Two ways to fight heart disease
Friday, November 23, 2012
I wanted to tell this true story of someone who did the best they know to beat heart disease. It is a distant relative of mine who had his first quintuple bypass at age 48. I don't know details of his diet and exercise habits before his first bypass but I know that he is a (now retired) physician by profession and this was 25 years ago. After his surgery he started exercising regularly. He gradually increased riding his bicycle to where he now rides many miles, somewhere around 50, almost every day. The fact that he is still alive is considered unusual in itself. I assume that he managed to raise his HDL cholesterol through exercise and he probably lost weight and body fat, too. The other part of the story is that after 25 years the plaque in his arteries finally caught up with him again. He convinced his doctors to do a second quintuple bypass surgery, something that is rarely done, and he is doing ok now. I suspect that it will take a while for his body to recover from this procedure and I'm glad he is alive and doing comparatively well.
The thought immediately crossed my mind of what may have happened if he had been on a low-carb diet for the last 25 years. From the reading I have done I have every reason to believe that he could have reversed his arterial plaque, exercised a lot less and and not ever needed the second bypass surgery. But the information he needed to try this approach was not available to him. Most of the research that would have supported this approach is very recent with most data that is older being considered anecdotal evidence.
I have a feeling that he would have liked to have known about this anecdotal evidence. But anything that does not fit our current belief system does not get spread very quickly.
I wonder how many bypass and stent surgeries will be done in this country alone in the coming year and how many could be completely avoided if people changed their diet and added even minimal exercise. I'll leave it to someone else to do the math on how much money could be saved annually, probably enough to save our health care system.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
After 2 years on low carb, my cardiologist found out that was how I was eating. Instead of being happy I had lost 100 lbs, she ordered another heart cath. I have CHF, not clogged arteries. My arteries are huge, as is my heart. It is just weak.
Of course I had no plaque whatsoever, and now after I did another echo, and my heart is pumping 3X the blood with each beat it was 10 years ago, she is mystified. From 2001 - 2009, my heart was pumping 16% of its volume, and now it is at 45 % as of August. I had gained weight over the summer, and she told me to get back on low carb..lol.
Sadly, out of all her patients, I am the only one doing low carb. Also, I am the only one with improving heart strength, bloodwork, BP, and losing weight. People who are close to dying, are afraid that eating one egg dish, or fatty meat meal might kill them, since that is what they were told.
I think being diabetic, as well as having such a weak heart, helped me make the decision. My cardiologist thought I would be dead in 6 months, so I had nothing to lose by trying low carb. I had already made it 7.5 years, without losing any weight, or having any health improvements.
Only by ignoring their advice did I get healthier. Not sure if low carb affects plaque buildup, but maybe he wouldn't have ever had to have the 2nd surgery. I know my hospital stays are usually a day now, just to get my meds right, or get water off my lungs. Before low carb, I would spend a week every time I went in, and that cost 100 K a week in cardiac care, which is paid for by disabilty Medicare, so taxpayers. Multiply that by the thousands of heart patients, and you save billions.
1613 days ago
It's amazing he's doing so well!
I switched to eating a lot of healthy fats and back to eating protein (at least 1g for every pound of body weight) in 2009. I know you don't read my personal blog but I've recently learned I'm considered to have heart disease -- atypical because I've previously shown no symptoms (yay for being a fitness freak, I suppose).
I do not want advice but I wanted to say I'm a study in this :)
1615 days ago
We are each in control of our own health and destiny. Pages like Spark help us to take better care of ourselves.
1615 days ago
I totally agree then you have someone like my dad who had a quad. bypass in 1990 and was told if you do what we say diet, exercise, stop smoking and drinking, you will have 8 years, if not we give you 5. Well as i said that was 1990 and he just today had his 87th birthday, still eats, doesn't do any exercise and can't walk well cos of clots in his lower legs ( dr said mainly cos of his smoking and if he quit it would dimish the pain and swelling by at least 3/4).
I hope that I have his genes for this, and hope that I don't have my mums lungs and know that I have her arthritis and yea probably her lungs but pray I don't get lung ca as she. She passed 3.5 years ago.
So I have to keep remembering I don't want to be ill and a burden and as you know with my back and knees so bad now at nearly 56, I have to get on the ball and get this show on the road to contiual doing. hmmm did that make sense LOL Guess be better to say stop stopping and restarting and just continue eating well and exercising. Gotta get that primal paleo down better.
A woman that works with my son who has rhumatiod arth. in her hands, with the swollen joints etc. has gone paleo cos of my son always talking about it at work and she is totally amazed at her hands, they no longer kink, and they arent near as sore and swollen, she also has lost 11 lbs in 1.5 months. so she is a convert if she can have less pain in a month she said no reason not to do this!
Thanks for the info and I won't rely on my genetics, cos who knows whos heart genetics I got LOL
1615 days ago
Yes, but they don't want us to know because they would make less money, surgeons, drug companies and more.
1615 days ago
Thanks for sharing!
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1615 days ago
I'm glad you relative is doing OK. You have made some very good sense there. We should all read more of what is out there and see if we can correct our bad habits so that we won't need surgery down the track. Thanks
1615 days ago
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