Taking Statins Once A Week


Can you take a statin - cholesterol-lowering medicine once a week and get great results? I have, and you can read my story below.

My high cholesterol level started creeping up after I went into menopause. I was shocked by this because I never had that problem in my twenties through my forties. I went to my doctor for a check-up about six years ago, and the doctor told me my LDL level was over 198 mg/dl. This problem had me puzzled because I didn't have a weight issue. I am very active being in the fitness industry, and my diet was decent. My thyroid doctor wanted to put me on a statin ASAP, but I refused and told him I would try lowering my cholesterol naturally.

How to lower your cholesterol naturally?

Lowering cholesterol naturally can be done for many people. However, this does not work for me. My problem is genetic. My dad had heart disease. If you want to try doing what I did, give it a try. First, I tried reducing my daily cholesterol food intake. I read labels and looked up the cholesterol amount in the food I consumed. I didn't eat more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. My primary doctor told me that studies showed that consuming less cholesterol would only drop one's cholesterol by 3%-5%. He was correct; my cholesterol levels only dropped four percent. However, that was not good enough to stay off the statin.

I told him to give me more time, and I decided to combine a high-fiber diet and Veganism. This combination didn't work either. The numbers only decreased by three percent. My last try combining Veganism and intermittent fasting dropped my LDL to 150, but the numbers went back up. I think if I had kept my diet high in fiber, around 25 to 30 grams a day, I would have made it. 

Anyway, by this time, my doctor had retired. My new doctor yelled at me, and she stated that I was going to have a heart attack like Bob Harper, the personal trainer from the biggest loser. That statement was a reality check, and I decided to take a cholesterol-lowering medication.

Taking Lipitor once a week

I went back to my endocrinologist, and he put me on the generic form of Lipitor, Atorvastatin. He put on a very high dosage of 80 mg a day. So you know what happened, right? After the second day, I had the worse case of heartburn I ever had. The heartburn was significant because I had not had heartburn for at least 10-years. And the heartburn was so bad it felt like I was having a heart attack. I immediately knew something was amiss; I know my body. I read the side effects of Atorvastatin, and heartburn was one of the side effects.

The next day, I was training a client, and I told her what happened to me. She said that she was on 5 mg a day. Because she has more risk factors than I do, she wondered why my dosage was so high. Later I began to think that maybe I should take Atorvastatin once a week. Eighty milligrams once a week equaled 11 milligrams a day. So, that's what I did; I started taking my statins once a week on Sunday evening.

Six months later, I went back to my endocrinologist for a thyroid check-up. I told him what I was doing. He yelled at me and said that the medicine wasn't supposed to be taken like that and yadda, yadda, yadda. They retook my blood levels, and I waited for the results. After two weeks after not hearing from my doctor, I called the office. Low and behold, the doctor said I could continue taking the medication once a week. He was even surprised my cholesterol levels were as follows: total cholesterol 192 mg/dL, LDL 120 mg/dL, HDL 62 mg/dL. 

Some of you might think 120 LDL is just okay, but let me continue the story. In 2020, I decided to continue taking it once a week, but I upped my fiber to at least 20-23 mg daily. In October of 2020, I went to my primary doctor, and she took my cholesterol levels. The levels dropped even more with the diet high in fiber. My total cholesterol was 184 mg/dL, LDL 99 mg/dL, and my HDL 75 mg/dL. 

In February of this year, I went even further; I increased the fiber to 23-28 daily. I also started intermittent fasting six days a week. I am doing 16-hour fasts to control my weight. I just got my cholesterol redone, and the levels dropped even more. The total cholesterol was 168 mg/dL, LDL 79 mg/dL, and HDL was 72 mg/dL. 

As you can see, you can take a statin once a week, but I would tell you to make sure you are sticking to a cholesterol-lowering diet, your fiber gram levels should be in the 25-30 range, and you should also be active. If you can't stick to an exercise regime, try taking 4000 to 7000 steps a day. Gradually, work your way up to doing 10,000 steps five days a week. You can track your movement via your iPhone, Fitbit, Apple Watch, or another tracking device.

In six months, my goal will be to decrease the amount of Atorvastatin I take weekly.

*Before trying taking cholesterol-lowering medication once a week, check with your doctor first to work out a plan.