juliegee Posted March 9, 2011 Report Share Posted March 9, 2011 Hi All-Before I start I must say that I feel almost guilty posting my good news. We have so many new faces popping in- in truly dire straits-forgive my happiness . I wanted to share in order to warn members who are getting up in years, 40+ about the possible long term implications of a high salt diet. I recently went through a battery of tests after suffering from several possible arterial embolisms in my fingers and toes. My echocardiogram showed diastolic dysfunction, which is the first stage of heart failure. (There are 4 stages.) I was shocked by the news as I am well enough to exercise. I was running 15-20 miles a week at the time. I am 48, thin, don't smoke, don't have diabetes or any other risk factors. Very scary. On my own, (neither of the 2 cardiologists I consulted knew what to advise ) I decided to cut out all added salt to my diet.This is territory outside of what most cardiologists will advise about- one condition indicating high salt; another prohibiting salt. High salt is implicated as a cause of hypertension, which in turn can cause diastolic dysfunction. DD occurs when there is impaired relaxation of the heart because the ventricles are too stiff to relax. This causes a build-up of pressure & and an impaired distribution of blood to the rest of the body. I also decided to add a magnesium supplement as I saw that some cardiologists were using it to REVERSE diastolic dysfunction. I began yoga, focusing on relaxation and deep breathing AND I kept up my running- listening to body- for speed. I had further testing today and I got good news The tech wasn't supposed to share, but she did let a few things slip: no pulmonary arterial hypertension, no PFO (hole in my heart), no diastolic dysfunction!!! I suspect that I was beginning to develop diastolic dysfunction & the steps I'm taking have helped. I have to keep them up as I am unable to tolerate any beta blockers or calcium channel blockers to treat the DD. This is a long term life style change for me. My autonomic symptoms were MUCH worse when I first lowered my salt intake. However, over time, my body seems to have gotten used to the change. As long as I drink non-stop; I'm tolerating it OK. I crave salt. I miss salt- especially on eggs & tomatoes & popcorn & corn, etc. I mean, really what's the point??? Every time I eat, I have to make a conscious choice to protect my heart. So for any other "seniors" out there- be careful. My BP was rarely high at home, just starting to creep up when I was nervous at the doctor's office... No overt signs of high BP- yet I suspect that the years of salt loading have taken their toll. According to statistics I have read, 15% of patients will have diastolic dysfunction by age 60. A high BMI, high body fat, cigarette smoking, diabetes, inactive lifestyle will speed this process up. There is also evidence that some connective tissue disorders can cause diastolic dysfunction. I think long term salt loading may have dire consequences for some of us. Be careful as you get older. Take many BP's through out the day. Use opportunities when you are feeling stressed as a GOOD time to check BP- gives you a better indication of what truly is happening. Thanks to everyone for all of your support, PM's, phone calls & prayers during this scary time. I LOVE my autonomically dysfunctional family. Julie Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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