How I Avoided the Death Rattle – Part 1
“You need open heart surgery immediately. But you would not likely survive it. We believe you have a year at most, sorry. Your polycystic kidney disease tends to decline in concert with your diabetes and heart disease. Diabetes aggravates the kidneys and also causes heart failure. The weakened kidneys exacerbate your diabetes and heart disease. They all are inter-related. In short they are caused by and aggravate each other. Even excluding your bladder cancer (currently in remission) and respiratory conditions, without surgery, there is little hope” (Jan 2021).
They were so definitive that I fully accepted my expiry date. I prepared to die. There are sophisticated longevity calculators where doctors plug in all your relevant conditions and detailed statistical data, such as like left ventricular ejection factor ( LVEF), all your current blood test data, especially Nt-ProBnp, HS troponin, as well as measures of inflammation (eg HS-Crp, homocysteine). This simpler calculator, the SAPS II Calculator: Simplified Acute Physiology II (1) SAPS I. than they used to predict my longevity.
I believe I have lived on, long after my expiry data because of a series of unconventional and even one illegal drug therapy. Dr Strum, my friend in California has suggested a number of unconventional therapies. He is a retired oncologist/hemotologist with a record of highly successful therapies, in particular, for prostate cancer. Many of his suggestions are unconventional supplements. As one study noted “In the last 20 years, over 60% of new drugs for the treatment of cancer and 75% of new drugs used to treat infectious diseases were of natural health products”.
He has provided me with links to many studies which have resulted in my taking several unconventional drug therapies and one illegal one.
1. Crataegutt 1442. A highly processed Hawthorne product from Germany.
2. Vascepa a highly processed fish oil containing only EPA But not DHA
3. Vasparel. (Trimedizine.) Illegal in North America but widely used in Europe. (The drug found in the young Russian female skater in recent Winter Olympics)
1. Crataegutt 1442
The first drug he recommended was “crataegutt 1442” I reviewed the research he provided, “WS 1442 reduced sudden cardiac death by 39.7% “In another, “The data show that Crataegus extract WS 1442 is clinically effective in patients with congestive heart failure corresponding to NYHA class II.” ( I’m 2-3.) And in another study “On the basis of this variable, a clear improvement in the performance of the heart was shown in the group receiving the test substance, while the condition of the placebo group progressively worsened”.
In the largest randomized double blind study ( SPICE trial) concluded that crataegutt 1442 led to increased longevity and quality of life, “Randomized, controlled trials in patients with heart failure have demonstrated that the herbal medicinal product increases functional capacity, alleviates disabling symptoms, and improves health-related quality of life, all of which have become important targets of heart failure therapy according to current disease management guidelines”.
“In addition, active treatment led, in comparison with placebo, to a considerably better quality of life for the patient, in particular with respect to mental well-being.”
Elsewhere, “Scientific studies now demonstrate that these extracts generate a dual effect: they help to prevent —and reverse the disease-progression indicators of existing cardiovascular disease.”
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Aging Well Support Group.
How I Avoided the Death Rattle – Part 2
Dr Strum encouraged me to get my plasma omega 3 fatty acids tested to determine if they were out of whack. It’s not a common test but my local LifeLabs office does it for $77. He believes that these critical fatty acids are like a thermostat in the body. They affect inflammation as well as many other functions in the body, especially the heart. I had mine tested and I was out of whack on 3 of the most critical readings. Fish oils is the recommended treatment, preferable through diet, research on fish oil supplements has been spotty. Until. . . VASCEPA a highly processed EPA only fish oil. ( over $300 per month by prescription) can help. Vacepa startled the medical world in the now famous “RE-DUCE IT” trial. If you have heart disease or diabetes and raised triglycerides “VASCEPA can help lower your chance of a life-threatening heart attack or stroke by 25% when added to a statin.” In another study “Notably, the risk of sudden cardiac death was reduced by about 50 percent” . In the more recent Japan EPA Lipid Intervention Study (JELIS), participants who took EPA plus a cholesterol-lowering statin were less likely to have a major coronary event (sudden cardiac death, fatal or nonfatal heart attack, unstable angina, or a procedure to open or bypass a narrowed or blocked coronary artery) than those who took a statin alone. Interestingly, a recent Canadian study in multiple hospitals across Canada VACEPA proved to be effective in controlling inflammation in ICU Covid patients! My family doctor had never heard of it. My cardiac surgeon wasn’t interested in hearing about it. I’ve been taking the full dosage for 6 months and my recent omega 3 fatty acid blood test shows I am the sweet spot on all three of the measures I was previously out on. On the life lab report it stated for one measure, “omega-3 whole blood test scores in the highest quartile, 6.1% -10.2 % , were associated with an 80% lower risk of sudden death, than 2.1-4.3 %. ( first test mine was 2.6%.) after 2 months on VACEPA, “your whole blood score was 10.1%”
3. Vasparel ( trimedizine).
Vasparel is not an approved drug in Canada or the United States. It is illegal here. Dr Strum sent me some articles by Dr Gary Lopashuck at the University of Alberta about the way the heart uses energy to function. Lopaschuk notes that
“The heart needs a constant and plentiful source of fuel to maintain normal pump function. The main source of fuel for the heart is normally a combination of carbohydrates and fatty acids. However, in many forms of heart disease, fatty acids dominate as a source of fuel. For example, in uncontrolled diabetes or following a heart attack, almost all the energy needed by the heart is obtained from fatty acids. This is detrimental to the heart and can compromise heart function. However, pharmacological agents which either inhibit fatty acid use by the heart, or increase carbohydrate use, are beneficial to the heart following a heart attack.”
