getting rid of pacemaker

Has anyone ever heard of curing the need for a pacemaker after having one implanted?

I wonder if I can do it with diet changes.


8 Comments

I Did

by Swangirl - 2020-11-28 22:24:07

Years ago I was in a highly stressful job and got a pacemaker implanted for tachy-brady.  I learned better coping skills, reduced my stress, and got a new job that was a better fit for me.  No one wanted to take the pacemaker out even though it never paced.  Finally I talked a doctor into removing it and for ten years my heart was great on it's on.  Unfortunately an endocrinologist prescribed Armour Thyroid for hypothyroidism and my heart developed a lethal arrhythmia .  I went to the ER and eventually got a dual lead pacemaker for heart block stage 1 that went to a complete block. 

I do eat a whole food plant based diet and I think that contributes to health but there are many factors which create the kind of heart problems people have on this site.  It can't hurt to eat a healthy diet but I doubt if it would be a cure.  .  

Why not ?

by Gemita - 2020-11-29 03:49:47

Oh Ed, it sounds as though you are just starting out on life’s journey full of enthusiasm.  If anyone can cure the need for their pacemaker, it will surely be you and when you have found that magic ingredient, will you share your secret please? 

I live in the UK and I feel that our wonderful health system (most of the time!) would never implant a pacemaker until and unless it was needed.  Of course there are always exceptions.  I cannot though imagine your doctors would wish to remove your pacemaker even if you cured your condition Ed through diet alone, because the risks of explantation and the possibility of needing a pacemaker in your future, particularly at your age, are quite high.

I got my pacemaker for SSS (specifically tachy/brady syndrome) and to help stabilize my body when I became faint.  It was also put in to enable my doctor to pump lots of medication into me to try to stop my crazy heart rate from sometimes hitting over 300 bpm in the atrium (upper chamber).  Of course the downside of taking lots of medication is that it can cause adverse symptoms in the opposite direction and before my pacemaker, my heart rate was falling too low, actually causing syncope.  Hence the pacemaker was implanted and set at a minimum rate to keep me well balanced and it is working beautifully most of the time.  I could happily get rid of a lot in my body, but my little metal device, no.

Can a change in diet change the need for a pacemaker?   For some maybe though the need for a pacemaker depends on so many health factors as you can well imagine.  Maybe the damage has already be done through diet/lifestyle and cannot be reversed.  Some people may have widespread blood vessel/arterial damage through long term high blood pressure, fatty deposits blocking arteries making their hearts work harder and triggering electrical disturbances, eventually requiring a pacemaker.

Some folks were born with heart defects before they even set their tiny feet into this world so we cannot blame diet for their electrical problems, leading to the need for a pacemaker, can we?    But yes, for some though a change in diet and lifestyle may be all that is needed.

For example, we know that some conditions causing inflammation in the body may lead to a massive autoimmune response causing widespread disease.  I am thinking here conditions like coeliac disease, allergy, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, Lupus, Crohn's disease, Sarcoidosis.  In some cases these conditions may be triggered and fuelled by certain foods (e.g. eating too many refined carbohydrates which rapidly converts to sugar in the body can lead to diabetes).  Cut these foods out and you may improve your health condition or even reverse it.  However ageing itself which cannot be reversed can lead to the need for a pacemaker as our bodies naturally break down.  None of us can live for ever, can we.   But you ask a valid question Ed.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research

by quikjraw - 2020-11-29 07:50:40

It does make me wonder if there is research needed in this area. It may have been done, I'm not sure.

I have learnt in the last three weeks in my early journey that clearly with certain symptoms the medical community have no choice but to implant a pacemaker as the consequences of not doing so can be dangerous. However is there any evidence in non-congenital situations that certain issues are temporary and not likely to happen again?

I've seen studies that show alcoholism has shown temporary evidence of heart electrical issues but  I've not looked deep enough to see if there is any link with poor diet. I suspect inflammation would be good to avoid and this can be done with certain diets.

