My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease’

This is the BEST Father’s Day Gift You Could Ever Give

Our sons live across the country now, but my gift to my husband, Bill, was us re-watching the movie, Forks Over Knives.

It was about 3 years ago, when we watched it for the first time.  After it was done, my husband turned to me and firmly said, “I’m going vegan.  You don’t have to, but I am.”  I was filled with trepidation.  What would we eat?  But I shakily said with a gulp, “If you’re going to, I will to.”  Bill now says, that inside, he was so scared that he was silently screaming, “No! No!  I didn’t mean it!  I was only kidding!”  But he never shared that.  He said OK.  And from that moment on, we never looked back and changed our lives.

 

 

We got our copy of Forks Over Knives from the library, but you can watch it for a nominal fee on Netflix and YouTube.  Get more info at http://www.forkoverknives.com  There you can sign up for free newsletters with recipes, etc.

Show Dad how much you care.  Watch the movie with him (and Mom)!

Happy Father’s Day.

We Met Rip Esselstyn Author of Engine 2 Diet

Rip Esselstyn me bill aaron1

Me, Rip Esselstyn, my husband Bill and son, Aaron

I had the pleasure of meeting Rip Esselstyn at his book signing & meet and greet at my local Whole Foods Market.  As I expected, he was laid-back and very informative.  His Engine 2 Diet book http://engine2diet.com/ is one of the books that really got us rolling in this new plantcentric journey.  The other main book we used was his father’s,  Caldwell B. Esselstyn, M.D. How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.  (For more on our start and the books and documentaries we learned from, see the About section on this blog.)

He touched on how he got interested in eating plant-strong, as he calls it, and how he got his fire department to give up meat and dairy and why it is so healthy to do so.

He has his own line of foods that are just coming out called Engine 2 Foods.  We absolutely LOVE his Engine 2 Organic Crispbreads with some hummus spread on top.  We also love his Rip’s Big Bowl Cereal  Check out his line here http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/engine2.  Only available at Whole Foods Market.

Dr. John McDougall The Diet Wars

Watch as Dr. McDougall debunks the Paleo Diet, Atkins Diet, etc.  Worth the time.  Laura

 

 

http://www.drmcdougall.com/video/diet_wars.htm

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Ending Coronary Disease

This is so good.  Laura

Heart Surgeons Kill First Man on the Moon: Neil Armstrong

This Tragic Loss Should Become One Giant Leap for Mankind

Neil Armstrong, who made the “giant leap for mankind” as the first human to set foot on the moon, died on Saturday, August 25, 2012. The cause of death according to his family was “complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.” He had just celebrated his 82nd birthday when he went to the hospital on Monday, August 6, 2012 for a cardiac stress test. He flunked, and on Tuesday surgeons bypassed four blockages in his coronary arteries. This limited information from the media is enough for me to conclude that his death was avoidable; he should have never been operated on. His doctors gambled and we lost an American hero.

The first successful bypass operation was performed in America at the Cleveland Clinic on May 9, 1967, about two years before Mr. Armstrong’s history-making step on the moon on July 20, 1969. Until the mid-1980s, octogenarians (people in their eighties) were spared from heart bypass surgery because the elderly are generally less able to withstand the rigors of extracorporeal circulation (the heart-lung machine) and the many hours of major surgery, than are younger patients. Plus, the life expectancy of people having reached the age of 80 years is limited. Yet, there is the economic side of this equation: doctors and hospitals have increasingly appreciated the market potential of this age group and as a result, have published multiple papers in an attempt to justify taking extreme risks with the elderly.

Open Heart Surgery Does Not Save Lives

There are two indications for heart surgery:

1) To relieve incapacitating chest pain (angina) that is not sufficiently reduced by “good medical therapy.” In standard medical practice, this means giving anti-angina medications like nitrates and beta-blockers. But truly “good medical therapy” must also routinely include a low-fat diet since the frequency of angina episodes is reduced by more than 90% in fewer than three weeks with this simple, safe approach. As an added benefit, this same low-fat diet heals (reverses) the underlying artery disease. A symptom-relieving indication for heart surgery appears to be absent in Mr. Armstrong’s case. He simply had the misfortune to step on a cardiac treadmill machine as part of a routine check up.

2) To save lives. According to the article “Is Heart Surgery Worth It?” in Bloomberg Businessweek, “Except in a minority of patients with severe disease, bypass operations don’t prolong life or prevent future heart attacks,” Even after massaging the data, the survival benefits are barely perceptible: A recent analysis of 28 studies comparing heart surgery with medical therapy, performed by doctors with a vested interest (cardiologists and bypass surgeons), found less than a 2% absolute improvement in survival achieved from heart surgery over no operation. These conclusions are based on relatively young patients. Sadly, the case for octogenarians is much more disappointing.

Multiple studies, performed by researchers, most interested in justifying bypass surgery, have confirmed the higher risks of complications (bleeding, kidney failure, etc.), death, and prolonged hospitalization in octogenarians. An octogenarians’ 30-daymortality rate is 9% compared to 1.2% in the younger group. Surgeons from the same city where Mr. Armstrong died, Cincinnati, know these dismal results as well. J. Michael Smith, M.D., director of surgical research, Good Samaritan Hospital, wrote about his study, “Octogenarians had a 72 percent higher risk of death, 3 percent longer hospitalization, a 51 percent higher risk for neurological complications and were 49 percent more likely to undergo repeat surgery for bleeding…. On the plus side, surgery can improve quality of life, including such symptoms as shortness of breath and chest pain, even in octogenarians. On the other hand, it’s hard to make the argument that you will prolong anyone’s life this way.”

The reason heart surgery (both bypass surgery and angioplasty) fails to save lives is that the targets of the operators are the hard, fibrous, stable, non-lethal plaques, not the volatile small plaques found inside the arteries that rupture and cause heart attacks and death.

Good Can Come from a Hero’s Death

From all accounts Neal Armstrong was strong and healthy with many good years ahead for him. That is before he stepped on the treadmill, which in his case served as the conveyor belt to the operating room, and beyond. His former doctors undoubtedly have regret for their decisions, but not enough to change their ways. They owe the world an explanation for their actions in light of common knowledge held for more than two decades about the extreme risks of lucrative heart surgery in octogenarians. Likely, they will remain silent, continuing to make obscene profits at all costs. (The average annual salary of a bypass surgeon is $533,084.) Let’s hope that this one small step for (a) man will become one giant leap for mankind by publicizing this kind of unconscionable care. No one is immune from these everyday medical practices as Neil Armstrong’s untimely end demonstrates. And let’s dream beyond the moon, hoping that someday soon patients will be offered a time-honored, safe, cost-free, highly effective dietary approach to their health problems.

(Although the kind of stress test used for Neil Armstrong was not identified, the use of a walking treadmill to stress the heart is most commonly employed. If positive, then an angiogram is performed to identify the anatomy of the specific blockages. The angiogram serves as a preoperative test.)

http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2012nl/aug/armstrong.htm

This Esselstyn Guy Knows His Stuff image

After Chemo or Radiation for Cancer

Many patients who undergo chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, particularly women with breast cancer, end up with damaged hearts as a result.  It’s a good news, bad news story.  Cancer patients are living longer, long enough that they can die from heart disease brought on by the cancer treatment.

Plain Dealer, 8/19/12

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