Janice Wallace Goes on a High Caloric Diet

(posted 6/15/2005) - My mother has been feeling very poorly since May 16th. She was admitted to hospital for dehydration and severe pain and nausea twice in May. After a number of tests (blood, CT-scans, biopsy of temporal artery, echocardiogram) found no positive indications of disease, she was advised to go on a high protein/carbohydrate diet intended to replace the 15 pounds she lost in the last month.

My mom suffers from chronic Atrial Fibrillation, which manifests as a variational heart rate and heightened blood pressure in the 'controlled' state. This condition makes one more sensitive to physical / emotional stresses. It is possible that a viral cold-like infection amplified her AF symptoms for about 3 weeks, resulting in her pain and her appetite loss.

Under stress conditions her resting BP may hover around 190/110 and her heart rate move between 85-105 (still well below classic Atrial Fib rates of 150 bps). When these conditions persist my mom gets nauseous, suffers dibilitating headache and is unable to concentrate -- so it is obviously desirable to reduce the incidence of such events.

The current program of increased caloric intake is in response to my mother's dramatic weight loss over the last 30 days -- when she felt very ill she ate too sparingly, and has lost weight and strength. She is now logging her meals of standard high-protein/high-carb foods and drinks and we will see if her feeling of wellness improves as she increases her intake over the next two weeks.

Jan's family and friends are of course concerned and hope for a speedy recovery. On a positive note, over the last week her general sense of well-being has improved, and she is sleeping comfortably through the night. We all wish Jan the best.