How Do You Stay Heart Healthy?

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rich01

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Aug 23, 2018
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119
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Virginia US
Aside from medications, what do you do to stay (or get) heart healthy? What supplements do you take and why? How much and what kind of exercise do you do? Anything that has made a big improvement?
 

rich01

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Aug 23, 2018
Messages
119
Location
Virginia US
Almost 4 years ago I was diagnosed with mild aortic stenosis. Doctor didn't make any recommendations and I didn't realize what a serious disease I had. I didn't change anything.

A year later I was diagnosed with moderate aortic stenosis. Again, different doctor but no recommendations. The biggest changes I made were to go on a mostly vegetarian diet and start taking vitamin K.

At 3 years I was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. Different doctor, still no recommendations or medications. Two more echoes over the last year, and for the most part stenosis seems to have stabilized, but still severe and will require valve replacement. Had heart cath and found some blockage, primarily in OM2. Doctor prescribed aspirin and Crestor. I asked about diet, exercise, supplements, but no recommendation was made.

I only take 5 mg of Crestor every other day because cholesterol is fine without it. I just take it to help with inflammation. I also take 2 81 mg aspirin and a BP med every day.

Here's what else I take: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Hawthorn Berry (for blood pressure), Methyl B12 and Folate, fish oil, Niacin (for lipids/cholesterol), l-arginine (for nitric oxide production), berberine (glucose control), and MSM.

MSM made a huge difference. I was having discomfort in my heart area. The cardiologist said it was muscular and not angina. Based on something I read, I thought sulfur might help, so I started taking MSM. Almost immediately the pain went away and hasn't returned.

On the exercise side, I decided to follow the advice they give to people after having a heart attack. I walk and walk and walk. I even bought an electric lawnmower to replace my riding lawn mower to make sure I get out and walk. I have a huge lawn, so just following the lawnmower around is 15-20 miles of walking a week. I recently added a 1 mile walk in the morning and another 1 mile in the evening. The stronger your heart is going into surgery, the stronger it is coming out.

I think much of my problem was a result of a leaky gut. With my doctor's help, I was able to fix that last year. My level of inflammation as measured in the Cleveland Heart Lab's Inflammation panel is now in the low category.

One area that was a big problem for me and I bet for a lot of others was I was afraid of having a heart attack. Every pain anywhere near my heart made me afraid to live my life. I finally looked up exactly what the symptoms of a heart attack were and decided that if I had a pain and it wasn't on the list, it wasn't a heart attack and not to be afraid to live. It is amazing how much that simple decision has improved my life.
 

Warrick

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Dec 27, 2015
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506
Location
New Zealand
I take daily a 25/45 mcg pill of D3/K2 as I read it may help put the calcium in your bones rather than your heart, as my mitral valve has/is recalcified since it was decalcified when I had AVR.
I also take 100mcg K1 daily with no effect on warfarin dose, and I use the K1 tablets to adjust my INR if above range rather than changing my dose which works well.
 

Classtime Sailer

Active member
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Jun 2, 2013
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43
Location
Los Angeles, CA
For exercise, I ride my bike to work about 150 miles per week and then a fast ride of 50 miles with lots of hills on Saturday. I eat a Whole Foods plant based diet 99% vegan. I put turmeric in my oatmeal with a spray of b-12 each morning. No other supplements and no meds. (61 yo with a 7 1/2 yo porcine AV)
 

BGold

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
14
Location
Longwood FL
AVR (Edwards 3300TFX Pericardial Tissue) replaced April 2, 2013, no blood pressure or cholesterol medication. One baby aspirin and one multivitamin a day. Walk the dogs a few miles a day, competitive racquetball 2-3 times a week, pickleball twice a week, throw in some kayaking and golf. Great family…. Life is Good!
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
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Feb 10, 2007
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Location
louisville, KY USA
Aside from medications, what do you do to stay (or get) heart healthy? What supplements do you take and why? How much and what kind of exercise do you do? Anything that has made a big improvement?
Try not to live your life as a "heart patient". Live and do what you like......just try to avoid "excess" in your behaviors or habits. Personally, I wonder how the hell I survived the first thirty post op years. The last 20+ years have been pretty healthy......mostly due to age slowing me down, not my heart problems. I've never been a believer in supplements although I have tried a few over the years that were "fashionable" at the time.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
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Nov 4, 2012
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6,474
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
...Personally, I wonder how the hell I survived the first thirty post op years. ...
you didn't, but your family had you spun up in this highly detailed AI simulation of the past, so you could live out the years you were denied in bliss (and we're all AI chat-bots this is the cheapest part of the sim)
 

btlRickas01

Member
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Chicago western suburbs
For exercise, I ride my bike to work about 150 miles per week and then a fast ride of 50 miles with lots of hills on Saturday. I eat a Whole Foods plant based diet 99% vegan. I put turmeric in my oatmeal with a spray of b-12 each morning. No other supplements and no meds. (61 yo with a 7 1/2 yo porcine AV)
I envy your 50 mile fast ride!

I run 3 times a week, either indoors or trails. Weekly mileage usually about 6-9 miles. Occasional 30 mile bike rides.
Prior to surgery I was running 12-15 miles a week trying to stay in shape for the eventual surgery. I knew about my bicuspid AV and aneurysm for about 15 years prior to surgery.

