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In order to survive my chronic, threatening and also deadly health problems, I have had to go "outside the box" and constantly experiment on different ways to cure, heal or, at least, lessen the nasty effects of my health problems.

It has been a torturous struggle having many health problems, each of which makes each of the health problems much worse.

This Blog contains posts describing the different things that I have done, or found, to ease the burden of all of these nasty diseases.
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Surviving deadly, debilitating combo of Heart Failure, A-Fib and Insulin Resistance

Posted 04-10-2010 at 01:59 AM by Machaon

I am near 70 and have had Congestive Heart Failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation, Chronic Tachycardia, Chronically High Blood Pressure, Immune System Dysfunction, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, High Cholesterol, High Triglycerides and Asthma for over twenty years.

I have learned how to lower my blood pressure down to very healthy levels, reduce my heart rhythm problems, improve my heart failure, improve my [U]Immune System/Neurohormonal System[/U] problems, get my Cholesterol and Trigylceride levels down to healthy levels and at the same time improve my general health. I would think that the healthy steps that I have taken could also help others, and provide significant improvements to immune disorders, such as Multiple sclerosis (MS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia, but, at that, I am only guessing.

I have no formal medical training or education, so I don't know how much of what has helped me would help others, but I'll document them here anyway.

My lifestyle and healthcare changes were:
[LIST=1][*]Being on a healthy diet. [INDENT]In my opinion, the overall healthiest diet, especially for those with chronic disease(s), consists of frequent, small portion, high fiber, low calorie, balanced meals, based on the Glycemic Index. [/INDENT][INDENT]Because of the profound improvement in my health, I intend to stay on this small, frequent, high fiber diet the rest of my life. I love it![/INDENT][*]Finding out, and avoiding, the things (triggers) that cause over-activation of the Immune System and the NeuroHormonal System. [INDENT]Heart Failure, and other heart problems, result in over-active Hormonal Systems, which is the body's attempt to increase the pumping ability of the heart by pouring out excess "helpful" hormones.[/INDENT][INDENT]There are also things that trigger either the Immune System or the Neurohormonal System to cause even additional hormones and other body chemicals to be produced, causing unhealthy stress to our systems, and resulting in a worsening of heart failure, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, and many other health problems, such as immune systems disorders like MS, CFS and Fibromyalgia. Who would have thought that a curative impact on all these diseases would be as simple, easy and inexpensive, as understanding and avoiding the things that trigger these diseases to get progressively worse!? [/INDENT][INDENT]The "helpful" chemicals, hormones and cytokines, are not so helpful when they are over-produced and are constantly circulating in the body. The over-production of these body chemicals need to be blocked or inhibited through either medications, avoiding the "triggers", or both.[/INDENT][INDENT]The over-production and over-circulation of hormones, cytokines, etc., can cause damage to organs, glands, joints and nerves, and make you feel sick as a dog, with fatigue, anxiety, mental confusion, headaches, etc.. [/INDENT][INDENT]Medicines, like Ace Inhibitors, Calcium Channel Blockers, Beta Blockers, Renin Blockers all attempt to block, or inhibit, the overproduction of hormones, and to block or inhibit inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF) and Interleukin-6 (IL). These inflammatory cytokines are additionally produced by the body to counteract the over-production of Hormones, but these inflammatory cytokines can be very damaging, and are what causes worsening Heart Failure and worsens other health problems. [/INDENT][INDENT]The more "triggers" of the Immune System, or the NeuroHormonal System, that can be avoided, the less medication that is required. Make sense? For instance, if you can avoid triggers that cause even more over-activation of the adrenal glands, you might thusly require lower dosages of medication that attempt to block the Adrenal Glands, like Beta Blockers.[/INDENT][INDENT]The triggers that cause an over-active NeuroHormonal System and the triggers that cause an over-active immune system can be the same triggers or completely different triggers. [/INDENT][*]Exercise, exercise, exercise![INDENT]Exercise is important, but until my health got better through proper diet and avoiding triggers that cause Heart Failure to get progressively worse, I could only do very limited exercise. Very slowly and gradually I was able to increase physical activity and exercise. Many times I would overdo it and suffer from difficult breathing, chest pains, over-sweating, increased heart rhythm problems and fatigue.[/INDENT][INDENT]My current exercise schedule, spread throughout the day, is about thirty pushups a day, 60 lifts and 120 curls with 10 pound weights per day per arm, 200 steps per day, per leg, on my stepper; and power walking one hour per day in two 30 minute sessions. Not bad for a elderly guy suffering from Heart Failure for over 23 years, huh? [/INDENT][INDENT]One benefit that I didn't expect to see is an improvement in my varicose veins problem.[/INDENT] [*]Taking the correct meds on the correct schedule.
[INDENT]Finding out which medicines work best, and when is the best time to take them, is complex and extremely difficult. I've taken, and suffered with, many different heart/blood pressure medications before I figured out what works best for me. [/INDENT][INDENT][LIST][*]To be on the most effective medications, for your unique health problems, you must be in the care of an effective, skilled, caring medical professional. If you are not getting, or feeling better, you should question the ability and effectiveness of your health professional(s).[/LIST][/INDENT][INDENT]I currently take 12.5mg Coreg twice a day; .25mg Digoxin once a day; Warfarin 2.5mg once a day, Flovent and Flonase. You have to admit, that is a very low level of medication for treating all of my chronic diseases.

[B][SIZE="3"]I Love Coreg!!![/SIZE][/B] [/INDENT] [INDENT][LIST][*][/LIST][/INDENT][/LIST]
Heart Failure is a progressive disease. That means that it usually gets worse with time, not better. The combination of Heart Failure and Persistent Atrial Fibrillation is particularly deadly and debilitating. I was significantly limited prior to age 60, but I felt that I was holding my own. Entering my 60's, my health got much worse, with worsening fatigue and weakness, constant chest pains, mental confusion and constant problems breathing, especially when lying down. I was forced to sleep sitting up to limit my breathing and heart rhythm problems.

