Can changes in lifestyle check heart blockage?
Q: I am 54 years old, weighing 65 kg. I have been going for regular health check-ups for the past 10-12 years. I have been having high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. After experiencing some chest pain recently, I was advised to go for a Stress test, where some abnormality was observed. I was, therefore, advised to go for angiography. In the coronary radial angiography performed on me, a 40% blockage was observed in one of the arteries of the heart. I would like to know if this could be checked with medication and changes in lifestyle. Please advise.
A:The block by itself does not need any specific treatment (if it is only 40%), but it does indicate that you have a tendency to develop blocks. Intense dietary modifications aimed at cutting down easily digestible / rapidly absorbed carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, sugar / sweets and excess consumption of tubers like potatoes will decrease the triglycerides. You should walk briskly and decrease your total intake to lose a couple of kilograms over the next 3-6 months. Take some fruit / vegetable juice before any meal. Check your fasting and 2 hours post lunch sugar because you have a family history of diabetes. Check TSH to detect thyroid hypofunction. You will need to take a statin (e.g. 10-20 mg of atorvastatin) if the LDL-C is more than 80 mg%. You can use omega-3 fatty acid capsules 1-2 gm / day with food to decrease triglycerides. If diet and this does not help, you may need to replace the statin with a specific drug for high triglycerides, but in most cases they respond very well to changes in lifestyle.