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Ask Dr. Gott 11/5
Do statins cause RLS?
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: You have written several times about Restless Legs Syndrome, but I feel you left out one very important thing. Were any of these people taking statin drugs?
    I took simvastatin for four years. After about two years, I started having slight weakness and muscle pain in my left leg. I talked to my doctor about whether the statin was to blame, and he said no. The pain got worse, and I started having Restless Legs Syndrome and cramps at night in my left leg. The weakness progressed to the point that I had to hold on to a railing to climb stairs. When it got to the point that I couldn't depress the clutch pedal in my stick-shift truck, I stopped the simvastatin without my doctor's approval. One month later, the weakness, pain, cramps and Restless Legs Syndrome were gone.
    DEAR READER: Restless Legs Syndrome is not a known side effect of simvastatin; however, all of your other symptoms were.
    I have received several letters about side effects from statin drugs and doctors claiming that the statin was not blame. I find this astonishing, especially considering all the publicity and manufacturers' warnings about these potentially serious side effects.
    I am glad that you discovered the source of your pain but urge you to return to your physician to discuss other cholesterol-lowering options. A low-fat diet combined with flaxseed oil, omega-3 or niacin may be an appropriate option. Adequate exercise can also help.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Understanding Cholesterol." Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed, stamped No. 10 envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have been reading of the success of lipoflavonoids on dizziness in your column. There has never been any mention of the time span when this treatment becomes effective. Could you advise how long it takes to see some improvement?
    DEAR READER: How fast improvement is seen varies from person to person and is dependent on the severity of the problem. Some may experience improvement within a few days or weeks, while others may not see results for up to six months. The product doesn't work for everyone.
    If you have not done so, I urge you to see your doctor regarding your dizziness. This can be a symptom of benign conditions such as vertigo, as well as potentially serious disorders such as heart disease. Once the cause has been determined, appropriate treatment can begin. Lipoflavonoids should be used only for harmless-but-annoying conditions. Dizziness associated with heart disease should be treated by dealing with the underlying disorder.
    To give you related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Report "Coronary Artery Disease" and "Ear Infections and Disorders."
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