home
RSS
'Heart attack proof' diet worked for me
August 19th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

'Heart attack proof' diet worked for me

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was lying in my hospital bed anxiously waiting for another unwanted heart catheterization. I was questioning how this could be happening to me again.

After all, I was only 41 years old. I was in pretty good shape. I didn’t smoke. I ate pretty well. Bad luck, bad genes, what was causing me to need a fifth heart procedure? It was easy to start feeling sorry for myself.

Then I thought about the book that I just finished reading for the second time since my last heart procedure that was sadly and inexplicably preformed just five months prior. It inspired me to pick up my iPad and search for the book’s author Dr. Esselstyn.

Esselstyn's  'heart attack proof' diet

Within seconds I was watching a CNN video on YouTube with Wolf Blitzer interviewing President Bill Clinton, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Dean Ornish on how one might prevent and even reverse heart disease through diet and exercise. Motivated to go further, I then found Dr.Esselstyn’s office number on the internet and called without having any reasonable expectation that he could be reached.

Will you have a heart attack? These tests can tell

To my surprise, his assistant Jackie answered the phone and told me that she would have Dr. Esselstyn return my call as soon as possible. As I hung up the phone, I had to scratch my head and question whether a famous doctor and author in Cleveland who I had just watched on CNN, who didn’t know me from Adam, would return my call as I lay there helplessly in my hospital bed.

To my surprise he did.

I had been rolled into the waiting/recovery room for the catheterization lab when my cell phone rang, that I am pretty sure I was not supposed to be using in the hospital, with Dr. Esselstyn calling. He caringly asked about my health history, blood work results and current symptoms that had led me back to the hospital again that day.

Sadly, he admitted that there was only so much he could do as I was literally minutes from being rolled into the next room to have the catheterization performed, but he did promise that he was convinced there was a way that I could prevent this hospital visit from ever happening again and that I would be hearing from him soon.

Moments later, my heart catheterization had begun and three hours later I was back in my hospital room in tears realizing that I just had three more stents placed around my heart.

In the nine years that preceded that day, I had progressively lost hope. After my first of eight stents were placed at the age of 31, a friend had given me a book called  "Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease." After reading it I was inspired and confident that I could prevent this from ever happening again.

I then reached out to those that I thought I could trust - doctors, cardiologists, even a nutritionist to validate what I had read. It is safe to say that my confidence quickly turned to confusion. I remember stating, “If eating tree bark and water would keep me out of the hospital, then that is what I would do." Sadly, rather than confirmation, I instead was told that it was not necessary or even realistic that I commit to the lifestyle changes recommend by the book.

Nine years and eight stents later, I can’t help but think that the advice I received was well intentioned but nonetheless wrong.

After my fourth catheterization last June, I decided enough was enough and that there had to be a better way to go. I switched to a doctor that was part of the MDVIP program (focusing on  preventive, personalized health care) that had a nutritionist on staff. During my visit with the nutritionist, she recommended strongly that I read Dr. Esselstyn’s book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease." After immediately reading the book cover to cover, I once again visited with my doctor and cardiologist who were clearly more supportive than my experience from years before, but there still was a suggestion that what I had read was too extreme, unrealistic, and even unnecessary.

Still confused, I did eat much better and exercised regularly. However, I did not follow what was recommended in the book to the letter. I found myself back in the hospital again that November.

Since that day in the hospital, I have not allowed any professional’s opinion or excuse to deter me from implementing what Dr. Esselstyn recommends. I attended his one day program at the Cleveland Clinic in December. My diet has consisted exclusively of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans with no added oils, nuts, seeds or avocado.

What your cholesterol numbers really mean

I have lost 48 pounds. My blood work has gone from total cholesterol of 208, LDL of 93, HDL of 41, and triglycerides of 368 last June to most recent results of total cholesterol of 89, LDL of 19, HDL of 53, and triglycerides of 83. That transformation is nothing short of amazing.

My next challenge is where to go next with my heart medications, which would seem to be unnecessary based on the miraculous change in my blood work.

I don’t blame my doctors, my cardiologists or nutritionists over the years. I believe they had my best interest at heart. I do believe, however, that the world deserves better advice on how to live a long and happy life, free of heart and other diseases.

I know there are no guarantees in life, but I am convinced beyond belief that I am on the right track. If I can do it, I know that anyone else can. They just need to be given a chance by being pointed in the right direction. Hopefully those hearing about my life experiences will help them avoid taking nine years to figure it out as it did with me.


soundoff (406 Responses)
  1. la hora loca

    Somebody essentially assist to make seriously articles I'd state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far?

    I amazed with the analysis you made to make this actual put up incredible.
    Fantastic job!

    April 15, 2021 at 05:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. party characters

    Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i
    was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or
    anything you can advise? I get so much lately it's driving me
    mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

    April 15, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. led robots

    Greetings, I think your web site could possibly be having
    internet browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at
    your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE,
    it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted
    to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, great
    website!

    April 15, 2021 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. party character

    Please let me know if you're looking for a author for your blog.
    You have some really great articles and I feel I would be
    a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load
    off, I'd absolutely love to write some articles for your blog
    in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested.
    Cheers!

