Statins side effects: Digestive issues you should not ignore – you may need a lower dose


The NHS reaffirmed: “If you find certain side effects particularly troublesome, talk to the doctor in charge of your care. Your dose may need to be adjusted or you may need a different type of statin.”

Types of statins:

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • Pravastatin (Lipostat)
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor)

Digestive issues can include constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion and/or farting.

Aside from a statin side effect, there are various reasons why you might be constipated.

This can range from not eating enough fibre (from fruit and vegetables) to not drinking enough fluids.

Other causes of constipation include:

  • Not moving/exercising enough
  • Spending long periods sitting or lying in bed
  • Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet
  • Dietary changes or change to your daily routine
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

How to treat constipation

To make your poo softer and easier to pass, you need to:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol
  • Increase the fibre in your diet
  • Add some wheat bran, oats, or linseed to your diet

Once you implement these guidelines, it can take a few weeks for symptoms of constipation to improve.

It’ll also help to rest your feet on a low stool while going to the toilet, added the NHS, especially if the knees raise above the hips (as though you’re squatting).

And you’ll need to incorporate more movement into your daily life, such as going for a walk.

If you use laxatives (medication that encourages bowel movements), they should only be used for a short period of time.

If you’ve been regularly constipation, and it lasts a long time, you’re advised by the NHS to speak to your doctor about it.

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Diarrhoea

After a long bout of constipation, diarrhoea can occur, which can be a sign of “faecal impaction”.

This is when poo has built up in the last part of the large intestine (i.e. the rectum).

When you’re suffering from diarrhoea, it’s important to remain well hydrated.

Sipping on water is the best option, as fruit juice or fizzy drinks can make diarrhoea worse.

Do I have indigestion?

Known as dyspepsia, you may have the following symptoms after eating or drinking:

  • Heartburn – a painful burning feeling in the chest, often after eating
  • Feeling full and bloated
  • Feeling sick
  • Belching and farting
  • Bringing up food or bitter-tasting fluids into your mouth

To help ease indigestion, cut down on caffeine and alcohol, and prop your head and shoulders up in bed.

It’ll also help to avoid rich, spicy or fatty foods, not to smoke, and to not take aspirin as this can make indigestion worse.





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