Is Your New Statin Adversely Affecting Your Mental Health?

Is Your New Statin Adversely Affecting Your Mental Health?

( – It’s probably safe to assume most of us take medications expecting a tolerable balance of benefits and risks. Side effects for any medication can vary from person to person, but severe events do occur. Some can have lasting, even life-altering, effects.

Statins appear to be among numerous medications that can have serious effects on mental health. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the effects of statin use on your mood. Here’s what to watch out for.

Everyone Has Become More Irritating

You might feel like the entire world is going out of its way to push your buttons. Even the people you care about get on your nerves, and you may have a hard time holding back your anger and frustration.

Sound familiar? If you take a statin each day to lower your cholesterol, it could be making you more irritable, and you might not even be aware that it’s affecting your behavior. You might feel angry, aggressive and annoyed, seeing everything around you as the problem when everyone else sees an irritable mess.

This may be due to hormonal changes caused by depleted cholesterol levels. Dr. Kelly Brogan explains that cholesterol is necessary for the body to make testosterone and estrogen, as well as other compounds the nervous system needs to function properly. Yes, excessive cholesterol in the blood can lead to cardiovascular disease — but not having enough could be just as harmful in different ways.

You’ve Become Depressed

Statins could be responsible for some cases of depression. One study highlights several cases connecting statin use with the development of severe depression and other serious mental health issues. The researchers suggest some of these changes may have been severe enough to disrupt careers, marriages and other aspects of people’s lives. Some of the cases ended in suicide.

These profound effects may be due, at least in part, to the possible depletion of a metabolite called coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which the body makes when it manufactures cholesterol. Reduced cholesterol production means reduced production of everything else the body makes alongside it, and CoQ10 just happens to be an essential nutrient for your mitochondria. Deficiencies can cause your body to undergo oxidative stress, which can affect the brain.

Excessively low lipids in the bloodstream may also inhibit the transport of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which can also contribute to psychiatric symptoms.

You’re Not Sleeping Well

Statins could also worsen sleep problems. Fat-soluble varieties like simvastatin appear to cause insomnia and nightmares, and they may also contribute to sleep apnea. Combined, these problems may exacerbate issues with irritability, leading to aggression and possibly even violent behavior.

Any drug can have unexpected or undesirable effects, so statins aren’t unique in that regard. The severity of issues some statins may be able to cause is concerning — but you should never discontinue a prescription medication without first seeking medical advice. Talk to your doctor if you suspect statin use is affecting your mental health. There may be alternatives, such as water-soluble formulations, that might be less hazardous to your mood.

~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!

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