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British Heart Foundation
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get fit before bypass surgery!

Just a bit of advice to all waiting! My husband is 3 weeks after triple bypass surgery. he spent the 16 weeks waiting getting fit for it and what a difference it has made. He walked 15000 steps a day, gave up drinking and lost at least 12 kilos. He is 9000 steps and getting better, eating well and healthily, working 3 mornings a week (job requires) and whole family heaving a sigh of relief! Life has changed for us all and only for the better!

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Good advice if you can do it! Angina meant little more than 30 steps before I needed to rest. In the end we are all different.

It is also worth building up core strength so you can get out of a chair without using your arms.

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Angina comes in all degrees... Angina was his first diagnosis, it is frightening but important to do what you can, my heart goes out to everyone who gets this diagnosis, it is a long journey which ever path you take. Take care of yourself.

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I found Tai Chi helpful. When I couldn't walk 100 yards I could do a 2 hour Tai Chi class and have a good workout.

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Do you have a parkrun near you - parkrun.org.uk/ You don't have to run - many people walk it. It is just really nice to mix with a group of healthy and enthusiastic for life people.

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Don’t do it but we have one and that is a great idea!

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We have Health Walks hereabouts. Whilst I can walk 5k I cannot do so in one go let alone run! :-8)

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Well done to your husband.

Joan

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Thanks! just wanted people to know it is not all gloom! and we are enjoying changing our lifestyles! My advice is use those long waiting times for surgery to change everything!

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I had my CABG x 3 in April & in the weeks before the op I walked every day, as this was in the winter months I was lucky in that we live in a retirement apartment so that if the weather was bad as it was last winter I walked round the corridors. When the angina struck which it frequently did I was able to take a rest easily as well. I think it did help because I had complications after the bypass & was in hospital for a month & came out very weak physically but I was able to improve quite quickly. I am now in the middle of cardiac rehabilitation which is helping me a lot as well.

Jean

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There are distinct differences between bypass surgery and other procedures, trauma being just one with the slowness of recovery and repair coming a slow second. Your husband must be a very focused person who knows his body well. Strength and fitness helped me deal with almost every facet - my fitness allowed me to lift myself to a sitting position in bed by hooking my feet under the bottom bed bars (core abdo strength) and latterly with getting up and sitting. Given people come into hospital for a planned operation, I was so surprised with the way some people approached the surgery. To me (and no doubt your husband too) was a life saving event and not a life ending one - the slippery slope to death. Strength is one this but not all - it is also about the will to survive and with the grace of God, to life as full and healthy a life as possible. The beginning of recovery is painful and traumatic for everyone concerned - including those who had to look after us - with no training, just their love and support. The strength to endure and to beat the operation in one thing, but a good pain killing regime must also be set into place, for pain really does wear one down. Once I began the rehab, my strength began to return and have now moved onto the Heart-Smart regime of fitness in the local gymnasium, which I would recommend to anyone. We are all different, we all heal differently however a will to return to health and heed the advice of the medical team (exercise, smoking, weight control, alcohol) will all contribute to a healthy return to enjoying life. Your husband deserves a gentle pat on the back.

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Gentle pat on back all the time! Such wise words written there! Thanks!

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Before I had my CABGs my cardiologist told me that the fitter I was before the op, the better my chances of survival and the quicker I would recover.

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Never crossed our minds he wouldn’t survive! positive thinking and trust in amazing surgeons!

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Your statement is quite profound and hit such a chord with me. Whilst watching 24 hours in A&E last night, (I was taken in with a mild heart attack, then failed Stent procedure and kept in for a heart bypass operation that was escalated to emergency) I asked my wife if she ever remembered anyone, including me, the possibility of death - other than surgical risk. At no time did I feel that my time was in jeopardy and although my wife was very concerned regarding the severity of the operation, she never once thought of the possibility of death. I guess we must all have this in built survival instinct and the will to believe in the best. Like you I had total trust in the surgical team and the staff in general. There were some things I felt could have gone better, however on the whole, I had amazing treatment. Good luck to you and your husband......The carer has always to pick up the reins and do what is best for her patient - usually with very little medical guidance, relying on common sense and occasionally the family doctor. Well done you

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Couldn’t have put it better myself! I wish you and everyone else who has gone through this the best! It is a journey that none of us expected but we discovered we have so much support out there. Bypass surgery is amazing and we must embrace the fact we were caught in that net!