(63 yo with 5 yo porcine AV)
 

Superman

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
745
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Cardio 4x a week. Varies if I ride, take a spin class, or run. Due to time and weather, I’ve been almost exclusively running this summer.

No supplements. Normal diet (everything in moderation).
 

newarrior

Have mild AS live in Thailand
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Bangkok, Thailand
Walk, gym, swim, meditate, magnesium powder, nature, K2, natto, flax, salmon/tuna otherwise vegan whole food, volunteer cat shelter, live cheap overseas in Thailand, no full time job, lots of time in Buddhist temples, synagogue, seek support, shrink, melatonin, sugar free soy milk, garlic, ginger, Coq10, B vitamins, lots of water, fasting, work on sleep, stress reduction, avoid caffeine all forms of alcohol
 

Savymom

Member
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Jul 26, 2015
Messages
24
Location
Washington
Personally, I exercise 5-6 days a week. Mostly weight training. Cardio one to two times a week.

I am also vegetarian, and eat primarily a plant based diet.

There is a great dr. I follow online who is doing a lot of research on vegan plant based diets for clients with heart disease. She treats her clients with plant based diets. Look up The Veggie MD online- her name is Dr. Danielle Belardo.
 

Protimenow

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Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,765
Location
California
The title of this thread is 'How do you stay Heart Healthy.' I assume that you expected responses from people who thought that they WERE heart healthy. I was trying to make a bit of an awkward joke.

I'm still not exactly sure what 'heart healthy' actually means.
 

Paleowoman

VR.org Supporter
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Jun 14, 2010
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Location
Surrey, UK
Well I consider I'm 'heart heathy’ whatever that means ( @rich01 ) - apart from the carp replacement valve I got - I suspect I’m ‘heart healthy’ because I keep being given repeat CT angiograms, had three over a period of nine years, and the angiograms show that I have not a trace of atherosclerosis and calcium score is 0. They keep checking with CT angios because, I think, they can’t quite believe that someone with ‘high’ cholesterol (344 US numbers, 8.9 European numbers) could not have atheroscloerosis, but my ‘high’ cholesterol is due to high HDL (135 US, 3.5 European) and very low triglycerides (35 US, 0.4 European). I take no cholesterol or blood pressure medication.

My cholesterol profile has been averaging like that for the past 12 years (measured every six months) since I adopted a low carbohydrate/high fat diet with moderate protein, prior to that my cholesterol profile was what doctors would call “normal". I eat oily ‘wild’ fish every day, also organically reared pasture fed meat every day, lots of leafy green vegetables with every meal, sometimes cheese, eggs, nuts such as almonds and a lot of added organic coconut oil and organic beef fat. Glass of wine with supper every day. I eat no grain foods, no starchy vegetables, no sweet foods, no fruit apart from occasionally a few berries, and no processed foods. For supplements I have daily: omega-3’s 2g, vitamin D3 1,500IU, and vitamin K2 as MK-7 200mcg. I do exercise every day, sometimes weight lifting (not so much since AVR as there’s a problem with one of my shoulders which is partly due to problem with left sternoclavicular joint due to sternotomy), but I continue to do lots of walking, I try to do 4 or 5 miles each day.
 

leadville

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Aug 28, 2017
Messages
252
Location
Greater Manchester, England
@Paleowoman

Hi Anne , i was watching the video again last night you mentioned a while back about the 3 day fat loading prior to a lipid test.

I'm due to test in September and i plan to try it (y)

As i mentioned before 3.5 HDL is awesome
 

Paleowoman

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Location
Surrey, UK
Hi Anne , i was watching the video again last night you mentioned a while back about the 3 day fat loading prior to a lipid test.

I'm due to test in September and i plan to try it (y)
Hi @leadville - it will only work if you are already on a low carb/high fat diet for some time and then mega load the fat for three days before. Here's a short piece about it and an explanation of why it might work: https://blog.bulletproof.com/how-to-lower-cholesterol-fast/

Going very low carb/high fat like I have done for the past 12 years often raises total cholesterol and LDL and also raises HDL - mine kept on rising year by year - but reduces triglycerides.

But it's not to say it's healthy to eat mega high fat as in the three days before the test for a longer time, it's quite tricky too to eat so much fat, but it's just to show how it's possible to manipulate the test for cholesterol/lipid numbers so it appears your numbers are 'conventionally' good :sneaky: If the test can be manipulated so easily, and by eating a ton of fat, what value does it have ? And what does it say about the current cholesterol anti-fat hypothesis of heart disease ?

Since my cholesterol is so high (even though it's a protective profile) I too will be doing this test again when I have my next lipid test. If my total cholesterol and LDL drop hugely again I shall then spill the beans to my endocrinologist :D I know he'll be very interested. I love what he wrote in his report when I first did this experiment: "From a metabolic viewpoint the most interesting thing is that her lipid profile has markedly improved where she made some changes with a higher fat diet" - by doing that experiment my total cholesterol had gone down to 5.5 (212 US) and LDL to 1.8 (69 US) HDL stayed at 3.5 (135 US) and trigs dropped to 0.3 (26 US) - amazing just by eating really tons of fat for the three days before the test.
 
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