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  #1   ^
Old Fri, Jun-26-20, 08:38
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Posts: 2,534
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/150/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 72%
Location: NE WA
Default High cholesterol, heart & carotid

I've been eating low carb high fat for quite a while now, and my doctor has been warning me for the last few years that my cholesterol is high.

So last week I had a possible TIA (went temporarily blind in 1 eye) & got tested. Found out my heart is fine, but my carotid arteries are severely blocked. I'm going to need surgery, which is scary because of the possibility of a stroke, but if I do nothing a stroke eventually is inevitable.

So the question - for all you health experts - is why is my heart fine & my carotid arteries screwed? Random bad luck or is there an actual reason for it? Hereditary is a possibility, even tho my generation & my parents' have had no problem. But 3 of my grandparents died of strokes/aneurysms. The last one died of cancer in his 80s.

Searching this forum I found a diet doctor article on changing my diet to lower my cholesterol (https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/cholesterol-basics) & will be working on it.

If anyone here has had carotid surgery, could you tell me about your experience? And was the diagnosis a surprise? I had symptoms for the last couple of months, but had no clue what they were symptoms of. Had I known I would have told my doctor about them earlier.
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, Jun-26-20, 09:08
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 4,828
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/125/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 109%
Location: Vermont
Default

Bonnie - I have no knowledge to share with you. I just want you to know that I am sorry you are going through this. I am sure there are people here who can help steer you in the right direction.
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  #3   ^
Old Fri, Jun-26-20, 11:55
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 12,457
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/194/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 32%
Location: Texas
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie OFS
I've been eating low carb high fat for quite a while now, and my doctor has been warning me for the last few years that my cholesterol is high.

So last week I had a possible TIA (went temporarily blind in 1 eye) & got tested. Found out my heart is fine, but my carotid arteries are severely blocked. I'm going to need surgery, which is scary because of the possibility of a stroke, but if I do nothing a stroke eventually is inevitable.

So the question - for all you health experts - is why is my heart fine & my carotid arteries screwed? Random bad luck or is there an actual reason for it? Hereditary is a possibility, even tho my generation & my parents' have had no problem. But 3 of my grandparents died of strokes/aneurysms. The last one died of cancer in his 80s.

Searching this forum I found a diet doctor article on changing my diet to lower my cholesterol (https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/cholesterol-basics) & will be working on it.

If anyone here has had carotid surgery, could you tell me about your experience? And was the diagnosis a surprise? I had symptoms for the last couple of months, but had no clue what they were symptoms of. Had I known I would have told my doctor about them earlier.


Bonnie, Us like you might be going through this and we just don't know it. Can you tell us what kind of other symptoms you have been having before finding this out?
Also, what tests did you have to find this out?
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  #4   ^
Old Fri, Jun-26-20, 13:13
bluesinger's Avatar
bluesinger bluesinger is offline
Posts: 4,522
 
Plan: TheraKeto~Atkins72
Stats: 170/137/140 Female 62 inches
BF:24%
Progress: 110%
Location: Nevada Desert, USA
Default

I'm always on the lookout for this. When I have an in-person doctor visit, I ask if they hear the "crackling" sound on the left side of my neck. I'm always on the lookout because my mother (during her 90-year life) had EVERYTHING. In her mid-30's she was diagnosed with cancer. Next she developed seizures, then strokes and heart condition. I remember when she had the accumulated fat removed from her carotid artery. Don't know if it was true, but she said it was blocked with solid white fat. Her life-long diet was Southern deep-fried with potatoes and milk gravy, cornbread and black-eyed peas.

I'd also be interested in your symptoms.
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 15:25
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,534
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/150/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 72%
Location: NE WA
Default

For some reason I didn't get the usual email notification of replies - thanks for replies!

The temporary blindness has been the only real symptom, in spite of the surgeon saying they were "severely" blocked. I've had some dizziness even when sitting down & soreness in my neck, but that's about it. Almost forgot - also the loud "swooshing" in my left ear.

