When Gerry (Gerard Butler), the husband of Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank), dies from an illness, she loses the love of her life. Knowing how hard Holly will take his death, Gerry plans ahead. Beginning on her 30th birthday, she receives the first in a series of letters written by him, designed to ease her grief and encourage her to move forward to a new life.
Six weeks later, 10 pounds lighter, I'm working full-force incorporating this into my lifestyle. There is an overall note of clarity in my everyday thoughts. I am cleaning out "hot spots" in my house that went unnoticed before. There have been a few glitches, but nothing that hasn't been rectified.
Having an easily excited nervous system, i can tell you, my body was on high alert the first week. Any type of change placed into my daily routine sends my system racing, wondering what the hell is happening. I found myself including more carbohydrates into my meal plans which fixed any blow back. Paleo is not necessarily a LOW CARB diet. It mainly restricts grains and legumes and limits dairy. I found myself grabbing my oatmeal bars several times the first week. Not because I was hungry, but because i felt this super surge of energy that just didn't sit right. As time went on, I noticed less and less desire of such carbs and fell into eating sweet potatoes and an occasional white potato as the week wore on.
Another component I added was black out curtains. I am always waking up earlier than planned due to sunlight streaming through my window. This is due southern exposure. One of my first orders when beginning the diet was to ensure your room is COMPLETELY DARK. So, I purchased a couple of black out panels and taped over lights on appliances and computers with duck tape. Now, my room is completely dark and invites a productive sleep.
In fact, lately, I am sleeping quite a bit this last week. Not sure what is going on with my body, but I get to work, have a pretty productive day and come home and sleep. Then I sleep again when retiring for the night. When I wake in the morning there is more energy than I've had previously from a deeper sleep each night. I am used to waking up a few times, not any longer. As the weeks wear on, my system is becoming quieter, not as easily excited.
Here are a few more tips to help you during your first few weeks from Robb Wolf's site:
The Paleo diet is built from the healthiest, most delicious, and most nutritious foods available.
Clean Out The Pantry
We do not have self-control. PLAN AHEAD! Don’t have tempting foods in the house. Remove the bread, rice, pasta, cookies, crackers, puddings, ice cream, waffles, juice, sodas, cereals, oatmeal, artificial sweeteners, yogurt, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, canned soups, apple sauce, noodles…all refined, packaged foods. Bag it all up, take it to a food bank or homeless shelter. No, the kids do NOT need crackers and Goldfish. They might actually be healthier if YOU are healthier!
Sleep & Stress
Black out your room. No, REALLY black out your room. No LED lights from alarm clocks, fire alarms, TV’s etc. Do not watch TV or check email for at least 1 hour before bed. Go to bed early, get at least 8- 9 hrs of sleep. You should wake up without an alarm, feeling refreshed.
The foraging lifestyle of our hunter-gatherer ancestors left them lean, strong, and healthy. Those who lived into advanced age did not lose muscle mass or gain body fat as they aged. It appears the default mode for our species is a balanced physique . Lean, muscled, and prepared for anything nature wished to unleash. By emulating the amounts and types of activities of our Paleolithic ancestors, we can affect remarkable changes in our physique, mental outlook, hormonal state, and overall health.
Throw Your Scale Away
While we are on this “weight topic” please just throw your scale away. Or smash it (wear safety glasses and go wild). But for the love of all that’s holy, do NOT rely on it as a significant marker of whether this process is working or not.
The fact is that you may not lose a ton of weight (read: pounds) on this plan. Why? Because you’re increasing muscle mass and losing fat . Increasing your muscle mass is good for controlling your blood sugar, helping your body to naturally regulate appetite, and has anti-aging properties. Muscles make you look good naked! So, don’t focus on scale weight.
Click on curtains below to check out pricing:
Devout Paleo followers are as diverse as the occupants of NYC. If yesterday's blog, The Paleo Diet for Fibromyalgia, left you a bit confused and skeptical, you are with good company. As I was listening to my cardiologist talk and leafing through the pamphlet yesterday I proposed a question, "So, what do you eat for breakfast?" After all, that seemed to be the first obstacle to overcome with my western diet philosophy.
