Rethink the Statin ~ Cholesterol is Not the Bad Guy!

People who arrive at my office on a statin frequently complain of one of the following things as a direct side effect of the drug:

Fatigue, mood changes,  irritability, headaches, insomnia heart palpitations, arrhythmias, stomach pain, or muscle weakness

These are all listed right in the Physician’s Drug Information Handbook as common side effects.  But the new news is that users of statins have a 48% increased chance of developing Type II diabetes, even with short term use at low dosages.

 Then What About Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is not the bad guy!

No really, it’s true. Cholesterol is the duct tape of the body. It is for patching up holes (damage) to blood vessels and internal organs.  Cholesterol is actually a structural material for maintaining integrity of vital body parts like your arteries, veins, liver cells, brain cells, and much more.  Here are just a few other things for which cholesterol is needed:

Adrenal and sex hormones are made out of cholesterol. The myelin sheath that protects the brain is made in large part of cholesterol. Every single cell requires cholesterol in its wall or it gets leaky.

What causes damage to blood vessels, brain cells and other internal organs?  Think toxins and inflammation. Car exhaust, solvents such as industrial and household cleaning products, Febreze, paints, heavy metals found right in our food, water, and air on a daily basis.  Not to mention that aluminum in the Tums or baking soda or table salt.

I’m much more concerned about a person’s anti-oxidant status, levels of vital detox nutrients and nutrients for balancing inflammation than I am about their cholesterol levels.  It’s also about balance of essential fats in the diet.  A person on a statin to bring down their cholesterol is still not addressing the reason their cholesterol is high in the first place.

Statins may be called for in cases where cholesterol is extremely high (i.e. over 350 or so) or where triglycerides are very elevated, but this is not the average person you find on a statin.

Think deeper America…

~Dr. Julie M. Barter, ND

Dr. Julie Barter, ND currently practices in Niwot, Colorado, serving the Denver, Boulder and Longmont areas as a natural medicine expert. She is family doctor who works with everyone from infants to seniors. She specializes in women’s and children’s health, food allergies, cancer support, digestive, hormonal and environmental concerns.

She has extensive experience in resolving most common health complaints using clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathic remedies, and physical medicine for relieving aches and pains.

 She enjoyed a busy private clinical practice in Maine before relocating to Colorado.

As a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, an accredited four-year medical school program, Dr. Julie underwent outstanding clinical training with some of the finest Naturopathic Doctors in the country. She completed internships in internal medicine, environmental medicine, gynecology, and acute care for underserved populations. One medical school training was not enough to give her all the expertise she desired in physical medicine, so she also attended Western States Chiropractic College to attain a high level of competence in adjusting and biomechanics. She takes a special delight in physical medicine, completing over 1000 extra classroom and clinical hours in Applied Kinesiology. She also holds Certificates in Botanical Medicine and Homeopathy.

Natural medicine is a second career for Dr. Julie, having worked in research at the University of Colorado, Boulder for nearly 10 years prior to entering medical school. She participated in NIH-funded research in molecular biology, immunology and neuroscience with an emphasis on pain in chronic illness. She managed the laboratory of approximately 50 researchers for five years, teaching others proper laboratory procedure and technique as well as equipment operation. This has put her in a unique position to be able to evaluate the validity and implications of scientific research on current medical issues.

Dr. Julie has also been an avid athlete her entire life. She used to be an elite amateur cyclist, competing at the national level both on-road and off-road. She rode about 10,000 miles per year for over 10 years. These days she sticks to running, enjoying about 20-30 miles per week on both roads and trails. She takes an insider’s interest in helping other athletes to achieve their maximum potential and enjoyment in their sport.

She also finds great satisfaction in gardening, and finds the practice of natural medicine using herbs and homeopathic remedies derived from these beloved plants to be a very natural extension of her love and respect for nature.

Dr. Julie M. Barter ND LLC

7105 La Vista Place Suite 150, Niwot, CO 80503

Julie will be a panelist at our Wellness Wednesday event on the topic of heart health, which takes place on February 8th from 7-8 pm in the Alfalfa’s Community Room. Please see guest services for registration details.  Or give them a ring at 720.420.8400.  Hope to see you there!

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