• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 30 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered 24 hours a day!
  • TUG started 30 years ago in October 1993 as a group of regular Timeshare owners just like you!

    Read about our 30th anniversary: Happy 30th Birthday TUG!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Free memberships for every 50 subscribers!

    Visit TUG on Youtube!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $21,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $21 Million dollars
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free!

    60,000+ subscribing owners! A weekly recap of the best Timeshare resort reviews and the most popular topics discussed by owners!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    All T-shirt options here!
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Hardening of the Arteries...?

pwrshift

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
5,529
Reaction score
29
Points
483
Location
Toronto
Resorts Owned
Marriott Manor Club - 3 weeks platinum, 2 weeks at Marriott Beachplace Towers, and 1 week at Marriott Canyon Villas
I have a close friend who has just been diagnosed with hardening of the arteries. She had pains in her thighs for the last 2 months or so and it has hurt to walk, and went to the GP for a physical which showed a problem with a doppler ultrasound.

She's been a smoker most of her 58 years and has instantly cut to 3 cigarettes a day and changed her diet since getting the news. She likes her wine (red) but never eats desserts, but almost everything else and is one of those who never gains a pound. Cholesterol is very high (almost 7 or something like that), is slim, had her gallbladder removed 30+ years ago. Cholesterol problems have affected many in her family history, but not hardening of the arteries.

She starts 20mg a day of Lipitor today.

Doc is sending her to a surgeon in about 10 days for another diagnosis and to see what the next step will be. She's stressed out about it all as she's never had a sick day in her life other than the gallbladder removal many years ago. She searched the internet on the subject and got even more upset, so I'd like to be able to offer some comforting advice.

Has anyone or someone close to you gone through this? Any thoughts and suggestions I can pass on.

Brian
 

DonM

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
788
Reaction score
1
Points
378
Location
New Fairfield, Connecticut
I'm not a medical person- and obviously neither are you. You should just be a friend who supports her and be upbeat.

I believe "hardening of the arteries" is an out of date expression for coronary heart disease which is a thickening of the artery wall with plaque from cholesterol (atherosclerotic plaques). It can occur throughout the body, and it sounds as though it has effected your friends lower body arteries.

I would encourage your friend to give up tobacco altogether, start exercising (starting slowly), eat a lot of vegetables, and little red meat or fats- drink only skim milk, eat fish esp salmom, take her statin regularly, visit the GP regularly.

You say... "she's never had a sick day in her life other than the gallbladder removal" actually I think she's been unwell for some time, it's just that the symptoms of this disease do not appear until things get severe.

The good news is that unlike a friend of mine that just passed, she got this warning instead of immediately dropping dead of a heart attack (and my friend never smoked)- I also think her problem, now that it's diagnosed, can be very well controlled.

(I'm not sure but the removal of the gallbladder might have been a sign in retrospect that she had a problem? The gallbladder helps in the digestion of fats, and it might have been overworked?)
 

Rose Pink

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
6,291
Reaction score
1
Points
36
Atherosclerosis . . .

. . . is the term. She can find information and support from the American Heart Association. She can just read their website or can contact her local chapter. They have very good cookbooks, too.

The genesis of atherosclerosis is more involved than just too much cholesterol. It starts with inflammation of the vessel walls. She can get the complete story from the AHA.

We used to think it was irreversable but Dr. Dean Ornish back in the very early 90s proved that wrong. His research was ground-breaking. He has a book out regarding his research (Reversing Heart Disease) and at least one cookbook (Eat More, Weigh Less). His diet is very low in fat--very low. His study subjects also practiced yoga and stress-reduction exercises.
 

SDKath

TUG Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
3,076
Reaction score
16
Points
273
To be even more specific, she has peripheral arterial disease (PAD). There is an organization with an excellent website http://www.padcoalition.org/about-pad/what-is-pad/ for information.

First and foremost, she absolutely has to stop smoking right away. Lipitor is excellent to prevent progression but the smoking cessation is #1, 2 and 3 on the list of things to do to.

Katherine
 

pwrshift

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
5,529
Reaction score
29
Points
483
Location
Toronto
Resorts Owned
Marriott Manor Club - 3 weeks platinum, 2 weeks at Marriott Beachplace Towers, and 1 week at Marriott Canyon Villas
Thanks for the suggestions. It is a serious condition and hopefully the surgeon will find that it's not too advanced. She seems less worried about it than I do for her.

Do any of you know if there is a risk for people with this condition to fly? She has holidays booked for Florida in March, Arizona in April and France in September.

Brian
 

saf512

TUG Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Travelling would probably be ok. The most important thing for your friend to do is to quit smoking and to walk ALOT even if it hurts! When she needs to stop, she should stop for less time that is truely needed and then continue again... Thigh claudication is caused by iliac artery blockages. The pain occurs in the area below the blockage because the blood can't get passed to the blockage to feed the rest of the leg. Walking will form collateral flow around it, therefore a new pathway. Over time, with alot of walking, quitting smoking, a proper diet and medication, your friend can feel better. The vascular surgeon maybe able to offer her angioplasty or a bypass that would likely help but may not be necessary if she has no tissue loss (ulcer or gangrene) or rest pain (foot pain waking her up at night). Do you know what your friends ABI (ankle brachial pressure) was on the doppler test? An ABI of 1.0 to 0.8 = mild disease, 0.6 to 0.4 = moderate disease and less than 0.3 would be severe. Vascular disease is a generalized disease but does not mean she has heart disease.
Sandra
 

pwrshift

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
5,529
Reaction score
29
Points
483
Location
Toronto
Resorts Owned
Marriott Manor Club - 3 weeks platinum, 2 weeks at Marriott Beachplace Towers, and 1 week at Marriott Canyon Villas
Thanks Sandra ... that was very helpful information. She wasn't told the ABI number by her GP but the doppler doc said her ankle flow wasn't a problem, so perhaps that is good. Her GP is not the most communicative person in the biz apparently and was in a rush to see the next patient, but did tell her NOT to walk or exercise until she sees the surgeon (in 10 days) who will probably want his own tests done. Do you think this may have been bad advice? She has no pain resting or sleeping - only when walking. Started 20mg of Lipitor last night and no side effects. When this last pack of cigs is gone, she says she won't buy any more ... and I suspect that will be the case. Cold turkey after many years is probably best but 3 a day might properly wean her...we'll see.

Brian
 

saf512

TUG Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Well I think that her GP knows her best and may be advising her not to walk for different reasons unknown to us. Is your friend in the toronto area as well? There are several great vascular surgeons in T.O.; she will be in good hands. Is she diabetic?
Sandra
 

Rose Pink

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
6,291
Reaction score
1
Points
36
Vascular disease is a generalized disease but does not mean she has heart disease.
Sandra

It does not mean she has heart disease but there is a good chance she does. Even if she does not, lifestyle changes that benefit the heart arteries are likely to help with peripheral arteries as well.
 
Top