Cardiomyopathy & a Vegan Diet

I started a vegan diet in January (after being a vegetarian for 12 years) and in April was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy (EF 25%). I would like to see if the vegan diet will improve my condition. Has anyone else seen a reversal by sticking to a vegan diet?

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Samsaa, sorry to hear about ur diagnosis. I too have cardiomyopathy and was diagnosed in jan with an ef of 24 percent. I am not a vegetarian or vegan but do watch my sodium content eat more veggies and fruits and whole grains. I only eat chicken and some beef. I did cardiac rehab for 12 weeks took my meds and walked on my treadmill at home. I recently had a muga scan which showed my ef had increased to 41 percent and have lost 38 lbs which helped a lot. I'm not sure that a vegan diet would make a big difference. I find exercise has helped the most strengthen my heart. My dilated cardiomyopathy is non ischemic and is believed to be caused from a virus.

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I have been a vegetarian for 26 years and mostly vegan for 16. (meaning when eating out I might have a biscuit or a small serving of mashed potatoes which would contain a little milk.) no heart disease in my family. I had a heart attack at age 68 this past January followed by a quad-bypass. the combo of high blood pressure, diabetes, high triglycerides was blamed.

but I used oil through the years. now I mostly follow Dr. McDougall's and Dr. Esselstyn's eating plans, vegan with no added oil at all. there's lots of free info on the net and McDougall has a forum called "discussion".

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I think the most important thing is not strict veganism per se, but just good eating habits in general, including lots of good fats, complex carbs, and tons of the green leafy things. I really cleaned up my diet since I was diagnosed, and I find that just eating balanced, smaller portions every 2-4 hours has done wonders. That and exercise.

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Thanks for your reply. I know exercise is important but I'm afraid. I'm wearing a LifeVest (defibrillator) which makes me very self conscious. I don't want to be walking on the treadmill and have it go off! How strenuously do you exercise? Do you have a lot of fatigue?

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My diagnosis was also non ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy cause unknown with an EF of 9% at the time of diagnosis.
I was not over weight nor did I have any other problems like diabetics, high blood pressure or high chorestrol. Since I was diagnoised I became: pre diabetic; with high chorestrol; and gained 15 pounds all thanks to the medications.
After two years I switched to a vegatarian diet and two years later started to switch over to a vegan mostly raw diet and that is when I started really seeing the changes. I finally started to get my energy back and my medications started to drop off (from 8) until now I am taking a beta blocker and an ace inhibitor which I am in the process of reducing. That was four years ago. (I am 61)
I truly believe that the vegan diet gave me my life back. I eat almost exclusively fruits and vegatables, nuts and seeds with very little grains and oils. I have taken painstaking care to track my nutritional requirments and have my blood tested regularly to insure all is well. I supplement with CO Q 10 (400 mg), B 12 and occassionaly Di Ribose for a little pick me up for really active days. I limit my salt substitute - seaweed when possible, really limit my sugar, no processed foods at all, only whole grains when I do eat them, use coconut, olive and grapeseed oils when needed, and make my own plant based cheeses, and milks. I get my omega's from ground flax seeds or chia seeds or Hemp seeds. I have a pacemaker implant which I wish I hadn't been so quick to accept. I said no twice but finally gave in when they told me I would be going on the transplant list, that I have avoided. I swim three times a week and walk for at least a mile everyday. I still don't have staying power for intense exercise but at least I feel normal most of the time.
I truly believe that diet has really helped. It's never to late to change my 91 year old mother in law has switched to the same diet and she is loving it. It really is an exciting and tasty way to go. Good luck to you. If you haven't seen Forks over Knives it is a good introduction and reference work. There are lots of good videos on going vegan, raw vegan, juicing and green smoothies.

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Atirra, that is great to read! glad you are doing so well. and your mother, too!

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