It has been a couple of months since my near heart attack and I’ve learned a lot about Heart Disease and eating a heart-healthy diet. I still have a long way to go but I seem to have significantly improved my numbers.
My local grocery store does a screening on the 2nd saturday of each month. I decided to give it a shot. They do all the tests right there using portable meters rather than sending a vial of blood off the the lab. I’m taking these results with a grain of potassium because a meter will never be as good as a real lab test but at lest it gives me an idea for now.
My LDL (Bad) cholesterol is somewhere below 40. I don’t know the actual number because the meter doesn’t go below 40. Either way that’s a good thing if it is true. You want it to be less than 70. I’m wondering if it might be dangerous to have a LDL that is too low. Question for the doctor. I owe my low LDL to the fact that I’ve had little to no meat at all over the last two months. I really don’t miss it all that much. Meat seems to have been more of a habit than a requirement. There are plenty of alternatives that are devoid of cholestrol and saturated fats.
My HDL (Good) cholesterol is still low at 27 where it should be above 40 and preferably higher. I’m surprised at this number because HDL is boosted by eating omega-3 foods like fish, flax seed and other things that I am totally eating. It is also raised by getting exercise. I’ve been walking 2-3 miles or biking 4-5 miles almost every night. I really expected to see the HDL number higer.
My total Cholesterol is 100 and is good as 150 or less is recommended.
Other than statins for cholesterol, I’m also taking a couple of blood pressure pills that seem to be helping a bit. My BP ranges between 120 and 150 systolic. Kind of high still but time on the drugs and exercise should help. As one gets older, blood pressure naturally goes up. I hope I can keep it under control.
High blood pressure is also caused by stress. I caused myself a lot of stress over the last 20 years so I’m sure that was a major contributing factor to my issue. I feel that I have gotten it under control in the last few years but the damage is done. I still have more work to do but I am feeling far better about controlling stress.
HBP is also caused by salt. The American diet is LOADED with salt. That’s really a shame because it’s everywhere and we love it. Unfortunately it is also death. Cutting salt has been difficult. It’s not too hard when you cook at home but you can’t avoid it when you eat out. Eventually you get used to not eating all the salt and food tastes just fine without it or at least much less of it.
My doctor said to see him in 6 months but I think that is too long. I’m sure most people who have arteriosclerosis blow it off so the doctors don’t care if the patients don’t. I figure I might as well fight it so I plan on calling to get a real blood lab done and discuss it with him as well as all the other questions I have.
I’ve read a few books that have been extremely helpful. If you have or have a family history of blocked arteries then I highly recommend reading The Simple Heart Cure: The 90-Day Program to Stop and Reverse Heart Disease. It was written by a cardiologist who was also blindsided by heart disease so I’m sure he knows what he is talking about. He does a great job of explaining the situation as well as offering a plan to prevent or reverse heart disease to get you back on track. I’ve read it twice. Get it if you value your life.
Overall I feel like I did before it happened. I’m not sure why I am fighting it considering I don’t really have much to live for but I guess it’s human nature to want to live. I also have to see what happens when Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president. You know it is going to be weird and interesting. Besides, maybe I will eventually achieve my meager yet almost impossible goals in life. I’ll never know if I don’t live long enough. Life is short anyway. There will be plenty of time to be dead later.