My heart is healthy and the Cardiologist said "Chocolate is good for you"!!!

@mentalward (14695)
United States
July 30, 2009 4:51pm CST
Yes, you heard me right... okay, you read me right... the cardiologist told me that there's nothing wrong with eating chocolate, as long as it's done in moderation. WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Okay, the main reason for this discussion is to let you know that, after all the doctors, all the tests and, most likely, the thousands of dollars all this has cost, my heart is healthy!!! (At least, until the bills start coming in.) My problem is stress. Also, because of my cholesterol level being higher than what they like to see, I've been put on Crestor and also on a calcium channel blocker to control the palpitations and even out my pulse rate. The cardiologist said that palpitations as I've been experiencing are not too uncommon and that they were not showing up at all while I was having the stress test! Of course, they made up for it right AFTER the stress test! They came back, with a vengeance! At least I know that my heart is healthy and is getting adequate blood and oxygen supplies. So, I'm now on Crestor and Diltiazem. Here's the discussion question: Have you had a health scare concerning your heart? What was done? Are you on any medications like the ones I'm on now? (I have no idea what to expect from these meds which is why I'm asking that.) Any side-effects? Sorry, I know that's a bunch of questions but, if you can answer just one, I'll be a happy camper. Thanks!
7 people like this
21 responses
@marguicha (102278)
• Chile
30 Jul 09
I had serious palpitations many years ago, just before my youngest daughter got married. I had to sit down or I thought I would just fall. The doctor did al kinds odf tests and there was nothing wrong with mu heart but the palpitations were there. So, very softly, he asked whether I would consider seeing a psychiatrist. I answered I had thought of that too, but after the marriage took place as I didn´t have time. The palpitations disappeared the day of the wedding
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
Stress sure can do some strange things to us, can't it? I'm happy to hear that yours went away, WITHOUT needing to see a psychiatrist! Weddings can certainly be stressful! I remember my mother lost about 25 pounds just trying to get my sister's wedding put together. I'm still having the palpitations, although I don't feel the least bit stressed right now. I've been battling a seven-year war with Social Security to approve me for disability and, after my last hearing in the middle of February, there's no way they CAN'T deny me again, so I've been waiting, every day, for some word to come in the mail. When it doesn't, day after day, week after week, the stress has been building. Bills, especially medical bills, are pouring in and I can't pay them. That adds more stress. Of course, there's my husband who can be a total jerk at times, adding to my stress level. He's behaving himself now because he was worried that I might have serious heart problems and that he may have caused them. So, he's been treating me like gold... well, silver, anyway. I've just taken my first dose of my new medications so I'll have to see how I'm feeling tomorrow, or a week from now. I'm to have blood work done in two months to see if my cholesterol level is down (it's not too bad, only 260) and I have an appointment on August 10 with a new doctor, one who has been my rheumatologist but is also an internist. I like her a LOT better than my old doctor.
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
30 Jul 09
I'm glad to see that your heart is healthy I don't have any heart problems yet *knock on wood* although they wouldn't surprise me since heart problems run rampant through my familys history. Did the Cardiologist explain "moderation" to you in regards to chocolate?
@jb78000 (15173)
30 Jul 09
oh that's obvious - any more than a couple of pounds is clearly overdoing it
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
30 Jul 09
Thanks, fwidman! The doc only said "moderation" but, well, you know, an elephant could probably pack away some chocolate! So, I'll eat what would be "moderate" to an elephant. It's a relevance thing, you know. I honestly wasn't surprised to find nothing wrong with my heart because no one else in my family has ever had heart issues, to my knowledge. I believed all along that it was stress, which is why I waited a week or so before seeing my doctor. He's the one who freaked and sent me right to the ER, which didn't do me any good because he had me freaking! It's just that these non-stop palpitations and erratic pulse came on so suddenly. That's why I was a good girl and did what I was told, going through all these tests. Oh, by the way, some people have told me that the stress test is HORRIBLE but it's not so bad. I managed. I wasn't smiling through it, but I managed. Actually, I think I do remember joking during the last stage, where the treadmill speeds up and the incline is heightened. I said, "I'm NEVER going mountain climbing!" So, it's off to the store now for more chocolate. I've already gone through what I already had here since coming from the cardiologist's office and need to restock. Gotta stay healthy, right? (Just kidding... I don't eat much chocolate as it is, it's just that, when the urge strikes, ya gotta have it!)
