Taking Statins? Don't Stop There

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Jonathan Sackner Bernstein, MD
You'd be surprised how frequently I'll have a patient come into me who I've given a statin to and their bad cholesterol, the LDL has dropped from 140 to 95 and they hesitantly start to ask the question that I can see coming, where they're basically asking me essentially, is this pill my steak insurance? Does that mean I can start eating steak again, that I can start having bacon and eggs for breakfast? That would not be a responsible approach. If you're making the personal investment, and I don't just mean money wise, I mean in terms of commitment to adhere to the medicine, to take the medicine and improve that blood level of cholesterol and reduce your risk, it just doesn't make sense to try to eat your way around that advantage that you've gotten. So it doesn't mean you don't need to keep to lifestyle changes that you've been able manage. I will tell you that in almost all cases, you'll have far more impact with the pill than with the amount of lifestyle modification that most people can do, but I've seen patients, and I think if you talk to doctors you'll find this to be true, I've seen patients who can eat their way around any medicine, so can undo the benefit that they would otherwise get if they don't remain responsible.