Monday, February 17, 2014

Do patients really *do* this?

I'll be the first to admit, the majority of my patients aren't vegans.  And, I'm okay with that.

My goal as a cardiologist is to provide my patients with the best information on how to improve their heart health and reduce their risk of cardiovascular events.  What they do with that information is up to them.

On one end of the spectrum, one of my long-term patients with coronary artery disease and a history of bypass surgery followed up earlier this week.  We have our usual conversation, where I tell him that he would be well served to eat better, exercise, and lose weight.  And as usual, he laughs and smiles, and says that he's not about to change.  He has remained otherwise stable on his medicines for blood pressure and his statin, and I'll see him again in six months.

On the other hand, I have patients who take on lifestyle change with vigor.  They adopt a plant-based and start exercising.  And without much effort, excess weight seems to come off.  They tend to feel better as well.  Of those motivated patients, I have not seen a single one of them have a recurrent cardiac event -- not one has needed another stent or another bypass surgery. 

2 comments:

Ted said...

I am a family practice physician in Tucson and can relate. I, myself, adopted a whole foods, plant-based diet 3 years ago and after experiencing the dramatic changes in my own health, I began advocating it to my patients. VERY few take my advice, but those that have started eating this way have certainly reaped the rewards with more energy, weight loss, and decreasing the amount of prescription medications they take. I applaude you for being a cardiologist who promotes this way of eating. You can visit my website at drherbivore.com and I have a blog there as well.

Michael Crosby said...

I gave my sister Dr Esselstyn's book along with Dr Fuhrman's. She took it to her cardiologist and he said heart disease is irreversable.

Nice to see other doctors realize it's just not about popping pills and surgery.