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
30 Jul 09
I would say moderation is more like one small piece of chocolate every few weeks LOL
@commanderxo (1496)
• Canada
25 Aug 09
A while ago, I was talking to my childhood buddy who told me that his doctor had put him on cholesterol pills. I chuckled and said: "Oh come on, you're not that old are you?" He's the same age as me...57 (will be 58 come this November). Well, two days later I had to see my doctor about an eye infection. While I was there, my doctor says that of my last visit, my cholesterol level was through the roof, and now he's put me on Crestor. Of course I was shocked at this bit of NEW information....and of course, I haven't told my childhood buddy...too embarrassed! cdrxo
• Canada
30 Aug 09
Doesn't it just make ya SICK, that we can't eat the way we'd like to?!!! cdrxo
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
3 Aug 09
It's going on 4 years that I was in to see my ob/gyn and he told me I had an irregular heart beat. Which was strange because I had seen him and my GP and various other doctors less than 6 months prior. He told me "get thee to a cardiologist" but we were right in the process of moving so I managed to procrastinate it about 8 months. When I did finally get in to see one, he did all kinds of tests and determined that it was benign. So I'm not taking any medication for it, just going in every year to have it checked.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
3 Aug 09
PS on eating chocolate!!!
@savak03 (6678)
• United States
1 Aug 09
But honestly, who can eat chocolate in moderation? Seriously though at one time my doctor told me my cholesterol was very high. He prescribed a medication for me and I took it for a few months but then I quit. I spent the next several years eating fast food and TV dinners so I figured I was a heart attack waiting to happen. When I moved to Tennessee with my daughter I had to get a new doctor and of course I had all that blood work done again. Boy was I surprised to find that my cholesterol was just fine. Somewhere between all those hamburgers and fried chicken I must have found the miracle cure for high cholesterol. It's a shame I don't know what it was. I could be rich!
@savak03 (6678)
• United States
4 Aug 09
Relevance is a very important word. I do like the way you think. That's kinda like saying it's 5 oclock somewhere, right?
@neildc (17253)
• Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
31 Jul 09
hi mentalward, my dear friend. it's great to hear that you finally know what is really wrong with you, at least your heart is in good condition. good thing though, that you have some funds your medical check-ups, etc. my wife still have heart problem, though the doctor can't tell what the real cause or what should be done. we have no funds for medical check-ups, stress test, etc. and here goes my kid too, sleep test. oh, i need a lot of money to be able, at least know what causes their sleep problem and high-blood and so on. with myself, i just keep it to me. whenever i feel something, i just keep quiet, and do not show them how i feel or what i feel. if i can find a remedy, i just to it myself. take care, dear friend... neil
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
Thank you so much, neil. I'm so happy to know that my heart is fine and my problem is mostly stress. It's scary to think that you may have heart problems because that's a serious thing! We really don't have the funds for these tests. My husband has health insurance through his job, but we have to pay $400.00 a month for this insurance and so far it has barely paid for anything. It paid $14.00 of a bill for $150.00, and $121.00 of a bill that was $400.00, but has paid for nothing else. They keep telling us that they don't feel that these tests or doctor's visits are necessary. That's the major problem we have in this country. Health insurance companies decide what they will pay and what they won't. They don't care what the doctors say. Hopefully, that will be resolved soon in this country. I fully expect to receive even more bills for these new tests. We already owe over $5,000.00 in medical expenses that we can't pay. If I'm ever approved for disability, they should pay these medical bills. I just have no idea when, or even IF, I'll ever be approved. I'm sending you a PM because I have something to say to you that I'd rather not say here.
@neildc (17253)
• Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
31 Jul 09
I think medical insurance runs almost the same with yours. There are lots of insurance agencies, medical insurance rather, and they are doing not exactly the same. I mean, one insurance company has this kind of package, only for dental or only for accident, and so on. Mostly, we are just paying for the premiums, but those insured never used them. Another year will just come after a year, and you have to pay again for another year. BTW, I already received your message and I guess you already received my reply by this time. Take care my dear friend...