And that blindness is weird - there's even a name for it which I don't remember - it was like a white curtain coming down over my eye. I was able to see light, but not things. Then the eye recovered bit by bit - strange geometric black shapes getting smaller until they disappeared. Freaked me out. Which is good because had I not been scared by it, I might not have called my doctor.

My doctor went by my symptoms & had an ultrasound done - that clinched it. Had a visit with the surgeon Monday & he ordered a cat scan to see the details. He won't know exactly which surgery will be best for me until he can see that. Don't know when that will be as the VA is being their usual slow self. At least it gives me time to get used to the idea of surgery.

I may not have to stay overnight in the hospital at all, but if I do, I'm taking my own food.

Bluesinger - I'll ask the doctor to save a sample of what's removed for me to verify your mother's story.

The scariest part of this is the chance of having a stroke. I don't like the idea of not being me anymore.
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 16:25
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Posts: 12,457
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/194/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 32%
Location: Texas
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie OFS
And that blindness is weird - there's even a name for it which I don't remember - it was like a white curtain coming down over my eye. I was able to see light, but not things. Then the eye recovered bit by bit - strange geometric black shapes getting smaller until they disappeared. Freaked me out. Which is good because had I not been scared by it, I might not have called my doctor.


I have no medical training but this almost sounds like a detached retina. Have You fallen down or hit your head recently?

Last edited by Meme#1 : Fri, Jul-03-20 at 18:51.
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 16:33
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Posts: 14,083
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 255/214/153 Female 5'8"
BF:
Progress: 40%
Location: Massachusetts
Default

Sorry I missed this.

Im not an expert but did have a stent put into carotdid. It is a high risk surgery. BUT when I stroked, that pushed the emergency button and I was rushed from 4th floor to CT, and all staff called in for emergency surgery. I have often wondered what plans the two doctors, anesthesiologist and support staff had planned for that Friday night.....

Ask every wuestion you csn think of. What is the proceedure exactly. Is there alternative. How will this open the passageway.....

The doctors are remarkable in this reguard. The are highly specialized in this work....

Post surgery is very tiring.

good luck !! you will do fine.
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  #8   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 17:36
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Posts: 14,083
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 255/214/153 Female 5'8"
BF:
Progress: 40%
Location: Massachusetts
Default

PS. The only clue I had that I was going ti stroje the first time was declining eyesight in my best eye. Doc said see an eye doctor. I went home, got a migrain and DH has to ask me about feeding..... as I explained evening chores, lost my speech and had a stroke right then. All started with my eye......

The carotids feed all areas of the brain, primarily the front like eyes and frontal lobe.

I got lucky. My eyesight is fine. My right arm works. But I lost areas of my brain. Given time the brain can rewire a lot, not 100%.

Better to avoid a stroke.imho.
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 18:30
LCinAust's Avatar
LCinAust LCinAust is offline
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Posts: 142
 
Plan: Keto
Stats: 211/178.4/154 Female 163cm
BF:
Progress: 57%
Location: Australia
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie OFS

So the question - for all you health experts - is why is my heart fine & my carotid arteries screwed? Random bad luck or is there an actual reason for it?


I find this a really interesting question, did you ever find out the answer?
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 20:16
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,534
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/150/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 72%
Location: NE WA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meme#1
I have no medical training but this almost sounds like a detached retina. Have You fallen down or hit your head recently?


That was checked because about a week earlier I did hit my head. My new, untrained donkey got upset about getting into the trailer & knocked me on my ass (sorry - dumb donkey people joke ).
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  #11   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 20:25
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,534
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/150/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 72%
Location: NE WA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Arielle
Sorry I missed this.

Im not an expert but did have a stent put into carotdid. It is a high risk surgery. BUT when I stroked, that pushed the emergency button and I was rushed from 4th floor to CT, and all staff called in for emergency surgery. I have often wondered what plans the two doctors, anesthesiologist and support staff had planned for that Friday night.....

Ask every wuestion you csn think of. What is the proceedure exactly. Is there alternative. How will this open the passageway.....