Now..... close to my 70's, my health is quite good, although I am still limited by my disease(s). My heart is damaged, and while improved, my heart will always be compromised. The most important lesson, I've learned, has been that, even during one's 60's, heart failure does not necessarily have to lead to death and morbidity.

When my symptoms worsened, back in 1998, I started taking my blood pressure many times per day. It wasn't until 2004, when I incorporated all four essential steps, that my blood pressure, and health, started the long journey back towards better health. I started documenting my journey, right here on HealthBoards, in January 2005 on a thread, I called, [U]Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?[/U] The link to that thread is: [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229[/url] At that time, I did not really know if I would continue to improve, or continue to get worsening heart failure.

These were my annual "average" blood pressure readings from 1998 through 2010.[LIST][*]1998: [B][COLOR="Red"]152/97[/COLOR][/B], readings=1016[INDENT]An average of 152/97 for the ENTIRE YEAR! Is it any wonder why I was getting worse!?[/INDENT][*]1999 : [B][COLOR="Red"]146/92[/COLOR][/B], readings=3599[INDENT]An average of 146/92, each and every day, for the entire year. Better than 1998, but still a serious health problem![/INDENT][*]2000 : [B][COLOR="Red"]145/92[/COLOR][/B], readings=3322[*]2001 : [B][COLOR="Red"]147/92[/COLOR][/B], readings=2375[*]2002 : [B][COLOR="Red"]150/96[/COLOR][/B], readings=1423[*]2003 : [B][COLOR="Red"]151/96[/COLOR][/B], readings=1032[*]2004 : [B][COLOR="Red"]146/90[/COLOR][/B], readings=2065[*]2005 : [B][COLOR="Red"]139/86[/COLOR][/B], readings=2526[*]2006 : [B][COLOR="Red"]136/79[/COLOR][/B], readings=3269[*]2007 : [B][COLOR="Green"]126/74[/COLOR][/B], readings=2720[INDENT]An average of 126/74 for the entire year. There is hope that I can survive these nasty diseases! [/INDENT][*]2008 : [B][COLOR="Green"]122/72[/COLOR][/B], readings=2543[*]2009 : [B][COLOR="Green"]124/72[/COLOR][/B], readings=2682[*]2010 : [B][COLOR="Green"]123/72[/COLOR][/B], readings=222[/LIST]
My Cholesterol Numbers are also great, without ever having to take statins![LIST][*]Total Cholesterol: around 160[*]HDL: around 60[*]LDL: around 90[*]Trig: around 60[*]Ratio: < 3[/LIST]
As long as I adhere to this lifestyle, I don't have to worry about my blood pressure or worsening heart failure or heart rhythm problems, or Cholesterol, or Trigylcerides, etc.

The solution, and steps, one must take, to significantly improve most cases of high blood pressure, worsening heart failure, most heart rhythm disorders and many other immune system diseases are amazingly simple, but takes a lot of work.

My health is slowly improving day by day. I feel younger, stronger, more alert, and with more energy. I never expect my heart to fully recover, but at this point, who cares! After 23+ years of dealing with Heart Failure and Persistent Atrial Fibrillation, I am certainly not going to complain!
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Hello Machoen,

    Just stopping in. I've been gone off the blogs a few days
    and hope to catch up. Probably not all today though but
    soon. I am not even sure where I left off and on whos blog.

    The most recent bloggers here each have their own unique
    style of sharing. Sometimes I think to myself....this could
    be a book of their own etc.

    Your pressing on attitude and how you take on each day
    (per your words) is worthy of applaud! I know in spite of
    all things it is not easy at all nor has it ever been.

    Well I am due a cup of hot tea and then back to my
    obligations of today.

    Warmly,

    Janaly

    This blog was a good thorough recap of your health/medical
    struggles/challenges. I think you shared your history quite
    nicely and covered so many areas the viewer/reader might
    be wondering or have questions about.
    permalink
    Posted 04-10-2010 at 12:54 PM by Janaly Janaly is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Have you done anything to clean the air in your home? I'm wondering if there is a connection there. Also what about detoxification? Detox baths, good bacteria in the form of organic kefir and organic yogurt and digestive enzymes that also contain good bacteria... What about organic apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons with each meal in 1/2 glass of water to see if you see any differene... Low stomach acid is the culprit, I think, bacteria, viruses, etc., start to build up because there is not enough stomach acid to kill them....

    Faith
    permalink
    Posted 05-15-2011 at 08:20 PM by skeeweeaka skeeweeaka is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Hi,

    Have you noticed a difference in your cognitive abilities with flushing your sinuses. Also do you take any good probiotics in the form of organic kefir and organic yogurt and ferments like kombucha and others that you can make at home. They will help move out the bad bacteria, replacing it with good... What about organic apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons in half glass water prior to each meal to help with LOW STOMACH ACID, honestly I think the culprit of most disease.

    Faith
    permalink
    Posted 05-15-2011 at 08:24 PM by skeeweeaka skeeweeaka is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Hi, I would love to get in contact with you via email if possible. I am new to this and don't always have access to a pc. I am 27 and have overdosed on drugs which almost lead me to die from a heart attack. This happened to me 3 times due to my ignorance, but now I am changed yet I would like help from someone who I think knows more than I regarding my problem. I would appreciate your valuable time and information. My email adress is [email]ceaserg@gmail.com[/email]
    Kind regards, Zeek
    permalink
    Posted 05-26-2012 at 02:00 AM by Zeek Hattingh Zeek Hattingh is offline
 

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