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
30 Jul 09
well it is great to know that you are okay that is the main thing. I know what you mean about those bills they will be something. I am so fortunate that we don't have to pay that here in canada, that would kill me for sure. No I have never had heart trouble, my issues are diabetes, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure and thyroid, and IBS
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
I'm hoping that I'll be approved for disability before these bills start rolling in! With the disability, I should be approved for Medicare and that should cover every single medical bill I've incurred in the past 9 years, because I should have been approved from the start. I can sympathize with you about the fibromyalgia, IBS and high blood pressure because I have them, too. My BP is totally controlled by medication, thankfully. My blood sugar is borderline, hovering between 93 and 103 but, even at 103, it's nothing to worry about, or so I've been told. It's probably higher right now because I was told to take it easy until they could determine what was causing my heart problems and I've put on 8 pounds in the last 4 weeks because I haven't been able to be as active as I usually am. Thankfully, I was given the okay to resume my normal activities so, hopefully, I'll be able to take those 8 pounds back off as fast as I put them on. I was concerned about my heart problems being caused by Lupus because my rheumatologist said that I may have a mild case of it, which causes inflammation of various organs. I was very glad to hear that wasn't the case. It's purely stress. Once I'm approved for disability, most of my stress will disappear. I'm glad to hear that you don't have to worry about medical bills! At least that's one thing you have that I don't. We're supposed to get health care reform in the very near future but who knows if or when that will happen. It will probably go into effect the day I'm approved for disability and Medicare! Life, huh? Wishing you well on all your health issues! May they soon find cures for each one of them.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
31 Jul 09
well I hope you get your disabiity and the medicare both are important to everyone who needs them
@AmbiePam (50134)
• United States
30 Jul 09
I heard the medical community say dark chocolate is healthy, but I'm more of a milk chocolate or white chocolate person. It seemed like every other headline or article was chocolate is healthy! And then I read the articles and was sadly disappointed. Dark chocolate - ugh. Although I guess a regular Hershey's Kiss won't hurt me every now and then. lol A person has to have some milk chocolate some time.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
I'm exactly like you, Pam. I can't stand dark chocolate but LOVE milk chocolate and white chocolate! The cardiologist did NOT specify dark chocolate, though. He simply said "chocolate". It's really like most other things... anything in moderation. I agree wholeheartedly that a person has to have chocolate! It's cheaper and easier to get than antidepressants and everyone knows what chocolate does to our endorphins!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50134)
• United States
31 Jul 09
Hee hee Since he's the heart guy, I'll take his word for it. Look out chocolate, here I come!
@ElicBxn (60895)
• United States
30 Jul 09
I'm so glad to hear that your heart is healthy! The only time I ever worried about my heart was when I went to the hospital because everyone told me to, but I figured it was just my costochondritis and it was... http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/costochondritis/ds00626
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
Wow! I had never heard of that before, even though when I was a typesetter, I worked for a year on a series of textbooks called, "The Heart". I thought I knew everything there was to know about it, even things that could be mistaken for heart problems. That sounds like it is awfully painful, especially when your chest is constantly moving from breathing! Does it flare often? I was once stung by a hornet on my toe. Pain went all the way up to my hip. Man, it hurt! My mother was freaking and insisted on taking me to the ER because I am allergic to spider venom. When the ER doctor came in he asked me what I was doing there. I said, "Wishing I was home!" He got a chuckle out of it, said that I was having a very typical reaction to a full dose of hornet venom, gave me a secanol (sp?) and told me it was going to itch like crazy once the stinging stopped. (It did!) Sometimes, I guess we just have to do what we're told just to calm THEM down. This time, it was my doctor I had to calm down, although I've had a horrible two weeks trying to get it through his thick skull that I needed him to set up a stress test, not a 30-day event monitor, not another echocardiogram and not another Holter monitor, the idiot! (Yeah, they really were screwed up... he even tried to send me to another cardiologist AFTER sending me to the first one.) This is the doctor I've had issues with but he was the only one I could see within a week and I didn't feel like going to the ER. After this mix-up, I've already started filing complaints against his practice with the medical board because this is the third time I've had major issues with him and his staff. He's potentially dangerous! I have an appointment with my new (and MUCH better) doctor on August 10th. But, at least I know for certain now that my heart is healthy AND I can still eat chocolate!
1 person likes this
@erikmama (12929)
• United States
1 Aug 09
Im glad your visit went good first of all. getting a good bill of health is always wonderful. its been told for years a little bit of shocolate is good fir you.Datk choc.especially!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
3 Aug 09
Yeah, dark chocolate is the stuff that is actually good for us. The trouble is, I don't like dark chocolate. I told this to my cardiologist and he said that even milk chocolate and white chocolate are okay as long as we don't overdo it. A little every now and then won't hurt us. I'm so happy that I don't have to give up my occasional chocolate "fixes"!
