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This Morning: Dr Chris reveals grapefruit can affect statins
Once you’ve been prescribed statins, such as atorvastatin, the likelihood is that you’ll be on the medication for life. Otherwise cholesterol levels can quickly build up, leading to life-threatening conditions. The NHS noted that constipation affects more than one in 100 people who take statins. If you’d like to rid yourself of this bothersome side effect, yasmin paige pictures it may be helpful to eat more high-fibre foods.
This could be done by gradually including more of the following foods into your diet:
- Shredded wheat
- Porridge oats
- Wholemeal bread
- Wholewheat pasta
- Wholewheat bulgur where
- Brown rice
- Baked potatoes (with the skin on)
- Boiled new potatoes
- Beans, lentils, chickpeas
In addition to more dietary fibre, you can ease constipation by staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
“Try to exercise more regularly, for example, by going for a daily walk or run,” advised the NHS.
Also cut back on any alcohol you may be drinking to encourage regular bowel movements.
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If any of these measures don’t work for you then the NHS suggests talking to your pharmacist or doctor.
It’s possible for your GP to adjust your statin dosage or offer another type of statin that may be more suitable for you.
Other side effects you may want to report to your doctor may include:
- Feeling sick (nausea) or indigestion
- Aches and pains in your back and joints
- Sore throat
- Cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, blocked nose or sneezing
Any unexplained muscle aches and pains, tenderness or weakness needs to be reported to your doctor straight away.
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This could be signs of muscle breakdown and kidney damage, hence its urgent to alert a medical professional.
The doctor can arrange a blood sample to measure for a substance called creatine kinase (CK).
This is released into the bloodstream when muscles are inflamed and damaged.
“If the CK in your blood is more than five times the normal level, your doctor may advise you to stop taking the statin,” said the NHS.
Regular exercise could also lead to a rise in CK levels, so do inform your doctor if you’ve been exercising a lot.
Statins needs to be used in combination with lifestyle measures to reduce your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
This includes eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat, exercising regularly, and not smoking.
Statins may also be prescribed to treat familial hypercholesterolaemia; this hereditary condition causes high cholesterol even if you lead a healthy lifestyle.
This inherited condition is caused by “a genetic fault” that increases cholesterol levels in the body.
Bear in mind that grapefruit can affect some statins, warned the NHS, which can increase your risk of side effects.
The best course of action may be to avoid drinking or eating grapefruit.
In addition, drinking alcohol could also increase your risk of serious side effects.
Discuss with your GP whether or not you’re able to drink alcohol if you’re prescribed statins.
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