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  • Doc says I'm at a high risk of heart attack - need dietary advice

    Just got home from the doctors. She said my blood tests indicate I have a high risk of having a heart attack. I went off my cholesterol meds 2 months ago - with my doctors blessing - because I wanted to see if eating primal would correct my obviously stupid liver! (I've been on statins since I was 30 - I'm now 51) Eating low fat and keeping my weight in a healthy range never worked so I've been on meds for 20 years. But, apparently my liver doesn't care that I'm eating healthy and its still kicking out the cholesterol as fast as it can make it! My overall cholesterol is 272, LDL is 191 - HDL and Triglycerides are both good at 64 and 88 respectively. But the problem is she did a CRP (c reactive peptide) test - and that was 4.5. Its a number that indicates inflamation in your arteries (I think). So, she said with the combo of the 2 tests I need to make some major changes in my life or I might have a heart attack.

    She said continue eating paleo/primal, eat only healthy fats, get 3 gms of good quality fish oil daily, avoid alcohol, and get my weight down to a healthy place. I've been working on losing weight but its coming off rather slowly. I need to lose about 50 pounds.

    So - any advice? I was wondering if I should cut out the bacon and eggs for breakfast - but then, what do I eat? A protein shake maybe? Should I cut back on red meat? Eat more seafood?

    Changing my diet to primal has eliminated my fibromyalgia symptoms by 80% --- I'm totally sold - but obviously I need to tweak some things to make it work. I can't do the whole fitness part of PB because I have fibromyalgia - I have to pare things down. I've been walking 2-3 miles a day, and biking about 8-12 miles a week. I'm 51 and female if that matters.

    thanks..........
    1. Love ME no matter what noises are screaming at me, or who is trying to tear me down.
    2. Eat to heal
    3. Move to live
    4. Embrace today
    5. Live with intention
    6. Respect my body
    7. Cultivate joy
    8. Find my passion
    9. Meditate on peace in my soul

  • #2
    Listen to this series, and you'll get all the info you need:
    Chris Masterjohn on Cholesterol and Heart Disease (Part 3)
    Primal since March 2011

    Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tomi View Post
      (I've been on statins since I was 30 - I'm now 51) Eating low fat and keeping my weight in a healthy range never worked so I've been on meds for 20 years... I'm 51 and female if that matters.
      I think you should talk to your Doctor about getting off statins. As I understand it, statins have ZERO proven benefit for women.

      I remember seeing someone point out a lipitor ad where they had to put a disclaimer that it is not proven to reduce the risk of heart attack or death. Then why the hell would you take such a powerful drug, with so much potential for side effects? (directed at lipitor commercial...not you personally)

      I'm certain your Dr. will argue with you, but do some reading and you'll find this over and over again.

      Also, I don't know if you're taking COQ10, but that is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED by lots of experts for anyone on statins as they apparently deplete your body of it. Since you've been on them for 20 years, if you haven't been keeping up with this, you could be asking for trouble. Apparently Ubiquinol is the best source, but I haven't actively researched this, just come across it in passing.

      I need to conclude this with my usual disclaimer on this type of topic. I'm not an expert or medical professional of any kind. I'm just a dude that reads a lot and am only suggesting reading on the subjects listed above.
      Last edited by NWPrimate; 03-13-2012, 06:05 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I stopped my statin too when the script ran out - and haven't yet been to see my dr again (kind of cringing at what she'll say). Unfortunately, I've not been a great primal person - slipped too many times, sometimes too far - so I am concerned about what my new #s will look like.
        But I sure don't want to go back on statins again...I won't.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think since it's been just 2 months you need to give yourself some more time to heal. You could have had non alcohol fatty liver disease that is correcting itself. What were your numbers before going off statins? What was your CRP before primal? I would try not to stress, keep on doing what you're currently doing and re-test cholesterol and CRP in 4-6 months. I also imagine the fibro would cause an elevated CRP but not sure. After 6 months of Primal my fibro symptoms have dramatically improved. Good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            I also wanted to add that I was reading over at Dr. William Davis' blog and he mentions that a high CRP could be caused by wheat and carb consumption and vitamin D deficiency. Are you taking any Vit D?

            Comment


            • #7
              If you're going to treat your maladies with lifestyle rather than medicine, then you have to stop framing the questions in terms of medicine. Western medicine says TC>200 is bad. So what? They haven't actually proven it. Lots of evidence points to traditional societies routinely having higher numbers and no suffering from the diseases of western civilisation.

              You lipids all look good. No need to do anything about them. But your doctor is right in that the inflammation is an issue. So you need to focus on your diet being antiinflammatory. I would cut out nuts and dairy for a while and see if that makes a difference. Perhaps keep fruit to a couple of serves a day at most. If that brings down the CRP then you can look at reintroducing one at a time to see which is driving the CRP. Maybe also remove the processed meat (ie bacon) in favour of unprocessed meat. I also favour getting fish oil from fish, even canned fish. Green tea, red wine, cocoa, turmeric are highly antiinflammatory.

