Unlike paralysis, fatigue is unpredictable. The fatigue stroke survivors may experience means they have to break promises to do activities. So I was not happy about the constant muscle ache I felt while taking a statin to lower my cholesterol. Only about 20% of people experience this side effect, but when added to the fatigue associated with a stroke, it can be devastating. I finally got disgusted enough to tell my doctor that if he did not lower the dose of my statin I would stop taking it. He cut my dose in half and the muscle ache and fatigue receded.
I was not imaging that statins affect muscles (1, 2, 3). Researchers discovered statins interfere with a muscle's ability to store energy in small cells called mitochondria. Statins can lower the level of enzymes that mitochondria need to perform their energy-storing function.
Good news: A lower dose of a stain maintained my lower cholesterol score while it increased the energy I need to have a life worth living.
1. Bouitbir J, et al., Opposite effects of statins on mitochondria of cardiac and skeletal muscles.
Eur Heart J. 2012;33(11):1397-407.
2. Reynolds G. Can statins cut the benefits of exercise? NY Times. 2013;May 22.
3. Schirra T., et al. Stain-induced myopathy is associated with mitochondrial complexx III inhibition.
Cell Metabolism. 2015;22:399-407.