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Stayin’ Alive

Always awkward talking about health. Listeners get defensive:

  • “Uh oh! I’m gonna get preached at.”
  • “That’s fine for you!”
  • “Yeah but somebody else said that was bad for you..”
  • Under the breath “Don’t tell me what to do!”

But usually we get around to the topic with every coaching client because, well, it’s so central. Central to energy, well being and continued life in the typical high stress existence.

So my next level investigation didn’t really get underway until I had a decent block of time. I’d been leading up to a deeper dive.

I’ve got some history. Back 10 years I noticed burning in the center of chest while starting out on runs. I talked it over with my caring and smart trainer [then] Karen Sytnick. She advised getting it checked out. Funny how often someone else has to validate what should be obvious.
Fast forward to the first cardiologist visit. Calgary is fast on heart. After an assessment, he asked,
“What do you think the chances are you have heart disease?”
“I dunno. 10%?”
Shocking answer from the doc?
“90. I’m lining you up for a stress test. And starting you on statins.”
Ok, I officially became a heart case! Better to know than not. You will notice a theme around that here…

But, after the stent, I figured I’d dodged the bullet. Resumed what I was convinced was a healthy lifestyle.
The intuition has crept up over the last few months. Maybe I’m fooling myself. Maybe all is not completely well.
New intelligence? Even if you’ve had a stent or bypass, it’ll be back.

I couldn’t lose the front porch even after stopping alcohol. I was mad. That’s not fair. Gradually the truth was dawning. I need to go further.
Most of working life we just want health and fitness to get handled so we can get on with the real show. With a bigger break away from conventional work I could bear down.

I discovered [via SMA friend Judy and YouTube]

  • Jason Fung. Toronto nephrologist, “The Obesity Code”
    • The conventional advice “move more, eat less ” is a spectacular failure. Like 98%.
    • Insulin resistance is the root culprit behind the epidemic of heart diseases and diabetes. An incredible 60+% of aging (over 50) adults in North America are type 2 diabetic either diagnosed or undiscovered.
    • About 158,700 (6.1 per 1,000) Canadian adults aged 20 years and older received a new diagnosis of ischemic heart disease. Specifically, about 63,200 (2.3 per 1,000) adults had a first heart attack
    • At fault is diet and lifestyle.
  • The chain starts with [often hidden] sugars and carbs and stress causing chronic high insulin levels
    • a vicious cycle > cell resistance to insulin > higher levels of insulin
    • to excess fat storage either under the skin or packed around the organs
    • typically Including fatty liver
    • to calcium plaque deposits in arteries
    • to ruptured soft plaque
    • to clots
    • to – the big one.
  • As one cardiologist said “It’s a unique disease. The presenting symptom is often death”.

    Skinny? Not exempt. The adipose fat concentrated around organs gets you. Fit? Not enough to get a pass – the mechanics still can be at work. Stress? Much greater prospect.

  • Don’t take my word for the extent or the mechanics- watch this. The crisp Ivor Cummins lays it out very clearly –

So I became a medical tourist. I signed us up for a CT calcium score in Querétaro.
“Do you want it today?”
“No, Wednesday is better.”
“What time?”
“How about 3 pm?”
Not the sort of health care access dialogue I’m used to.
“How much?”
Really not used to that! By the way, in many US centers, the CT Calcium Score is available from many major hospitals for around $100. No referral required. Can be done in Calgary at Mayfair for $1400.

All the push for straight forward accurate assessment of heart condition is to get these simple 12 minute scans. They are not included in the normal approach of cardiac care in Canada to my current awareness. If you can get past blood tests [which are indefinite at best], the next stop is still the thallium stress test. I don’t know what it reveals but I do know now what the CT shows.

The actuality of heart disease.

Now I know exactly where I stand. I have a score of 387 – just shy of the serious risk threshold of 400.

What does that flow from? I can see the calcium plaque deposits right there on the accompanying images. White lines where clear arteries ought to be. All particularized. My chief culprit is the left anterior descending LAD – the one that was stented.

Elaine had a score of – you ready? 0. Unbelievable. Unfair. But there you have it.

Now what? I’m not complacent any more. All over the fatty liver. Fung says intermittent fasting is the way to break out of insulin resistance cycle. I’ve lost 10 pounds so far. Hopefully, that embarrassing and persistent front porch will be history soon.

There are new and radically shifting options for actually reversing plaque. Vitamin k2 mk7 is now demonstrating that calcium can be pulled from soft tissue like arteries – where it doesn’t belong – to bone – where it does belong. That reverses what is called “the calcium conundrum”.

And serrapeptase scours the dead tissue from those artery walls with unprecedented efficiency.

Formerly, there was nothing to be done. And conventional medicine may not be caught up so may not agree. If I have a choice between accepting death and an avenue that promises change – I know where I’m leaning. I’m already on statins – which are almost universally endorsed by the way. Next stop conventionally? Bypass? If they catch me on the way down.

So the moral? Beg borrow pay wheedle. But, if you’re over 50, or maybe 40, get that score. There’s no replacement for it. Once you have the real story in your hands, you’re smart… You’ll figure out what to do.


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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