              BTW, this is how I keep of the meds, including statins
              Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

              Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

              Comment


              • #8
                Give it time. You've got years of damage to heal. Take ubiquinol, 200mg/day. Get your Vitamin D level measured. You must know where you are starting from. Suppliment to get it to in the 50's-60's. Generally each 1000U will get you 8-10 ng/ml increase. Suppliment to that level and retest in 3 months. Also start taking either K2 or get
                BLUE ICE™ Royal Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend and NEVER use vegitable oil. Ever. Never. Or wheat. Not evena little.
                Sorry that cut and paste came out funny...
                Anyway the above is my opinion and what I would do. I've been primal for 6 years and my CRP is .1. That's point one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good reminders about fish oil and Vit D - I used to take them and forgot somewhere along the way (oops!).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tomi View Post
                    So - any advice? I was wondering if I should cut out the bacon and eggs for breakfast - but then, what do I eat?
                    I simply stunned at at the gross misinformation I hear in this place sometimes. No offence intended, but this is an absolute no-brainer. To lose weight, you have to cut calories. Bacon and eggs for breakfast is not a good way to cut calories.

                    I've only been back for a few days, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that people think paleo is a "weight loss diet". What? Paleo is a guide to eating healthy foods. Weight loss or weight gain is dependent on calorie intake. If you eat a lot of paleo food, you'll gain weight. If you eat a little, you'll lose weight. If you go somewhere in between, you'll maintain your weight. For a lot of people, simply switching to paleo, either by accident or design, results in them eating less calories, and they lose weight. Great. But don't be fooled into thinking it's not a calorie deficit doing the trick. There's nothing magical about eating paleo that makes you lose weight not matter what quantity of food is consumed. If that was the case, our ancestors would have been continually losing weight until there was nothing left of them.

                    I've posted this in another thread, but I'm going to repost it here by way of example, because I think your situation is particularly important (health related). This is my diet plan. I don't mean you should follow this exact plan, but I recommend you make something similar yourself. The tools you will need are a pen, paper & calculator (or a Excel spreadsheet).

                    A good website for discovering the calorie, protein and carbs contained in various foods is this one: CalorieKing - Diet and weight loss. Calorie Counter and more

                    A good online calculator for discovering how many calories you should be eating is this one: Estimated Calorie Requirements

                    (eat 500 calories less than what it says you use in a day).

                    Here is my example. Good luck.

                    FYI, the three days where I have gatorade and extra protein are my workout gym days.

                    diet-plan.jpg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes calories are important, BUT eating a breakfast high in protein/fat (I didn't say a ton of it) can provide the satiety necessary to eat less throughout the day.

                      I don't eat bacon (due to sodium restriction needs) but DO eat a couple of sunny fried eggs with a small portion of meat left over from dinner or a few livers also fried in the oil (whatever good fat/oil or meat grease), and often eat no lunch at all because I'm just not hungry.

                      It really CAN help for many people to eat that type of breakfast. It's a matter of the whole picture, not JUST the breakfast.
                      Eating this way some days I eat VERY little... other days I want more veg and more food in general but it's still less than I ate when I ate SAD foods. It's not always necessary for people to measure and weight every bite so that you eat the exact same number of calories every day, and maintain the same deficit everyday.
                      Last edited by cori93437; 03-14-2012, 01:31 AM.
                      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                      And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Linny;753604]I also wanted to add that I was reading over at Dr. William Davis' blog and he mentions that a high CRP could be caused by wheat and carb consumption and vitamin D deficiency. Are you taking any Vit D?[/QUOT

                        I'm not happy about going back on the statins - but I have long standing history of high cholesterol. I started on lipitor at age 30. I was active and thin. Doctor says I just have one of those livers that doesn't have an off switch. ON statins 6 months ago my numbers read: Cholesterol 216, LDL 109, HDL 84, Triglycerides 115. After being primal for 5 months, and off statins for 2 months my numbers read: Cholesterol 272, LDL 191, HDL 64, Triglycerides 88. Obviously going low carb is working for the triglycerides but everything else got worse.

                        My doctor is not a pill pusher - she blends both western medicine and alternative medicine - using whichever she believes to be more benificial. She doens't want me to be on the statins long term, but for right now with the combination of CRP and high lipids she wants to get the numbers down so I'm not at risk of having a heart attack. Without the combination of those factors she would have suggested I continue with the paleo and exercise and see what happens in a few months. She says I have to get my weight back down to a healthy number - that means I need to take off 50 pounds.

