The Statin—Diabetes Connection Few People Know About
Many statin users go back to see their physician for a routine visit and after the blood work is drawn, they find their cholesterol ratios may be improved, but now they have high blood glucose.
It's entirely possible that some physicians then mistakenly diagnose their patients with "Type 2 diabetes" when in fact they just have hyperglycemia—a side effect, and the result of a medication that was prescribed to them months earlier. That so-called "diabetes" diagnosis might not really be genuine diabetes, and may just be hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)—the result of your cholesterol medication, and for some people, it may be reversible with drug discontinuation. Whether or not you are able to discontinue your medication is between you and your physician.
Research Suggesting Raised Blood Sugar is a Side Effect of Statin Use
Several studies have indicated that statins can cause high blood sugar, which can be mistaken for "diabetes." Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that reduces blood sugar. You want some insulin to maintain blood glucose levels, but too much of it is bad—it's an inflammatory compound in your body when it is elevated. And guess what? The use of statin drugs appears to INCREASE your insulin levels! High insulin is extremely harmful to your health. For starters, elevated insulin levels lead to heart disease; the reason cholesterol drugs are prescribed in the first place. The ratio of glucose to insulin should be less than 10:1, this ratio is far more important than the levels of glucose or insulin alone.
You want to keep insulin normal, to protect yourself from heart disease and high blood pressure. Chronically elevated insulin causes a cascade of inflammatory chemicals and high cortisol which lead to belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, plus major diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer.
Unfortunately, the most popular cholesterol drugs in the world seem to increase insulin levels. However, that's just one mechanism by which these drugs can raise your risk for diabetes.
Statins also suppresses your natural coenzyme Q10 — also called "ubiquinol" in its active form; it makes energy for every cell in your body, and it's produced mainly in your liver. This powerful antioxidant just so happens to also play a role in maintaining blood glucose. When you deplete levels of CoQ10 by taking a statin drug, then you lose that benefit. You also raise your risk for heart failure, high blood pressure and heart disease as CoQ10 deficiencies can contribute to those conditions. A study by Hodgson et al, published in 2002 found that 200mg CoQ10 taken daily caused a 0.4 percent reduction in hemoglobin A1c. Thats good.
Moreover, CoQ10 protects your body from oxidative stress, a strong contributing factor in the development of diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart attacks. You want to make sure you have enough CoQ10 (or ubiquinol) on board to protect every cell in your body. The take home point is that statins annihilate this compound and you need it for good health.
In summary, if you take a statin medication and you've been told that you have diabetes, it may be drug-induced, and it's possible that it can be reversed over the course of time. However, you will have to eat right, exercise, and take supplements that help to lower your risk for heart disease naturally.
CoQ10 (coenzyme Q 10) 100 mg