    April 15, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. https://freecamtocamsex.com

    Nude video chat NicoleRoxyy: I am waiting to fulfill your deepest dream, don`t let your fantasies slip away, don`t hesitate a moment,
    come to me and let me take in my world of pleasure hot woman squirt

    April 15, 2021 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. bet online in ny

    Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thanks

    April 15, 2021 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. chaturbate best videos

    When you share this story with your friends, you’ll know
    they got to this part when you see them adjust themselves in their seat.
    Saucey Saucey offers 30-minute delivery or two-day shipping of beer, wine and liquor, with no delivery fees or order minimums - the price is
    all rolled in, so what you see is what you pay (there
    are shipping fees, however). Drizly Drizly is an online alcohol delivery service that partners with more than 2,200
    retailers across North America to send beer,
    wine, liquor and snacks to your door. As quarantines, lockdowns, and shelter-in-place orders limit shopping excursions, keep more people inside,
    and all but shutter local restaurants and bars, many people are turning to other means for keeping their favorite booze in stock.
    If you're looking to stock up on some booze without going out
    to the grocery store or liquor store, here are a few
    services to check out. A number of national delivery
    services, wine club services and larger regional stores are still delivering alcohol during
    the coronavirus pandemic. There are a ton of online alcohol delivery services, as well as
    wine delivery services and wine- and beer-of-the-month clubs.

    April 16, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. alprostadil generic prices

    what is alprostadil https://alprostadildrugs.com/ muse alprostadil

    April 16, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. la hora loca

    Informative article, totally what I wanted to find.

    April 17, 2021 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. party characters

    My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and am
    anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    April 17, 2021 at 03:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. la hora loca

    Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There's a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

    April 17, 2021 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. http://aseopereira.gov.co/community/profile/theaoneil5/

    Hello to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this site, and your views are pleasant for new viewers.

    April 17, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. chatterbatecam

    China has also faced allegations it attempted to silence
    medics – including the now-deceased Dr Li Wenliang – who first reported on the
    disease, and covered up early cases. They called it wrong, they
    missed the call,' he said, adding: 'They should have known and they probably did
    know,' suggesting the WHO was withholding information about the coronavirus.
    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a little-known figure before the coronavirus pandemic, has risen to prominence as Director-General of the World
    Health Organisation which is spearheading global responses to the virus.
    In 2017, Dr Tedros left the Ethiopian government and entered
    the running for Director-General of the WHO as the tenure of Dr Margaret Chan, a Canadian-Chinese physician, was coming
    to an end. MailOnline has contacted the WHO for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publication. This doesn't mean that the performance they had back on early 2019 is equal
    or close to the one on current Nvidia GPUs, but it is reasonable to
    expect for this to keep evolving on AMD and Microsoft side, so by the time the XSX launches, it has a solution that is capable of running
    in real time. I do have lip filler but as I keep on saying to him 1.
    I had lip fillers when we met and 2. The last time I got them done he had ignored me for 2
    weeks straight and I assumed it was over so I got them done and 3.
    I’m a 30 year old woman who can do what I like with my body.

    April 18, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. viagra canada

    viagra sin recetas en farmacias de canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ ordering viagra from canada

    April 18, 2021 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. https://sites.google.com/site/amirapp2019/shakh

    Appreciating the commitment you put into your blog and in depth information you present.
    It's good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same out
    of date rehashed material. Great read! I've saved your site and
    I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    April 19, 2021 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/profile/olivegriffin9/

    I used to be able to find good advice from your content.

    April 19, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. http://www.wikidot.com/user:info/lyla-klein

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I
    could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some
    experience with something like this. Please let me know
    if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    April 19, 2021 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. https://wanelo.co/philwoods2

    Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of
    hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions
    to protect against hackers?

    April 19, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. buy viagra from canada

    is it illegal to by viagra from canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ viagra sin receta en farmacias de canada

    April 19, 2021 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. cialis canadian

    buying canadian cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis canadian pharmacy

    April 19, 2021 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. free cam website

    Then turn and walk out. Then in the midst of rollout this
    spring, a global health crisis erupted – upending lives and tangling census
    outreach efforts. This can include sexual and reproductive health issues,
    mental health concerns, on-the-job injuries caused by
    unsafe working conditions, and issues related to substance use.
    Knowing how to navigate in times of even the least amount
    of trouble can make the difference and prevent bigger problems.
    Be sure to make eye contact when you do this. However, we don't have very good business skills because
    our aim isn't to make money. "Prior research shows that men who cry are viewed positively and as in touch with their emotions, but not feminine," the study says, encouraging all
    manly men to let the waterworks flow, because no good can come from bottling up your emotions.
    Talk about mutual friends and how they are now or special occasions that you two enjoyed together
    in the past.

    April 20, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. sildenafil 20 mg tablet

    sildenafil 100 coupon https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ generic viagra sildenafil

    April 20, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. generic levitra vardenafil

    vardenafil hcl 20mg tab https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil 20mg tablets

    April 20, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. haghsetan

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer.
    I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser
    compatibility but I figured I'd post to let you know. The design and
    style look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Thanks

    April 21, 2021 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. https://thuocladientu123.com

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://maps.google.lu/url?q=https://thuocladientu123.com

    April 21, 2021 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. canadian pills online

    canadian pills pharmacy https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian customs pills vitamins

    April 21, 2021 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. buy zithromax no prescription

    z pak direction https://zithromaxes.com/ uses of zithromax

    April 22, 2021 at 07:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. tadalafil 40

    buy tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil daily use

    April 22, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Leave a Reply to Belleville, MI Roofing


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.