Question: My cholesterol check was 48 HDL and 199 LDL and they want me to take a drug with terrible side effects. I know it is all heredity. My diet is like a nun’s and I swim 1/2 mile daily.

A heart scan at Rush in Chicago said that there was a 95% probability that I would NOT develop heart disease in my lifetime but the Dr. has issued dire warnings about heart attack etc.

I take fish oil and niacin but they tried two statins on me and both had terrible reactions immediately. So now I worry about their dire predictions. But the statins have tremendous negative side effects even if I could tolerate them.

Do I have other options to bring that number down? What can I do? What else can I do without the awful drugs and side effects?

She suggested Questran which changes the digestive tract completely, can cause gall stones, and many other awful things. Please give me your counsel because every other line in the blood work is excellent.

My body is fine except for the cholesterol numbers and they hit the panic button and then I am worried.

Larry’s Response: Doctors follow protocols. They are easy, quick, and safe – three things doctors appreciate most.

When done according to an approved protocol, neither the doctor nor the drug make can be held liable for any unpleasant consequences.

Well over 10 years ago my doctor “fired” me because I refused to take a statin (“just a very small dose”).

My cholesterol was a whopping 200. The doctor said that he couldn’t be my doctor if I refused to take the medicine he prescribed.

No discussion.

No consideration for my position.

He followed his protocol. I haven’t seen him in a long time.

It seems you’ve already decided on your course of action. It seems reasonable to me.