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Thread: Just got a Stent - Now what? Need advice. page

  1. #1
    Seow's Avatar
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    Just got a Stent - Now what? Need advice.

    Primal Fuel
    Hi All:

    Up until 6 weeks ago, I used to work out regularly - combination of strength training at least once or often twice a week, with a leisurely 1km swim every other week or so. I do some high intensity interval training and sprinting occasionally; and had a somewhat primal-like diet.

    WHY UP TO 6 WEEKS AGO?

    Because 6 weeks ago I suffered a “heart attack” and had to have a stent put in my left-anterior-descending coronary artery. This despite having excellent HDL and triglyceride levels. Ok my LDL was a little high but ratio of total “cholesterol” to HDL was still 3. Blood Pressure 120/80 - almost textbook. Oh yeah, I just turned 53 years old.

    I now have to take Plavix and aspirin as a prophylactic against clotting caused by my newly implanted drug-eluting stent. I have to take Crestor (a statin) to stabilize the plaque lesion and lower my LDL (although this is secondary to plaque stabilization). The statins make me tired, a bit achy and generally weak at times, but with CoenzymeQ10 supplementation, I have been able to mitigate it somewhat.

    And so, I have been advised to “take it easy” on myself. AND I’M NOT SURE WHAT THAT MEANS!

    Conventionally it means no swimming for 6 months, no lifting of heavy weights (no squats or dead lifts or pull-ups) - basically nothing that raises my blood pressure which can supposedly be a cause for plaque rupture, or movement which could potentially cause thrombosis (clots around the stent) - that would lead to instant heart attack apparently. But lots of “brisk-walking”! Been told to take up Yoga or Tai Chi. Ugh! Oh and “ditch that paleo/primal weird eating lifestyle” - or so I am commonly told. By all but one of my doctor friends as well as my cardiologist.

    Now what?

    I was hoping to find some answers in this forum. Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    neilc11's Avatar
    neilc11 is online now Senior Member
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    Ah,
    I did the same thing for Xmas 2007, same single stent, LAD.
    (should have died 20 ft up a tree hunting deer, but the cell phone worked that day, and the fire dept found me.
    6 defibs later, and what I am told was 4 touchy days in the hospital, I woke up laughing bout it cause that was all i knew.
    coyotes ate 2 deer that saturday, that was the last thing I remembered, 2 deer.
    Anyways, a week after that bad day I got home, and the first thing I did was walk down the street, not too far, just enough to say so, and feel tired.
    Yeah, take it easy for 6 months, walk,
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...tml#post973352
    Listen to your doctor, and then read, study, what we did, and are doing.
    Doc will want you on the plavix for 6 months to a year, then ? discuss it with him.
    Statins, search mercola.com , lots of veiws there, CoQ10 for sure, look into Ubiquinol, same thing but easier for us elders to absorb.
    My total Chol got down to 100 (guess we're measuring differently) before I could talk my docs into releasing me from that script.
    I stay under 200(mg/dL) with good ratios, with krill oil, exercise, low carb.
    Take it easy till doc says ok for more.
    I did a cardio rehab program with machine exercise, and hospital / nurse care monitored heart rate, at the same time, this to build confidence, for me, and them(doc / hospitol).
    Now I run/sprint intervals, play hockey, do the primal body weight excersises, still killin deer, etc.
    I didn't quit paleo/primal, I came To p/p, ,,,study, read.
    hang in there.
    Last edited by neilc11; 03-08-2013 at 10:33 AM.

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    Thanks for the advice. I guess it is good to be cautious but I can't help thinking that there should be a strategy for me to pursue in getting back and keeping in shape:

    1. Besides the usual cardio stuff, I will experiment with some high intensity interval training but am concerned that reaching the anaerobic barrier may push blood pressure too high - but:
    a) what is too high
    and,
    b) how do i measure bp while I am exercising? Is there some device I can wear?

    2. Strength training - do I:
    a) keep the same weight but do less reps (in other words don't try to squeeze out those last few reps?)
    or
    b) lower the weights and do more reps?