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Aug 09
That's great news! Stress can cause a lot of issues that can lead us to thinking it's a serious health problem. I had the exact same thing happen to me. My heart evened out fine during the stress teat but before that I had to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours. My heart was skipping every third beat and really acting up when I would relax. I didn't have to take any medicines after they deemed me healthy but it was scary thinking I might not be. I don't even have the problem anymore. My friend took Crestor and it lowered their colesterol within a couple of months. They never had any side effects.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Aug 09
My heart did the exact same during the stress test, no palpitations. It made up for it afterward, though! Mine was three normal beats, then a double-beat, three normal beats, double-beat, like that. Occasionally, I would have five normal beats between palpitations, or seven, but usually it was 3 normal beats, one double-beat. That double-beat FELT like my heart was doing a back-flip and trying to blast through my chest. That's what makes them so scary. The diltiazem has decreased the severity of the palpitations and they're not as frequent today. Hopefully, tomorrow will be even better. I also have had a little more energy today. I had to wear that Holter monitor, too. That and the echocardiogram were fine. I have to get blood work done in two months so I'll know then if the Crestor is helping lower my cholesterol. I hope so. It's not real high (260), but definitely too high. My husband's is 338! Now it's his turn to see the doctor. He probably won't, so I'd say that at least a half-million-dollar life insurance policy on him isn't out of the question. I'll try for a million, though. As long as I'm going to be a widow because of his horrible eating habits and lack of exercise, I may as well be a RICH widow, huh?
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
31 Jul 09
My blood pressure goes up when I worry, but my heart is all right, but I used to have acne so badly when I was a teen and told not to eat chocolate. Then I later learn that chocolate is good for you in moderatiON (one chocolate bar a day should do it and I assume that means a large chocolate bar. So now I have to check my budget and put chocolate in "moderation" on it. Damn it, it is raining and I do want to go out, but my budget is rather short right now.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
I know the feeling, suspenseful! I honestly don't eat much chocolate but, when the urge hits, there is NO substitute! Just gotta have it! When the cardiologist told me that it's okay to eat chocolate, I thought he was the coolest doctor EVER BORN!!! My budget is tight, too, so chocolate is not an everyday thing for me, as much as I'd like it to be. If I see a sale on any kind of chocolate, though, I'll stock up. Chocolate should be one of the major food groups, don't you think? I love Christmastime because you can find sales on bags of chocolate chips for cookie making. I always buy extra... milk chocolate and white chocolate chips. They're great for snacking on. Yummmmmmmmmmm!!! I know it's the dark chocolate that is actually good for us but, like you said, in moderation, anything is okay to eat.
@308369666 (111)
• China
31 Jul 09
Eat less chocolate or good,will eat more fat.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
It is true that, if you want to eat chocolate, you must also eat a good, healthy diet and get enough exercise. Too much fat, no matter where it comes from, is never good.
@ucue2008 (926)
• Malaysia
31 Jul 09
good to know that chocolate is good for heart, as I really like chocolate. when I'm bored and feeling down, chocolate is the best medicine. Sorry, I cannot answer your questions,as currently I don't have and health scare concerning my heart, and I don;t know much about heart, but it kind good to know chocolate is good for health. Wish you a great health ahead.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
It's actually the dark chocolate that is really good for us. However, the milk chocolate and white chocolate will not harm us if eaten in moderation, as long as we eat a relatively healthy diet and get enough exercise. Chocolate is most definitely a mood-enhancer! It is less expensive and easier to get than antidepressants if we're temporarily depressed. It tickles the endorphins in our brains which makes us feel better. I'm all for chocolate! LOL I'm glad to hear that you are healthy. I hope you always stay that way!
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
31 Jul 09
I don’t have issues with my heart so I am unable to answer your questions but I wanted to respond to let you know how relieved I feel to hear that your heart is healthy! Stress is an awful beast and should not be underestimated, stay well and enjoy that chocolate! It’s not bad for you...There’s another relief!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Aug 09
Thanks, paula. I plan to stay well. This scare as made me eat even healthier (driving my husband crazy because he's such a junk food addict) and learning new ways to deal with stress that won't affect my health. And, there is the chocolate. Having a cardiologist tell me that it's okay to eat, well, that made my day! Heck, that made my entire life!
1 person likes this
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
31 Jul 09
I'm so glad that you found out that is not your heart giving you a hard time. I have taken the nerve pill before but I do not remember the side effects of it. I do know that if you are having stress and nerve problems they can cause so many problems with your health. SO take care my friend.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Aug 09
Thank you, moondancer. I took my first dose last night and I've noticed a definite lessening of my palpitations. They're not as strong, nor as frequent. I've also noticed a slight increase in my energy level. Hopefully, tomorrow will be even better. Yes, stress sure can reek havoc on our bodies! I hope I never have to go through anything like this again. Just thinking that I might have some kind of heart problem caused me to have more stress. I felt like a huge weight was lifted when the doctor told me my heart was fine. I wanted to hug him! LOL So, from now on, I've decided to never get this stressed again, ever. I'm working on changing the way I go about certain things. Even though I'm most definitely not a high-strung person, I think I was allowing too much stress to remain bottled up inside. I'm going to take a more direct approach to whatever causes me stress and deal with it so I can put it behind me. Sometimes, it takes a serious scare like this to motivate us to improve ourselves.
