CAD/heart disease. Now what do I do?

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allen-uk
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 1/22/2006 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello.

I recently had some scans which showed extensive calcification of coronary arteries, which is obviously worrying.

At present I have no symptoms at all, but apparently that is not unusual.

What I want to know is what I can do to lengthen my chances of surviving another 20+ years.

I am 58, male,
haven't smoked for 19 years,
been teetotal for 3 (alcoholic before that),
have one leg missing (due to the drink),
well overweight,
not very fit,
mainly vegetable diet (plus some fish).
I now take low-dose aspirin, statin, blood-pressure pills.
My father and grandfathers all died fairly young, mainly from heart-related disease. My mother and the rest of my female relations lived longer.

So, what chance have I got of making it to 80! And what can I do to improve the odds?

Thanks for reading this.

Allen-UK, London.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 1/22/2006 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Allen, Welcome to Healing Well!  It sounds as if you have done extensive changes to your lifestyle already.  I wanted to congratulate you also on quitting smoking and drinking, that is great and will undoubtedly prolong your life.  So will a sensible balanced diet and exercise which is important for us heart patients.  I wonder what your cardiologist had to say about the matter.  Or did you ask him?  The fact of the matter is that none of us really know so we should just take care of our selves like we should and hope for the best.

~elisha


allen-uk
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 1/23/2006 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Elisha, and thanks for the reply.

I suspect what you say is true, but I must say I was optimistically looking for rules and regulations.

When my liver was complaining, I gave up drinking.

When I was buying cough medicine along with my cigarettes, I gave up smoking.

And now my heart (well, arteries in this case) are ringing alarm bells, the truth seems to be that I should have started making changes 30-plus years ago....

Still, we have to face what is, not what might have been, so I'll take your advice and hope for the best.

Best wishes,

Allen, London.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 1/23/2006 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Allen, I wish I could tell you some rules and regulations but I don't know of any. Maybe someone else who posts in here can help in this area?

In my case, I am 32 yrs old and have bradycardia (slow heart rate) and have a pacemaker implant as of 9/05.  My cardiologist also found that I have a VTE (a hole in-between my two ventricles).  I had smoked on and off for 13 years and just quit for good this past June as I had been feeling really bad.  I have Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed in 2001 and there are severe heart problems on both sides of my family.  My mom has Mitrovalve Prolapse and has to have 4 valves replaced she is 51. 

Of course arteries may be a different case entirely.  We are in United States, Missouri.  Sorry I couldn't be of further help.

Best of wishes to you for a long and happy life tongue

~elisha


Kathlyn1950
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 1/23/2006 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Allen, welcome to the message board. I hope you get the advice you need. It might help a lot of us. No kidding aside, I never have asked that question, but have wondered, too. I guess I need to talk to my cardiologist soon!

"When you get into a tight place and it seems that you can't go on, hold on — for that's just the place and the time that the tide will turn." Harriet Beecher Stowe


hcarnold
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/25/2006 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Allen,                                                 1/25/06

   64 years old and had a heart attack and 4 by-pass surgery in 1994, and thats when i quit smoking. I have arterial disease thru out and had to have two stints two years back. I too am 50 # over weight with very little exercise, diabetic, aurthritus, bad hips and one knee....outside of that I'm doing great...

   The best thing I can share with you is to go to you cardioligist and ask for a heart cath screening, that is the ultimate test to find out exactly what  is wrong. It may call for by-pass surgery or maybe stints, but, that is the best test that I think you need at this time.

   Good luck and keep in touch, this is a great web site, new to me today.....

Harold Arnold USA  :-)


erskinej
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 1/25/2006 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Allen,

Best advice I can give you is lose weight--and keep in a cardiac rehab program--even if there is an extra cost (not sure how England does it--but in America, most rehab programs will let you keep participating if you pay a nominal fee). otherwise, keep your visits to your physician, and watch your LDL--goal being as low (70 or below) as possible.

Also, what is your ejection fraction? That is a big part of your life expectancy. Lastly, calcium scoring is good and helpful, but not the gold standard for detection of heart disease--I recommend seeing a cardiologist.

Good luck.

allen-uk
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 1/28/2006 4:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Erskine.