"1 1/2 cups of UNSWEETENED GREEK YOGURT with blueberries," he replied. "You'll get used to it. We don't need sugar."
"But, it says limited dairy," I questioned. "So, you eat dairy everyday?"
"Yes," he answered.
After an internet swipe that evening, I noticed for the first 30 days you should not eat ANY dairy. Must be an elimination type diet I figured. As I went through more and more sites I noticed some were eating Quinoa. Some were eating more starchy vegetables.
One thing that was across the board however, was NO GRAINS and BEANS. I guess except for some that want quinoa added to the menu. I decided to start with the later and remove all grains and beans from my diet. I did have a small 2 oz. of Kefir in the morning with my powdered probiotic. That, I decided, would have to stay. After all, my stomach was still very much the size of a watermelon.
With all the first week's trails and tribulations, The Paleo Diet Solution book really helped me tread lightly in new territory and listen to my body first.
Four weeks later, eight pounds lighter, and able to see the tops of my thighs for the first time in seven years I am on a new journey. I have been a forth runner on a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle but have yet to reap any real benefits for myself. I have come to the conclusion one diet definitely does not work for everyone.
The last few minutes at my recent cardiologist appointment ended with- "You really needed to see me at this time," he spoke softly. "Your levels are all off. We need to cut carbohydrate consumption drastically."
"How?" I moaned. "I have already cut out most grains, and I am down to sweet potatoes, brown rice, and quinoa. I don't even eat that much at a meal!" I swiftly held up the palm of my hand to show him how much I add to my plate in carb use each time.
He quickly left the room and came back with a pamphlet. Read this. Try this. You've got to do something. "What can it hurt?" he added. "You can't keep on going as you are that's for sure."
Robb Wolf's Quick Start Paleo Guide
He was still talking, but my mind was registering a blank. How much more can I do? I've already slashed my diet to the bare minimum of healthy foods to live as I am now. I know something wasn't working right - but ANOTHER new journey? I began leafing through the pages trying to take it all in. I left the office and stopped at the library on the way home to arm myself with the new knowledge I was going to need to take the Paleo Leap.
Within four days the following symptoms began subsiding:
On top of that, I had lost four pounds. How? I wondered. I had researched every possible new "wave" on fibromyalgia. How had I missed this one tool that I constantly blog on?
I landed on Robb Wolf's site later that week and came upon the following information:
What Is The Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility. – Robb Wolf
Building A Healthy Paleo Diet
Ideally one should eat a wide variety of proteins from as many animal sources as possible. One need not and should not avoid fatty cuts of meat, particularly if consuming pastured sources. An often overlooked piece of the paleo diet in popular culture is an over-reliance on standard cuts of meat, at the expense of organ meats, bone broth and other collagen sources. For more information on the historical and practical aspects of consuming a more balanced protein intake, check out the Weston A. Price Foundation. If weight-loss is a goal, protein makes you feel satisfied between meals.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that have been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing a number of degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes and neurological decline.
HEALTHY FATS FROM NUTS, SEEDS, AVOCADOS, OLIVE OIL, FISH OIL AND GRASS-FED MEAT
Scientific research and epidemiological studies show that diets rich in Monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats dramatically reduce the instances of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cognitive decline.
Saturated fat has been demonized by our health authorities and media. What is the basis for this position on Saturated fat? Are current recommendations for VERY low saturated fat intake justified? How much saturated fat (and what types), if any should one eat? Without a historical and scientific perspective these questions can be nearly impossible to answer.
Health Benefits of a Paleo Diet
For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is all they need. Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.
With a very simple shift we not only remove the foods that are at odds with our health (grains, legumes, and dairy) but we also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is a great paper from Professor Loren Cordain exploring how to build a modern Paleo diet: The nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups. This paper also offers significant insight as to the amounts and ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fat in the ancestral diet.
