Monday, October 25, 2010


My heart rate has been going nuts off and on since late August.  This happened once before, long ago. I remember wearing a heart monitor for a couple of days and then being told it was no big deal -- it just happens sometimes.  So I've been expecting this heart craziness to just go away.  But actually it's been getting worse.  

Finally I turned to Dr. Christiane Northrup's The Wisdom of Menopause and read, "At midlife our hearts and bodies often become increasingly sensitive to those things that don't serve us, like caffeine, aspartame, or monosodium glutamate, all of which may over stimulate our hearts."  Since the rapid heart rate subsides by evening, I connected it to my morning coffee, and decided to quit. I've gone three days without and most of the rapid heart beat has stopped. However, I'm continuing to read about heart disease. 

This morning I read a fascinating interview from last October in the Huffington Post between Kathy Freston and with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.  This was the part that put me into a tailspin:

In autopsy studies of our GI's who died in the Vietnam and Korean wars almost 80% at an average age of 20 years, had (heart) disease that could be seen without a microscope. Forty years later in 1999, a study of young persons between the ages of 16-34 years who have died of accidents, homicides and suicides, finds the disease is now ubiquitous.
I have a lot of kids in that age group, and I think that report is a lot scarier than my own heart palpitations.  In fact it gives me heart palpitations.  Did I cause this by feeding them wrong?  It turns out YES!  I did.  Out of ignorance.  

I'm so depressed!

The good news is that the damage is reversible.  The bad news is that their eating habits are their own.  They've flown the coop.  Except Alice who is really chunkier than any of them were at 13.  And we're living in Mexico where the child obesity rate is the highest in the world (the US is first in adult obesity).  This happens not just because parents are ignorant.  It's because junk food and fatty foods are served EVERYWHERE including school.  Alice definitely has a taste for it.  So although I'm feeding her fruits and vegetables at every opportunity, I'm not sure I can balance the damage.

How do you talk to a 13 year old about heart disease?  Diabetes?  The Mexican government IS trying to figure that out.  

Thank goodness that according to Dr. Esselstyn the damage IS reversible.  Hope you'll read the HP article.  

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