I cannot tolerate using Statins. What should I do?

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Submitted by Dr T on November 11, 2010 – 9:48am


I am 57, 5’10, 160lbs non-smoker RN.  I exercise 5 days a week. and eat a very low fat no beef diet.I have borderline hypertension which I treat with Ramapril 10mg daily.Father had CAD at 65 had his first of 2 bypasses.My cholesterol is 250  LDL 140  HDL 60 with normal trig.I have tried Lipitor and Zocor and had side effects.I do not want to expose myself to the radiation of the calcium scan.  Is the carotid IMT scan worth doing as an alternative?What drugs would you recommend.  I took care of my father and do not want to have CAD but the statins I’ve tried were intolerable so far.

Your numbers indicate you are in good shape, exercise more than adequately and eat a healthy diet.
Your problem is a high cholesterol and LDL, because your HDL is great.
Statin side effects can indeed be very troublesome. If they were related to leg cramps, maybe this can be of help:
Rather than the other tests, I’d recommend a CTCA, but frankly I don’t recommend any at this point in an asymptomatic and otherwise healthy patient:
You can calculate your specific risk here:
Have you tried Cholestyramine (Questran)? Read more about that here:
Last, but not least, are you sure your diet is optimal? Read more here:
I believe a proper diet plays a much underrated role. In fact, since as a heart surgeon I can hardly be called an expert in this field, I have a meeting with both a chef and a nutrician to partner with as an invaluable addition to my website!
Hope this helps. Please rate my answer,
Dr T,

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