Cardiac Rehab Patient Brian Grubb

Brian Grubb: “I saved my heart by losing over 100 pounds.”
“I saved my heart by losing over 100 pounds.”

In 2009, Brian Grubb, 53, had started losing weight, going to the gym and trying to get healthy. But that October, Brian had an episode in which he felt weak and nearly passed out. He had high blood pressure since his 30s, but this was different.

Brian was sent to Wake Forest Baptist where the cardiology teamfound that Brian’s heart was nearly twice the normal size and that his heart function was less than half. His heart was so sick that a heart transplant was a strong consideration.

Brian’s Heart Failure Was Caused By Multiple Factors, Including Obesity

Brian’s heart ejection fraction was measured at 22 percent by 3-D echocardiography – a technique to accurately calculate heart size and function. Ejection fraction measures how well blood is pumping out of the heart. Normal ejection fraction for the left ventricle would be 55 to 70 percent. A lower ejection fraction may indicate heart muscle damage or heart failure.

Brian’s heart failure was not due to narrowing in the heart’s blood vessels or a heart valve problem. Instead, it was likely due to multiple factors including longstanding obesity, high blood pressure, and possibly heart inflammation.

Wake Forest Baptist put Brian on medical therapy and told him to reduce all risk factors – especially his weight – that might be contributing to his weak heart. Then he sent Brian to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Wake Forest Baptist.

The Cardiac Rehab Program Helped Brian Eat Healthier And Lose Weight

Now, Brian has lost 110 pounds in a year and is trying to lose 30 more to reach his goal weight of 200 pounds. At his heaviest, Brian weighed 330 pounds.

Brian, the chief deputy in the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department, still goes to Wake Forest Baptist every three months for an electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood work. He has “graduated” from the Cardiac Rehab Program.

Brian has changed his lifestyle habits considerably. “My doctor told me to write down everything that goes my mouth – that’s the only way to do it,” Brian said. “I eat at home a lot and not at restaurants like I used to. Now I have more energy. I didn’t realize how tired I was because my energy went down so gradually. I feel probably as good as I’ve felt in 10 years.”

For more information about the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, call 336-713-8855.

Watch Brian's story at digtriad.com.

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Last Updated: 05-21-2014
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