It marks the 5-year anniversary of Bill’s “event.” He prefers “event” to heart attack, and says it was the whack upside the head he needed to realize it was time to up his game.
Five Years Ago Today …
Chugging along back then, Bill was overweight, struggling with uncontrolled blood pressure (though recently on BP medication), his cholesterol was somewhat elevated along with his LDL and triglycerides. Even though we thought we ate pretty good, and even though we exercised 2-3 times a week, his heart attack fired the warning shot. We had work to do!
We are SO fortunate to have been in the ER checking out the chest pain we hoped was heartburn because he had the heart attack right then and there! Blessfully resulting in no permanent damage to his heart. I’ve told this whole story here in: “The Beginning.”
We desperately wanted to know “CAN THIS BE FIXED? HOW?”
L. Reuteri – A probiotic that targets cardiovascular disease
As promised in the Progress Report I posted a few weeks ago, I want to tell you about something new we’ve learned. It all started during Bill’s checkup in April last year when Dr. Crandall encouraged us to look into a probiotic for heart health. Well.. you don’t have to ask me twice! I researched it as soon as I got home, and Bill started taking it that very week. It’s called Lactobacillus Reuteri 30242, or more commonly known as L. Reuteri. It’s a specific strain of Lactobacillus–a friendly bacteria that lives in our bodies and is found in some fermented foods like yogurt. These friendly bacteria are also called probiotics.
The American Heart Association reported this probiotic lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. In the study, a dosage of 100 mg taken twice daily was used, and after only 9 weeks total cholesterol dropped an average of 9.1% and LDL dropped 11.6% as compared to the study participants taking the placebo.
And so did Bill’s! He began taking L. Reuteri in April in a dose of 2.5 Billion CFU (colony forming units) twice daily with food. At the end of September his new lipid profile showed his total cholesterol had dropped 6.9% Continue reading Probiotic for your Heart?→
Life stuff over the summer caused some stress and a wavering in focus on our exercise program and even some on our diet. And there’s the irony! Because when motivation suffers, we all know that exercise and eating well are the best things you can do to combat the blues and stressful life stuff!
We haven’t been terrible.. we didn’t completely fall off the wagon and abandon our healthy focus. Still plant-based, mostly whole foods, avoiding sugar and so on, but too often our dinner meals were getting skimpy on the greens for example.
And the gym.. well.. sometimes talking about the stress stuff, or computer time on Bill’s photography passion gobbled up the day before we knew it and we’d miss the gym. So we didn’t always get the cardio time we know we need. And this seemed to lead to staying up too late, a little too much late-night popcorn (no butter of course), along with broken sleep and wakefulness in the night. So things have not been going as well as they had been. Our daily routine just plain got out of whack. Continue reading Progress Report~Fall 2015→
“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→