Before I go into the main topic of why I started taking Zetia, let me do some housecleaning. 2022 has been an interesting year for me in a lot of ways. I intended to continue my blogging routine but it got off course. I had a lot of educational goals this year, volunteering goals, work goals, and health goals, and I have met them. But, they did take away from my time to write here on this blog. Blogging is a stress reliever for me, as is writing in general. I have still been writing for my volunteering position, so I am still getting stress relief. But, I have neglected this blog, my personal blog. I have over 400 followers, some of who continue to read the few new posts I have done. I have now changed the name of this blog to Living Life With CKD, rather than buying a paid domain. I may upgrade in the near future, but for now, I am content with this. It is the reason I started this blog, to help others who are living with CKD. I will get back on track in 2023 with regular topics, and posts.
Now, to Zetia. If you have been reading here then you know a few things about me. I am a nurse, I have CKD which is now hovering around stage 2, and I believe the body can heal itself without medications sometimes, but not always. Sometimes you need a little nudge to help you along. It is a balancing act to keep the body in homeostasis. All through 2022, my Cholesterol has been stubbornly a little above normal. Not too high, about 20 points, but enough to concern both of my doctors. Because Heart Disease is a major complication when you have CKD both doctors wanted me to take medication to assist. They agreed to let me try lifestyle changes, including exercise, and diet modification. Even though I did those modifications it wasn’t really working. My levels would go up and down, and then my LDL went up and kind of stayed there. My Triglycerides remained OK, however. Weight loss has always been a complicated metabolic hot mess for me, so that wasn’t really happening. Because my goal has always been and will be, that I have worked so hard to improve my kidney function, something I was told was not really possible, that I didn’t want to take medication that is going to set that back. Plus, I have been tracking my blood pressure all year and it is good and stable. I don’t have high blood pressure, so they were pleased with that. Anyway, I knew my primary doctor, and my kidney doctor agreed and was going to suggest medication to assist me in getting these numbers back in line. So, after a lot of research, and soul-searching I decided to try Zetia. Zetia is not a statin and I don’t think I would ever take a statin. Statins put a lot of pressure on the kidneys and have lots of other side effects that I know I would just not be content with. Zetia is a cholesterol-absorbing inhibitor, which simply means it absorbs fat you eat in the intestines and you eliminate it in your stool. It may or may not decrease other types of fats, however, so a diet with lowered fat is optimal for the best results. I have taken it for a month and had my levels checked and all of my numbers have improved in the right direction. They are not normal yet, but I am very optimistic. I also noticed I am starting to lose some of my stubborn belly fat, and I have not changed my exercise routines. Zetia can help with weight loss if you modify your diet as well. If you don’t modify to a lower-fat diet, then Zetia will most likely not help with weight loss, but it might. I also liked that the side effects reported by others were minimal and manageable. There is always a risk of liver damage and a severe kidney effect. Liver enzymes and kidney function need to be monitored closely while taking Zetia. A severe reaction to Zetia, affecting the kidneys, would be very similar to muscle wasting symptoms, for example, dark urine, severe muscle aches, or muscle weakness. The first day I took it in the morning and noticed that I had the most common side effect which is tiredness. I can not be tired all day, I work, so I switched to taking it at bedtime and that worked very well. I just sleep through the side effects. It also inflames my sinuses, but this is a chronic issue anyway that I am very accustomed to living with. I have had no other ill effects since I started taking it and it is working. So, for now, I am very pleased with the results. It is also affordable. A 3-month supply only cost 14 dollars. I do have insurance so I am not sure what the cost is if you don’t. However, there are possible programs to help you afford your medication.
Do you have CKD? Do you have other illnesses along with it? How do you manage them? In the month of January, I will be focusing on Lipids, and Heart Disease.
Have good, honest, open discussions with your doctor about your needs and how your medications may be affecting you. There may be other options with fewer side effects that may work just as well. A good relationship with your doctor is vital to your health and well-being.
Disclaimer This is my old disclaimer. Now that I am not offering paid coaching, I will be updating it. This blog is not medical advice. It is a discussion about health-related issues and CKD. It does not replace your doctor and I would never recommend that.
I will be taking the updated Kidney Coach class for sure in 2023. I need to get my other certification completed and then I can focus on the Kidney Coach class. I am excited to start sharing that information on this blog, again.