Angina: Hi, I wanted to share my... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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timj profile image

Hi, I wanted to share my experience. In March this year I was diagnosed with angina, with two arteries severely compromised. My cardiologist gave me three choices, change my lifestyle, have stents or a bypass. His advice was to try lifestyle first and see him again in three months. I am no "health nut" and didn't think I had that bad a diet but I do stress, a lot!! My cholesterol was over 7, blood pressure was a bit high and I had a "fatty" liver. So along came statins, beta-blockers and a daily asprin and I joined a health club - I swim for 30 minutes five/six times a week adopting the high intensity routine of a length like my life depended on it and a slower gentle return. Wait 45-60 seconds and repeat. I find that the activity also reduces my stress levels significant so I feel relaxed afterwards. I also changed my diet and cut out all the obvious things most of the time. Three months later my cholesterol is 2.7, I don't have a fatty liver or high BP, I have VERY VERY occasional angina pain but it lasts seconds and I can blame it on getting a bit over stressed. I feel fitter than I have done my entire life and have dropped from just over 15 stone to just over 13. I've had great support from my GP but won't be seeing him anytime soon or the cardiologist. I wanted to share because in all honesty it wasn't that difficult to make the changes and whilst the first few swims were hard I'm now loving the way it makes me feel. Oh and as a major bonus, I WAS a migraine sufferer had been all my life, three or four per week on average and therefore numerous drugs daily. They had to stop because they made the angina worse. I think it's possibly the aspirin but I haven't had a significant migraine for three months and can enjoy the odd glass of red wine or a whisky without wondering how bad the headache will be the next morning. I do hope that my experience can encourage others to not see heart disease as an end and to take the medics advice!

4 Replies

I recommend watching a film (documentary) on Netflix - it’s called Forks over Knives

I’ve gone plant based after a stent in September

Feel better than ever and cholesterol down to 3.1 (0.7 bad cholesterol)

Definitely seems to be working for me.

Concerned profile image
Concerned in reply to Dhomewood

Is cholesterol a good marker for heart disease? Low cholesterol is associated with cancer risk. There are healthy vegetarians, and there are unhealthy vegetarians.

I had a scan two years ago, and I have zero calcification. The key is in how much insulin we stimulate. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) effectively narrows arteries by causing abnormal growth of the endothelial linings.

Nice to have such a positive posting. Amazingly well done!

Very similar, but at 46 was given the choice of bypass or stents. I would like to say mine is hereditary, but being a smoking I can almost here people laughing. My grandad didn’t smoke though, heart attacks started early 40’s and last one around 60. Dad bypass at 55, smoker, mum didn’t get through her first heart attack at 65, smoker. At the time of my mum passing I was a non smoker of 2 years, but it hit me hard and started again, as stupid as that sounds. Fitter, smoked less, started older, ate better, drank less alcohol, more water, ate fish amongst other great stuff. Mortified at 46 to get the bad news.

My belief, like you is that adrenaline is like an addictive poison that the body produces when stressed, anxious or doing what makes you feel like you are living to the max. Mix that with mediocre life style errors and you’re in the club.

No longer smoke, more exercise is awaiting my last op, food is even better than before and have made a few hard decisions on the business front! It’s my life, I have enjoyed it til this happened and I’m going to enjoy the next half even more now that some hard decisions have been made.

Good post! Sorry for the length of the comment, but it struck a chord as I imagine it will for a lot of people 😉

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