A little help on the reasons for blockages?
A link to an article will work, but I need some info on suspected reasons for blockages, not CW reasons, of course.
My Stepdad had a triple bypass this morning (he's doing great at the moment) and my wife was baffled when they got the news yesterday that this was needed. She felt like because he was not fat and was always moving, not lazy by any stretch of the imagination, that this would not be a problem he would have. I mentioned diet and/or deficiencies and she wanted to know what about those would be the cause for it.
Chronic inflammation, stress, high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, high insulin levels, low nitrous oxide production, etc lead to damaged vasculature and the body tries to "fix" it. Blockages on board with no obesity or outward signs of disease visible. Happens every day. Very simplistic, I admit.
Once there is injury to the endothelial cells (cells that line vessels), there is a risk for plaque build-up as the body tries to repair itself. Injury can be caused from numerous things -- my pathology prof (who regularly performs autopsies) believes stress and modern living to be the #1 cause of "clogged arteries." His point is that people have high cholesterol without issue because their endothelial cells are not disrupted. Inflammation caused by various causes is the underlying factor in all cardiovascular disease. Causes of this are high insulin levels (with our lovely diet), high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, pollution, worry/stress, depression and other diseases. Without vascular disruption and inflammation, no matter how high someone's cholesterol, they will not get blockages. Similarly, no matter how low one's cholesterol, plaques form with endothelial disruption.
I am by no means an expert, but I totally "buy" what he says. He is often called to investigate deaths and says he often sees "healthy" folks die of cardiovascular disease that they didn't even know they had. In talking to their family members, an underlying theme was nearly always stress. Of course that's anecdotal, but I think there's something to that. Even everyday, regular living is a stressor on our bodies -- let alone our diets of refined garbage. The fact that he "was always moving, not lazy by any strech of the imagination" is a meme of this culture. Maybe he should have relaxed a bit more.
Oh, and my prof is a HUGE proponent of Vitamin D, which makes me like him even more. ha ha.
ETA: By the way, I'm glad he's doing well.
Last edited by ShannonPA-S; 11-10-2010 at 10:59 AM.
I have a co-worker who is Indian (from india, not native american). Anyway, he's fit and slim and vegetarian & in his 50's he had a quadruple bypass! It was pretty surprising.
Not really surprising. Their diet is generally high in rice and other carbs, which significantly raises insulin...which leads to inflammation.
Originally Posted by Catherine
ETA: I guess I should say it's not surprising given our current knowledge. It would be very surprising to CW folks.
Last edited by ShannonPA-S; 11-10-2010 at 10:45 AM.
I tend to agree with the stress thing. I have never had a weight problem and have been watching what I eat for the last 30 years or more. I never ate fast food or soda or any junk and I worked out regularly all those years. I was a competitive fighter and last year at age 52 I was still training and in great shape (my avatar photo is me last year while I was preparing for an exhibition fight). But also last year I had a heart attack. I was shocked and all the people who know me and who don't watch what they eat or workout were running for their lives!! Anyway, if I look back now and really look close at the details then I have to blame a couple of things. First there is family history "but" I am still on the fence about that one. But the main things are this. Although I was eating good and working out a lot I think that lead to a feeling of being invincible or immune. I ate good all week but on Saturdays I would eat out with my wife and would sometimes eat things I shouldn't because I knew I would "work it off" the next day training. I went on a cruise and gained 14 lbs then lost it within 2 weeks (most the first week) through working out and back to my normal eating. Even when I made good choices while eating out I am sure that all the shit oils they use and unknown ingredients added up. But the main thing for me was stress. My job as stressful and got worse the last few months before my attack. I was switched to an overnight shift also and wasn't sleeping. We were fighting on the job. I had family matters that were worrying me everyday. My 2 year old grand daughter got sick and I was freaking about that for a month until they figured out what was wrong with her. For years I was having other family problems that stressed me out over a long time. I think the combination of my diet "cheats" (which were infrequent but huge) and stress built some plaque. Eventually inflammation caused the plaque to burst. Especially the argument I had at work the morning of my attack and going home and to bed angry. I had the attack while sleeping.
Stress is the it IMO.
Unfortunately for me, it just doesn't go away. I will always have this stress (the same problem has been haunting me since 1999) and that's that.
So, if he doesn't have stress look closer. Maybe there is something he doesn't "think" is stressful. But also look close at the little things you might think are harmless in his diet. A little adds up quickly.
You know what they say. "You can't move a mountain but you can move a stone. Move enough stones and you have moved a mountain."
The same holds true for he little things you think are harmless in small amounts. small amounts add up.
Last edited by Tommy7; 11-10-2010 at 11:28 AM.
I'm interested in the stress theory you are proposing here Tommy. Obviously general stress and lack of sleep are dreadful. Do you think that being a competitive fighter also contributed to your stress levels, that your workouts could have been considered overtraining? Glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery.
And to Kcult, sorry I cant help you with any interesting links or anything but I hope your stepdad pulls through it all ok.
Originally Posted by Suse
I never considered my training until recently. Actually only after DR. Harris (Panu) mentioned it to me. I was 52, feeling great and still training as hard (harder actually) as I was in my 20's and 30's. I always believed in moving forward, uphill and never back or standing still. So each year I upped my training. Up until age 51 I fought bare knuckle full contact karate and that became not enough so I switched to MMA. "Maybe" I was pushing my body too much when I should have been slowing down (?) I don't know....I still believe in "use it or lose it." But maybe with my family history, the added stress "and" the overtraining, I went over the line. Who knows. After my heart attack I was back in the gym in 4 months and by month 6 was already running ten flights of stairs carrying a weight , working 7x 5 minute rounds on the bag...with sprawls and 45 seconds active rests (speed bag and crunches/pushups) and getting back to where I left off. In the last month or two I have rethought that, after some research and Dr. Harris' thoughts, as well as reading Primal fitness and other such information. I don't need all that training....I'm not fighting anymore. So now I shortened my workouts as well as lessened them. Brief and intense....but not too intense. I'm just trying to stay healthy now...not fight the next champion!! I teach and coach and before I do that I get my 15 or 20 minutes in.
I think stress is a big factor. Unfortunately that is something I have no control of. I face facts....it's here to stay.
I believe inflammation is more the cause of CAD and heart attacks than anything else. Stress is a big factor there and and all you need is for the plaque to burst and you're screwed. Stress equals inflammation, inflammation equals plaque buildup, inflammation equals weakening the plaque...like a bursting pimple. Of course we combine this with other actors also....diet etc. But it all leads to inflammation.
Last edited by Tommy7; 11-10-2010 at 01:03 PM.
The thing about stress is that our culture doesn't even realize some things are stressors -- too much exercise, lack of sleep, and blood sugar instability. We view exercise as great, but it can be a huge stressor when in excess ("chronic cardio"). Stress isn't just psychological stress.
I also think it can't be underestimated that how we perceive our lives can make a huge difference. If we are always waiting for something to go wrong, we live with unnecessary stress day to day.
You guys are stressing me out.