Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Over the holidays one of my family members underwent unexpected heart surgery.

There are probably a lot of people reading this who have good ideas about heart health, having faced the same situation. So I'm throwing this out there ...

If you've had heart surgery, even if you haven't, can you name one or two things you do that you find indispensible in keeping the pump going? Something you really believe in.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Exercise. The more the better.

Jennywenny said...

I'm not sure I know what you mean, but I wish your family member good health.

My dad had 2 bypass operations and did very well. After the first one (at 37) he gave up smoking and threw out the deep fat fryer and started exercising and felt a lot better.

Anonymous said...

Terrible news, Bix. Wish I had something concrete for you. Some non professional randomn thoughts come to mind that I'll throw out there: Once your family member is back home, install an AED (assuming no pacemaker) and train everyone on it. Zoll makes a good one. Subscribe to a 24 medical alarm monitoring service. What about a portable finger pulse oximeter to spot-check oxygen blood saturation levels? Nonin makes an inexpensive one. For the geek inclined, check blood pressure the old fashioned way, using the stethoscope to become familiar with the ausculation of the heart.

Anonymous said...

Don't go near fast food! Walk a lot and take naps if you can.

PI-Bill said...

I've had 5 beginning at age 51 resulting in a CABG and 3 stents over the years. Right now I'm feeling healthier than I have for years and I attribute it to the following:
1. Getting of of those horrible statin drugs which were/are a disaster.
2. Changing my diet considerably. That is getting completely away from the touted 'heart-health' diet of low fat/low cholesterol. It's bad news.
3. Exercise, Exercise, exercise. I regularly mountain bike, walk and ride rather than drive places.

See much of my findings on heart health at my blog at

P.S. Am a new 'follower' of your blog. Thanks.

Steve Parker, M.D. said...

I'll assume the problem is coronary artery disease. For starters:

1) Formal cardiac rehabilitation, followed by regular exercise for 30 mins 5x/wk (mild or moderate intensity, after cleared by surgeon)
2) Stop smoking
3) Mediterranean diet, especially cold-water fatty fish 2x/wk, tree nuts (1 oz five times weekly), olive oil as a major source of dietary fat
4) Low dose daily aspirin

Best wishes,

Disclaimer: All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status. Always consult your personal physician before making any dietary or exercise changes.

Anonymous said...

Niacin & Fish Oil.

Michael said...

Had a(internal mammary and 3 veins) bypass 1993. Statin since 1996. Strict ornish diet for at least 5 years then a lot of cheating. Low carb paleo type diet last 4 years because of symptomatic hypoglycaemia. Finally stopped smoking 6 months ago. Not seen a cardiologist since 1996. Only consistent thing has been exercise, daily initially but still manage an average of 3 days/week in gym together with gardening walking and phases of tai chi/yoga. Im not sure we can influence things as much as we like to believe although I am still trying.
Forgot to mention the daily asprin and whatever the current fashion in supplements is.(currently vit D - although grassroots say my level is only 38 after taking 3000iu/day all winter - southern hemisphere)

Bix said...

Thank you for all this. There's some really helpful information here. Probably the best heart book that could come out would be written by all the people who have to deal with these things every day.

Bix said...

Exercise gets mentioned a lot.

Leonard said...

My prayers for your family Bix! I would definitely say exercise and diet and maybe carry around a bottle of aspirin. ;) peace

Anrosh said...


Seinberg said...

Wow, just catching up on blogs - thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear, Bix. What everyone said, low fat high fiber diet. No bread or processed foods. No smoking. Move more. A baby aspirin too.


Dr. Mel said...

I'm sorry to hear this too, Bix, but hopefully everything went alright. I don't know if I'll avoid heart disease (it's in my family), but I think exercising (walking) almost every day is important, eating moderately, and drinking red wine in moderation (good for the heart, bad for potential breast cancer, but I probably have a higher risk of heart disease than that type of cancer [except for the goddamn CT scans I had to have for two years, which have FINALLY been acknowledged by the media as potential cancer risks--DUH!]).