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Statins and UC

veronica-d-fsMeet Veronica:

61 Female diagnosed with UC Jan 2011. Born and raised NYC. Work in the medical field (emergency medicine) but practice a more holistic approach to disease in my own life.

Some more about Veronica:

Passionate about Classical/Spanish and acoustic guitar and have been slowly learning how to play for past five years.

Colitis Symptoms:

Currently Im good!

Veronica’s Story:

Symptoms appeared soon after the sudden death of my dog in Aug of 2010, perhaps as a sidebar to the sadness that followed. I ignored these symptoms for as long as I could but by January the blood appeared and scared me straight to the doctor. Luckily I only had left sided disease and responded well to standard 4 grams of Mesalamine. I went on for several years with squigilly poops, occasional blood and cramping but thought this was normal and as long as i wasn’t making 20 trips to the bathroom I was okay with it. Despite being a clinician myself I am extremely resistant to taking medications. I refused all offers of Prednisone or other meds despite my doctor suggestion but did take the recommended Rowasa enemas after a bad flare 18 months ago and had immediate positive results. Have been in remission now for about a year. I am so grateful for this site even though I tend to visit only when feeling sick and ignore it when Im healthy. Thanks to Adam for bring us together as a community.

Question; So my lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides) results came back at the level of “your arteries are about to explode”. DR wanted to start a Statin drug but of course the first thing I do is look up its effects on UC and find 2 obscure studies that suggests it depletes CO Q 10 in the bowel and can exacerbate a flare. So I’m out! My GI doc says its ok but I’m still not feeling it.

Wanted to reach out to all of you to see if any UCers with high cholesterol has experience with taking a Statin and if they are having side effects or flares as a result.

Thanks all and be well

Medications / Treatments She’s Tried:

I follow a semi vegetarian diet – no mammals, eventually ill give up chicken and fish but for now these are still in my diet. No alcohol, limited sugars. Have not taken an NSAID since diagnosis in 2011. Meditation keeps me calm – stress is a certain exacerbator of my symptoms.

written by Veronica D

submitted in the colitis venting area


9 thoughts on “Statins and UC”

  1. Rosanne

    Wow!!! Have UC since 1982.
    YES my lipids are as you describe! Cholesterol 378! Triglycerides like 321??
    Taking Crestor since last winter. In a month the chosterol went down to 221 but triglycerides unchanged.
    Creator to date hasn’t caused issues.
    But what the heck is the connection between lipids and UC?
    I think the meds are suspect. (Prednisone, mercaptopurine, apriso)
    I do take coq10. Been taking tit for years. Also folic acid which is good for colon.

    Just an FYI… Twice since 1984 I had been totally off all meds for over a year during remission and lipids dropped to low ranges. Chol 157. Triglycerides like 150. Ratio was about 1.3

    Appreciate all the input.
    Maybe a lipid survey?

  2. Graham from England

    A daily spoon or two of good early harvest extra virgin olive oil works wonders on cholesterol. It does amazing things to your blood if you hadn’t heard already, dont just take my word for it though, it’s well reported.

    It helps balance the fats within the body and is anti inflammatory, my cholesterol numbers are always very good and I practically drink the stuff.

    It may take a little time so I guess a precautionary pill is a good idea for now.

  3. Hello: I’ve been taking Prevastatin for at least a year, no impact on my UC to report.I take Colazal for the UC because my last colonoscopy showed inflammation in a different part of the colon..loose stools and occasional urgency to go, but no pain or bleeding.I’ve had UC for 20 plus years.

  4. I have UC as a result of having taken statins—now recognized as a known “side effect.” Udo’s oil is also a great oil to take. Have you seen seen a statin savvy cardiologist? Not all of them agree that statins are for everyone. Some even are very well aware of the side effects and may be able to offer other alternatives.

  5. Veronica D

    Hi Madeleine, Id be interested in hearing more about your situation and if you can point me toward any research that suggests statins can cause UC to flare. Also like to know if you were on CoQ10 while taking the statins since the later have been known to deplete CoQ10 in the bowell which can absolutely cause a flare.
    Thanks for responding

  6. Hi, I’m currently 59. I had diverticulitis and a perforated colon with colon resection (colostomy for 3 months, then reversed) when I was 33. No problems for 10 years, then I developed a C-diff infection and was finally diagnosed with UC. Took asacol for a few years, annual colonoscopies, no flares, totally changed my diet due to LEAP testing, then tapered off the asacol when it became $300 co-pay monthly. No problems or flares at all for 9 years, then … doctor put me on pravastatin. After the first 10 mg, the next morning I had bloody diarrhea, once, for the first time in 9 years. Went ahead and took it the second day, it’s continued for 9 days. Total, I took 40 mg over 3 days, but NO MORE! I’m convinced the pravastatin totally undid all the work I put in on a careful diet. Had some leftover prednisone from my husband’s pneumonia, I’d never been given any before but have taken 40 mg. the last two days hoping it will clear me up, planning on taking it a week or two and tapering off, depending on results. It really makes me angry that I’d been FINE for so long, and I don’t plan on restarting daily meds. Surely the prednisone will help. I really believe the diet changes I made controlled the UC, and while my gut’s reaction seems extreme, I really think it was the pravastatin that just tore me up. 9 years of giving up garlic, peanuts, cinnamon, yogurt, cantaloupe, apples, sodium benzoate …

  7. Veronica D

    Wow Donna, I am so sorry and hope your symptoms have improved by now. Wondering if your provider told you to take COQ10 with the statin drug? From what I understand statins deplete this enzyme in your bowel and this could be the reason why these drugs are causing UCers to flare.

  8. I only found out about CoQ10 when I started being my own advocate. At this point it is simple to google statins and UC to see abstracts and sources of studies. Statins invade the whole body — google statins and the myelin sheath. It’s really scary. I was affected in so many negative ways and I still bear the burden of that damage with more than just the UC. Initially, I accessed studies through a medical library online, but now so much of this knowledge is readily available to everyone. You might want to check out a book about the perils of statins by Barbara Roberts, MD, who is a prof at Brown U, and a cardiologist who focuses on women’s health. There are also group sites such as Stopped Our Statins on Yahoo, where there is a wealth of collected materials along with supportive members.

  9. A big part of the problem is pharmaceutical companies have doctors on a bonus treadmill that neither will ever admit to. Most doctors can’t be found on Wednesday afternoon, Why? They are out golfing with pharmaceutical sales reps. If I were promised free green fees and golf clubs worth 100’s of dollars for prescribing my golf partners drugs.

    One clinic i bring my Friend to I noticed four patients in the waiting room and three pharmaceutical reps. with their cases full of new sample and I’m sure order sheets.

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