Do Vitamins & Nutrition Combat Tired Heart Valve Surgery Patients?

Following my aortic and pulmonary valve replacements, I experienced my fair share of challenges (pain, cardiac depression). I also experienced several opportunities as well (my engagement, a new found perspective on life).

However, one of the most apparent issues I had following heart valve surgery dealt with my energy level.

I have always been an active, on-the-move type person. Although it’s a tad cliche, I really do believe in the “Life is short!” creedo.

While I knew my body activity would be slowed during the initial phase of recovery, I had no idea that several months after the operation I would still be exhausted.

This was most obvious when I returned to work. I would be doing great right up until 1pm. Then, in the early afternoon, my body would literally shut down.

Like most patients, the thoughts of “What is wrong with me? Is something wrong with heart?” rampantly scrambled through my brain.

To ensure everything was okay, I met with Dr. Rosin (my cardiologist) and Dr. Starnes (my surgeon) to ensure everything was going as good as they made it seem following my Ross Procedure. They concurred. My heart was doing great.

Five months after the surgery, however, I was still tuckered. (That is such a great word by the way… Tuckered. :))

Given my passion for life, I was not resigned to my state of exhaustion. Therefore, I met with Karen Raden, a talented nutritionist in Chicago, Illinois by phone. Karen came highly recommended.

Before my initial consultation, Karen asked me to have some blood lab work completed so that she could best understand what might be causing my lethargic ways.

During our first phone call, Karen provided me with several ideas to re-energize my body and brain.

There were really two elements of her prescribed path to a more active lifestyle.

First, Karen provided me with several guidelines for what to eat during breakfast, lunch and dinner. She then suggested several interesting snacking ideas – from almonds to carrots to humuus, etc.

The second part of Karen’s plan focused on supplements. Due to my lab results, Karen suggested that I start taking three different kinds of supplements including a high powered multi-vitamin, a specialized fish oil and Co-Enzyme Q10.

She suggested we speak two weeks later. All of the information we discussed arrived by email moments after we hung up the phone. That was very helpful.

So you know, I am not a born skeptic but I am somewhat reluctant to believe most alternative therapies.


I must tell you that I started to notice a difference. It wasn’t immediate. But, by the fourth day after following Karen’s plan I was more active at work and I was staying up later at night.

Even my fiancee, Robyn, said to me once, “What’s gotten into you? You’re supposed to be asleep. It’s past your bedtime!”


Now, it’s almost a year since I’ve been on Karen’s plan. I’m doing great. I’m back surfing again and traveling the world for fun and business!!!

Therefore, I do believe that supplements (vitamins) and proper nutrition can help tired heart valve surgery patients.

If you have an interest in speaking with Karen, here is her website and her email is

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

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