Health

Heart, circulatory, PAD problems

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For about 10 years I have suffered from Peripheral Arterial Disease. The claudication (pain in the calves, thighs, hips) got progressively worse.

My own fault. I smoke. I love red meat, eggs – all the wrong things. The payoff — elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, clogged arteries.

Bear with me a while — it gets a lot better.

I had about 5 stents put in my right leg, and 2 or 3 in the left. Finally, they said my left leg artery was completely blocked, and could not be stented again. My doctor talked about a bypass, but the description of this didn’t appeal to me – it would last about 10 years at most and couldn’t be repeated, so then I’d probably lose the leg.

Then I had a heart attack. Actually a bunch of heart attacks. I had blocked coronary arteries — 2 more stents. That worked for about 5 years.

So these were my symptoms:

Numbness in toe 2 and 3 on the left foot. Extreme pain in toe 3 on the right foot for several months – constant. Thick hard skin under all toes. Ugly toenails. Left foot always cold and grey. Bruises and marks on shins that wouldn’t clear up (8 or 10 years). Fungus or something on forearms for many years that must be related to circulatory problems, because seems to clear a little when I quit smoking. Walk 1 flight of stairs and need to sit down – some pain. 2 flights, lots of pain. Walk treadmill – 100 ft. and pain starts. Can force me to walk .1 miles (500 ft.), but the pain is excruciating, and need to stagger to a nearby chair and sit for 10 minutes. For the past several months, have been getting pain in left arm after exertion, just like with my heart attacks – mini-heart attacks are back. Also if I lay on it. Cramps in toes and legs at night (2 or 3 times, but not every night). Constant feeling of fatigue in lower back and hips – sometimes pain. Already had several stents in legs and coronary arteries. Can’t quit smoking (did once about 2 yrs ago for 6 months). Can’t put any more stents in left leg — the main artery is completely blocked. The normal progression of problems probably means eventual amputation of toes, then feet, then legs. If I don’t die of a heart attack first.

I was very worried about a major heart attack and toe and foot amputation, so I began to research the web. I found quite a few references to EDTA chelation, with some amazing claims. People who were candidates for imminent amputations were able to avoid this with chelation. I have a friend who told me about this several years ago. He said there was an older man whose toes were black, and he was going to lose them. Several weeks of IV chelation and the toes were normal. Well — that was hard to believe. At that time I put chelation in the very doubtful bag. But all this anecdotal evidence was hard to ignore.

So I looked for treatments. Found that chelation had normally been administered at a doctor’s office intravenously (IV). Then I began to read about oral chelation. Not as immediately effective as IV, but over time accomplished the same thing. I looked for products and found a wide range of prices. Some at about $150 for a month or so of pills. Then I found one for under $15 for about 2 months of capsules.

I also investigated side effects and interactions. Found some references to depletion of zinc, and a recommendation that you supplement that. And a possibility of headaches. That was it. No interactions with other medication (as you can imagine, I’m taking a few). So I thought I had nothing to lose, and I ordered it.

I was nothing short of amazed. Not a miracle like the gall stone flush. Didn’t completely solve the problem. But what an improvement. Stopped having mini-heart attacks. Increased my walking distance before pain from 100 to 500 ft. in about 2 months. And a whole lot more.

I am sure oral chelation would have been much more effective for me if I could just give up smoking. One case mentioned in the literature said that 87% of the people who tried it was helped. Of the rest, most were smokers.

There has been one drawback. I get a lot more mosquito bites. They didn’t use to bother me much. I can only guess that that is because there is more blood near the skin, and those little buggers know it. (See the “Mosquito bites” section.)

About 25 years ago my Dad had a heart attack and subsequently died of pneumonia. No one told him about EDTA chelation. I can’t help but think he could have lived more years had he known, and it makes me angry.

But about my progress, I am ecstatic — no more mini-heart attacks, and I keep wiggling my toes in disbelief – no more numbness, no more pain. And my toes look good – no hard thick skin under the nails, no fungus. My left foot is pink and warm. I can still walk 5 times as far before the pain starts. I look younger and healthier, especially with smaller bags under my eyes. And I feel good.

If you want or need quick results, the IV treatment is best. But it costs $200 to $300 per session, and they typically recommend 30 sessions – about 3 hours per day over 6 to 8 weeks. If you aren’t in a hurry, oral chelation is certainly more convenient, and much, much less expensive.

My sister took EDTA. After 2 months, she ran up a flight of stairs without thinking. At the top, she realized what she had done. She hadn’t been able to run upstairs for many years. And she wasn’t even out of breath.

My barber began taking EDTA. In one week the pains he had had in his legs for over 10 years disappeared.

I have read that chelation works by removing calcium from the blood. Strangely enough, this supposedly does not contribute to osteoporosis. Calcium attaches to the walls of the blood vessels and provides a way for cholesterol to build into plaque. There are other explanations, but this is the most common one given. Calcium is one of the contributors to arthritis. So EDTA chelation is supposed to help with arthritis also. My question is: Does anyone have experience with EDTA chelation as an aid in reducing arthritis symptoms? If you do, please go to the “Discussion” section and tell us about how it has helped you (or not helped you).

Note:
Is there a link between ear lobe creases and coronary heart disease?

Since 1973, several studies have demonstrated a link between a specific form of ear lobe crease on both ears and an increased incidence of coronary heart disease.
It is thought that if an individual has diagonal creases on both earlobes, there may be some benefit in undergoing screening to exclude the possibility of coronary heart disease. Similar links with coronary heart disease have been found with other physical characteristics such as short rather than tall people or women with ‘apple’ shaped bodies.

It is important to remember, however, that not every individual with these characteristic ear lobe creases is likely to have coronary heart disease.
While this and other similar associations are interesting, they may not be such an important predictor of coronary heart disease as other controllable risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, physical inactivity, being overweight or obese and diabetes.
British Heart Foundation

Controversy exists as to whether the presence of a diagonal crease on the earlobe is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. To evaluate this possibility, Elliott and Harrison performed a prospective observational study.

A total of 108 hospitalized patient were included in the study. Each patient was assigned to one of four groups according to the presence or absence of coronary artery disease and the presence or absence of a diagonal crease on the earlobe. The demographic characteristics of each of the cohorts were similar. Each group consisted of 14 men and 13 women. Mean age at entry into the study was 63 years. Eight to 10 years to follow-up information was subsequently obtained regarding the dates and causes of death.

Fifty-eight of the 108 patients died during the follow-up period. The patients with earlobe creases had a significantly poorer survival rate than those without earlobe creases, whether or not they had documented coronary artery disease at enrollment in the study. Patients with earlobe creases also had a significantly higher cardiac mortality rate and a higher number of cardiac events, including nonfatal myocardial infarction and coronary artery bypass graft.

The study findings suggest that persons with a diagonal crease on the earlobe may be at increased risk of cardiac mortality. The authors recommended that these persons be cautioned to control or to eliminate risk factors, such as smoking, hypertension, and obesity. (American Journal of Medicine, September 1991, vol. 91, p. 247.)

Found this note from “Ask Dr. Stoll”:
Fingernail ridges Across the nail
If this is only on some nails, and they are not at the same level as each nail, then this is most commonly caused by a relative deficiency of circulation to the extremities. Do you suffer from cold hands or feet? If this is your situation, you need to become a student of Skilled Relaxation and to practice it correctly. Within 3-6 months, the circulation to your extremities will improve enough that these ridges will no longer form. Of course, depending on how fast your nails grow out, it could take 6 more months for you to have all normal nails.

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