On November 1, I wrote about some theories I have about my health. I was having chest pains and I just thought they were related to stress. I experienced chest pains on and off for over a decade so this time I went to a cardiac specialist.
I initially had an EKG. That was just a little off, but close to normal. So then came the echocardiogram, then… Well in the end I learned I have a dilated aorta (4.3 cm). According to the physician 4.0 is typical and anything over 4.5 is a strong concern. I also have a slight leak in the mitral valve. Well this explains some of the frustration I experienced recently. This all followed by a long discussion on options.
The range of options is unbelievable. Two key points and stress and never relaxing along with the extra 80 pounds of fat create issues on their own. Of all the options suggested, I am taking one that was not the first option, but second. That is to retest in 6 months after taking steps to enhance the health. These include:
· Learn to relax – People know this is not possible for me. I have picked up some things life the foursquare technique, but do not seem to help.
· Regular exercise – 5-6 days for at least 30 minutes each. I have been bad getting about twice per week. I have been worked 70 plus hour weeks and that is no excuse, but little time left over for me to workout.
· Correction of minor lipoprotein abnormalities, e.g., small LDL and lipoprotein(a).
· Reduce carbohydrate intake by eliminating all products made from wheat, cornstarch, and sugars, an enormously effective way to correct small LDL, low HDL, and high triglycerides, as well.
· Normalize the vitamin D to counteract the inflammatory responses in the aortic wall. I should aim for a blood 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 60-70 ng/ml.
· Vitamin C supplementation--Collagen cross linking for aortic wall strength requires adequate vitamin C.
· Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil-Fish oil correct multiple causes of plaque, especially lipoproteins that derive from excessive triglycerides.
So I have three straight days now of 40 minutes on the bike. This may not seem like much but since I have only found time for once a week since July, this is huge. I monitor the heart rate as an extra caution.
I still am not sure how to reduce the natural Type A habits. I am sure I will learn, as they make is sound like life or death. Oops…