liver problems

  1. Feeling tired? Could be your statin

    Statins cause fatigue

    Tired, and can't figure out why?

    It might not be your diet, your age, or even your sleep habits. It could be your drugs instead.

    Fatigue is a common side effect of any number of meds, and a new study finds one class of drugs that dramatically up the odds of the condition in women.

    And they're the drugs being given out to practically everyone.

    Alarming new numbers show that fatigue can slam up to 40 percent of women who take cholesterol-lowering statin medications -- and that for 10 percent of women, their energy levels sink to such lows that they rated themselves as "much worse" after taking the drugs.

    That was the lowest possible rating they could have used in the six-month study, which compared simvastatin (aka Zocor) and pravastatin (aka Pravachol) to a placebo.

    The researchers say both drugs increased the risk of fatigue, but the effect was much more noticeable among the women who took simvastatin.

    But I don't think you need to pick one drug over the other based on how they might affect your energy levels -- because you don't need either, or any other statin for that matter.

    These widely used meds are far more dangerous than most people realize, and even patients who've taken them for years can suddenly find themselves battling side effects out of the blue.

    One recent warning from the feds confirmed that statins can cause diabetes as well as memory loss and confusion. We also know that these drugs as a class can raise the risk of severe muscle pain, kidney and liver problems, cataracts, and have even been linked to sexual dysfunction.

    There are so many side effects that even many of the doctors I know who once stood by them are now trying to get their patients off them.

    Fortunately, I've never prescribed them in the first place, because there are much safer and far more effective ways to bring your cholesterol levels down to where they need to be.

    Start with the basics, diet and exercise -- and if you succeed with those lifestyle changes, your cholesterol levels will come down to where they should be and you'll feel more energetic than you have in years.

    And for more on natural cholesterol control, subscribe to my printed newsletter, Health Revelations.

  2. Natural solutions for gout

    Gout used to be known as "the rich man's disease" because it usually struck the wealthy -- the only ones who could afford to over-consume the foods that cause this painful form of arthritis.

    Today, you don't have to be rich (or even a man) to suffer from gout -- just fat. And since more people are fatter than ever before, more people are also battling the foot pain that marks this condition.

    New numbers show that 4 percent -- or 8.3 million Americans -- fought gout in 2008, compared to just 1 percent between 1988 and 1994.

    That's a 400-percent increase inside of a generation -- and in the coming years, it could get even worse. Recent government numbers show 21 percent of us have high levels of the uric acid responsible for gout.

    That's an increase of 700 percent from the surveys taken between 1988 and 1994.

    But whatever you do, don't turn to Big Pharma's solution for gout. Drugs designed to treat the problem have been known to cause nausea, joint pain, and even liver problems. They've also been linked to chest pain, vomiting, bruising, constipation, allergic reactions, and even more gout flare-ups.

    There are better ways to beat gout, and you can get some of the most immediate relief with something that was often dismissed as a folk remedy -- until a recent study found it really worked.

    Researchers say 20 cherries eaten over 48 hours can reduce the risk of a gout attack by 50 percent, while cherry extract slashed the odds by 40 percent. I've noticed cherry juice popping up on supermarket shelves, so feel free to give that a try. Just make sure it's 100 percent cherry juice and not cherry-flavored sugar water.

    If you don't have any cherries handy, try celery. Celery can keep the enzyme that produces uric acid in check, and some people have reported gout relief from as little as a single stalk.

    Others need more -- nearly an entire bunch -- and all the peanut butter in the world won't make it any easier to eat that much. If that's the case, try 75mg of celery seed extract, twice a day, instead.

    You don't have to be rich to get gout. And since celery -- and celery seed -- is cheap and plentiful, you don't have to be rich to beat it, either.

  3. Statins on the ropes

    Researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration examined 14 trials involving more than 34,000 low-risk statin patients--influential studies used to push these drugs on millions--and found serious flaws in the research.

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