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Thread: Somewhat Serious Concern: Chest Pains. page

  1. #1
    Bill_89's Avatar
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    Somewhat Serious Concern: Chest Pains.

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    Hey everybody.

    I know this sounds a little like a troll thread to scare people, so let me start by saying that I am not trying to sully the mood or discredit PB. I think this way of eating is fantastic in theory and I notice other benefits in practice. I have no doubt low-carb (and particularly no grain) is ideal for losing weight--never saw my abs until I cut carbs and now I rarely do sit-ups. I generally feel better when I eat this way and I enjoy the taste.

    However, I am having some concerning chest pain (and even more worryingly, in the left lower shoulder), particularly this morning and I don't know what to attribute to other than a higher fat/cholesterol diet. Background on me: I am a fairly fit 21 year old. I'm about 5'7" and have been a stable 130 lbs for a couple of years (yes, I'm small, but I do pack some muscle). I've never had a weight problem. My biggest concern when I'm older will be heart health--I never saw my maternal grandpa because he died of a heart attack when he was 50. He was neither overweight nor a smoker (in fact, pictures show him to be extremely lean aside from perhaps the slightest gut, which I realize is the worst kind of weight, but still)

    (Yes, I am a fan of parentheses)

    Now I'm not concerned with having an imminent heart attack, but this is making me reconsider this diet. Here are the foods I've been eating:

    Fruits/Veggies:

    1/2 - 1 grapefruit per day
    1 banana per day
    1 apple per day
    -Frozen unsweetened strawberries
    -Raw carrots
    -Raw spinach (lunch salad)
    -Avocado
    -Canned tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno peppers (yep, I made guac for a party and it was a hit!)

    Nuts:

    Walnuts (a few sprinkled on salad)
    Almond butter (spread on banana or apple)
    Unsweetened almond milk for smoothie

    Meat:

    Here is an admitted deficiency. I'm not financially independent, so I'm not picking grass fed. Hopefully when I can make a living, I'll switch over. To limit the harm, I'm trimming the fat when applicable (pork-chops, for example)

    -Bacon (4 slices per day when I have it)
    -Pork chops (two small cuts)
    -Ground beef (with tacos my mother made, this was the sole grain I ate a couple of days ago)
    -Steak (1 large cut)

    Eggs: Never more than 2 per serving or 3 in a day. My mom won't pay extra for my "luxuries" (and is not particularly supportive of this diet in general), but since eggs are cheap and within my means, I opted for cage free Omega 3 enriched.

    Oils: Extra virgin olive oil for salad, butter for cooking eggs and meat.

    Dairy (I will confess to probably eating more dairy than is typical for paleo):

    -Shredded cheese on salad,
    -1 Greek yogurt per day (I used to eat vanilla Chobani, but in the spirit of reducing sugar and increasing fat, I've switched to Total Fage, which is 80% daily recommended saturated fat by CW, so if CW is right, that's a problem.
    -Cottage cheese (1 serving): I opted for 4% milk fat, which tastes great btw.
    -Butter and sour cream for flavor enhancement

    Supplements:

    -Optimum nutrition strawberry flavored whey protein powder (I use for post work out, put in smoothie)
    -Green Tea at least 1 cup daily (not really a supplement, but whatever)

    Spices:

    -Cinnamon (I've been adding it to yogurt and smoothies because I read it has anti-inflammatory properties)
    -Garlic

    Exercise:

    I probably lift more often than Mark would recommend. I enjoy it and it makes me feel good. I've also done a bit more "chronic cardio" than normal because I've been going to the gym with a friend who likes to do it. At least its non high impact C.C. (stair machine).

    Alcohol:

    I did get overly drunk on New Year's Eve, but this is NOT typical for me. I rarely drink. Just this last fall was the first time I had ever gotten drunk. So while this was obviously not a healthy night, I don't think I can reasonably blame my chest pains on it. =P

    Okay, so this is pretty lengthy, but I hope it gives you a good overview. I'm just concerned and trying to figure out why I'm having this issue. Because, otherwise, I feel great.

  2. #2
    Paleo Bill's Avatar
    Paleo Bill is offline Junior Member
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    If you are having chest pains get to the doctor or go to an ER. If you are having chest pains and posting on internet forums then you don't take them that seriously. Grok didn't have a doctor but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. I had chest pains when I was 25, but it was a muscle pain form a twisting motion I was doing as part of my job at the time. The doctor confirmed by EKG. I had chest pains in my mid 30s from twisting my shoulder taking off a heavy backpack. (which probably aggravated the muscles twisted when I was 25). I had chest pains in my mid 40s when I was following the McDougal diet. It was GERD. McDougal will tell you his diet (ultra-low fat vegan) is the best cure for GERD. In fact the day I started to question McDougal theories was when I had been diagnosed as having GERD. I was giving a prescription for Prilosec and an information sheet (created by the maker of Prilosec) that recommended a low fat diet. I felt like screaming: "What the hell have I been doing for the past 10 years." This was just after recovering from my second cataract surgery in a year at age 49.

