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Statins can cause 'life-threatening' rhabdomyolysis and three signs show up in your pee

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Million of people take statins with the principle aim of staving off the risk of heart disease. They help to achieve this outcome by lowering high cholesterol levels. However, statins are not entirely benign: they can cause side effects.

One extremely rare but serious side effect is rhabdomyolysis.

Rhabdomyolysis is a severe form of myopathy, diseases of the muscles usually characterised by weakness.

“Rhabdomyolysis is a serious syndrome resulting from the breakdown of skeletal muscle fibres and the subsequent leakage of muscle contents into the circulatory system. These substances, which include myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and can cause kidney failure,” explained Doctor Mike Ozkor, consultant cardiologist at The Wellington Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK.

According to Doctor Ozkor, the exact cause of statin-induced rhabdomyolysis is unknown. “However, what is known is that the higher the dose of statins, the higher the risk of developing rhabdomyolysis.”

READ MORE: Statins: ‘Common’ side effects of atorvastatin could include bleed in the brain – signs

The doc was keen to stress that, while the side effect can be “life-threatening”,  it’s very “rare”.

It is estimated around 1.5 in every 100,000 people taking statins will develop the syndrome.

Three common signs of rhabdomyolysis can show up in your pee, explained Doctor Ozkor.

These include dark red or brown coloured urine, or decreased urination.

  • Other common signs of rhabdomyolysis include:
  • Severe muscle aching throughout the entire body
  • Muscle weakness.

How is it diagnosed?

According to Doctor Ozkor, rhabdomyolysis from statins can be diagnosed with a blood test measuring levels of the enzyme creatinine kinase (CK).

“If you notice any of these symptoms after starting to take statins, contact your GP immediately. For a full recovery, prompt treatment and early diagnosis is important.”

The doc added: “Your GP will be able to provide a proper diagnosis and advise on the best course of action, ensuring any necessary steps are taken to prevent any serious damage to your kidneys.”

It’s important to stress that many people who take statins experience no or very few side effects.

“Your doctor should discuss the risks and benefits of taking statins if they’re offered to you,” the NHS says.

The risks of any side effects also have to be balanced against the benefits of preventing serious problems.

A review of scientific studies into the effectiveness of statins found around one in every 50 people who take the medicine for five years will avoid a serious event, such as a heart attack or stroke, as a result.

Natural ways to lower high cholesterol

Lifestyle changes that can reduce your cholesterol level and CVD risk include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Stopping smoking.



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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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High cholesterol: Blood pressure drug linked to significant reduction in good cholesterol

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“Though they’re commonly used to treat different forms of heart disease, beta-blockers can significantly reduce HDL levels.”

Among the beta-blockers that cause this are Corgard (nadolol), Inderal (propranolol), Tenormin (atenolol), Zebeta (bisoprolol).

These drugs are widely used in the treatment of angina, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart attack and high blood pressure.

But despite concerns about their effect on cholesterol, scientists stress that the benefits of beta-blockers far outweigh the risks.

VeryWell Health adds: “If your beta-blocker affects your cholesterol significantly, your doctor may lower your dose or switch you to a different medication.”



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Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez not on same page over Saudi Arabia GP after missile attack

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However, after a four-hour meeting between race officials and the teams, it was confirmed the race would go ahead despite the attack. It had been reported that a number of the competing drivers were concerned for their safety following the nearby explosion.

Despite this, an agreement was finally reached to race at 2:30am local time, after team chiefs left the lengthy meeting to confirm: “We will be racing.” A statement from Formula 1 confirmed Sunday’s race would go ahead as planned. It read: “Formula 1 has been in close contact with the relevant authorities following the situation that took place today. The authorities have confirmed that the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation.”

Unsurprisingly, there were a number of mixed views on whether the race should go ahead, and this is clearly apparent in the Red Bull setup. This comes after advisor Helmut Marko revealed that drivers Verstappen and Perez are not on the same page when it comes to racing.

JUST IN: F1 drivers ‘had concerns’ about Saudi Arabia GP as new details emerge after missile attack

On the issue, Marko told Sky Germany: “Max is a bit more relaxed about it. Perez is a little bit scared, but when you live in Mexico City there’s not much more security. We have the pandemic, we have the war in Europe and now we have a missile attack 20 kilometres away. This is no longer normal or pleasant.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s race though, the Austrian advisor is firmly on the side of Verstappen and the race officials, supporting the idea of the race taking place. He commented: “I really think it’s the right thing to do. As I said, these drone attacks are common, I think. They have a very good defence system. Why this one didn’t work remains to be seen. It’s not the first drone, after all. But it’s the first one to strike on such a scale.”

The attack took place during Friday’s first practice session, and it was Red Bull’s star man Verstappen who was one of the first to realise something was wrong after reporting on his team radio that he could ‘smell burning’. Initially, the Dutchman thought the smell was coming from either his or one of his rival’s cars, however it then became clear that an explosion had taken place just a few miles from the track.

Giving an insight into Verstappen’s initial worries, Marko said: “Max radioed us, he thought his car had caught fire because there was an intense burning smell. We were informed a drone had been sent from Yemen. The Saudis have a defence system and for some reason the drone was not intercepted.”



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