Heart Attack and Stroke

Become Heart Attack Proof

Last year my wife suffered a stroke. She is OK, but this life changing event sent us down the path of educating ourselves about the number one killer in the USA. What we found shocked us.

Background

About six months ago my wife had a stroke – Aug 17, 2015.

During a normal annual check up it was suggested that it was time for her to have her colon checked. She had a real bad experience with the previous colonoscopy and was stressed out about the upcoming test. On the way to the hospital to have the test performed we stopped at one of our favorite home-style cooking restaurants and had biscuits and gravy for breakfast. This is key! That biscuits and gravy breakfast coupled with the stress is what probably put her over the edge.

She had the test performed and we went home and everything seemed to be okay. Later that afternoon she started feeling sick. She had flu-like symptoms; fever, headache, achiness. But nothing that we or later the doctors would attribute to a stroke.

For several days we visited the doctor who performed the colonoscopy but he could not find anything wrong. We all suspected an infection of some sort but finally he recommended that we take her to the emergency room with the idea that they have much more sophisticated equipment available to them then the labs to which he would send us.

After 12 hours in the emergency room and a myriad of tests later they finally admitted her into the hospital. It wasn’t until the next day when the doctor assigned to her case visited her that we found out the prognosis.

In the Hospital

Once we found out what we were up against, we began to ask the kinds of questions you might expect. How do we prevent further strokes? How do we reverse the disease?

We asked these questions of all the specialists available to us – her assigned physician, her neurologist, and later her assigned vascular surgeon. The answers we were given in all cases were you can do nothing. They recommended that we follow the doctor’s instructions carefully, and to “get your affairs in order”.

Of course, this was completely unacceptable to us. Up until now, Lea was the picture of perfect health – just a little overweight like most Americans. How could things go south so quickly?

While in the hospital they monitored her blood pressure carefully, administering the appropriate medication to reduce it when needed. Especially the first few days her blood pressure was in the 180 – 220 range. Eventually it was recommended that she undergo a carotid endarterectomy on her right carotid artery. She had the surgery. And with her blood pressure stabilized, believing we had done as much as we could in the hospital to minimize the risk of another stroke, we came home after 15 days.

Western Medicine

The industry surrounding modern western medicine has a different set of priorities than any of us expect. First and foremost it is big business. Protection of profits, establishing streams of recurring revenue and producing products that customers need is the primary concern of every company in operation.

I, in no way, consider myself to be a medical expert. However, I have had several family members who have made their careers in this industry. And as such, have had insights into the mechanisms that are at play in today’s medical industry.

Without going into great detail and enumerating examples just suffice it to say that the principal goal of our medical system is not to make people well. That cannot be stated strongly enough. But, it is what we all expect.

The modus operandi of our medical system is to keep people a little sick so that they need the products being produced and thereby represent a source of recurring revenue. And that is it.

Whether it be pharmaceuticals or procedures like carotid endarterectomy or heart bypass surgery that is guaranteed to produce brain damage. These are revenue streams that treat symptoms and nothing else. Modern western medicine does NOT treat root causes! It only offers courses of treatment that get you into a system from which you can never exit. This is so you become a statistic from which they can forecast future sales accurately.

With that understanding fully in place we were convinced that we needed to look elsewhere, outside of the medical system, for the answers to our questions. If we could not find answers to the questions from non-traditional sources and are led to conclude that what we have heard from the medical practitioners was accurate, then so be it.

But we needed to do our homework before we settled in to “getting our affairs in order”.

What Did We Find?

Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease

It was not long after that we ran into the work of Dr. Esselstyn. He and Dr. T. Colin Campbell are featured in the documentary Forks Over Knives. Lea and I had already watched that documentary a year or so prior to her stroke, but did not really recognize the importance of the information being presented.

If you have not watched it please do so! We recommend it highly! It just may save your life – years from now!

Dr. Esselstyn’s book Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease is the anchor for the course of treatment we decided upon. We discovered that there is a mechanism to stop the progression of the disease and in fact reverse it! Dr. Esselstyn, after 30 years of putting his findings in practice makes the bold statement that coronary artery disease need not ever exist and if his program is followed strictly one can become heart attack proof!

We found that there are dozens of doctors who corroborate Dr. Esselstyn’s findings. I have listed references to some of their materials down below.

The bottom line, we found answers to our questions that were in direct conflict with traditional medicine. And to be honest, based on my understanding of how the system really works behind the scenes, this was no surprise. However, it did make me quite angry. Those of us that live in western countries, have been lied to for decades about what is healthy for us in terms of lifestyle choices and what is unhealthy.

