a kick in the cardiacs
heart attack story
oooh nasty the first sign of a heart attack is often sudden death but if you're lucky...
in late 2021 I had episodes of pain radiating across my abdomen and into my arms
I felt terrible. I had no idea what was going on
It happened when I walked
once or twice
then again
eventually I went to the doctor...
plumbing hospital... scans... drugs...
so a small artery supplying part of my heart muscle had got blocked up
and when I needed my heart to speed up a bit
that area quickly became starved of oxygen
this is atherosclerosis
a very common form of cardiovascular disease

acute treatment one treatment was extremely specific to me: I had a stent put in to that blocked up artery
sleeving the blocked part
so blood can flow again
what a weird experience
semi-conscious among the machines

pills tablets and capsules
there's a well established protocol
evidence based!
that means that if everyone gets this drug treatment then it's statistically proven that some will live a bit longer
so I went on that
and that was that

something wasn't right after about a year I (gradually) packed in the drugs
on the pills I was alienated from my own body
I couldn't tell what was real and what was a drug effect...
but how could I recover my bodily health if I couldn't directly experience it?
I made a simple bargain with myself...
If I wasn't taking the treatment, I'd spend a significant amount of time exercising, every day
my protocol I've done a lot of reading since my unexpected arrival at the heart disease club. A benefit of having been a psychiatric nurse for many years is a clear understanding that medical science, wonderful though it is in acute, life threatening situations, can be completely, fundementally, and ludicrously WRONG.
It seems to me that conventional medicine is almost helpless in dealing with the type of metabolic disease which develops so very commonly as a result of "normal life" in the west. But things are changing, and a new vision of medicine is in sight, an approach that some people call "medicine v3".
This is the approach that I've been investigating, and I've taken steps to benefit from this new way of thinking...

dietary changes:
stop buying bread and all other bakery products, along with all other carbohydrate rich foods including starchy vegetables
no seed oils! dramatically reduce omega6 fatty acids in the diet. This means no oil in cooking except olive oil. Increase omega3 fatty acids by algal-origin supplementation.
dramatically reduce alcohol consumption. I took up home brewing during lockdown. This was a mistake
eat cheese, drink milk
eat lots and lots of nuts primarily walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts. Avoid peanuts though, and cashews are dietarily worthless.
eat plenty of protein with lots of soya: edemame, tofu and so on
this is a low carb high fat and high fibre diet, and it works for me
it's clear that there's a lot of variation in how people react to different foods and this diet may not work at all for some. But a high carb low fat low protein diet probably doesn't really work for anyone, so change is probably essential for many
walk, but walk FAST. Walk uphill as quickly as you can, every day, walk, walk, walk. Do it quicker, longer. Walk so you generate enough heat to be glad of the rain. Get that heart rate up. Walk faster!

progress I have lost 20% of my body weight, which is most of the excess fat that I was carrying. My abdomen is no longer fat. I do not overeat due to hunger, my breakfast of walnuts and thick natural yogurt seems to set me up for the day rather than for a late morning blood glucose crash and the resulting hunger
My blood pressure is low
I'm strong and fit, more so than for many years. I enjoy being active now, and can't sit around staring at a screen for days on end... I want to go for a walk!
is my heart disease still a threat? I don't know! There are imaging techniques that can directly examine cardiac arteries and reveal what's going on in the walls of those delicate blood vessels, but that's for acute illness so I hope not to be get scanned any time soon.
I think I was remarkably lucky to have a (relatively minor) heart attack when I did because I had no idea of the cliff edge I was walking towards. Now I've had the chance to go in a very different direction, and I'm going there fast, walking and eating nuts.

this is a short list but it's expanding!
essential reading: "Why We Eat (Too Much)" by Andrew Jenkinson
this wonderful book was written by a bariatric surgeon who (radically) listened to his patients. It's about why "diets" always fail, and how to actually succeed in moving your metabolism into a healthy place. It's a great read, and frankly, this book probably saved my life

essential reading: Outlive by Peter Attia
a book about living a longer, healthier, happier life. It's a beautiful piece of work, wise, and positive. It's full of practical suggestions, but I love it for its humane assessment of our potential, and our vulnerabilities.

among the startling possibilities coming to light at the moment is the theory that the epidemic of metabolic syndrome, heart disease and dementia that kills most of us eventually, is actually an epidemic of Omega3 fatty acid deprivation due to excessive Omega6 consumption
caused by flooding our diet with omega6 which out competes for the same metabolic pathways. This idea is covered well in the books listed, here is an article from the BMJ about it


plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose