Dr. Oz's Guide to Statins

Find out what you need to know before starting a statin.

Dr. Oz's Guide to Statins

Statins have become an overwhelmingly popular medication for treating high cholesterol, and for good reason. They do a great job of lowering LDL cholesterol in your blood, which is the bad form that can contribute to heart disease. But statins, like any medication, should only be used after other measures have been taken to try and fix the problem. Here are three rules to think about before starting a statin.

Rule 1: Don’t Use Statins as a Band-Aid for Heart Disease


There are a number of reasons a person’s cholesterol can be high, but lifestyle factors play an important role in determining your cholesterol balance and levels. Exercise is one of the best ways to lower cholesterol, especially if your numbers are only borderline high. Cutting out processed foods and added sugar while adding in fruits and vegetables is also a great way to lower your numbers. Statins can lower your cholesterol, but they can’t change the factors that made it high in the first place. If you’re at risk for heart disease, work with your doctor to figure out how you got there and what you could do to lower that risk before going on a statin.

Rule 2: Try Lifestyle Changes for Three Months Before Taking a Statin

If you’ve found you have high cholesterol, you want to give yourself the best possible to chance to get it into the safe range and keep it there. Statins might be part of the strategy, but lifestyle factors have to be a key player for you to have the best shot at lowering your numbers and keeping them there. If your doctor mentions you may need a statin, say you’d like to try lifestyle changes for three months. Ask for your doctor’s help in figuring out how you can add exercise into your life and change your diet for the better. This gives you an opportunity to get to normal levels without needing to take a medication. The best part? Diet and exercise can drop your weight, lower your risk of diabetes, lower your blood pressure, improve your mood and pass on a variety of other benefits that can drop your heart disease risk while also improving your overall well-being. Statins only help with your cholesterol.

Rule 3: Weigh the Risks Against the Benefits

This is where you’ll really need your doctor’s help. As with all medications, statins come with their own host of side effects. Fortunately, the negative side effects from statins are generally mild, and the more serious side effects like liver damage and muscle pain are rare. But there are risks and they should be weighed against the benefits. It’s important to remember that you’re the one who needs to do this weighing. After discussing the pros and cons of taking statins with your doctor, decide whether they seem worth it to you. And remember, you can change your mind at any time if you decide those costs or benefits have changed.

Seem overwhelming? I’ve put together some questions for you to take along when discussing statins with your doctor. Remember, statins can play an important role in reducing your cholesterol and overall risk of coronary artery and heart disease, but they’re not the only way to address high cholesterol. The key is to give yourself the best possible chance to live a healthier life. That means changing your lifestyle and using medications to supplement those efforts if necessary.

Finally, if you're on statins already, don't stop taking them without talking to your doctor first. 

7 Essential Items to Have for a Pandemic Date, According to a Relationship Expert

Celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert Vikki Ziegler says you should treat COVID-19 like an STD.

Just when we thought relationships and dating could not get any more complicated, the pandemic took this matter to a whole new level. Celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert, Vikki Ziegler receives an abundance of questions about this exact topic, every single day. Her fans and followers message her via her social media channels, in the hopes of finding the right way to safely date during these times. So, if this topic has crossed your mind, rest assured you are not alone.

For those who used to "swipe left and right," on the regular, Vikki recommends slowing down for the time being, no matter what type of antibacterial wipes are being used between your swipes. Serial dating during COVID-19 can be dangerous and also very selfish at the same time. This might be a good time to either take a break from dating altogether, or invest more time in one relationship and being monogamous, at least for right now. "Everyone should treat COVID-19 as they do an STD, while dating and practice safe EVERYTHING, even beyond just intimacy," says Ziegler. "This will simplify the process and make the do's and don'ts much less complex."

She recommends that new partners keep the dating virtual prior to both being tested and or having the vaccine. "Screendating" can still be both fun and safe at the same time. She suggests that you still wear your favorite new dress, get that fresh haircut or blowout and act as though you are still going out, even if the date is happening in the privacy of your own home. She has suggested some ideas such as virtual movie nights, happy hours, cooking classes, and the most obvious, the at-home and virtual dining date. This would entail both partners ordering food to each of their respective homes, but using the same menu as if they were dining in person.

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