me a chance, but after being miserable for the last month and feeling like a very achy shadow of myself, I decided to just stop and see if the statins are really to blame.
This morning, jetlagged from a trip to Chicago for the American Diabetes Associations Scientific Sessions, I woke up at 4:25 a.m. and checked my blood sugar. It was 248, a result of a messed up schedule and eating too many carbs, including some beer. So instead of going for a run, I decided to go back to sleep.
I tried to relax and sleep, but was totally wired. After 25 minutes of lying in bed I got up to run. I left the room at about 5:30a.m. I was in a good mood, optimistic, excited to run in in Chicago for the first time and I was wearing a new pair of running shoes. I felt like I was going to have a good run.
I know it’s too soon to conclude that the pain in my legs is a result of taking statins, since it takes a week or two to “clean out” the system, but I was hoping to start feeling better anyway.
In the elevator I met a guy who was also on his way out to run. We started talking, trying to figure out how to get to the trail a long Lake Michigan. I asked if he was in town for the 73rd ADA Scientific Sessions.
He told me he was an endo and in town for a meeting with one of the large pharma companies.
“How far are you running?” he asked.
“I’m not sure” I said and then told him the shorter version of my statin story.
“I totally disagree with the ADA about statins when it comes to type 1’s,” he said. “Unless your LDL is really high there’s no need for statins”.
“When I’m off statins my LDL goes to the 150’s” I said.
He told me he probably wouldn’t prescribe them to me. He explained that all of the research on diabetes and cholesterol that the guidelines are based upon was done on type 2 patients, insulin resistant “and type 1 is a totally different disease.”
We ran a few miles together and then he turned back and I continued on my own, feeling good about my decision to stop taking statins, and feeling like maybe my legs are getting better, too.