The results for the blood tests done on February 20 showed marked improvement in my cholesterol levels. At the same time, I do not seem to be suffering any side effect of Lipitor as evident from the renal and liver profiles. This is good news indeed. I am to continue with the 10mg daily dosage. The doctors scheduled another blood test in June just to be sure.
Since I started on the cholesterol-reducing medicine, I have cut down dramatically on pork in my diet and replaced that with fish, either salmon or threadfin. Additionally, it is supplemented with folic acid, Vitamin B complex, cordyceps, Omega-3 fish oil and CoenzymeQ10.
It may appear like I am taking too many pills and turning into a supplement junkie. Anything to keep my frail kidneys at it current functional levels. Besides, these supplements do not seem to be doing any damage to my health apart from making a big dent in my bank account.
Renal profile for February 20, 2012
Sodium 140 (139) mmol/L
Potassium 4.8 (4.8) mmol/L
Chloride 106 (105) mmol/L
Total CO2 25.6 (26.0) mmol/L
Anion Gap 13 (13) mmol/L
Urea 7.5 (7.8) mmol/L
Creatinine 273 (272) umol/L
Liver profile for February 20, 2012
Total Protein 78 (76) g/L
Albumin 39 (38) g/L
Globulin 39 (37) g/L
Total Bilirubin 7 (8) umol/L
Conjugated Bilirubin 2 (2) umol/L
Alk Phosphatase 78 (86) IU/L
ALT (GPT) 18 (17) IU/L
AST (GOT) 10 (15) IU/L
Gamma GT 13 (12) IU/L
Lipid profile for February 20, 2012
Triglyceride 1.0 (1.4) mmol/L
Total cholesterol 3.1 (4.7) mmol/L
HDL 1.01 (0.97) mmol/L
LDL 1.64 (3.09) mmol/L
Braised pig trotter with fatt choy, New She Lai Ton Restaurant, Ipoh.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S II.
With the festive celebrations over and done with, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. It has been an especially difficult time for me. I had a hard time resisting all the good food that came with the ocassion. In fact, I worry that I may have over-indulged.
I need to seriously go back to the basics of my dietary requirements of low-everything; low-protein, low-sodium, low-purine, low-phosphorous, and now, low-cholesterol. Anything to preserve whatever renal function left in my kidneys.
Another blood test is due in two weeks. The doctors ordered it to check if Lipitor has any adverse effect on my liver and especially my kidneys. The most serious being rhabdomyolysis. This is the breakdown of muscle tissues that leads to the release of a huge amount of myoglobin into the blood stream and causes kidney failure.
The only side effect that I experienced so far was the first few days after I began taking the medicine. My philtrum and upper lips twitched incessantly. The twitchings stopped a week or so later. The blood tests shall reveal whether I suffered other subclinical effects.
Until two days ago, my only medicine was Detrusitol SR 4mg for a neurogenic bladder. Yesterday, on the first day of 2012, I had to add one more to my daily medication for another health problem that has cropped up. My HDL and LDL cholesterol are not at their ideal levels. There is also the family history of heart disease. My father died of congestive heart failure.
The lipid profile done on November 18, 2011 was not too positive. My HDL cholesterol was 0.97 mmol/L and LDL cholesterol was 3.09 mmol/L. The ideal ranges should be above 1.10 mmol/L and below 2.59 mmol/L for the HDL and LDL respectively. In short, I have high cholesterol!
Lipitor 10mg (atorvastatin) daily to treat my high cholesterol.
Taking into consideration the family history, the undesirable levels of both HDL and LDL cholesterol and the fact that I lead a very sedentary lifestyle, I was advised by Dr. Kumaran of the UMMC Spinal Rehab Clinic to go on atorvastatin therapy. This is to keep my cholesterol levels in check and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke later on.
I took my first dose of 10mg Lipitor (crystalline atorvastatin calcium) last night just before bed. The serious side effects of taking Lipitor include muscle problems that could lead to kidney failure, and liver problems. A blood test to check on my liver and renal functions is scheduled in February. Hopefully, Lipitor will not exacerbate my existing kidney problem. I am keeping my fingers crossed.