I’m one of those who got blindsided by coronary artery disease. Not a hint that the process was going on until I started feeling a strange tightness in what I thought was my trachea when I walked uphill. The crazy thing was I never felt it during my workouts I could do squats until my legs failed and my lungs were screaming, but I never felt any chest pain. When I complained to my GP, who specialized in asthma and lung issues, he insisted I go for an angiogram. As I watched the monitor, my wife Jo (an RN) and the Dr. were almost laughing about how blocked up I was, and I got the old ‘walking time-bomb’ lecture right then and there. The bypass would be a quad, and I said ‘whatever – get it on’! One very cool moment that evening was encountering a friend who had been recently ordained a Catholic priest, and he gave me the anointing of the sick. I never had an uneasy moment after that. The next morning they put me under and did the surgery.
I had a pretty quick recovery, and was back in the gym doing legs 4 weeks to the day later. The annoying part is that my cardiologist put me on statins (Lipitor) and I have been taking them ever since. The more I read about them the less I like being on them, and the less I think they do for stopping atherosclerosis. About 3 years ago I started feeling some pain in my thumb muscles and it has progressed to where both thumbs are always tender and often have stabbing pains in the tendons adjacent to the wrist. I suspect it may be the muscle damage that is warned against as a side effect of statins. I have taken CoQ10 since the start to hopefully prevent that specific problem, but I am now doing more research on the subject and have temporarily stopped taking Lipitor to see if this improves measurably. One very interesting site I found is http://www.health-heart.org. It graphically show the history of statin use and reviews a bounty of studies that show there is very little evidence that statins do any good whatever to prevent atherosclerosis, heart disease or death from these conditions. It has been only a week since I stopped and I have noticed a significant decrease in the occasional stabbing pains, but the tenderness is sill there, although seemingly diminished – I can’t be sure.
The Blaylock Wellness report for February covers the topic of atherosclerosis and heart disease quite comprehensively, and it fortifies my thinking that we are being led down a path of degenerating health by the drug/FDA/medical community. I recount the important points of the article for you:
- Roughly half of the fatal and non-fatal heart attacks occur in people with cholesterol levels under 180 mg/dl.
- The Framingham study found that men with total cholesterol under 190 mg/dl had triple the risk of developing colon cancer than those with >220 mg/dl.
- For the past 70+ years the government and medical community has been telling us to eliminate saturated fats and to eat a high-carb/low-fat diet using polyunsaturated vegetable oils; during which time heart attacks have gone from a very rare occurrence to the No1 killer of men in the US – see the chart at health-heart.org.
- Atherosclerosis most strongly correlates with triglyceride levels, not cholesterol levels, and high triglycerides are caused by high sugar and refined carbohydrate intake.
- High intake of sugar and refined carbs with omega-6 dominant vegetable oils leads to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes with chronically high insulin levels
- This leads to inflammation of the circulatory system, shifting of LDL production by the liver from ‘buoyant’ to ‘small dense’ form found in arterial plaque.
- The central process found in atherosclerosis is chronic inflammation of the blood vessels.
Another link to heart disease by way of the high refined carbs, sugars and refined vegetable oils is visceral fat – the kind inside the protruding abdomen normally called a beer-belly in men. A recent study cited in our News Roundup showed that this type of fat causes systemic, chronic inflammation and directly promotes atherosclerosis. The study demonstrated this conclusively in rats; which more often than not implies the same process occurs in humans. In essence, a high intake of refined grain products and oils, sugars, high fructose corn syrup, leads to metabolic syndrome, with high blood glucose and insulin levels, altered lipid and hormone production, increased visceral fat, thereby promoting inflammation, the formation of advanced glycation end-products, resulting in atherosclerosis and heart disease. I’m fairly convinced that statin drugs treat a symptom of this process only, not the root cause, which almost assuredly will prove to be the ‘products’ posing as food in our grocery stores and fast food outlets.
Good Living – Frank
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Frank Wilhelmi – Retired/consultant electronic engineer researches and reports practical strategies for optimizing health and fitness into advanced age. “I have a passion for living life to the fullest, and helping others to do the same.” A rapidly growing body of knowledge now enables us to extend our health and fitness decades beyond popular expectations.