Cardiac surgery? Not for me!
How to prevent cardiac surgery or to heal for good after a procedure .
Preventing cardio vascular diseases is certainly easier than to prevent “new ” chronic diseases, cancers included.
Cardiac surgery has certainly been a prestigious part of the end of 20th century health progress .
Pr Chris Barnard ,who performed the first heart transplant in december 1967, was certainly not a stranger to set cardiac surgeons in the celebrity arena , Dr Oz being one of his heirs in fame.
When time comes to consult a cardiac surgeon , patients are no more feeling the glam, these men and women in green are no more all-powerful wizards.
They are human professionals going to open your chest, to repair your failing organ.
No more Reality Show, it is the life threatening moment for the patient, with a scare at the exit.
If you imagine , yourself on the stretcher, can you do a flash back and start again to help yourself to do something to repair the little damages and keep your heart working for good ? avoiding O.R.? Yes you can .
I explained many times for health and for more, how, changing your attitude on a subject can change the way you will be affected and how this could get you the solution faster.
A serious clinical research study in the late 60s was the second revolution in cardiology.
The medical community started to suspect something that can reverse common cardiac diseases : Cardiac failure survivors at 5 years were 100% medical doctors or close family members.
What may have been magic behind this result?
What is linked with low or high risk to have a cardiac failure and to die from an attack.
Exercise can protect ? not really, when we have to make a heart transplant to a gold olympic medal recipient for marathon , we started to understand how intensive workout, was making the heart bigger but not healthier, more likely increasing the risk of a cardiac failure. Sedentary lifestyle was not better.
The medical community started to highlight some common rules in all population with high longevity after cardiac failure and population with low risk to have cardiac failure.
Some general rules were identified, tested and are listed below :
1/ Portion control and more frequent meals.
The combination of mental and physical stress favors poor appetite and nausea.
Whatever is the reason and what kind of procedure has been performed , the recovery needs to get an appropriate diet.
It is better to eat more often in a day with small portion.
This allows a minimum effort to nurture without excess.
This quiets the digestive discomfort.
It is better to have 4 meals of 300-400 Cal than 3 of 5-600 Cal
Depending of the individual metabolism, a diet of 1200-1500 Cal a day is most of the time best.
To rest is part of the treatment to recover, so no needs for 2000 Cal if no special activity.
The time to rebuild the muscle mass has to follow a first recovery.
2/ Food to choose
- There is a variety of healthy food. Some food and drink are known to lower LDL , or bad cholesterol, and increase HDL or good cholesterol to deliver energy without adding too much calories to increase weight and heart work.
- Do not add salt . Control the sodium in the label. Any water retention is a negative side effect.
- Avoid sugar. Losing weight is part of the recovery. When time comes to rebuild muscle , proteins and good fats are recommended.
- Chose carbohydrate with fiber to control blood sugar.
Inactivity, limited fluid intake and lack of dietary fiber. It is main concerns after cardiac surgery they are responsible for constipation which increases the discomfort.
It can be aggravated by medications such as painkiller and iron pills .
Eating plenty of fiber and fresh fruits, drinking 6-8 glasses of water or tea daily and using some prescribed stool softener (Colace) can usually relieve constipation.
If this is not enough, Milk of Magnesia or Dulcolax may be helpful with a warning to use Milk of Magnesia if you have kidney problems.
Being overweight increases the work of the heart and the triglycerides (fats) blood level.
Feeling better make you feel hungry, eat more, and then gain weight.
This may thicken the blood vessel walls.
High blood cholesterol and fats are followed by plaque formation in the vessel wall and heart itself.
Cholesterol is a necessary fatty substance found in the body and many animal foods. Fats are concentrated sources of energy which occur in three forms: polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated.
Blood cholesterol and saturated fats increase risk to thicken blood vessels throughout the entire body.
Saturated fats and cholesterol make deposit along the vessel walls causing them to narrow until then can collapse. This narrowing induces a deficiency in oxygenation of the heart tissue creating a coronary artery disease.
The overall fat intake must be restricted after surgery.
Generally, the overall fat intake should not be more than 30% of the total calories each day.
It is better to get monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and avoid total saturated fat.
This helps to lower cholesterol and saturated fat blood levels.
We have seen some rejuvenation of the blood vessels after few months of respect of these main rules.
Avoid high in cholesterol & saturated fats rich foods:
- Animal products
- Liver and organ meats, luncheon meats like liverwurst & salami, other meats, egg yolks, whole milk, butter, cream, and whole milk cheeses.
- Vegetables high in saturated fats
- Coconut, palm, and cocoa.
- Fried foods.
Note ; Instead of frying your foods, try to bake, boil, or steam when preparing the meals.
High in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats foods
- Fatty fish
- Certain oils include olive, sunflower, sesame, safflower, corn and soybean oils.
- Seeds : pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds are higher in polyunsaturated fats
Concentrated Carbohydrate Restrictions
Do not add sugar, avoid sodas and concentrated sweets in your diet as well.
Carbohydrates add calories, and increase the blood triglycerides level.
Fluid and Sodium Restriction
Salt is made up of two minerals – Sodium (Na+) and Chloride (C).
Sodium causes to hold fluids by your body.
Fluid retention is determined with sodium cell level. Retention is damaging the vessels.
Buy products labeled : “No added Salt” . Chose products low in sodium . Vegetables are bringing the quantity you need.
Foods High in Sodium (Na+) Content
- Meat and Other Protein Foods
- Ham, and all kinds of bacon, luncheon meats, frankfurters, sausages, scrapple, pepperoni, dried beef, chipped beef, corned beef, canned meats, pastrami, canned fish, sardines, herring, lax, anchovies, smoked salmon, caviar, cheese, regular peanut butter, and frozen TV dinners.
- Sauerkraut or other vegetables prepared in brine, olives, pickles, relish, vegetables packed with sauces or seasonings, salted mixed vegetable juice (V-8), regular tomato juice, regular spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce or tomato paste, frozen peas, and lima beans.
- Breads & Cereals
- Bread and rolls with salt toppings, corn chips, potato chips, salted pretzels, salted popcorn, and other salted snack foods.
- Bacon fat, salt pork, olives, salted nuts, party spreads and dips.
- Canned broth and soups, commercially prepared stews, bouillon cubes, and instant or dried soups.
- Be careful of monosodium glutamate (MSG) used in Chinese food. When you order Chinese food, you can request that it be prepared without MSG.
You should check with your doctor or dietician before using salt or salt substitutes.
Diet to Help Recovery
Good nutrition is necessary for healing. During the healing process, the body needs greater amounts of calories, protein, vitamins A and C, potassium, Protein L.Carnitin co Q10 and sometimes, zinc (if you have zinc deficiency).
Power Foods to Help Wound Healing
- Avocado: Proteins , Fats, vitamins, CoQ10 etc all in one fruit.
- Lean beef, poultry (skinless), and any fish
- Beans, lentils, split peas (cholesterol and saturated fat-free)
- Fat free or low-fat milk or yogurt (Greek yogurt is higher in protein)
- Vitamin C
- Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple
- Peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, tomato
- Vitamin A
- Carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, dark green leafy vegetables, butternut squash, Cantaloupe, dried apricots
- Fortified dairy products, cereal
- Lean red meat
Sesame and pumpkin seeds