Our Ancestors lived short, brutal lives! This Paleo Diet is all bunk, right?The Paleo concept is new for most people and this newness can spark many questions. We like people to not only read about and educate themselves on this topic but also to “get in and do it.” Experience is perhaps the best teacher and often cuts through any confusion surrounding this way of eating. Now, all that considered, there are still some common counter arguments to the Paleo diet that happen with sufficient frequency that a whole paper was written on it. Enjoy: Evolutionary Health Promotion. A consideration of common counter-arguments.
Does it work for diabetes?
A great question to ask is “Does the Paleo diet work?” Here we have a head to head comparison between the Paleo diet and Mediterranean diet in insulin resistant Type 2 Diabetics. The results? The Paleo diet group REVERSED the signs and symptoms of insulin resistant, Type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet showed little if any improvements. It is worth noting that the Mediterranean diet is generally held up by our government as “the diet to emulate” despite better alternatives. You can find an abstract and the complete paper here.
Cardio Vascular Disease
According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Interestingly however, our Paleolithic ancestors and contemporarily studied hunter-gatherers showed virtually no heart attack or stroke while eating ancestral diets. The references below will explore these facts to better help you understand the heart-healthy benefits of a Paleo diet.
Autoimmunity is a process in which our bodies own immune system attacks “us.” Normally the immune system protects us from bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. The immune system identifies a foreign invader, attacks it, and ideally clears the infection. A good analogy for autoimmunity is the case of tissue rejection after organ donation. If someone requires a new heart, lung kidney or liver due to disease or injury, a donor organ may be an option. The first step in this process is trying to find a tissue “match”. All of us have molecules in our tissues that our immune system uses to recognize self from non-self. If a donated organ is not close enough to the recipient in tissue type the immune system will attack and destroy the organ. In autoimmunity, a similar process occurs in that an individuals own tissue is confused as something foreign and the immune system attacks this “mislabeled” tissue. Common forms of autoimmunity include Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Vitiligo to name only a tiny fraction of autoimmune diseases. Elements of autoimmunity are likely at play in conditions as seemingly unrelated as Schizophrenia, infertility, and various forms of cancer.
Interestingly, all of these seemingly unrelated diseases share a common cause: damage to the intestinal lining which allows large, undigested food particles to make their way into the body. This is called “leaky gut and the autoimmune response”. Here is a 7-part video series by Prof. Loren Cordain describing the etiology of Multiple Sclerosis. And please watch this TED talk by Dr. Terry Wahls, MD as she describes how she reversed her Multiple Sclerosis with a paleo diet. If you have an autoimmune disease you might consider trying the autoimmune protocol of the paleo diet. - Robb Wolf
Ok, I've given you quite a bit to chew on and digest. This is going to take some time for those, like me, whom have tried everything and sit staring at the screen here now thinking of all the reasons this diet can't be healthy for them. After all, how many alternative diets and remedies have you tried already? The idea of one more journey, at times, can be a bit more than the soul can bare. I get all this. I was there four weeks ago. But, as I get older, life is slipping by without me. So, take my hand, and let's try one more path.
It's easy. Not much to buy other than less grains and beans. I know you've already checked out the quick guide and thought, "Ok, maybe I can add some of what Robb is saying. But, where do I start? How do I even begin?"
Here you go:
Robb Wolf's Food Matrix Plan
Then give me a shout back in four days. For you Vegan/Vegetarians? As long as you are feeling well, keep up the good work! For those that are flustered because that advantage just kept tipping the scales - I got a new plan, let's dive in.
I had a reader contact me on Messenger wondering if Dysautonomia is common in Fibromyalgia. This surfaced memories from my own battle with my central nervous systems disorder and my neurologist. You see I have many, too numerous to count, disorders of the autonomic nervous system that I am at odds when I speak to my specialist.
"These recent symptoms seem to be more specifically related to dysautonomia. Is there something I should be tested for?" I asked.
"No, you do not have an autonomic disorder, " he assures me.
I can tell you being up all night with night sweats and spine burning does not make me feel secure with that answer. Nor does having liable blood pressure with heart irregularities make me feel any better.
So What Is Dysautonomia?
Dysautonomia (or autonomic dysfunction) is any disease or malfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The autonomic nervous system controls a number of functions in the body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestive tract peristalsis, and sweating, amongst others. Dysfunction of the ANS can involve any of these functions.
A number of conditions are forms of dysautonomia: postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST), vasovagal syncope, pure autonomic failure, neurocardiogenic syncope (NCS), neurally mediated hypotension (NMH), orthostatic hypotension, orthostatic hypertension, autonomic instability, and a number of lesser-known disorders such as cerebral salt-wasting syndrome. Dysautonomia may occur as the result of other diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, multiple system atrophy (Shy-Drager syndrome), Guillain-Barré syndrome and a number of other conditions that may affect the nervous system.
Just taking a minute to peruse the above sources lets you know you are dealing with a life-threatening illness. So, it is clear where many fibromyalgia suffers may get confused when noting such symptoms to their specialist.
What Are the Symptoms of Dysautonomia?
The symptoms of dysautonomia are numerous and vary widely from person to person. Since dysautonomia is a full-body condition, a large number of symptoms may be present that can greatly alter a person’s quality of life. Each patient with dysautonomia is different—some are affected only mildly, while others are left completely bed-ridden and disabled.
Many of us suffer from at least 75% of the symptoms labeled above. Hence, it is understandable why we'd be concerned over ANS failure. Then again, it seems as if we all have a tad of any number of ANS disorders, yet, we are not labeled with the diagnosis, but just seem to exhibit varying degrees of symptoms.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Autonomic neuropathy is a possible complication of a number of diseases, and the tests you'll need depend on your symptoms and risk factors for autonomic neuropathy.
When you have known risk factors for autonomic neuropathy
If you have conditions that increase your risk of autonomic neuropathy, such as diabetes, and have symptoms of the condition, your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms.
If you are undergoing cancer treatment with a drug known to cause nerve damage, your doctor will check for signs of neuropathy.
When you don't have risk factors for autonomic neuropathy.
If you have symptoms of autonomic neuropathy but no risk factors, the diagnosis can be more involved. Your doctor will probably review your medical history, discuss your symptoms and do a physical exam.
Your doctor might recommend tests to evaluate autonomic functions, including:
Your doctor may recommend:
Your doctor may suggest:
For men with erectile dysfunction, your doctor might recommend:
Autonomic neuropathy can cause a number of heart rate and blood pressure problems. Your doctor might prescribe:
If you sweat too much, your doctor might prescribe:
It’s common for fibromyalgia sufferers to experience at least one or more forms of dysautonomia syndrome. We know that with fibromyalgia, there is a dysfunction in the ANS. For many with fibromyalgia, it appears as a delayed and inflated response to stressful situations. The fibromyalgia sufferer may go through a stressful situation without releasing the stress hormones that are typically produced automatically.
Once the stressful encounter is over and the sufferer is able to relax, the release of those stress hormones is triggered. The sufferer is flooded with stress hormones and experiences the anxiety and energy that others felt during the stressful situation, only the sufferer experiences it to an extreme degree long after the stress has subsided. This delayed reaction may make it appear that there is no cause for the sudden onset of severe alarm and discomfort.
Because of this, scientists have identified multiple abnormalities in fibromyalgia, including problems in the central nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. Fibromyalgia can be a result of dysautonomia or dysautonomia may be a result of fibromyalgia, we don’t really know. But there seems to be sufficient evidence to correlate the two. If you have symptoms of dysautonomia, discuss it with your physician. Diagnosis needs to be made in order to explore possible treatments that will ease your symptoms and improve your health.
Kevin Bacon stars as a grieving father who decides to take the law into his own hands when his son is senselessly murdered by a gang member.
A rancher conspires to murder his wife for financial gain and convinces his teenage son to participate.
A firefighter does something unexpected after a man that he has been ordered to testify against threatens him.
Darcy is a college administrator whose son Walker committed suicide seven years earlier. Her only constants in life are gardening and her best friend, Byrd. After learning that Walker's old buddy Mark stole his idea for a restaurant chain, she packs her bag, picks up Byrd and travels to New Orleans to confront him and settle the score.
Catherine and David Stewart (Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson) are a well-to-do couple living in a posh area of Toronto, but all is not well in paradise. Catherine suspects that David, a music professor, is cheating on her with his students. She hires a prostitute named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to meet David and see if he gives in to temptation, but events spin out of control when Chloe spills the details of her torrid encounters.
Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm, a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not - charming and handsome, but he is haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, now battles the prejudice in the Jim Crow South.
Young sisters Kate and Lisa and travel to Mexico for a vacation filled with sun, fun and adventure. Lisa needs some extra persuasion when Kate suggests that they go diving in shark-infested waters. Safe in their protective cage, the thrill-seeking siblings come face to face with a group of majestic great whites. Their worst fears soon become a reality when the cage breaks away from their boat, sending them plummeting to the ocean floor with a dwindling supply of oxygen.
Single mother Teena is brutally assaulted by a local gang in front of her 12-year-old daughter Bethie. Despite Bethie being able to identify the attackers, the defense hires a local hot-shot defense attorney who manipulates the law to their advantage. When the criminals are set free, Gulf War veteran and detective John Dromoor is dismayed by the lack of justice and plots revenge against the men on Teena's behalf.
A vengeful young woman (Julia Stiles) recruits two men (Anthony Hopkins, Alexander Ludwig) to help her track down a former cop (Ray Liotta) who stalked and attacked her.
A mild-mannered farmer embarks on a bloody quest to avenge his mother's murder. He soon discovers her dark side while wading through the criminal underworld of Belfast, Ireland.
I week later, and the Lexiscan evaluated, I was back in the doctor's office deciphering my results. Pleasantly surprised, I was four pounds lighter!
I had run amok on the library internet resource grabbing and putting on hold all the available books on the Paleo diet. I wanted to understand EVERYTHING concerning my new nutrient contents that I was ingesting were affecting my body.. Since my system is so hyper sensitive to change, I needed to try and prevent any backlash.
There were some initial bumps. Going grain free and very limited on carbs made me feel TOO energetic. It was quite a dilemma to swallow since I am limited on carbs as it is. I was shocked to feel these new electrical paths course through my body. I filled up on many plumb sweet potatoes those first few days which satiated and made me feel comfortable and more sedate. Surely, filling up on extra tubers wasn't going to have much effect on my weight. But, I was tickled when I stepped on the scale to find two pounds gone the following morning. The following day another two pounds. Then over the rest of the week another two pound loss. So, when I got to the doctor's office my six pounds turned into four loaded down with more clothes and sandals.
"Great, you lost a few pounds," my cardiologist chimed.
"Well, you told me to go on the Paleo. Actually, this is the first time I had any substantial weight loss in ANYTHING I tried over the last seven years since being diagnosed." I retorted. "Most importantly, I sleep less in the afternoon, and I'm noticing my pain levels have decreased significantly."
There were other things flitting through my mind I didn't mention. Like the first time I hooked my bra the following day - there wasn't uncomfortable shoulder pain. Or, the fact I hadn't taken my omeprazole for four days because I haven't experienced any heartburn from GERD. Then there's the fact that I hadn't woken with a headache since I started. Also, I was taking pain medication less and less because I was forgetting to take it. Most importantly, my kids saw me up and around doing things around the house. "Are you doing too much? Go lay down, " they'd say.
"How was your Lexiscan? Looks like there were a few hiccups," he questioned.
"Better than I thought. I was extremely nervous during the procedure, but I noticed the initial affect after the injection wasn't as horrible as I read on the Internet. There was only a slight rise in heartbeat. But, it was afterwards, as the drug was supposed to dissipate that I had issues. My blood pressure kept climbing and climbing to 247/121. They had to give me the antidote. Then it slowly subsided, " I answered.
