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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Amazing Ellsworth Wareham, M.D.

I just happened on this awesome video on YouTube while I was looking for YouTube videos on how to guide my kids to learn computer programming languages.  Wow!  The Internet is amazing!!!!!

Dr. Ellsworth Wareham has been a cardiothoracic surgeon at Loma Linda until at the age of 95.  He retired in 2010  "to spend more time with my family".

He became a vegan about 40 years ago.  He said he never really had a huge taste for meat, but grew up on a farm where it is readily available.  I'm posting this fantastic YouTube video for you to watch.  There are many priceless gems of truth in what he not only says, but has earned the right to say with his 98 year-old vibrance......

Interview with Ellsworth Wareham, M.D.

Like Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D. who save my husband's life with his dietary advice, he states that keeping our cholesterol numbers low, he stating 140, Esselstyn stating 150, makes having a heart attack at those levels very, very rare.

He says that since his cholesterol is 117, when he has chest pains, he knows that it's his esophagus causing the pain, or some other structure like a hiatus hernia, which I have found for myself to be true.  My cholesterol is 150.

He also addresses that he recommended to all of his patients a diet change, but most were unwilling to change.  I have also found this to be true.  With my celiac's, I have seen many people with the same symptoms refuse to consider a celiac antibody test for fear it will be positive and they would have to give up bread.  My cardiologist says that his patients wouldn't give up meat unless he chained them to the basement, even with his promises for reversal.

Dr. Wareham states that tastes can be changed in three months time, a person just has to be willing to do it.

The only people that he knows of who have demonstrated the capability of reversing heart disease are Dean Ornish, M.D., and Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D.  and they have done it through recommendations of following, primarily, a low fat plant based diet, and exercise.

Just to point out, when DH had his last stent placed, his cardiac interventionalist told him he'd back in not a long distance of time for another procedure.  What kind of hope that gives to a person as they are leaving the hospital, having just had a traumatic experience.

Dr. Ellsworth Wareham and his message, and those messages of Drs. Esselstyn, and Ornish provide tremendous hope for past heart surgery patients, patients with no surgical options, and people of all walks of life who are genuinely concerned about their heart health.  I believe that God has placed these wise, old, healthy men, on the earth at this time to bless His children with hope in a time when "men's hearts shall fail them."

God bless them for willingly and freely providing their messages of hope and their fine examples of healthy living!

Mastic Gum Got Me off of Omeprazole

A year ago, I was hospitalized with severe and continuous chest pains.  All heart tests showed that my heart was very healthy, so the doctors headed into my stomach with an endoscopy and found severe gastritis and a duodenal ulcer.

Ulcers and gastritis cause a lot of gas and chest pressure.  This is what I was experiencing, but I also had a sick and burning pain in my stomach.

I was put on Omeprazole 40 mg.  The prescription was to take it for a year, but by January, having been on Omeprazole, I was starting to show signs of nutritional deficiencies in the form of my fingernails becoming very brittle.  I would just bump my hand on the wall or something and the tip of the fingernail that got hit would just bust off.  I have always had very strong fingernails, so I soon blamed the Omeprazole.  I do need to say here, however, that the Omeprazole was effective in decreasing my symptoms, and I would take it again if I didn't have other options.

Having celiac's disease already makes me vulnerable to deficiencies, so I'm always focusing on identifying signs that I am developing them.  I have tried several times to wean off of the Omeprazole by going 40 mg one day and 20 mg the next, and then 40 mg the next day, and then going 20 mg the next week on the first day of the week, nothing on the next, and then 20 mg on the next.  The doctor said this weaning process was important to prevent rebound acid production that would be at higher levels than there was previously.

I would do fine with the 40/20 weaning program, but the stomach acid would come back, as well as the gastritis on the the 20/0 plan.

I was still having some pain, while not severe, it was clear I wasn't progressing as well as I wanted in my healing, and the Omeprazole was making me feel dopey.

Being sick of taking the Omeprazole, I finally decided to do something else.  I ordered Jarrow's Mastic Gum after reading about it on Amazon.  It had so many positive reviews!  I tried it for some time with just 500 mg. and it did nothing for me, so I went back on the Omeprazole for a time, and then when my pain became more manageable, I dropped the Omeprazole, and went back on the mastic gum but went on a higher dose than I had before, to 1000 to 1500 mg. depending on how I felt for the day, which was up from 500 mg. the first time I tried it.

