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Thread: Training and Statins? Anything besides CoQ10 that helps?

  1. #1
    Participating Member
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    Sep 2007

    Training and Statins? Anything besides CoQ10 that helps?

    I train on the fairly intense side (I think) and am averaging 3,600 6 times a week. Eat fairly eggs or cheese, lots of nut mixes for snacks, salads 2 nights a week, sushi 2 nights a week. Impossible burgers now and then. You get the idea. And still my cholesterol is through the roof.

    I had quit taking it when I began to train hard upon retirement because of the cramping issue, mostly thighs and upper back. So Im dismayed at having to start again. 4 days in and my back is stiff and borderline sore. Warmup is a drag because Im so cautious about seizing up (in past, I had my back go on both sides simply jumping in to cold pool; soreness and caution kept me out of pool for at least 3 days).

    30 minutes or so of googling seems to suggest that CoQ10 is only thing that *might* help (evidence seems mixed). I already take that along with preventives like garlic and psyllium.

    So, any of you folks have any dietary or supplement hacks that help abate the large muscle issues that come along with statins? Stretching routines that help? Heat? Cold? Both? How about really ramping up hydration? (I already do a good job here, but maybe still more?) Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Round Rock, TX
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    Re: Training and Statins? Anything besides CoQ10 that helps?

    Do you know your actual cholesterol numbers? I assume you're seeing a doctor regularly, doing lab work, and they are going through different options with you?

    I'm not sure that I would just blindly take an OTC supplement that might help (or might cause larger issues).

    As for me, I do take Pravastatin, but it is prescribed. I probably do labs 3x a year, and see a cardiologist/PCP 3x a year too. When you next meet with your physician you could ask if that might be an option.

    I train for long open water swims; currently training for 10 miles and 10k a few days later. So I do very long swims, but not too intense (other than some occasional sprints). So what works for me might not work for you.
    Check out my blog here
    "You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

  3. #3
    Very Active Member
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    Jul 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Re: Training and Statins? Anything besides CoQ10 that helps?

    I used to mork with a medical condcition called Malignant Hyperthermia - a genetic muscular condition that sets off destrucitive hypermetalism in the presence of certain drugs. Our office was one of the first to recognize the existence of what is called "isolated rhabdomyolysis" (wrecked muscles, independent of injury or infection) associated with statins.

    My understanding, although early, is extremely shallow. All I know is that it happens, but it is reputed to be extremely rare. When it's bad, it's ugly and life-long.

    It's nasty enough that I avoid the statins my doctor recommends. She's a wise doc and is most likely right that I shouldn't avoid the best mortality outcomes for what (for me) seems to be a remote possibility.

    OTOH, if I had muscle soreness from the stuff? Even if I had "bacon-clogged-death-at-47" levels of cholesterol, I'd rather go for the clean exit of a heart attack.

    I would talk very seriously to your physician about this. The thing about the benefits of statins, which are considerable, is that the effects are extremly well-documented and -far- more quantified than the well-documented effects of exercise.

    They can tell you that X dose of statin will give you Y decrease in the odds of a cardiac event in 10 years.

    They can't quantify exercise that way. "2500 yards of swimming a weeks give you Y benefit" - but that doesn't mean the benefits of exercise are somehow not as good - or even much better - than the drugs. Just there's no big pharmaceutical company making a statistical model that gives you signficant digits.

    So talk to your doc. Get this stuff evaluated - probably by a neurologist.
    Last edited by MickYoung; March 7th, 2020 at 06:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Re: Training and Statins? Anything besides CoQ10 that helps?

    Thanks for the thoughtful and lengthy responses folks. I appreciated the substance and effort a ton.

    I was hesitant to even post in the first place because I knew things might get into things getting into medical advice territory or some such which Im sure our hosts here dont want to see and that you folks really avoided which is again appreciated.

    As for me, yes Im working with a doctor. Both granddads and one grandma died of heart attacks and my dad had triple by-pass, multiple stents, etc. so that really factors in to my personal equation. In brief, I was on Lipitor for years and the cramping was a huge issue, even without training involved (as teacher, I really mostly trained summers and in cold months, I would cramp in dead of winter without swimming). Then moved to Crestor, which is supposed to be cleaner, which did really help me day to day most of the time. But each summer, when I would be getting back into pool, it would bother me. Upon retirement, I really cleaned up my diet, really got back into swimming in a big way, worked through the the issues slowly got to a place where I was mostly OK. But training through the winter was new and the combo of cold and intensity I could bring to bear (lactic sets) brought the issue back. So between clean diet and fitness, I quit taking the Crestor. High hopes were dashed with number of 240. I went to doc, outlined the problem and he tried me on a new, to me and the market, Livalo. Supposedly less issues. But not for me. So the last 2 nights, back to 1/2 Crestor to test the waters, so to speak, and so far so good. I think I will experiment with full dose tonight.

    But to get to the original hope of the thread which was maybe to learn possible approaches to mitigating the side effects of statins, here is what Im also doing in conjunction:

    1) Went from 100 to 200mg CoQ10. Internet medical advice sites say this is safe.
    2) Began taking my wifes D3. This was based on apparent to finding in abstract from medical journal.
    3) I took my own suggestion and amped up hydration even more.
    4) I doubled my warm down routine from 200 to 400 one day, and after a lactic day yesterday, instead of the 300 I would usually do, did 500.

    Which of these is helping, or if the issue will return when I go with full dose, I cant say. But I am hopeful that with warm weather here in St Louis area not to far off, I can work through things.

    Anyhow, thanks again for the responses and hopefully some what seems to maybe be working for me is helpful to other folks who do a search for statins down the line. And if you have any more hacks, bring em on!

  5. #5
    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
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    Re: Training and Statins? Anything besides CoQ10 that helps?

    Interesting about your cholesterol. I was a vegetarian for 12+ years and my total cholesterol was always over 200, LDL was high and HDL was low, triglycerides high. I went back to meat in 2003 and in 2012 went fully low carb/high fat. My total cholesterol has been variably 180-210, HDL as high as 62 and triglycerides as low as 53. Counter to (standard American) medical wisdom, but I'm sold. And I can eat bacon whenever I want!
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Boulder, Colorado

    Re: Training and Statins? Anything besides CoQ10 that helps?

    Hello Flow Fraser,

    MY name is Joey Pedraza, I am a Personal Trainer, and a nutrition Specialist. I also come from a swimming background and I think I can help you, but I need more data than what it is being provided here. If you are still interested in looking for help, please feel free to reach back to me.

    Cheers, Stay Safe

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