Just as I was about to fall asleep, my phone rang.
It was my sister calling to tell me she was on the way to the hospital with my mom.
After going through some tests, a doctor came in and said she was having a heart attack.
She was given medication to stabilize her condition until the cardiologist arrived in the morning.
When the cardiologist arrived, he said they were going to perform a Catheterization to see if she had a blockage and if there was a blockage, they would insert a stent.
Catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat certain cardiovascular conditions. During cardiac catheterization, a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in your groin, neck, or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart.
When I told him, we should take some time and discuss different options besides a stent, he arrogantly said “what is there to discuss?”
I answered, “we would like to discuss side effects and percentage of risk reduction for future heart attacks.”
His vague reply was, “oh, the risk reduction percentage is high.”
When I responded with the fact that the risk reduction of a future heart attack or stroke is only 2%, his comeback was, “oh, you’re a numbers guy.”
He was right, I am a numbers guy and I'm also a pro-evidence guy.
I knew that a stent is effective only if it’s done within 1 ½ hour of a heart attack and I also knew that a side effect of trying to open a clogged artery was damage to the artery or the heart of the area where the catheter is inserted.
The reason I knew this was because for the past few years I’d spent almost 2,000 hours researching and studying chronic disease, nutrition, and lifestyle.
You see, at one time, I was overweight had a high cholesterol level of 225, prostate issues, and very low energy.
Thankfully, the cardiologist gave me a choice, either go on a pill or change my diet.
Since then, I have lost 44 pounds and kept it off, my cholesterol dropped 75 points and my prostate issues have disappeared.
I didn't get better with medications, I got better at eating the right food.
I am a Certified Food Over Medicine Instructor and have completed the Certification for the Weight Loss Course from Wellness Forum Health under Dr. Pam Popper.
I found out there were doctors who were reversing heart-related disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other chronic conditions for their patients.
In many of these cases, these doctors were not only curing their patients, but they were also reducing or getting their patients off their medications.
They were doing this with diet and lifestyle changes that mimicked populations in the world that not only live the longest but don’t have the diseases that many Americans suffer from.
I knew this was true because when I did the same thing, I not only lost 44 pounds but dropped my cholesterol 75 points, without medication.
I asked the cardiologist if he ever heard of Dr. Caldwell Esslestyn or Dr. Dean Ornish.
He said he only knew of Dean Ornish and then said, “the problem with that kind of treatment was that people will not stick with that type of program.”
His face turned red when I said...
"It’s a fact that over 50% of patients won’t take the medication you prescribe and patients who were under the care of these wonderful doctors who opted for the diet and lifestyle program have a compliance rate of 90%".
Well, they did find an artery 100% closed and much to our dismay they tried to open it to no avail, even though I thought we were specific when we said we would look at all the options if there was a blockage.
After that, we knew there was only one option because there was no medication that would cure this.
She would be treated the same way Dr. Esslestyn and Dr. Ornish were caring for their patients whose cardiologists had them on various medications, performed multiple bypasses and stents but gave up on them because there was nothing else, they could do.
Esselstyn and Ornish were opening arteries and giving these people their lives back, using Food as Medicine.
When my mom went home, she immediately started a diet aimed at reversing her condition.
Because of Type 2 diabetes, she checked her glucose levels every day.
After about three days of her new diet, she couldn’t wait to tell me that her sugar level went from 129 to 85.
She was so happy and better yet, she was buying into the diet thing and I was happy too because the next day I was leaving for India.
The day I left, I went to my mom’s house and when I was leaving, with so much joy in her voice she said, “You have a great time!
These were to be her last words to me.
Five days later she passed away.
Despite our hope that she could turn her health around with this new lifestyle, it turned out to be - too little, too late.
Had she adopted the Food Over Medicine concept much sooner, she would have dramatically increased her chances of turning her health around.
During her whole time in the hospital, my mom hated “feeling helpless”.
She lived her entire life as a” fiercely independent” person and the one thing she always said was:
"I never want to be a burden to anyone."
What happened to my mom doesn’t have to happen to any of us if we make the right choices.
You have to be well-informed so you can make an educated decision before you proceed to take any pills or undergo any procedure.
Instead of blindly doing what a doctor says, you’ll be able to have a conversation and know what questions to ask and know if you are getting the right answers, and understanding your options.
Think about it…
Before you buy a car, a house, or vacation, you most likely do some research to get information and look at different options before you make a decision.
Don’t you think you should be spending more time or at the very least, just as much time researching health-related options before you make a decision that could impact the rest of your life?
This is called INFORMED CONSENT - knowing the risks and benefits of any pill or procedure before you make your choice.
This puts YOU in control of your health and your life.
Always dig deeper and cut through the BS.
In 1903 Thomas Edison said, “The Doctor of the Future will give no medication but will interest his patients in diet, care of the human frame, and the cause and prevention of disease.”
Fast forward 100 + years later, here is what Dr. Caldwell Esslesty who has a stellar track record for halting and reversing cardiovascular disease had to say…
Right now, standard Cardiology the way it’s practiced cannot halt or cure the disease, cannot cure patients, it will never end the epidemic, and is accountable for a miserable, multitude of people who are progressively getting sicker and ultimately dying of a disease that never had its causation treated.
Heart Disease: Is it genetic, lack of exercise, or diet?
Until next week.
All the best,