I have now been taking it for a month.  I went cold turkey off of the Omeprazole, which one should probably never do, which was against my doctor's advice, but I had had it with the Omeprazole and couldn't take it another day.  Just like with the Omeprazole, I take it on an empty stomach 1 hour before breakfast and with 16 oz. of water.

In this month's time, my stomach has improved dramatically!  I have no more ulcer pain or gnawing pains in my stomach or duodenum, and if in the afternoon, I feel a little nauseous, I take an extra 500 mg.

I have known about mastic gum for a year, since I started the Omeprazole, but I didn't take it because at the time I was on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and mastic gum is forbidden on that diet.  That diet, by the way, never cured me of my digestive problems, but did send me into the need of a gallbladder surgery, and clogged my husband's arteries necessitating the stents placement and the birth of this blog.

I believe the mastic gum is working because, although I did have triple therapy for H.pylori, and although I asked my doctor for a follow-up test 3 months after therapy because I was still having symptoms, I believe that I was one of the 15% that didn't have a complete eradication.  Mastic gum has been proven to kill
h. pylori in studies (click here to read the studies), and taking it, I believe, has brought bacteria numbers down that were re-colonizing in my stomach.

Why do I put this post on a heart blog?  Because chest pains that are non-cardiac in nature caused by gastritis and stomach ulcers can cause the same type of pain as a heart attack.  I know from my own experience that this is true.  Having had a spouse with chest pains, his description has helped me to know that some non-cardiac chest pains can be hard to decipher from heart related chest pains.

This knowledge can help those with health anxiety to calm down about their heart health if they have had a clean bill of health placed on their hearts, but still have perplexing pain.  But, if you do have chest pain and haven't had at least a stress-echo done on your heart, I would not dismiss cardiac reasons for chest pain, until you have at least been on the treadmill.   CT angiography is even better if you can get somewhere that has an CT angiography machine like our cardiologist has.  And by the EKG's do nothing for ruling out heart disease.  DH had many of those as recent as two months before his first angioplasty.

But.... if you have been checked out properly, the use of stomach healing nutrients like mastic gum may help eliminate some or all of that pain.  I am not earning any profit from Amazon on this blog.  I want to keep my pledge to not earn any kickbacks for providing my own experience to help others out through my blog posts, but I am including the link to the Jarrow mastic gum for your convenience.  Here is the link.

I sure hope this helps someone out, because the information was not easy for me to find, and it would float my boat, if someone was able to get relief sooner than I did.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Digestive Gas and Chest Pains

I have had chest pains off and on for the last year and a half.  I've had everything checked out through a half dozen ekg's at various times, a stress echo, heart monitoring in the hospital for 24 hours, plus during two minor surgeries, and in an ambulance when I was being transported for SVT which wouldn't convert.

My cardiologist says I have a structurally sound heart and no heart disease, and it has been determined by him and my gastro doctor that the chest pains are digestive in nature.

Through endoscopy it was determined that I have severe gastritis which produces a lot of gas and burping, and a hiatal hernia which allows that gas into my esophagus.  I don't really have reflux, in that I don't have heartburn going up into my throat, like I used to before I went gluten free, so I know what that feels like, and no that's not happening anymore, and hasn't for three years.  I do believe, however, that gas bubbles are gurgling up and down my esophagus and causing pressure and chest pain.

The other night, another non-cardiac chest pain sufferer suggested this little trick to relieve gas related chest pain.  I tried it, and it works!

1.  Put both hands above your head, and clasp your hands together, interweaving the fingers of your hands.

2.  While clasped, lower your hands behind your head slowly and as far down as you can get them.

This puts pressure on the bottom of the gas bubbles while opening up space for their escape at the top of your torso, causing a burp each time you do it.  You might want to do this in private.

It works for me!  In every case, so far, I've been able to relief myself of my chest pains with this exercise.  

Magnesium Helping with PVCs

Last week I had horrible PVCs.  They got so bad they were even, at times, at bigemeny frequency, and this is the first time I have ever experienced them.

I have taken magnesium for heart arrhythmias for two years, but had to switch from magnesium taurate to magnesium glycinate because the magnesium taurate was increasing my stomach acid, causing chronic gastritis.

I have had no trouble controlling my PVC's with magnesium taurate, but apparently magnesium glycinate is not as effective since the taurate was probably effecting the benefit on my heart as much or more as the magnesium.

This week, I decided to increase my magnesium dosage from 240 mg. to 480 mg. and I seem, so far, to be doing much better.  I only notice about 5 pvc's a day instead of 5 per hour, and they don't seem to be as strong when the strong heartbeat responds to the extra beat.

I'll keep you posted on my progress!