    At my age I need to exercise in a way that promotes testosterone production, and the 2 main ways I know are:
    a) High intensity Interval Training - where I have to reach anaerobic threshold
    b) Heavy Lifts (like squats and dead lifts) which stress the whole body

    I am concerned that it might be risky to do either.

    The irony is I feel fine - like I can go do it right now but nobody wants to say "hey, it's ok, go ahead..." in case that advice leads me to another heart attack or something.

    I won't play it too safe but I do not want to be reckless either. My problem now really is lack of information.

  4. #4
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    Had my MI 4 years ago at 50 - 5 stents in two lesions. I was compliant with medication, which was all new to me, until I had severe reactions. Found the books of cardiologist Ross Walker, which eventually led me to primal with a focus on inflammation and natural blood thinning. To let you know how effective is my strategy, I got to the point where I was getting severe headaches when doing pushups. Had me worried I could induce a stroke. Fixed it by dropping the fish oil. I think that taking plavix and aspirin while eating primal is a genuine risk due to the normal antithrombotic nature of the primal diet. You need to monitor yourself very carefully, especially with HIIT and heavy lifting. There is a real risk of a bleed

    In short, I follow primal with the following tweaks/emphases:

    * eat lots of coloured vegetables for the anti-inflammatory and blood thinning antioxidants
    * eat fish up to six times per week - generally have a salad (lots of colours of course) with canned fish. I select the fish based on omega 3 profile. Also have smoked oysters for the zinc
    * I eat curries for the turmeric
    * I eat lots of organ meats for the vitamins and fats. Because my family don't like offal or curries everday, I achieve this by making myself batches of offal curry for breakfast
    * Have a cup of hot chocolate (just 100% cocoa powder and hot water) each day
    * A generous glass of red wine with a plate of cheese each night for dessert. This cheese is a rich source of vitamin K2
    * I include homemade sauerkraut in my daily BAS, and make other ferments for gut health
    * supplement Vitamin D3, Zinc and use magnesium oil

    I walk about 30km per week and paddle on the weekend. Feel fantastic, don't have any twinges or flutters as I had before the MI and for a time after. I guess I still have CVD but hope that I am healing it. Very hard to get definitive tests for this, especially in Australia.

    I can't advise you to go drug free and your physicians never will. All that I can tell you is that I believe that primal with specific focus has enabled me to try it and so far so good. But its all about probabilities so there is no doubt that I'm gambling. I just believe that I had no choice as acting on my physicians' advice was causing definite physical decline. I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

    By the way, testosterone production is affected by more than just exercise. Things like statins will diminish testosterone because cholesterol is a precursor. So is Vitamin D. Also read up on pregnenolone steal for ways to tweak testosterone production
    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

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    neilc11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seow View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I guess it is good to be cautious but I can't help thinking that there should be a strategy for me to pursue in getting back and keeping in shape:
    relax a little,
    be sure you survive to "get back and keep in shape",
    6 months ain't a death sentence,
    unless you don't make 6 months,
    ,,,walk.


    1. Besides the usual cardio stuff, I will experiment with some high intensity interval training but am concerned that reaching the anaerobic barrier may push blood pressure too high - but:
    ,,,walk


    2. Strength training - do I ,,,:
    no, I don't think you do that yet,
    6 months,
    protect your self first,
    rebuild yourself after,,,


    At my age I need to exercise in a way that promotes testosterone production, and the 2 main ways I know are:
    a) High intensity Interval Training - where I have to reach anaerobic threshold
    b) Heavy Lifts (like squats and dead lifts) which stress the whole body

    I am concerned that it might be risky to do either.
    be concerned,
    in this short down time, read up, study, get your info together and find your confidence to minimize your risk going forward.


    The irony is I feel fine - like I can go do it right now but nobody wants to say "hey, it's ok, go ahead..." in case that advice leads me to another heart attack or something.
    yeah, right,
    right now that stent is still healing in, give it its time.


    I won't play it too safe but I do not want to be reckless either.
    tough guy,,,,


    My problem now really is lack of information.
    so,,,,
    read up, study, get your info together,,,

    hang in there
    Last edited by neilc11; 03-09-2013 at 06:55 AM.

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    Seow's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice Peril and Neil. I guess you are both right - 6 months is not a life sentence unless of course I don't make it 6 months.

    I have started walking instead of running. No high intensity interval training for now. I'm doing some body weight type exercises like push-ups, planks, some assisted pull-ups and dips, etc...

    Food wise, I have continued to eat "paleo/primal" and have not cut back much on the meat and fats with lots of veggies. Continuing to supplement with Fish oil, vitamin D3, CoQ10 and some multivitamins.

    Still on Plavix, asprin and Crestor (statin).

    I feel I'm getting weaker though. I must have lost muscle mass and strength - especially in the legs. I actually feel weak walking up more than a couple flights of stairs. (Not tired but weak - like my legs are giving out. Weird feeling. I wonder if it is the statin?)

    Gonna keep reading up too.

  7. #7
    peril's Avatar
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    The crestor may well be causing the muscle weakness. I was lucky in that both statins I tried, liptor and crestor, caused me problems so I gave them up. Argued with my cardiologist and compromised on nicotinic acid. Gave me excellent HDL (maxed out at 3.1) and good HDL but has its own problems. Feel much better just letting my cholesterol do what it's supposed to do
    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

  8. #8
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    I can't give you any real advice, other than the fact that Tai Chi is surprisingly awesome as a martial art once you have gained enough experience. You know those super-slow movements people do? Speed them up and you have a fully functional self-defense art.

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    Seow's Avatar
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    Hi All (especially Neil, Peril and Reindeer):

    I just thought that I would post an update:

    1. It's been about three months since my first post and I'm still here thanks in part to all your advice, so thank you all.

    2. I took it easy and did my brisk walking and I while I did do some weight training, it was in a way that did not stress my entire body to keep from raising my blood pressure. So I did like one-armed exercises, or one legged exercises at a time. Isolated muscles as opposed to compound exercises. I did this with the help of a trainer that is familiar with rehabilitating cardiac patients - and mostly under his supervision. Lots of stretching and mobility exercises.

    3. 3 weeks ago I did my myocardial perfusion test and treadmill with good results. I can exercise more strenuously now but still advised to work up to it slowly over the next 6 months or so. The stent still needs time to heal (because it is a drug eluting stent).

    4. Been reading a bit and talking to doctor friends. There are 3 basic risks now I have to watch out for:
    i) Late stent trombosis - clots caused by bleeding around the stent on the "un-healed" plaque lesion. Most important thing here is to keep taking Plavix and asprin (dual anti platelet / "blood thinners"). Secondary measure is to not raise my blood pressure or work the heart too hard as that can cause too much movement in the artery where the stent is - but this gets better every day as the stent heals over the next year.

    ii) Plaque rupture - again most important is to take the medication above plus the statin apparently has a secondary effect of stablising the lesion by removing an important enzyme that causes the plaque to be unstable. This is new info from recent research.

    iii) Keep my other lesser plaque lesions from getting worse (apparently I have 3 small spots of about 10% to 20%). That for me means keeping an active lifestyle balanced between being over active.

    (there is a iv) but that is the restenosis - but nothing more can apparently be done about it. Drug Eluting Stents are supposed to reduce the chances of it happening. And exercising without creating high speed turbulent blood flow over the stent is already taken care of under item i) above, so...

    Am I missing anything?

    5. Apparently my reaction to Crestor isn't as bad as some others (like you Peril) I know who take it. But there are still days when I feel very weak and my body aches and other days when I feel just fine. It's not a consistent thing.

    6. Still on Plavix and asprin. Still bruising very easily. Slight cuts bleed alot. Nothing serious so far.

    So far so good and again, thanks for all the support and advice. If I'm missing anything out, do let me know.

    Best
    Colin

  10. #10
    neilc11's Avatar
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    hey, I remember you / me,,,,
    good to see ya took the relaxed path, you had me concerned with the early gusto.
    and knowing your condition as you do now, you can feel a little more at ease with the conditions, past present and future.
    just keep doin what your doing, and soon you'll be back to full swing,
    walks will get quicker, before you know it you'll jog a little, then sprints on and pushing weight.
    take care of that stent, and it will take care of you.
    shit, it's not like we don't have time,,,

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