Reversing Heart Disease … How Are We Doing?
“We cannot make good news out of bad practice.” ~Edward R. Murrow
Dr. Crandall walked into the exam room, test results in hand, grinned at Bill and said his stress test results were GREAT!–adding less than 2% of his patients score so well on the test. The nuclear images were all good and Bill’s blood pressure response during the treadmill exercise phase of the test was also good.
Taking a good look at Bill, patting him here and there, he was happy to see him looking so fit, obviously keeping up with his exercise.
It’s a little more than two years now since Bill’s heart attack, and more than a year since Dr. Crandall said he was healthy enough to get off all the medication (he now takes only a baby aspirin and niacin daily). So this consultation was a big deal for us! It was time to get our report card and see the results from the lifestyle changes we’d put in place more than two years ago. To take a closer look at Bill’s heart, a nuclear stress test was prescribed (you can read about it here), a heart ultrasound, and advanced lab work. This was his first heart ultrasound. The ultrasound looks at the structure and the valves of the heart where, in contrast, the stress test looks at the arteries. So we were very interested! Continue reading Progress Report ~ Spring 2015
Bill Goes Nuclear
It’s time to go beyond lab work and see how Bill is doing with the lifestyle changes we put in place two years ago. So here we are at the nuclear stress test lab, preparing for a followup with Dr. Crandall.
Nuclear Stress Test… sounds kind of ominous, doesn’t it? It goes by a number of different names but this one’s called nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), and it will be done to assess the health of his heart as well as blood flow to the heart. After injecting a radioactive liquid called a tracer into his bloodstream, a series of heart pictures (32 in Bill’s case) will be taken with a special camera before and then again after exercise while his vessels are dilated to assess blood flow. As Bill’s nurse explained, “blockages don’t dilate.” In his book, The Simple Heart Cure, Dr. Crandall writes, “the heart lights up like a lantern wherever there’s good blood profusion. If an area of the heart remains dark, we know that blood isn’t flowing as it should.” Continue reading Nuclear Stress Test
Creamy, Delicious Soup ~ Gluten-free and Dairy-free Too!
Have you figured out by now I love soups and other one-pot meals? Plus, these types of meals always mean leftovers… and yep, we love leftovers!
This was originally.. simply.. Potato-Leek Soup. Bill is not super fond of pureed soups but being an agreeable sort he ate it and said he enjoyed it. Later that same week on a cool, rainy night I was re-heating some for dinner and remembered I also had steamed broccoli leftover from the night before. It just seemed brilliant to throw it in the soup, and voila! … Potato-Leek & Broccoli Soup was born. I love this comforting soup and so does Bill.
Since his heart event I had put aside recipes that call for dairy milk or cream to avoid the saturated fat, preferring the fat in our diet come from healthier sources such as nuts, seeds and olive oil. This is especially true since I’ve learned dairy fat is also inflammatory, which is known to cause plaque buildup in our arteries. But recently I’ve discovered the magic of cashew cream! Oh the possibilities! Now those creamy, rich and delicious recipes we used to love are back on the table. Continue reading Potato-Leek & Broccoli Soup
Last Monday, a “heart healthy” card arrived in our mailbox! Yes, there are such things. The card was filled with all the warmth of a best hug, sent to us from dear friends. It came at a good time, when we were both feeling anxiety and sadness over a recent event. It made us think about the value in our lives and for our health of having close, loving relationships. Suddenly the undercurrent of anxiety and sadness I felt was swept away and replaced with a warm feeling in my chest and a smile on my face.
We talk about stress and sadness and the damage it can take on our well-being in so many ways. It raises blood pressure, exposes us to a constant and unhealthy barrage of stress hormones which stimulates inflammation, can cause irregular heartbeats, lead to depression, and so on. But what we don’t talk about so much, Continue reading Powerful, Healthy Things ~ Love and Kindness
We receive a lot of emails with questions on this subject so let’s talk about it.
Bill and I for quite a while have been big believers in the benefits of supplements as natural alternative therapies. Years ago when he was diagnosed with Rosacea, he didn’t want to go on the life-long regimen of antibiotics as prescribed, so we turned to supplements for help. And it worked! Another time I struggled with debilitating pain behind my left ear that progressed to a chronic level, sending me to various doctors which led to a possible prognosis of a brain tumor and a CT scan, which fortunately found nothing. Then by chance we went out sailing for the day with friends and I took ginger every 3 hours to manage motion sickness (yes it works), only to be amazed at the end of the day that I had been pain free! Apparently there was inflammation somewhere inside me (ah ha!) so I began a regimen of ginger for a period of time and the problem went away. And on another occasion we reversed a serious eye condition with supplements, to the amazement of Bill’s eye doctor. I’m a believer!
But think about this. By definition, a supplement is:
“Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.”
So the key word here is supplement–they are not a panacea. Continue reading SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEART HEALTH