"Yes, I see. Stay off the Internet. Save yourself emotional trouble next time," he replied.
He then thoroughly explained my results. Due to unwarranted and liable blood pressure I had Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH). Simply stated, the left side of my heart was enlarging because it had to work harder to keep blood flowing due to my hypertension. "Luckily you came in when you did," he added.
Left ventricular hypertrophy
LVH is enlargement and thickening (hypertrophy) of the walls of your heart's main pumping chamber (left ventricle).
Left ventricular hypertrophy can develop in response to some factor — such as high blood pressure or a heart condition — that causes the left ventricle to work harder. As the workload increases, the muscle tissue in the chamber wall thickens, and sometimes the size of the chamber itself also increases. The enlarged heart muscle loses elasticity and eventually may fail to pump with as much force as needed.
Left ventricular hypertrophy is more common in people who have uncontrolled high blood pressure. But no matter what your blood pressure is, developing left ventricular hypertrophy puts you at higher risk of a heart attack and stroke.
Treating high blood pressure can help ease your symptoms and may reverse left ventricular hypertrophy.
Left ventricular hypertrophy usually develops gradually. You may experience no signs or symptoms, especially during the early stages of the condition.
As left ventricular hypertrophy progresses, you may experience:
When to see a doctor
Seek emergency care if:
If you experience mild shortness of breath or other symptoms, such as palpitations, see your doctor.
If you have high blood pressure or another condition that increases your risk of left ventricular hypertrophy, your doctor is likely to recommend regular appointments to monitor your heart. Even if you feel well, you need to have your blood pressure checked annually, or more often if you:
Left ventricular hypertrophy can occur when some factor makes your heart work harder than normal to pump blood to your body.
Factors that can cause your heart to work harder include:
In addition to hypertension and aortic valve stenosis, factors that increase your risk of left ventricular hypertrophy include:
Left ventricular hypertrophy changes the structure and working of the heart. The enlarged left ventricle can:
As a result of these changes, complications of left ventricular hypertrophy include:
The best way to prevent left ventricular hypertrophy caused by high blood pressure is to maintain healthy blood pressure. To better manage your blood pressure:
"The weight has to come off, and the blood pressure needs to be below 130," he added.
"The extra BP medicine you gave me raises it sometimes for an hour," I questioned.
"I think it's a fluke because of your chemical sensitives. Keep working on it. Your BP is still TOO high," he exclaimed.
"I get it. I'm working on it. I'm off to a good start. I think this diet may be the answer. I feel different. To be honest, some days not so much as it is a different nutrient composition I'm chewing every day. But, on the whole something is happening. I understand I need to lose the weight and make some significant lifestyle changes. I've not been able to loose more than 4 lbs. in a month before. This is shedding off amazingly fast. And, I don't feel deprived. Just sick of sweet potatoes LOL," I answered.
"Good, glad to hear it. I'm going to see you back in three months," he confirmed. "Keep up the good work. You're doing great!"
With all the tests completed and in tow, I stepped into my first appointment with my cardiologist feeling nervous and apprehensive. Surely, this must be a mistake as I feel I take really good care of myself.
Within minutes I was hooked up to the office EKG. There were murmurs as the staff recorded results, "Yes, that was noted on the 24 hour holster monitor, too." Sadly, something was astray.
The cardiologist arrived shortly afterwards and began analyzing my testing results - looking back to previous years testing, too, to piece this all together. After several minutes he looked up at me and smiled and said, "Yes, this was good timing on your part. You needed to see me now so that we can get things under control." I can't tell you it was a comforting statement, but at least I knew i wouldn't end up in the ER with a heart attack.
We went over my recent blood levels. "These are way too high!" he exclaimed. "We need to get things under control. Have you tried low-carb eating?"
"Well, yes, I don't eat many carbs at all to begin with," I attested. "In fact I have been working on more of a vegan approach, but it doesn't seem to be helping with weight reduction. I've noticed I feel lethargic and steadily gaining a couple of pounds every few months."
"Have you heard of the Paleo diet? No grains?" he asked.