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My surgeon told me that they lost about 4% of patients "on the table". This was in 1997. With modern techniques that number will probably be reduced.

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I am now 12 weeks Post Triple Bypass, and feel very good!!

I attended the Gym, 2-3 a week prior to the Op, but took it steady.

Now, I am back - on the Treadmill to start with, and and looking to start lifting light weights as soon as the Sternum has knitted.

Change of Diet is another crucial factor. Cut out Saturated Fats, Red Meat if you can, and foods loaded with Sugar and Salt.

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If you are considering life style changes, I would recommend that you watch the film "Forks Over Knives". It is on Netflix and YouTube. It is about global medical heart research and the findings, including a massive study of 800,000 Chinese people. You might find it helpful, I did.

If you are going to eat meat, lean beef is best as it contains less additives than chicken, less pollutants than fish and has been processed less than pig products.

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Observational studies cannot show cause and effect, only trends that must then be tested by randomised controlled trials.

The China Study is flawed by observer bias. Vegetarians and omnivores can develop chronic heart disease, or not. The underlying cause is insulin-resistance. Ergo, the advice we've been given for the past forty-odd years to eat low fat exacerbates the problem insulinandmore.com/2018/01/... Obesity, heart disease, cancer, stroke, dementia and diabetes are all still on the increase in the developed world. The only macro-nutrient that has increased proportionately in that time is carbohydrate. That's a pretty big observational study.

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I have been reading critiques and responses to them about the China Study and I am fairly sure that its findings are correct. So many people have benefited from a WFPB diet, myself included, that I would recommend it to anyone.

I agree with you on the fats vs. carbohydrates issue. It is the carbs that cause the weight gain and the problems that causes, not fat. A WFPB diet doesn't exclude fat. I get my fats from nuts, seeds and fruit, e.g. avacados and olives. There may be other sources that I am not able to buy around here.

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I would be concerned about any rock hard statistics found on the internet, unless backed by BHF and the NHS - and I would think this report would not have a chance of getting there. Your test bed is from a country that probably eats more vegetarian food in the form of rice and fresh fish as a staple diet than any other country in the world - per head of population. Every living creature, including mankind can be smitten with cancer - just because we are all made up of cells that always carry the risk of mutating at any time and for any reason so to discuss the possibility of omnivores developing cancer, although totally accurate it is not helpful as the basis for a discussion on the best food to eat. "Concerned" also makes some very relevant points, however I would take issue with the underlying issues of Diabetes being insulin resistance. I agree there have been many reports, however insulin resistance will be an outcome to the continued rise in insulin, not the cause. Just as over use of drugs will eventually be undermined if a patient is given them for a cold! It is similar to the same facts that govern what a baby will have to endure if their mother is a drug addict where the child is born one - or resistant to drugs or insulin. It is not the cause it is the effect. Why is diabetes a problem in the western world? Greed, money, more time spent in leisure activity, erosion of the family and family values, schools and availability of cheap, worthless food. Some pertinent facts - Public Canteens - or as we know them today fast food outlets, were brought about during WW2 to enable the feeding of many people in factories ect but became common in the high street with busy workers in cities. However, they did fill a need - it is the content and the greed to make a profit that has changed. How many of us here were brought up to like bread and dripping, stodgy puddings like spotted dick or jam rolly polly? Did you know that fish and chips was the ONLY meal that was not put on ration in the UK during WW2! What about school milk, or cod liver oil or a dock leaf to help the sting out of stinging nettles? I recently found a menu for the meals during my naval training in 1965 - chips once a week, stodgy puddings once a week, but funnily enough bread and butter for every meal. I have lost a lot of weight and my eye has changed and am amazed at the amount of fat people about, including children. Where do the get the money to eat all this food or could it be the type of food they are eating. As a child, if we got a bottle of Corona once a week we were lucky, todays children now have coke at every meal. ADHD? Diabetes, Obesity may well have been about 50 years ago, but nowhere near the extent it is today. How many of us have family meals without watching a TV or evenings where the children do not go to theri room to go on line unsupervised? We are to blame. We wanted to give our children more than we had - and look what a mess we have made.