Inflammation has been implicated in many diseases including cancer so anything you can do with diet to keep the inflammation load down is well worth it.

It still gets complicated though for the medical community. I have had blood tests before when numerous joints and my eyes are inflammed but my bloods came back unremarkable? 

I guess the problem with a study of this type would be that you would need to follow up people for decades and closely monitor them? 

 

Reversal of condition(s) that had made a PM necessary

by crustyg - 2020-11-29 08:22:20

The obvious one that springs to mind is Lyme myocarditis - treat that with the correct antibiotics and the heart conduction issue disappears.  There are academic reports about this.  So, in theory, almost any inflammation that affects the special conductive tissue in the heart *might* be reversible, restoring normal conduction.  The trouble is that inflammation often leaves behind fibrous or scar tissue and that's useless for conducting electrical impulses.

The iron overload damage of haemochromatosis, which is a very well known cause of conduction defects, *might* be reversible - it's not one that I know for certain is reversible, but that's why *everyone* presenting with a new conduction defect (except the anterior MI patients) gets a ferritin level.

In general, diligent doctors are careful to exclude reversible conditions before implanting a PM - some perhaps more diligent than others.  There *might* be a few patients who were implanted and didn't need a PM (I think we've seen contributions here about this), but in general, a change of diet alone is unlikely to cure a real pathology.  Without rehashing the macro-biotic diets for cancer, the laetrile delusion era, in general real diseases need real treatments.  Even Steve Jobs acknowledged that his fatal cancer might have done better if he'd followed a more traditional route of treatment in the early stages.  Medical science does *not* have all the answers, but, in general, the treatments recommended have been subjected to real, objective scrutiny which is more than all the others can claim (no flame wars, please, I don't have the energy).  And just because a treatment or diet is 'Natural' doesn't mean it can't kill you.  Atropa Belladona, Digitalis Purpurea, Catharanthus Roseus are all natural and are used in scientific medicine, and all can easily kill you.

A PM is a Cheap Fast Way to Eliminate Dr. Liability

by Swangirl - 2020-11-29 14:23:53

I had an HMO (never again!) with no opportunity for a second opinion or another provider.  The PM was the easiest way to eliminate the liability for my then cardiologist.  I know we don't want to entertain that idea on this site that doctors think about covering their own A__and I'm sure I'll get push back for saying this.  I didn't need a PM when I got it at 46.  I needed a much more conservative approach.  This set in motion other doctors who said they had never removed a pacemaker without a replacement and I had to get another one when the battery expired even though it registered >.1 (the pacemaker won't register zero).   When I needed one at 76 (maybe because of the interference with the old PM's over time) my cardiologist worked diligently to help my heart return to normal rhythm before we finally decided together that a new PM was needed.    

diet

by Tracey_E - 2020-11-29 14:27:15

A well built house with good plumbing can still have wiring issues. A good diet keeps our arteries clear. Exercise keeps the heart muscle strong. Our problems are electrical so while diet and exercise are important, it's not going to cure the electrical problems.

good summary

by quikjraw - 2020-11-30 05:51:40

That is a good summary of the heart Tracey for people who do not understand all the different issues.

I wonder in a few years more will be understood about the electrical issues with the heart and other factors not mentioned by crusty_G.

I have changed my mind over the years about how I think about viruses. I had the old idea idea that getting a virus ultimately makes you stronger as your immune system learns ways of defeating them next time you come across them so all good. Now I realise a whole host of secondary effects can come from viruses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diet

by sandoval - 2020-11-30 11:35:58

I've read many times that 99% of heart attacks are connected to diabetes (unknown diabetes in most cases) and diabetes is insulin resistance which is too much sugar in the blood so that means diet can take care of the plumbing but not too sure about arrythmias. Low carb diet didn't stop me getting atrial flutter.

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I am just now 40 but have had these blackouts all my life. I am thrilled with the pacer and would do it all over again.