Heart-related Problems
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Fred
Posted on: May 10, 1999

I am 38 years old and for 15 years have been on Lanoxin, and Atenerlol for atrial fibrilation and high blood presure. I also have a history of stomach problems and have been on Tagmet for about the same period of time. Recently I have been awakened at night with fluid or digested food being lodged in my throat. I am now on Previcid to control that, but I am always in discomfort with cramping and stomach pains. I feel like my health is deteriorating quickly, and cannot get control. My cholesterol was recently taken, and was 330. I am trying to exercise and change my diet, but I always feel terrible. I recently purchased flax seed oil, and Garlinase 4000. Will either of these make a difference, and would there be any negative interactions or repercussions with my current medication? What can I do to feel better, and live a more normal lifestyle? I just want to be healthy.

Your best bet would be to work on your stomach and reflux problems with diet and herbs and consult your doctor about decreasing these particular medications as you start to feel better. Your doctor may be able to help you now by identifying your stomach and reflux problems so that you can use non-drug treatments specific to your problem.

In general, to heal your stomach and gastro-intestinal tract, you want to use food and herbs that are soothing and healing, inhibit bacteria and stimulate the immune system and avoid anything that is irritant such as spices, aspirin, fatty and fried food, food additives and alcohol. The diet should be high in fresh fruit and vegetables and low in meat. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are heart protective.

Food allergies may be implicated, so you might want to keep a food diary, noting improvements or aggravation of symptoms with certain foods. Common food allergies include dairy products, gluten, oranges, chocolate and eggs.

The following are effective and should not interfere with your medication.

Flax is beneficial for heart and digestive problems. Flax is best taken as the seed, ground in a coffee grinder and added to cereal or other food. It has a pleasant nutty taste and is easier assimilated in this form. The mucilage in flax will help with digestion and reflux. It is highly nutritious, providing essential fatty acids that are essential to the growth of body cells, breaks down cholesterol deposits.

Fresh garlic, 3 cloves a day is cholesterol lowering, heart protective and antibiotic. I do not know whether the garlic supplement Garlinase is equally effective.

Slippery Elm powder, taken by mixing the powder into a paste and then adding water or milk, or sprinkling on cereal, provides a protective coating to the intestinal tract to protect against acid. One quarter to one teaspoon per cup. This may be taken freely throughout the day and especially at night before bed.

Chamomile Tea is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and calming. It is healing, calming and improves digestion. One teaspoon per cup of boiling water, covered and steeped for 10 minutes. This may be taken freely throughout the day.

Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, digestive, helpful in stomach disorders, lowers cholesterol, is protective of the liver and helps detoxification in the liver. It is a spice sold as a powder. One to two grams may be taken daily.

Raising the top (head) end of your bed with bricks under the bed legs will help with the night reflux.

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