In the video that I link to below Dr. Esselstyn makes this clear statement: that coronary artery disease is a food borne illness. And further research that I’ve done pointed out that of the 12 or so heart attack and stroke risk factors, eight of them are diet related.

And this is not only true for CAD, but also many auto-immune diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and many more.

Dr. McDougall, in several of his videos makes the statement that “It’s the food”.

Heart attack and stroke are symptoms or outcomes of the same illness – Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). And the main root cause is the Standard American Diet (SAD)!

Progress

Once we found what we were convinced was a reasonable plan of attack we set out to clean up our dietary lives. Now we had started this process over five years prior. But there were still things in our typical daily routine of which we now knew we needed to let go. Things like processed foods (canned soups, bottled spaghetti sauce, mayonnaise, etc.) and all animal products would need to go. Dr Esselstyn’s cry “NO OIL!” hit home. And so we taught ourselves how to cook without it. [ Dr McDougall has a similar “NO OIL” talk. Also see “Olive Oil is NOT Healthy“. ]

The very basics of Dr Esselstyn’s program is a plant-based diet, no animal protein of any form, no oil, and introduction of as much dark green leafy vegetables as can be tolerated. At least two servings per day where a serving is approximately a handful is the minimum. Activity is key to the process as well. You do not need to be an olympic athlete, but 10-20 mins of activity (e.g., walking) every day is critically important – more is better if you can manage it.

Dr. McDougall’s program is much the same, but he highlights starchy vegetables as the basis of one’s diet (with the addition of fruits and vegetables). Approximately 40{1f9f7c237d916e15883921714774bc0009153ce8b53e25cd8c6ab03ed5ee4d46} of the daily caloric intake should be from starchy vegetables! He goes on to assert that every successful large population of human beings throughout history has had a starch based diet. And these were hearty, healthy peoples. Wow! This is so true.

Almost immediately we began to see improvement. Lea’s blood pressure began to stabilize, she began losing weight – which is one of the stroke risk factors – and her energy level began to improve. At first she could not even manage to walk 3 houses and back in less than 30 minutes.

Six months later, her blood pressure after activity has settled to (on avg.) 110/65, she has lost 50 pounds, and can do a walk every day up to 2 miles long.

This program is clearly working. And we are convinced that an ultrasound of her heart and scan of her brain 2 to 3 years down the road will definitely show a reversal of the disease.

Our next step is to begin the process of getting her off ALL of the prescription medications.

Conclusion

In this post I have not tried to provide an exhaustive description of everything that we have learned. It would take something the size of several books to capture all of that. But I hope that I have shown that there is well documented evidence that coronary artery disease can be prevented and, if diagnosed, can have the progression stopped and reversed.

It is not my desire to be a source of medical advice or information. As I mentioned above I am not a medical expert. But I will from time to time share some jewels that we have learned along the way, in the hopes that someone else might benefit from what we have learned.

And certainly, we credit God with guiding us to what we needed to know to bring this change into our life. There were many, many miracles along the way; too many to believe in strict coincidence. Thank you, Lord!

If you or someone you know is going through a coronary artery disease episode of some sort, please let them know there is hope! It is the food.

Please share this blog post with them and encourage them to become heart attack proof.

I encourage your comments below. What are you battling? Has this encouraged you to think a little differently about the options available to you? Let me know!

References

Dr Esselstyn – Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease – Forks over Knives documentary
Dr T. Colin Campbell – author of The China Study and featured in Forks over Knives documentary
Dr McDougall – The Starch Solution
Dr Greger – has videos where he presents bite-size pieces of many medical studies per video
Dr Hans Diehl – Loma Linda University / association with Dr McDougall and founder of the CHIP programs (Coronary Health Improvement Project)
Dr Fuhrman – author of Eat To Live – coined the term “Nutritarian” and not vegetarian

Videos

Dr Caldwell Esselstyn – Making Heart Attacks History – https://youtu.be/EqKNfyUPzoU
Dr John McDougall – Deceptive Marketing of Dairy and Disease – https://youtu.be/fBMjopH4y2w
Dr John McDougall – The Starch Solution – https://youtu.be/4XVf36nwraw
Dr Greger – videos where he presents bite-size pieces of many medical studies per video – highly recommended!
Dr Hans Diehl
Reversing Western Killer Diseases – Part 1 – https://youtu.be/KBilcixEjXk
Reversing Western Killer Diseases – Part 2 – https://youtu.be/3ySYRGRR4Ww
Dr Joel Fuhrman – 3 Steps to Incredible Health – https://youtu.be/IHDMP_P21_s
Forks Over Knives at Netflix – http://www.netflix.com/watch/70185045

A version of the book focusing on Diabetes:

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