From time to time I have told my students that, in all honesty, I am not particularly interested in nutrition as a subject. What I am interested in is people getting well, and nutrition is merely the best available means to that end.
Some even believe that. One undergraduate comes promptly to mind. He was 21, and suffering from a severe heart arrhythmia. Once every week or two his heart rate would violently soar, his pulse get erratic, and he'd have to lie in bed for hours before it would return to normal. This is how he had been best able to manage it. Sometimes, he said, he'd have to lie completely still, quite unable to get up without a recurrence. He said he would occasionally have to remain motionless for many as six hours. He was an active fellow, and all this wasted time bothered him as much as the symptoms themselves.
Of course he'd seen a variety of doctors, including the obligatory specialists. Anxiety or panic attacks had been considered and ruled out. This problem was not in the lad's head. He'd had a lot of tests. The doctors had concluded by offering nothing except either surgery for some sort of pacemaker, or a new drug packing the potential of several serious side effects.
Sitting in my office, he showed me the literature on the proposed drug, and I looked it up.
"This drug might indeed relieve your symptoms, Don," I said. "It says here that it can also cause myocardial infarction."
"That's, uh...that's a heart attack, isn't it? I remember the name from class."
Don smiled, but got very serious very quickly as it dawned on him that he would be the one risking the heart attack.
"Wait a minute!" he said. I'm way too young to chance a heart attack! And pacemakers are for old guys. There's got to be something else I can do."
"Safer, anyway, yes," I said. "You could try nutrition and see how you do."
His mother had come along to the appointment, and spoke up now.
"Nutrition? Now that is a good idea, especially for Don. His diet is terrible."
He gave her one of those classic, "Oh, Mom..." looks, but that didn't stop her from telling me that he never ate breakfast, and chose a lot of junk foods when he did eat. Plus, he was underweight, and played a lot of sports, and had a busy work and social schedule. She was sweet about it all, but she was plain spoken and pulled no factual punches. She also sounded plenty worried about her boy.
"Let's look at it from the simplest vantage point," I said. If Don has not been eating well, he should start. If the heart is not well nourished, how could we reasonably expect it to work properly?"
I got a "Right on, brother!" look from Don's mom.
"The heart especially needs the essential fatty acids for fuel," I continued. "Namely linoleic and especially linolenic acid."
"I read about
this," said Don's mother. Aren't they found in fish oil and
"You are right. Either source will do."
Don gave a sour look.
"In capsules, Don; they come as supplement capsules."
He brightened up considerably.
"Vitamin E is next. At effectively large doses, vitamin E helps to strengthen and regulate the heartbeat. It works almost like one of the digitalis family of drugs."
"How much do I have to take?" Don asked, naturally. They all do.
"A lot, probably well over 1,000 International Units daily, and perhaps as much as 2,000 IU. You can work up this level gradually."
"What other vitamins?" asked the mother.
"The B-complex and vitamin C would be wise, I think. A variety of cardiac and other muscle problems result from their deficiency. Don may need more of them then the average person."
"Or maybe his diet has just contained a lot less," said his mom.
"That too," I answered. "I also would follow Dr. Hans Neiper's example and take gram-sized doses of both calcium orotate and magnesium orotate, in about a 2:1 ratio."
And they did try it, cautiously, intelligently, and thoroughly.
I had a follow-up session with them not long afterwards. Don was smiling. His mom was smiling.
So I smiled too.
"How's it going?" I asked.
"Going great!" said Don. "No sign of any heart problem at all."
Some weeks later, we talked again.
"I haven't had an attack since I started the vitamins," Don said.
We were all really pleased. I asked Don what he was taking, and he read it all off to me:
"2000 milligrams of vitamin C daily; 2,000 mg of flaxseed oil each day; Calcium orotate 2,000 mg a day in four or five divided doses; Magnesium orotate 1,000 mg, also in divided doses; two B-complex supplements each day, one multivitamin; and 1600 IU of natural mixed tocopherols vitamin E."
Not bad, to
eliminate long-standing chronic tachycardia/arrhythmia events so
promptly. No pacemaker surgery, no dangerous medicines. It's been
a long time now and there has been only one recurrence. That was when
Don skipped both breakfast and his supplements. He got back with the
program and the symptoms were gone.
Copyright C 2005, 2003 and prior years Andrew W. Saul.
Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )
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