                        Yes I'm taking Vitamin D3 - 4000 units a day. I was deficient a couple years ago so I've been on a higher dose. Haven't been tested lately though. Will ask for that to be added to my tests in 3 months. I was taking CoQ10, but ran out and never bought more. I will get some today. Doc says I need to be taking 3 gms of fish oil daily as well. The stuff I've been taking (Kirkland) says its 1000 mg on the label - but she explained to be that you have to look at the total EPA/DHA and go from that. So, my pills turn out to be only 300 mg total EPA/DHA - and I've only been taking one or two daily! Sheesh! been wasting my money there! I'll have to find a good source - after I finish off this bottle - should go fast at 10 pills a day! Hope my digestive system can handle all that added oil. I don't have a gall bladder so this could be messy.......

                        I've read flaxseed oil is good for cholesterol issues as well - anyone have on opinion on that? Thanks for all the help - keep it coming please!
                        1. Love ME no matter what noises are screaming at me, or who is trying to tear me down.
                        2. Eat to heal
                        3. Move to live
                        4. Embrace today
                        5. Live with intention
                        6. Respect my body
                        7. Cultivate joy
                        8. Find my passion
                        9. Meditate on peace in my soul

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by peril View Post
                          If you're going to treat your maladies with lifestyle rather than medicine, then you have to stop framing the questions in terms of medicine. Western medicine says TC>200 is bad. So what? They haven't actually proven it. Lots of evidence points to traditional societies routinely having higher numbers and no suffering from the diseases of western civilisation.

                          You lipids all look good. No need to do anything about them. But your doctor is right in that the inflammation is an issue. So you need to focus on your diet being antiinflammatory. I would cut out nuts and dairy for a while and see if that makes a difference. Perhaps keep fruit to a couple of serves a day at most. If that brings down the CRP then you can look at reintroducing one at a time to see which is driving the CRP. Maybe also remove the processed meat (ie bacon) in favour of unprocessed meat. I also favour getting fish oil from fish, even canned fish. Green tea, red wine, cocoa, turmeric are highly antiinflammatory.

                          BTW, this is how I keep of the meds, including statins
                          thanks for the post - as far as dietary suggestions - I don't do dairy (lactose intolerant) accept for the rare indulgence of real ice cream. I don't eat nuts very much cuz of the added calories and I haven't had any fruit since October 2011. The bacon could be the culprit as I have been eating it nearly every day since going primal in October 2011. I don't like wine, but I do eat a lot of fish - we can our own tuna, but I tend to drain off the oil before eating it. I'm trying to stay off the dark chocolate until I get my weight down, but I'll add in the green tea and turmeric. I've been wanting to try that turmeric tea that Mark likes. I can also add it to our meals. We eat a lot of Indian foods, but have not used the turmeric much because other family members say it causes GI upset.

                          thanks a bunch everyone!
                          1. Love ME no matter what noises are screaming at me, or who is trying to tear me down.
                          2. Eat to heal
                          3. Move to live
                          4. Embrace today
                          5. Live with intention
                          6. Respect my body
                          7. Cultivate joy
                          8. Find my passion
                          9. Meditate on peace in my soul

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bacon and other sources of omega-6 really could be it. Or it could be stress. Or a low-grade sore throat you've been fighting since childhood. Tricky to track down the source of that inflammation...

                            Too much fish oil would be highly inflammatory, wouldn't it? Eating fish once or twice a week makes sense, but the higher your polyunsaturated fat to saturated fat ratio is, the worse. You only need a TINY bit of your fat to be polyunsaturated. Fish pills would put you over that percentage pretty easily.
                            Crohn's, doing SCD

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey Captain - thanks for the post And you're absolutely right - this lifestyle is not meant as a weight loss plan. I started in October of 2011 because I came across a post that said eating this way helped to eleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia (inflamation of unknown source). So, I started - and within 3 days of being grain free I was feeling pretty darn good. Since October of 2011 I've increased my walking to 2-3 miles a day, my husband and I are starting some short day hikes on the weekends, and we have also starting biking (weather permitting in the Pacific NW). The Primal lifestyle has given me my life back!

                              Seems you and I think a lot alike! I have a spreadsheet and track my meals and exercise daily. And I also use Calorie King - got it on my favorites bar! So far I've lost 18 pounds, but have another 50 to go. I definitely have my hurdles with a few things that are a struggle to say no to, but for the most part I've done a pretty good job of staying on the straight and narrow. Doc says I have to stop drinking alcohol completely, so the weekend cocktails are out. I've always been a slow loser --- and I come from a family of fat people. I was able to keep my weight at 140 until I was dx with fibromyalgia in 2001 - then the pounds started adding up. I topped the scale at 215 (I'm only 5'3") I know this is the best "diet" I can be on both for the fibromyalgia and for the weight loss efforts.

                              My main concern is getting my lipids down, and getting that CRP down. I'm too young for this stuff! Have had lots of great suggestions!
                              1. Love ME no matter what noises are screaming at me, or who is trying to tear me down.
                              2. Eat to heal
                              3. Move to live
                              4. Embrace today
                              5. Live with intention
                              6. Respect my body
                              7. Cultivate joy
                              8. Find my passion
                              9. Meditate on peace in my soul

                              Comment

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