I ran into an acquaintance at a conference a while back. We got to talking about vitamins. (Somehow I always end up talking about vitamins; I could bore a stone.)
Doctors recently installed her second pacemaker. She said her ejection fraction–the force with which her heart pumps blood–was ten. Normal is fifty and north; zero is dead.
Lunch came with the conference, and my exhausted, skinny-minny friend wondered if she dared eat anything since the doctor told her to avoid salt.
During lunch she mentioned the doctor wanted her cholesterol to go lower. What was it? 170. Well, gloryosky! No wonder she’s dragging. I blurted out that her cholesterol was already too low, and she’d be better off at 200 or higher.
I started talking about the problems of low cholesterol, but, though I spoke with humor, in a low-key, casual way, the conversation seemed to make her tense. I backed off.
So I’ll tell you what I wanted to tell her.
First of all, sodium, salt, is an electrolyte. If you noticed a similarity to electricity in that word, you got it right. Electrolytes work like spark plugs to keep things going. The heart being one of those things that need electrolytes to keep on keeping on.
But medical schools teach doctors to hate salt. Blood pressure a notch above medicine’s preferred, artificially low standard results in orders to avoid salt. Which is bunk.
High blood pressure comes from a lack of potassium, another electrolyte, not an overabundance of salt. Potassium and sodium play off each other, and balancing them is critical. Back in the day, doctors used potassium to lower blood pressure. Worked great!
Potassium supplements are a joke, though. Your government in action read somebody’s tea leaves years ago and set a maximum of 99mg per potassium pill. Since our bodies need something like 4000mg just to maintain the status quo, and more if there’s a problem, it is to laugh. While crying.
However, salt substitutes contain potassium chloride, and your local grocery store will be more than happy to sell you some. Don’t, however, use energy drinks for their potassium; in addition to potassium they have high fructose corn syrup and bromine, two very bad actors.
The beauty of getting extra potassium while not reducing salt is the support you give to your electrolytes which, as I said, keep things going.
Do switch to sea salt, though. Unlike processed-to-death table salt, it’s loaded with the trace minerals we need.
Secondly, the doctor had the lady on a statin drug to lower her already-too-low cholesterol. Many, many problems with this scenario.
The pharmaceutical companies never tested statin drugs on women, but the FDA approved them anyway. Women got to be guinea pigs–even without signing informed consent papers.
Statin drugs do more harm than good to men, and they don’t do any good at all to women. Women get all side effects, but no benefits. Lots of studies say so, but the statin bandwagon only picks up steam.
Statin drugs damage your liver. You could protect your liver by taking CoQ10, but doctors rarely mention nutritional supplements. Statins can also destroy your muscles. Read the paper that comes with the prescription–quickly, before your brain takes a hike. It says statins can do a very big and serious number on you.
And the warning paper doesn’t even mention that statins contradict our body’s need for cholesterol. The brain relies on healthy cholesterol levels, as does the endocrine system–thyroid, adrenals, etc. We can’t produce sex hormones without cholesterol. To sum up then, we can’t think, our metabolism slows down, we have no energy and our libido dies without cholesterol. Could doctors scare anybody into taking statins if patients knew about that scenario?
My friend trusts her doctor, but he’s killing her. By following medical guidelines. And these guidelines will be come law if socialized medicine wins the day. We live in perilous times.