If you have diabetes, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. This makes it especially important to manage other risk factors for cardiovascular problems, such as high cholesterol. Luckily, there are medications called statins that are quite reliable at decreasing your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.
Which statin is most appropriate if you have diabetes? It depends upon your total cardiovascular risk, however the recommendations lean toward a moderate-intensity or high-intensity statin.
There are numerous different types of statins. Some are more potent than others. They each work a little in a different way, but they all help lower cholesterol by interfering with a compound your body has to make cholesterol in the liver.
Statins have actually become a few of the most widely recommended medications in the world. They consist of atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), as well as other generic and brand variations.
The optimum LDL level for many healthy individuals is between 70 and 100 mg/dL. If your LDL numbers surpass that variety, your doctor ought to look at your general heart disease and stroke risk to decide whether you ought to be put on statins.
Recent standards provided by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association broadened the variety of possible statin users. Medical professionals used to base their decision to recommend a statin mainly on an individual’s LDL rating. Now, other risk factors are likewise considered. In basic, statins are normally suggested for people who have:
- identified cardiovascular disease
- an LDL cholesterol level of 190 mg/dL or greater
- diabetes and an LDL of 70 mg/dL or higher
- a 10-year heart attack risk of 7.5 percent or higher and an LDL of a minimum of 100 mg/dL
Diabetes and statins
In 2014, the American Diabetes Association suggested that all people with diabetes take statins. Their thinking is that managing risk factors will assist decrease your overall risk for establishing heart disease. These risk factors might include:
- high cholesterol
- being overweight
- cigarette smoking
- a high level of sodium in your diet
- a low level of physical activity
The fewer risk factors you have, the better your odds of preventing a cardiac arrest or stroke.
Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that are often used as part of diabetes care due to the knowledge that individuals with diabetes deal with a greater probability of heart attack and stroke.
Diabetes is a hazard to your cardiovascular health partly due to the fact that the extra glucose in your blood can injure your blood vessels. When your blood vessels are damaged, blood circulation to the heart and brain can be interfered with. This raises the risk of a cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Diabetes can also impact your cholesterol. If you have diabetes, you must a minimum of consider statin therapy, even if your diabetes is well managed.
Picking a statin
The right statin for you will partially depend upon your LDL level. If your cholesterol is only slightly elevated above what your doctor believes is a great target for you, a less powerful statin may be what you need. Pravastatin (Pravachol) and lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor) are good lower effectiveness options.
If you have to combat high cholesterol more aggressively, your doctor might prescribe rosuvastatin (Crestor), which is the most powerful statin. Atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor) have moderate potency.
Your capability to endure a particular statin is likewise a crucial factor to consider. Your doctor may begin you on a strong statin and change the kind of statin or lower your dose, if required. Some medical professionals, however, choose to start with the mildest alternative and work their way up if a patient’s cholesterol numbers don’t boil down enough.
Statin side effects
Despite the fact that statins are usually well endured, they do have some side effects. The primary complaint statin users have is muscle pain. This is called myalgia. Changing to a various type of statin or a lower dose often solves the problem.
For individuals who have diabetes or who are at a higher risk of establishing diabetes, there’s another statin side effect that might be of greater concern. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that statin use can result in a slight increase in blood sugar levels. This might be an issue for a person with diabetes or somebody who is at increased risk of developing diabetes.
The FDA, however, also notes that due to the fact that the cholesterol-lowering benefits of statins are so profound, this risk should not necessarily keep someone from taking statins.
Talk with your doctor
Handling your cholesterol and diabetes shouldn’t be done through medications alone. You and your doctor should discuss other methods, such as exercise and diet, to help control your blood glucose and LDL levels.
If your LDL numbers are high and you have diabetes, think about statin therapy. You ought to speak with your doctor about:
- your target levels of LDL cholesterol
- the dangers and benefits of statins
- the side effects of statins
- how to respond to the side effects of statins
There are a number of ways to help enhance your heart health, but if you have diabetes, aggressive statin therapy might be among the best things you can do to help prevent a cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Also read: Diabetic Diet and Meal Plans