@dragon54u (31636)
• United States
31 Jul 09
I'm very glad your heart is healthy! You know, I had some anxiety attacks and some palpitations during my divorce proceedings. It was scary. My family doctor told me that I needed to stop letting people control my feelings, that I was letting them stress me out. It sounded pretty stupid to me, how could I help how I felt?! But he spent 30 minutes with me at no charge, convincing me that I could control how I felt and I didn't have to give other people power over my feelings. It worked, after some practice. When my husband tried to intimidate me I would put him in a mental box and look down on him, tiny as he was, and see that he had no power over me. I no longer had to let him control me. That's simplistic but essentially what my doc told me to do. It worked! It got me through the divorce and although it still hurt, I didn't let him take control of my feelings, I didn't give him the privilege of getting inside my head and heart. It might work for you. Try it! I'm so glad you're healthy!!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Jul 09
I agree 100% with you! We have the power to not let others control our feelings. It takes some practice, for sure, but I learned how to do that with my mother. I was 34 years old when I was finally able to stop letting her make me feel guilty for things I had no reason to feel guilty about. I did forget that, though, since I've been unable to provide for myself. I began to feel as though my life was not my own anymore. But, recently, I've regained that strength and refuse to allow my husband to stress me out. I'm working on my plan to become self-sufficient and not need him. He knows this, too, and it's scaring him! He's a funny person. He doesn't want to lose me, yet he tries his best sometimes to make my life miserable; at least it feels that way. Lately, though, he's been bending over backwards to make my life as comfortable as he can. I know he sees this renewed strength in me and it's scaring him. I've told him about the extra life insurance I plan on taking out on him because he most likely will not be outliving me. Maybe it's those forensic shows I like to watch that scare him. LOL In one respect, they are awfully stupid, showing how murderers get caught because it's helping people learn how to commit the perfect murder! No, I have no intention of murdering my husband! LOL I can't even murder a bug, unless it's a spider, a fly, mosquito or anything that bites or stings. No, he's killing himself with his horrible eating habits and being so lazy. Now that I know my heart is healthy, I've stepped up my efforts to eat better and get as much exercise as I possibly can. I have plans now! I'm going to live life as best I can while I can and nobody is going to stop me or even slow me down! Plus, knowing that I can still have my chocolate (I never did eat much of it but, when the mood strikes, you just gotta have it, you know?) is such a great bonus!!! I took my new meds for the first time last night and I have to tell you, they're working! I still have palpitations, but they're not nearly as strong or as frequent. My pulse seems to have settled down, too. Also, I have more energy, even more than I had yesterday! So, these meds are working which really makes me happy. What a tremendous load off my mind!!! Now, if I can only get approved for disability, I'll be one VERY happy camper!!!
@jb78000 (15173)
30 Jul 09
that's really good news - especially about the chocolate. jb
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
30 Jul 09
Yeah, I thought it was important to get the word out that a bona fied cardiologist said that chocolate is okay to eat. Not just your ordinary, every day doctor, but a CARDIOLOGIST! YEAH!!! (I want HIM as my PCP!!!)
@sblossom (2170)
31 Aug 09
if i were you i would not worry too much. About 4 years ago I was in a hospital for my heart check. The doctor said I have serious problem with my heart. I was worried a lot and took the medicine he gave me. But later I found I had more problem than before. So I came to a bigger hospital and talked with a very good doctor. the doctor checked me and said i had nothing wrong with my heart. what i need was just to take break and not tired. now i live healthily without any medicine.of course i do eat chocolate a lot. my husband calls me chocolate lady.
@KrauseHome (35517)
• United States
31 Aug 09
I have High Blood pressure and borderline Cholesterol problems. I take medications for High Blood Pressure and supposed too for the Cholesterol but I would rather use a natural product and see if I can invoke a difference there as well. I am Diabetic so I know my Doctors have a hay day when I admit I eat real chocolate from time to time, but hearing that is Good for your Heart that is a plus for sure. I think sometimes with the heart racing problems the best defense is somehow learning to relax.