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I taught IT in a local college for some years and when a student made the statement "I can't do it" I replied that what they are actually saying is "I wont to it" The way forward is to say "I don't know how to do it" Pedantic but true. Because of my insulin dependency forever growing with the future of limb loss, nerve damage etc I began a diet in April 2017. I los 7 stone and now weigh in at 10 stone 11 pounds. I no longer take any medication for diabetes in any way shape or form. I have a sensible balanced diet and exercise. The issue of clothes has been very expensive but in health issues it has paid out in spades. Never say never, every little thing you can do to improve your health is important - in the end it's up to you

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Well done, I have to add that my husband pre bypass lost the 12 kilos eating less food, sensibly cutting down portions and filling up with oatmeal and vegetables. Someone told me use a side plate instead of a dinner plate for portion control!

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The ICS - NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme asserts that the increased frequency of eating and the high-glycaemic load of what 'we' eat results in hyperinsulinaemia, and that over time these elevated insulin levels are what cause insulin resistance.

They state that Type 2 diabetes is caused by hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance; not just me :-)

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IN pre or post diagnosed diabetics

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The implications are both.

What we eat and drink causes insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes, and if medication is used to raise insulin further, to cope with the excessive glycaemic load, it exacerbates the insulin resistance (which is why type 1s can develop insulin resistance too).

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The reasons behind it are interesting, however the outcome is the same - diabetes. Controlled by diet, weight loss, exercise and medications - What ever the underlying issues It is still called diabetes.

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Well yes, but the emphasis should be on lowering the glycaemic-load by eating less frequently and less insulin-stimulating food.

15% of type 2s are not overweight, so telling them to lose weight is not beneficial. As you might put it, obesity is a symptom, not a cause.

Activity should centre around keeping people fit and healthy. The first thing we have to do following activity that is intense enough to elicit a training response is recover. More than that will impact on recovery, which will then have a knock-on effect to immunity.

Prevention of chronic ill-health negates the need for medication, and eating properly when you have a condition reduces the amount of medication needed. Unfortunately our expectations of what can be achieved by dietary changes has been lowered by the low-fat focus of the past forty-odd years. The Mediterranean, low GL - higher natural fat, or intermittent fasting approaches are far more effective because they directly control insulin/IGF-1.

Regarding cancer, see 27 minutes into this video (Memorial Sloan-Kettering are a reputable cancer research institution) to skip the underpinning explanation to the key finding

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Enjoyed your opinion! so interesting! Yes, fast food much to answer for...I grew up in Zambia, am 60 so work it out for yourself.. all healthy organic home cooked food, didn’t have all the junk which must have some bearing on today’s problems... meat and 3 veg must have had some advantages... as opposed to ‘just eat’, pizzas etc... I could happily go on!

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Concerned - Lets not forget that diabetes can also be triggered through trauma or other traumatic events. Furthermore, now as I sit in this position, I believe, as you say exercise is the key - however it is the type of exercise. Prior to this I BELIEVED that exercise meant hours of pounding or running or cycling until your top was soaked and it took ages to return to normality. However, cardiac exercise is far more gentle and is within the grasp of everyone here and about pre operation fitness. Not cancer or diabetes. Both of these diseases can appear randomly however there are preventative measures we can take to lessen the odds - like not smoking for instance. As for low fat diets, I thought I made it clear that when we were eating a staple diet, brought about by food rationing, lack of money and a population bent on growing it's own, we were fitter, worked longer and actually enjoyed life without the worries of today's gluttony. Sweets, sugary drinks and junk food have a lot to answer for - as does smoking and drinking. However, the Government is always stepping in about obesity and sugar, but what about the revenue producing alcohol and tobacco industries? That issue is really quite shameful.

Helsbels2428

A great comment - derived from a time that mother knew best was so true after having been brought up by knowledgeable parents, educated in food by their parents. Unfortunately, most of today's youth do not know how to cook. Cooking then home economics actually were taught at school. As was woodwork and metalwork for boys - and children (I hate the word kids!) were active participants in competitive sport and were much fitter for it. Unfortunately the youth from the 1960's have told their parents that it is they that know best and the older generation are but a drain on the countries economics.

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