Pharmaceutical medications called statins are designed to lower high cholesterol levels in the body and which may help reduce the risk of developing stroke or heart disease in many people. Some problems with statins include the risk of developing diabetes and muscle soreness, yet most doctors believe these risks don't outweigh statins' benefits. Liver problems may develop through the use of statins without any visible side effects, making this an important topic to discuss with a doctor if on a cholesterol-lowering medication. Minor side effects like headaches and constipation may be common among some users; however, these effects are not often major enough to cause a patient to stop taking his or her medication.
Statin use may raise the risk of developing type two diabetes, which is associated with poor blood glucose control often caused by insensitive insulin receptors on cells. When critics cite the many problems with statins, diabetic symptoms are a common argument against their use, especially for those with diabetes risk factors. Most doctors dismiss this argument, as statin benefits may outweigh the small risk of this side effect, which does not result in every patient taking the medication. More research is needed to determine the exact effects statins have on diabetes risk, as many researchers are unsure why this occurs in some patients.
One of the common problems with statins and other drugs used for lowering cholesterol levels within the body is muscle pain and weakness, often associated with body soreness. Researchers claim that statins can decrease the levels of natural coenzyme Q-10, an antioxidant associated with the regulation of various smooth muscles within the body. Since the heart is considered a muscle, many critics of statins suggest that the depletion of this coenzyme through regular statin use can raise the risk of heart failure. Some doctors and medical professionals may prescribe a coenzyme Q-10 supplement to take along with a statin drug medication for this reason.
Regular exercise and physical movement may also be prescribed for those taking statins, as this may help alleviate muscle soreness. Other problems with statins include headaches and constipation, yet these side effects are often too mild to cause many complaints. Liver problems with statins have been documented, as statins seem to increase the production of enzymes by the liver that focus on digesting food. Increased production of these enzymes can sometimes lead to liver failure if left unchecked, so it is important to discuss these issues with a doctor.