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    lizch's Avatar
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    I would be AMAZED if a 21 year old could drop dead of a diet-triggered heart attack...even if you were eating butter-frosted, oil-soaked donuts for the past 5 years.

    Chest pain isn't a sign of arteries that are beginning to get clogged. It's a sign of imminent heart attack (amongst many, many other things, as Paleo Bill mentioned).
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    That is what is so great about the Primal diet, it will give you better heart health in the long run, not "catch up with you" as you age.

    At your age and fitness level, the chest pains are likely from something else, but if you are concerned, then you should have it checked out. I developed chest pains at 22 and found out that it was just a pleuritic catch, which can sometimes be very intense pain in the chest and even shoulder (nerves are wacky that way), although not in anyway related to the heart.
    For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

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    Bill_89's Avatar
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    I read Paleo Bill's post and immediately regretted posting this, or at least in the way I did. First and foremost, I do not want to create the impression that I am in any form of immediate danger whatsoever. I am 100% sure of this and if I wasn't I would be in an ER. I tried to make this clear in the opening post, but I understand that chest pains are a serious issue.

    I am an anxious person and thus someone who is perhaps overly attuned to my body's physiology. So I'm taking this seriously not in the sense that I'm afraid of heart attack today, tomorrow, or even in ten years, but as sort of a "marker." I'm aware there are many possible causes. It's something I'm taking note of and will monitor over time.

    I just wanted to talk about it a little bit, because it is the one and only aspect of paleo that concerns me (the potential for heart problems). It's a bit like that thread the one guy started "that little voice." As I said, I feel great otherwise and really believe in this. However, I try to be as open-minded as possible and do regularly read and consider alternative viewpoints (not saying others don't). I do this not just for diet, but all things in life. In a way, it definitely makes life more stressful, but I still think it is always import to examine all ideas. Anyway, given the pervasive dogma that fat + cholesterol = heart problems, it was all too easy for me to make that link in my mind.

    If it is a chronic thing, I will obviously and certainly have it checked out by a doctor. I apologize if I was overly alarmist--that wasn't my intention. It was meant to be a discussion, see if anybody else ever experienced it, etc.

    Chest pain isn't a sign of arteries that are beginning to get clogged. It's a sign of imminent heart attack (amongst many, many other things, as Paleo Bill mentioned).
    Really? I know it is possible to have a heart attack with no prior symptoms, but does it not occur for some people that they have some transient chest pain over time leading up to that event? I'm certainly no expert, but it seems likely to me.
    Last edited by Bill_89; 01-03-2011 at 09:25 AM.

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    Dragonfly's Avatar
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    Read this great article written by PrimalPilgrim. It will help set you straight about cholesterol.

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    lizch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_89 View Post
    Really? I know it is possible to have a heart attack with no prior symptoms, but does it not occur for some people that they maybe some transient chest pain over time leading up to that event? I'm certainly no expert, but it seems likely to me.
    Really. Note I said "beginning to get clogged". If chest pain was a symptom of that, heart disease would be detectable decades before it was deadly. Most people only get physical symptoms when their arteries are substantially clogged and reducing supply to the heart by a lot. Just think how prevalent heart disease is. How often do people in your age bracket complain of chest pain? At your age, your body can buffer all kinds of bad lifestyle stuff. It's in your 40s and 50s and beyond that things will catch up with you (and the thing most likely to catch up with you specifically? I would guess stress, more so than diet.)
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    Grizz's Avatar
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    1) What is your Blood Pressure?

    2) Are you taking 5,000 IU or more daily Vitamin D3?
    See important detail in my Vitamin D Report, below.

    3) See this website by Cardiologist Dr. Wm Davis, more details below my message
    http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/
    Spend some quality time at his website, he is my personal Bible on most health subject.

    4) Saturated fats are good for you.

    "I probably lift more often than Mark would recommend. "
    Why abuse yourself? Your pains are likely from lifting too much weight. What do you think of this?
    I think you are too young for heart disease & heart attacks, especially if you have normal blood pressure.
    I suggest cooling it on lifting weights.

    @ Dragonfly, your link didn't work, Here is a correction:
    http://fitafter40vancouver.blogspot....e-and-why.html
    You are Right On, that is one great article. You are terrific again as usual!

    Grizz
    Last edited by Grizz; 01-03-2011 at 09:44 AM.

  9. #9
    jon tall tree's Avatar
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    Im 21, 130# 6'
    i started getting chest pain about 8 months ago
    went to the ER they had no clue (7months later ) switched to primal started feeling better, still get chest pains not as bad or as frequent. In my personal opinion i wasn't getting enough low intensity exercise. Now Im going to a physician after finally getting approved for health insurance, hopefully he will shed some light.

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    Lojasmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_89 View Post

    Really? I know it is possible to have a heart attack with no prior symptoms, but does it not occur for some people that they have some transient chest pain over time leading up to that event? I'm certainly no expert, but it seems likely to me.
    Ischemic chest pain (angina) is present only when a major heart artery has a >70% stenosis. I have never seen this in a person as young as you, and I have seen thousands of coronary arteries.

    That being said, chest pain can represent a panopoly of disorders, and I encourage you to see a doctor.

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