The first thing that struck me about leaving hospital is that I had had no screening for what caused the problem. Plenty of drugs to sort out the symptons but no advice on how to treat the root cause or causes. I had not even had any dietary advice which seemed strange although I now realise that this comes in a group session a month or two afterwards. You might think that a couple of month’s gap between getting dietary advice and heart attack is a bit much. I suggest this not because 2 months is likely to reek untold havoc on the endothelial wall of your arteries, but because it gives you time to research into what aspects of diet actually contribute to heart disease and then realse that at the group meeting a great deal of the dietary advice is wrong and out of date. I will cover this meeting later and how I thought the rest of the 40 strong group came close to lynching me.
After a month I decided to end all but two of my drugs which were playing havoc with my stomach. One thing you don’t welcome after a heart attack is heartburn as it takes a while to distinguish between the two. I dropped the blood pressure tablet as before, during and after my hospital stay my blood pressure numbers were always OK and have continued to be around 120 over 80. I also dropped the heart rate controlling drug as once again my heart beat whilst resting is consistently around 60 to 65.. The final ejection and one which caused a great fall out with the doctors was my rejection of the Statin. There has been plenty of research evidence in which a Mediterranean diet has proved as effective as Statins in controlling inflamation and cholesterol levels and although Statins have been found to be useful in secondary prevention I decided that radical diet change with plenty of cholesterol checks to monitor my progress was my preferred way forward. I stayed with the platelet inhibitor for 6 months and aspirin for 9 months.
The doctors were not happy when I declared my intentions although this seemed at odds with the fact that after 9 months of post heart attack recovery, not one GP or Cardio has taken a single blood pressure reading, cholesterol reading, blood glucose reading or C Reactive Protein reading. This leads me on to the next problem I encountered with the post treatment. Not only were they not testing anything but when I requested tests myself at my GP, they seemed to be testing the wrong things. For example you can get your cholesterol tested with your GP and they will tell you your total Cholesterol, HDL and LDL readings but you have to request the more useful indicator CRP, which is a better indicator of oxidisation, the probable culprit with heart disease. It would also be useful to find out the composition of particle size with regard to LDL. The problem I had with this request is not that my Cardio could not offer it for free, I expected this and was willing to pay if he posted me in the right direction. What worried me more was that he did not know what I was talking about.
Based on my research the most probable culprit in my case was sugar. My 6 cups of tea per day each with a sugar in and my consumption of dessert’s, bread,pasta etc was probably causing my 2012 cholesterol LDL reading of 3.9. It now stands at 2.1 without the use of Statins. I should also point out that probably a big part in that LDL reduction is the fact that I take a daily Krill oil tablet. It was when I started taking Krill that my numbers fell further from 3.0 to 2.1, The important factors with Krill over fish oil seem to be the easier absorbtion of DHA and EPA and the presence of a powerful antioxidant in Astaxanthin. Its more easily absorbed than fish oil and I have far less gastric upset from taking it.
If you check out the role of fat in heart disease you will soon realise that it’s unlikely that fat plays any great role in promoting heart disease. The Inuit Eskimo tribe have a huge consumption of fat and yet heart disease is pretty much unheard of within the population. In fact heart disease has only really exploded within western societies in tandem with the industrialised production of grains and processed food. Whether you look at the Okinawa’s of Japan or rural Chinese populations or any other low heart disease groups, the absence of processed food and high sugar intake seems a fairly common denominator. My diet therefore centred around no sugar at all and the reduction of foods that produce sugar spikes in the blood, namely simple carb’s. These simple changes resulted my weight plummeting back to what it was when I was 25 years old, namely 11 stone 7 lbs, a full 2.5 stones below my pre heart attack weight despite me eating as much as I want and indeed can. I have never really eaten red meat and my consumption of white meat is low and now only free range. Modern meat production is based on feeding cattle and poultry on cheap grains which in turn pollute your system. Fish remains on the menu in particular oily fish such as salmon and mackerel which I luckily enjoy. Make sure you buy wild salmon however otherwise you are again buying battery fed fish.
In the next post I will discuss how my rejection of Statins caused my discharge from my hospital despite my protests and how I had to get my local MP involved to help tackle this blatant victimisation.