Dr Lopaschuk has over published over 500 peer reviewed articles on the heart, particularly about how the heart consumes energy. Dr Strum had previously recommended I try Trimedizine in a reduced dose because of my kidney disease. It is also Dr Lopaschuk’s recommended drug to rebalance the fatty acid/carbohydrate ratio in a failing heart. https://cardiab.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2840-2-16
How I Avoided the Death Rattle – Part 3
None of my current 6 Ontario doctors have ever answered a single email from me. I completely understand why it is standard medical practice. However I have found medical physician researchers publish their emails as they need to be open to collaboration with other researcher. But they are not normally available for medical diagnosis and treatment. I sent him an email using every ploy I could to increase the chances of a response. I gambled that he was Ukrainian so I signed it by my middle name “Yaroslaw” Dr Diakiw, York University ( retired) and a link to “Growing up Ukrainan in Toronto” Toronto Star. I explained I had read every one of his recent articles I could find and that I wondered if I was a good candidate for trimedizine. I listed all my relevant diseases and specific heart data such as LVEF as well as a list of all my medications. He responded quickly
With decreased kidney function you should be careful taking trimetazidine. Of course, this same caution applies to a number of the other drugs you are taking. Based on your condition I would suggest that trimetazidine would be a good choice. Your conditions are consistent with an impaired glucose oxidation in the heart and an excessive reliance on fatty acid oxidation. Trimetazidine would help reverse this metabolic change. Your dosing strategy does look logical. I am including a paper on some of the energy metabolic changes that occur in the failing heart.
The drug is not available anywhere in North America and none of my doctors were willing to prescribe an illegal drug. I found a Vasperal factory in Turkey so I used an online blank prescription form and prescribed it, signed Dr Jerry Diakiw. After paying for it with a SWIFT payment at my bank a 6 month supply arrived quickly.
In one of dozens of studies it stated “The available data suggest that therapy combining trimetazidine and hemodynamic drugs is effective in patients with chronic heart failure, leading to additional benefits such as improvement in left ventricular function, exercise tolerance and quality of life.( https://moh-it.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/the-clinical-benefits-provided-by-trimetazidine-vastarel-mr-in-le)
4. Acety L-Carnitine (L- Carnitine )
Another supplement Dr Strum Recommended for me for my diabetes and heart issues was L-Carnitine. He takes 3 grams in liguid form daily as I do now. Some studies demonstrate a potential for reducing blood pressure and the inflammatory process associated with heart disease.
In one study, 2 grams of acetyl-L-carnitine per day resulted in an almost 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure. L-carnitine is also linked to improvements in patients with severe heart disorders, such as coronary heart disease and chronic heart failure. One 12-month study observed a reduction in heart failure and deaths among participants who took L-carnitine supplements.
Of note: L-Carnitine is well known as a weigh loss supplement and it is also claimed to have neuro-degenerative benefits. I take 3grams liquid L-Carnitine every day on an empty stomach.
While widely regarded as a beneficial supplement none of my doctors have ever recommended it, except for Dr Strum. It is particularly recommended for those taking statins as statins deplete Coq10. There is a vast literature on its health benefits. It has studies showing benefit to the heart, diabetes, cancer skin condition and many others. I took the plasma Coq10 test at Dynacare Lab ($110.) and I am now in the optimum zone.
I am certain this unconventional battery of drugs/supplements, have extended my life. None of any one of these have been suggested or prescribed by any of my 6 specialists . Yet I highly regard each and every one of them. It’s just impossible with the proliferation of medical research for any of them to keep up the constant flood of research. I have stopped taking my blood pressure medication I was taking for decades. This battery of drugs has now resulted in my blood pressure in the optimum range (under 120/70). My blood sugar level has dropped significantly and I have reduced my insulin shots for 20 units per day to 8. I am in the target zone over 90% of the time. (the target is over 70%. All my 3 omega3 readings are in the sweet spot, as is my CoQ10 blood plasma readings. Since I started taking L-Arginine I have lost weight without effort. I’m in good spirits and feel I have a high quality of life despite my continued breathlessness on effort. But I now feel I can live forever. I have avoided the predicted ‘death rattle’. . . . For now!
Thank you for taking the time to relate your research on particular supplements. My own experience is similar. In 1999 I was sick with something all the time, from ear or sinus infections to other things. I started taking various supplements and within 6 months I was symptom free. So, again thanks for telling us about your journey