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High & Low Blood Pressure board

[QUOTE=Lillians Axe]Ubernier,

You went 1 1/2 months with chest pains before a heart attack at 35. Waaaay young. Did you have you cholesterol, sugars checked prior or an ekg. What was your weight???

Hi Lillians:

What a long story...I have posted some of my progress, etc. in here, in the heart and high cholesterol forum. I have CHD in my family, father had a CABG at age 51, and died of an MI at age 58. I was a foolish boy and thought myself immortal. Anyway, I weighed 155 lbs in high school, went to college, became smarter and less wise as I progressed up to 227 lbs by 2002 on my 5'9" frame. Along the way, I went to the hospital for various injuries and was told I had hypertension as early as 1992. I ignored it while in grad school. I weighed about 195 lbs at the time and was easing my way into a sedentary lifestyle. By 1995, I was employed, and shunned the physicals. At age 31, I went for my physical through work in 1997, came back hypertensive with a bp of 170/112. Was started on an ACE inhibitor, diuretic and finally a beta blocker to control it. ( I think the combo was Lexxel, HCTZ and Ziac). Anyway, I coasted along and kept piling on the weight to reach 215 lbs by 2000. In November of that year, I got my first shocker, my fasting glucose was 348 mg/dL. Now, I had a fasting of 124 in 1997 during that physical, but at the time, they thought I cheated and ate something that morning..

Gee, that explained why I was so tired at work everyday, and wanted to sleep through seminars! Well, I had been chewing tobacco since age 16, so that was my method of keeping awake (another brilliant choice on my part).
Amaryl was added to the mix. You would think I would get it then? No, not so fast. That allowed me to control the diabetes, via a pill, and still slurp down my 5 plates of prime rib and 3 plates of crab clusters at all you can eat buffets. I could not shovel any more down, nor exercise any less. Into the mix came Tricor to combat my high triglycerides, which reached the unmeasurable level of 600+, which meant my lipid values were not accurate for LDL....

I reached 227 lbs, was moving boxes at my mother's house after she passed away. I could not figure out what the weird feeling in my shoulders was...Thinking back then, I know now that it was angina. At 35, you just aren't thinking heart problems. Anyway, the pain started to intensify and show up at rest each night, as time went on. Finally on March 14, I was sprawled out on the living room floor with my arms feeling like I had torn both rotator cuffs. Finally, the next day (Friday) I went to my physician at 8 am. Had an EKG, it looked fine. Described my symptoms, he said, "well you have a bunch of risk factors, and are young, but let me set you up a stress test." I thanked him, headed out to the local sub shop and snagged myself a double meat turkey sub with extra cheese. Went back to the lab, sat in my office and ate lunch while working on some data. The whole world turned white around me, I staggered down the hall, told my technician what happened at the doctor and that I felt dizzy after working myself up over the anxiousness. He noticed that I was pale white, in sweats. I noticed that laying down on the floor did not alleviate the dizzy feeling, nor the nausea. That was my heart attack. He wanted to call 911. Of course, I protested. I won...or did I? More like I was darn lucky. Anyway, went to the hospital, recieved a stent the following Monday and one a few months later, after I started trying to jog.

There is a happy ending to this long treatise I wrote you (sorry that it took forever!) I will link the posts showing the improvement to my lipid profiles and the reduction in meds as changed everything wrong that I was doing with my lifestyle.

Bottome line, Tricor is gone, my 600+ unmedicated TG is now at 30-40 mg/dL thanks to the exercise and weight. I would say diet, but when I reward myself with a quarter of an apple pie and two mounds of ice cream...I don't think that's low carb and an indication that diet does not impact my lipids so greatly.

My LDL was always not excessive. It was my HDL that was too low, and too small particle size. You will see the changes in my lipid profiles as I lost weight and took up running.

Anyway, back to meds, the diabetes med (Amaryl) went away next. I can slap that dessert down above and get the response of a non-diabetic. That's another story and I wrote about that in the diabetes forum a while back.

As I dropped the weight down, I came off the HCTZ, then the beta blocker (Toprol). Finally, when I reached 155 lbs, I came off the ACE inihibitor (Altace) and to the physician's amazement, my bp was around 100/60.

Now the caveat, as I gained weight back up near 170 lbs, my bp steadily rose to 120/80. That is why I just myself back into reverse. In addition, near 170 lbs, if I do not exercise daily, then my sugars do start to indicate impaired glucose tolerance. So, yes, I am an example that you can effect lifestyle changes to remove meds; however, who knows how long this will hold up? Also, if I get lazy, I get the same afflictions back at a much more rapid rate than a healthy individual would, developing these problems for the first time.

Let me stop there. I hope that answered what you asked about. I am 37 now, weighed 163 lbs a few moments ago. I just started running 6 miles on most days, and run at least 3 miles daily. I try to walk 4-7 miles daily, when I can. It does take a lot of time and effort, but I am making the most of my second chance. Thankfully, the MI did very little damage, and even then to the inferior part of my heart.

Let me stop there and find the links that have my lipid profiles in them. (I just noticed--in edit--that the code command does not format these anymore.) Bascially, though, you will see that my cholesterol was high when first diagnosed (269) but mainly due to high TG. Once controlled, I never really went about a total of 200 mg/dL.

Some of the recent literature that was presented at an Annual meeting on arteriosclerosis last week had data that indicate that LDL may not be such a large factor. Instead, the level of triglycerides more closely follow CV risk in diabetics and other patients with risk factors. Another study I followed with great interest was that HDL-C may not be the "protective factor," where instead it is a result, or measuring stick partly of how well the body metabolizes fats and partly due to the amount of fat ingested. That is, athletes and certain people that are blessed genetically metabolize fats better and therefore, a diet with more sat fat in it for them will increase the HDL level. That's another topic for another forum, at another time :)