The doctors are remarkable in this reguard. The are highly specialized in this work....

Post surgery is very tiring.

good luck !! you will do fine.


Yes - you're the person I need to talk with! I've seen different recovery times on Dr. Google & am worried about not being able to work. I just got promoted to a Census supervisor job & my training is in the next week or so, before the surgery. I'll be able to start the job, but I know I'll have to take off about a week. I hope not more than that. I can work from home so don't have to drive. But I am 67 - being older might mean taking longer to recover.

Is there an online group of people who have gone thru this? I'd like to read about people's experiences.
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 20:26
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,534
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/150/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 72%
Location: NE WA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCinAust
I find this a really interesting question, did you ever find out the answer?


Not yet. I'm planning on asking the doctor next time I talk with him.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Jul-03-20, 22:44
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 14,083
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 255/214/153 Female 5'8"
BF:
Progress: 40%
Location: Massachusetts
Default

Dont know of on line folks.....

I would want to know how much of carotid is cligged, and by how much


( in my case, a clot had formed betwen the two layers, decreasing the lumen size, slowing blood flow, causing clots.)


What is the proceedure.....
what is risk

alternatives....remember doctor usually cant offer an alternative as they are trained to do surgery. Try to find ither dictors to ask.. perhaps send an email to dr westmann or any other doctor at a teaching hospital esp a university based one as they usually respond.

Ask about recovery rates...... time off work.

In my case, the placement of the stent gave me the worst migraine ever ! Doc said it would be gone after 3-4 days post surgery..... the increased blood flow was the cause, and the body would adjust. And he was right.

Usually go thru artery in thigh up by groin. Limited activity as I remember post surgery... no heavy lifting sort of thing for a couple weeks.

The anesthisia can be hard on the body. Talk to anestitist handling your case. Discuss meds, diet snd many other factors... they should have an indepth survey presurgery. Be honest......many factors are concidered and makes todays surgeries very successful.

Ask about medications. The stent is a mesh that slowly gets covered by cells, imbedding the stent into the inner lining of the artery. I took plavix for 6 months. This was to prevent ..... Im not sure exactly, clots?? It was only during the time the stent was embedding into the artery.

Know which meds and foods to stop ahead of surgery......they arent ready for us healthy eating liw carb types, lol.

Im sure this is scary.....totally get it....

look on youtube for info on plaques and how they develop. Im sure after viewing, you will have loads of questions that need answering.
I saw a good one recently......

You will need to stay in hospital for a day or two probably. My emergency stent placement took place sometime after 4pm on a Friday when the big one hit, staff called in, awoke in ICU groggy head pounding and stayed 24 hours, then moved to another floor, went home Monday early afternoon.

As u know , the more you know......
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  #14   ^
Old Sat, Jul-04-20, 01:21
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
Posts: 12,901
 
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/123/150 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 139%
Location: USA
Default

My grandmother had it done (decades of farm cooking) and she said it was fine. I think a lot of the recovery time was precautionary, since the artery is in a fragile state and needs to heal, lest it form another "scab" in the form of plaque.

That Diet Doctor article was intriguing about the K2 factor. I didn't start supplementing that until a few years ago; it could turn out to be as crucial as Vitamin D3, which complement each other.

Perhaps all of us have to deal with how we used to eat. May you sail through this and have less worry as a result.
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  #15   ^
Old Sat, Jul-04-20, 07:36
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,534
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/150/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 72%
Location: NE WA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
That Diet Doctor article was intriguing about the K2 factor. I didn't start supplementing that until a few years ago; it could turn out to be as crucial as Vitamin D3, which complement each other.


I started K2 about a year ago, I think. I learned about that here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
Perhaps all of us have to deal with how we used to eat. May you sail through this and have less worry as a result.


Like smoking. It's been 30 years since my last cigarette, but my body is still dealing with the previous 20 years of smoking.

And knowing how I used to eat - that was worse than the smoking.

It's the old "if only I knew then what I know now" problem.
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