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    too young to die.......I hope
    zgoat65 posted:
    I'm 33 years old, and suffered a massive heart attack three weeks ago. I flatlined four times over the course of the next 24 hours and had to recieve a total of 13 shocks with a defibrillator to bring me back. After an angiogram it was determined that my LAD was 90% clogged so the Cardiologist placed a stent in my artery. I was released from the hospital a week later. Before my heart attack I was a heavy smoker with a bad diet, and used a lot of stimulants (energy drinks, otc energy supplements, etc). I have not had any of these things since my release. My family has been a great support system for me, and have pushed me into bettering my diet and habits. But I wonder if maybe they are going a little overboard? Everything they buy now is low sodium, caffiene free, no red meat, skim milk, etc. I know that you can never be too healthy, but is it all completely necessary? I have given up smoking (which I believe to be one of the main problems as I smoked 2 packs a day) and energy drinks (which I believe to be the other big problem), but is such a strict diet necessary? I am very new to all of this as I have never been sick in my life or hospitalized. Looking for any advice available. Thanks
    billh99 responded:
    Have you been referred to a cardiac rehab program? If not ask your doctor about getting one.

    In cardiac rehab you will exercise while being monitored. But besides the exercise there will be instructions in things such as diets and medicines.

    Stopping smoking is by an far the most important thing. But energy drinks are also suspect.

    Here is a list of diets that are heart healthy.

    Personally I like the Mediterranean diet.

    But the main think is to limit processed food.

    No transfats & anything that says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. Limited saturated fats (that allows several 4 oz servings of beef a week).

    But lots of good fats from things like fish, olive oil, nuts, etc.

    Lots and lots of veggies and fruits.

    Limit refined carbs (white flour products, white rice, and sugar).

    In general moderate amounts of caffeine are not a problem. 1 to 2 cups of coffee.

    However, based on the amount of damage that might have been done to your heart, cholesterol levels, etc you doctor might suggest some modifications.
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "But I wonder if maybe they are going a little overboard?"

    Not at all. The right diet is so very important.

    Heart-Healthy Foods

    Nothing complicated, just plain 'n simple

    AVOID foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol. CHOOSE skim or low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat cheeses. Eat more fish and poultry. LIMIT servings to five to seven ounces a day. TRIM visible fat. Limit egg yolks. SUBSTITUTE two egg whites for one whole egg or use an egg-substitute. Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, breads and cereals. USE LESS salt and fat. SEASON WITH herbs and spices rather than with sauces, gravies and butter.

    "I have given up smoking and energy drinks......"

    Kudos on that.

    "......suffered a massive heart attack"

    Especially after a heart attack has occured, one should know his/her left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), which is the single-most important clinical indicator of how well the heart is pumping, the amount of blood that is being forced out of the left ventricle (LV) with each beat. Normal resting range is 55%-70%

    Understanding Your Ejection Fraction

    ....."the Cardiologist placed a stent in my artery."

    Most important, coronary stents (bare-metal or drug-eluting) are only a Band-aid or spot treatment, as it doesn't address the disease process and what drives the progression.

    Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a lifelong unpredictable (can exhibit periods of stabilization, acceleration, and even some regression) condition, requiring a continuum of care, as well as good doctor-patient/patient-doctor communication and understanding at ALL times.

    Best of luck down the road of life. Live long and prosper.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



    Living with Coronary artery disease (CAD)

    A chronic disease with no cure. When you have CAD, it is important to take care of your...

    This is especially true if you have had an interventional procedure......

    Recognize the symptoms...

    Reduce your risk factors....

    Take your medications...

    See your doctor for regular check-ups......


    Coronary artery anatomy

    Starting with the LAD, the most critical, next to the ultra-critical LM.

    _ . _

    Good to know, for the primary/secondary prevention of heart attack/brain attack

    Epidemiologic studies have revealed risk factors (encompasses new, novel or emerging) for atherosclerosis, typically affecting the carotid, coronary, peripheral arteries, which includes age, gender, genetics, diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes second/thirdhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity"), high blood pressure (hypertension), Low HDL (now questionable, according to recent studies) high LDL, small, dense LDL, RLP (remnant lipoprotein), high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, HDL2b, high homocysteine (now questionable), and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).


    Typically, cardiac rehab plays an important role in the overall recovery process, which is different for everyone, and at any age.


    Cardiac Rehab

    Mayo Clinic

    Cardiac rehab: Building a better life after heart disease

    Mended Hearts

    Hope for recovery. Hope for a rich, full life.

    For more than 50 years, Mended Hearts has been offering the gift of hope and encouragement to heart patients, their families and caregivers.



    "Be a questioning patient. TALK to your DOCTOR and ASK QUESTIONS. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

    - Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society


    It's your there.

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    WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    zgoat65 replied to billh99's response:
    I go to the orientation for cardiac rehab on monday. Thanks for the advice on the diet. Having to modify EVERYTHING in my life has been no easy task. Quitting cigarettes was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and I don't feel like the battle is quite won as of yet. I haven't had a puff since Sept.13, and it hasn't gotten any easier yet. I'm sure that one day it will.

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