Thanks for that. I am losing weight, although not as quickly as I might. The single leg doesn't help, as it inhibits 'normal' exercise. However, I walk a mile or two most days, which must do some good....

We use a different scoring system for cholesterol over here (single figures), and my 'good' vs 'bad' has always been inside the normal range.

Rehab, or as I haven't had an event (yet), maybe prehab. No active program in the UK, although my GP does keep an eye, and prescribes low-dose aspirins, statins, etc., and I check my own BP at home (125-70 is about average).

I don't know what an ejection fraction is, and can't hazard a guess! Explanation would help, thanks. And I am seeing a cardiologist for a first visit in a couple of weeks.

Allen-UK.

whoa182
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 2/6/2006 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
To improve your odds of getting through this you will have to lower your calories to around 1800k/cal a day while maintaing excellent nutrition, 10 or more vegetables a day and some fruits, Olive oil, omega 3 from salmon and some nuts like almonds. Speak to your doctor about any diet changes. I know many people that reversed early stage CAD. I practise CR so if you need any advice email me matt@matthewlake.plus.com

Read these:

http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/html/health_news/210404heart.html
latest research: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060113112537.htm


My latest results after one year of practising CR
Blood Pressure = 90/60
Total Cholesterol = 120mg
 HDL cholesterol = 46mg/dl
LDL cholesterol = 65mg/dl
Triglycerides  = 35mg/dl  
Fasting glucose = 83mg
White Blood Count = 3.1

Matt


allen-uk
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/7/2006 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Harold, thanks for the advice.

Since getting out walking again after a period of leg problems, plus a low-carbohydrate diet, I have lost a fair bit of weight (20 pounds), which is a start, and I will carry on with this now that my false leg has finally started working properly!

Matt: again, thanks for the advice, much appreciated, but I need an explanation of CR, i.e. what is it and why do you practice it? I have followed a similar diet to the one you advocate for some years now, although I don't count calories.

Allen-UK, London.

whoa182
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 2/7/2006 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Calorie Restriction with optimal nutrition is basically lowering calories to upto 30% lower than what the average person should consume daily. CR is known for it's life extending effects, it slows down aging in all animals tested, and it looks like it works on monkeys and probably humans too. Doing CR reduces the risk of all cancers, diabetes, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, heart disease, stroke Parkinsons, alzheimer's and more... Like I said, we have many people that were showing signs of early heart disease and now their risk factor is close to zero, these changes happen really quickly too.

But it is only effective when nutrition is kept very good, I generally eat around 16 vegetables and some frutis per day, aswell as salmon, nuts, chicken, healthy fats like olive oil. Also I supplement a lot to make sure i am not short on some vitamins and minerals. I also weigh everything I eat and calculate it using software, like this:

WITHOUT SUPPLEMENTS
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v141/whoa182/72c9ec99.jpg (enlarge to see properly!)

With supplements ( different day)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v141/whoa182/DWIDP.jpg

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post this link but if you want to find out more information you can go look here www.calorierestriction.org
One good thing about CR is that it's never too late to start! We see animals equiv of 60 year old humans have their life extended quite dramatically!

CR could save your life ;) over 70 years of research on it

Kathlyn1950
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 2/8/2006 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Allen. Did you ever get your question answered about the ejection fraction? I didn't see it but may have missed the reply. This is what I found on a google search to explain. I know what mine is (around 55%), but not sure how to explain it properly.

"An blood that is pumped out of the heart’s main pumping chamber during each heartbeat. “Fraction” refers to the fact that, even in a healthy heart, some blood always remains within this chamber after each heartbeat. Therefore an ejection fraction is a percentage of the blood within the chamber that is pumped out with every heartbeat. An EF of 55 to 75 percent is considered normal. A higher than normal ejection fraction could indicate the presence of certain heart conditions, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A low ejection fraction could be a sign that the heart is weakened."

The entire article is here: http://heart.healthcentersonline.com/heartfailure/ejectionfraction.cfm

My cardiologist said that a normal EF is 60-65. I guess the experts disagree what is normal.

Sounds like you got some excellent advice, but I also hope you talk to your doctor to get her or his advice, too. I believe that cardiac rehab helped my heart heal. I had to have an "event" in order for my insurance to pay, though. I hope you get the help that you need! Hugs, Kathy
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