Statins Increase Peripheral Neuropathy Risk
Statins are among the biggest selling drugs in the United States. Millions of Americans pop these cholesterol-lowering pills every day to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, statins have been associated with a wide range of side effects, including headaches, confusion, liver damage, memory loss, and elevated risk of type 2 diabetes. Evidence is now emerging that long-term usage of statins may cause peripheral neuropathy.
A Danish study that investigated the effect of statins on the peripheral nerves reveals that statin users were 14 times more likely to develop peripheral neuropathy than non-users of these drugs. In addition, the findings of a 2011 study titled "Treatment With Statins and Peripheral Neuropathy: Results of 36-Months Prospective Clinical and Neurophysiological Follow-Up" show that taking statins for more than 2 years can cause serious damage to the peripheral nerves.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that occurs when the peripheral nerves are damaged. The peripheral nerves are a network of 43 pairs of nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Because peripheral nerves have an extensive range of functions, a wide array of symptoms are associated with peripheral nerve damage. Some people may experienced temporary numbness, tingling, and pricking sensations, sensitivity to touch, or muscle weakness. Others may suffer from more extreme symptoms, such as paralysis, muscle wasting, and burning pain, especially at night. A 2011 study suggests that statins should be considered the cause of peripheral neuropathy when other possible causes have been excluded.
Millions of people take statins to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, statins can cause more harm than good; they have been linked with diabetes, cancer, memory loss, liver damage, and Parkinson's disease. Fortunately, there is a healthier and better way to fend off stroke and heart disease. Eating plant-focused diets can protect individuals from stroke and heart attack without any unwanted side effects.
Treatment with statins and peripheral neuropathy: results of 36-months a prospective clinical and neurophysiological follow-up. - PubMed - NCBI
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