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.