"Well, I barely eat a 1/4 cup with meals to begin with because of weight gain. I try to round out with wholesome vegetables and good protein sources," I retorted. "I don't see how eating even less is going to help."
He swiftly walked out of the room and brought back a pamphlet. "Read this, try it. See what happens. You have to do something to take the weight off to stabilize your uncontrollable blood pressure." "You have a Left Bundle Branch Block. Your blood pressure is off the charts throughout the day and causing this. I am going to order a Lexiscan to see how extensive the damage is," he said.
Left Bundle Branch Block (LBB)
Bundle branch block is a condition in which there's a delay or blockage along the pathway that electrical impulses travel to make your heart beat. It sometimes makes it harder for your heart to pump blood efficiently through your body.
The delay or blockage can occur on the pathway that sends electrical impulses either to the left or the right side of the bottom chambers (ventricles) of your heart.
Bundle branch block might not need treatment. When it does, treatment involves managing the health condition, such as heart disease, that caused bundle branch block.
In most people, bundle branch block doesn't cause symptoms. Some people with the condition don't know they have a bundle branch block.
Signs and symptoms in people who have them might include:
"But I have severe chemical sensitivities!" I whined.
"We need to be PROACTIVE. This is something that needs to be done so I can help you. I can't see what's going on without this test. You are an educator. Trust me, I loved my teachers. I take good care of them. I am going to do the same for you," he exclaimed. "It's going to be OK."
I was soon whisked off to the scheduling desk in tears knowing that this is not going to be the greatest experience, and it will take numerous days to get well afterwards.
A Nuclear Sit Down Stress Test or Lexiscan stress test, or LEXI, is designed to evaluate the condition of your coronary arteries. These are the arteries that supply the heart itself with blood. This type of stress test is given when the Cardiologist feels that you may not be able to walk to an appropriate level of exercise on a treadmill. This may be due to: arthritis, poor conditioning, the use of certain blood pressure medications that prevent your heart rate from increasing with exercise, or the use of devices like a pacemaker of defibrillator.
Lexiscan is a prescription medication used in a cardiac nuclear stress test. It works by increasing blood flow in the coronary arteries. Lexiscan is given by IV in preparation for a myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) test. This uses a special camera to take pictures of your heart, giving your doctor detailed information about blood flow into your heart.
Using a special type of imager, a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into your blood before and after an injection of a medication called Lexiscan, and pictures are taken of your heart muscle. Lexiscan replaces the physical act of exercise, and elicits the same response from your body that would occur if you were actually exercising. The pictures that are taken before and after the Lexiscan injection are then compared to each other, to see if there are any differences. Such differences in the pictures helps your cardiologist determine whether there are may be any major blockages in your arteries. They can also see if there has been damage to the heart muscle after a heart attack. It will also help them determine the best type of treatment you may need to correct any abnormal finding. Treatment options may include medications, dietary and lifestyle modification, or perhaps a cardiac procedure such as an angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.
There are different reasons why your cardiologist may want you to have a LEXI and these may include:
If your doctor recommends a stress test with Lexiscan, it may reassure you to know that it's a noninvasive test, meaning it doesn't involve a surgical procedure.
Here's how it works:
The receptionist at the scheduling desk was well-informed and supportive. "No worries," she stated. "You can call our nuclear department with any questions. They will walk you through everything."
I began to leaf through the pamphlet "Robb Wolf's Paleo Diet Quick Start Guide". Have I been going about it all wrong? I know a vegan diet is healthy for many individuals. I've seen the results from readers here. But, we are all wired differently. Maybe I am not seeing the vegan results as others because my body does not respond well to grains. Is this a possibility? I am always willing to go full-force when trying anything new. I made a mental note to pick up Paleo living books from the library along with Robb Wolff's The Paleo Solution. I had a week until my Lexiscan - let's see what happens. I'm game for anything at this point.
Valerie utilizes an extensive amount of research producing this blog. Categories are purposely set up in stages, rather than topics, so you can easily implement one step at a time.