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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Success!

I'm thrilled to hear when people I know are able to improve their health through lifestyle change.  Here's a few recent success stories:

* A young physician with high cholesterol adopts a vegan diet.  As a result, her LDL cholesterol drops by more than half, down to a normal level, while her HDL (good cholesterol) remains stable.

* A woman in her early 50's with high blood pressure and a history of other complications after surgery a few years ago initially comes in with chest pain.  She was an avid swimmer, having recently joined a master swim group.  I put her through a stress test, during which she was able to walk and run on the treadmill and the test was negative for ischemia (in other words, no evidence of significant coronary disease).  She is free of chest pain, has her blood pressure under control, and now swims competitively and has completed two triathlons and is training for her third.

* A man in his early 40's who is significantly overweight and with elevated triglycerides starts working out with a personal trainer and adopts a vegan diet.  His personal trainer tells me that so far he has lost more than 5 percent of his body fat and is getting fit.  While I have not seen his repeat lipid panel since his lifestyle changes, I am sure that he will have great improvements.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Vegan Heart Doc, these posts inspire me. Sometimes, when you post, "I'm taking it easy right now so I'm only doing about 20-30 miles per week" I find myself thinking, "Good lord, I do not even live on the same planet as this woman, why would I think she can help me?" But when you tell me about sedentary, overweight, middleaged people who improve their health by avoiding animal products and exercising, I am inspired to do the same. -victoria

Jeff-- said...

Hi Dr. Shenkman. I found your blog through a link at cardiacathletes.com.uk and find it very interesting. I had a triple CABG in 2005 and since have become a two-time Ironman(CDA.) I see you're doing Lake Placid this year. Best of luck to you. I'll be in Coeur d'Alene again this June 27to make in three IM finishes. I'm very interested in getting off statins as I feel the side-effects are not worth it. BTW I have a website, www.jumpstartmyheart.org. Keep up the good work!
Jeff

VeganHeartDoc said...

Jeff -- thank you for your comments. I visited your web site, and your story is inspiring!

But, I would encourage you to stay on your statin, barring any life-threatening problems. Your bypass surgery at a young age shows that you are at very high risk of cardiovascular events, and statins can help to reduce your risk.