Harpers Heart Attack Was A Sudden Shocking Event And He Doesnt Remember Any Of It
A post shared by Bob Harper on Dec 14, 2019 at 12:20pm PST
Harper tells The Biggest Loser that all he remembers is waking up in a hospital having just come out of a coma and being told that he collapsed mid-workout in the gym.
AARP reports that he had what is often called the widow-maker heart attack because his left anterior descending artery became blocked and that kind of heart attack is often fatal. Luckily for Harper, a doctor was at the gym and performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.
Harper had to be shocked with chest paddles three times and then was put into a medically induced coma to allow his heart time to rest and heal.
Any regular person wouldnt have recovered. Bobs superior physical condition saved his life more than anything else, explained cardiologist, Warren J. Wexelman, M.D., a clinical instructor in the Department of Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.
He’s Facing His Fears
After revisiting the gym where he nearly died with neurologist Dr. Hazem Shoirah on an episode of The Rachael Ray Show, Harper was candid about just how difficult returning to the scene of his near-death experience was.”It’s upsetting for me because this has always been the place that I love coming to, and now I’m kind of afraid. And I’m not used to feeling like that Working out has defined me in so many ways, and things are just different. Things are different now.”
Harper Loves The Changes To The Biggest Loser
Although he once served as trainer on the reality show, Harper is back now as the shows host, a role once held by Alison Sweeney and Caroline Rhea. He has great chemistry with contestants and is super familiar with how the show works. Still, Harper says hes thrilled with its newest changes.
A post shared by Bob Harper on Feb 11, 2020 at 9:56am PST
I get to bring in my expertise, and I get to hear about a new approach, he told People in 2019. I think theres a really good symmetry here. Were looking at changing the way that they eat, the way that they think and how they move their body. . . We really want to get that whole-body approach.
The hardest part is keeping it off, he continued. This is going to be something that they have to work on for the rest of their life, and I wanted to make sure that they have the aftercare and the support.
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The New Season Will Try To Show That ‘it’s About The Off
He said his recovery process made him better able to empathize with contestants, who were also undergoing a dramatic, and often intimidating, lifestyle change.;
“I went from doing most intense CrossFit, to: I couldn’t walk around a city block without feeling winded,” Harper said. “I had to change everything. I had an emotional struggle and identity crisis, and that really humbles a person.”
One of the show’s trainers, Erica Lugo, also has personal experience with significant weight loss, having lost 160 pounds herself, and surviving thyroid cancer.;;
“She really brings a whole other level to the training of the contestants,” Harper said. “Wait ’til you see the personality this girl’s got. I’m nervous for anyone that tries to make an excuse to her.”;
The show will still determine its winners based on the scale, and the Biggest Loser title comes with a cash prize awarded for the most weight lost. But Harper said he hopes contestants, and viewers, will recognize the progress and process beyond the numbers.;
“We have, and celebrate, the on-scale victories, but it’s about the off-scale victories too,” Harper said. “There are a lot of different types of weight loss. At the end of the day there’s only one biggest loser, but all contestants have the opportunity to be winners.”
‘i Love My Heart’: Bob Harper Looks Back On Heart Attack That Changed His Life
In February, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Bob Harper, 52, suffered a near-fatal heart attack. He spoke with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie two months later about the experience, recalling, “My heart stopped. Not to be dramatic, but I was dead. I was on that ground dead.”
After the heart attack, Harper rehabbed and adopted a new fitness routine and diet. The heart attack changed his life in other ways as well. He reflects on those changes below for our 2017 Voices series, a collection of essays and interviews with the people behind some of the years biggest news stories.
My name is Bob Harper. I have been a personal trainer and host of NBCs “The Biggest Loser” for 17 seasons. I am a New York Times bestselling author. And Ive now been initiated into a club: The Heart Attack Survivors Club.
On Feb. 12, I was in a gym working out like any other day when I dropped dead on the gym floor.
ME! The health and fitness guy. The guy whose entire career is based on getting people on the right track for health and wellness.
I woke up two days later in a hospital surrounded by friends and family. They began filling in the missing pieces of what happened, and it was the biggest shock of my life.
Throughout this past year the two main questions I’ve been asked are how my life has changed since my heart attack and cardiac arrest and what my perspective is now that I am a survivor and have been given a second chance.
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He Is Embracing Carbs
Harper, who is currently a health contributor on TODAY and a frequent co-host of the Racheal Ray Show, was consuming a high-protein, high-fat diet prior to his heart attack. I was healthy, I was fit, I was strong, I watched what I ate. But now I realized that what my diet was lackingmaybe I dont want to say lacking, but how it was differentwas that it didnt have balance, he explains.
The missing component: Carbohydrates. After all, he was well-aware that cutting out carbs typically results in rapid weight loss. Yet what Ive found for longevity, its very hard for a lot of people to sustain that type of diet. Today, his meal plan leans more on the Mediterranean-style with a focus on plant-based foods, including more fruits and vegetables, as well as whole-grains. There are so many great pastas out there, like red lentil, chickpea pasta, and quinoa pasta, he adds. I like being able to eat a sandwich and not feel like Ive committed a cardinal sin!
Do Any Of The Shows Changes Reflect What Youve Gone Through Like Aftercare
Were giving guests a gym membership and nutritionist for a year, because losing weight is the easiest part; keeping it off is the hardest. If you dont take what Im offering and put it into your daily life, youre going to struggle. And theres no finish line: Youre going to be dealing with this forever. When youre able to swallow that pill, youre going to have more success.
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See The Cutest Photos Of Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Son Crew
Bob Harper is a true survivor. In 2017, just about a year after being promoted from trainer to host of NBCs weight loss competition show The Biggest Loser, he suffered a near-fatal heart attack. Its been a roller coaster, Ill tell you that! Bob, 54, shares exclusively with Closer Weekly in the magazines latest issue, on newsstands now.
Not only has he recovered from his ordeal, hes turned the experience into a positive one by speaking to fellow heart attack victims on the national Survivors Have Heart tour, set to resume later this year. On January 28, hell begin hosting a rebooted version of The Biggest Loser on USA Network, and hes planning a fun event wedding with his fiance, Anton Gutierrez, 34, director of production for the app NEOU Fitness. My life has changed completely, and the main thing that has changed for me is becoming an advocate for heart attack survivors, he shares. I feel stronger mentally and physically every day.
A post shared by Bob Harper on Dec 31, 2019 at 7:24pm PST
Scroll down for more from our chat with Bob Harper!
Bob Harper On Road To Recovery 50 Days After Shocking Heart Attack
During sudden cardiac arrest which is caused when the heart’s electrical system suddenly malfunctions the heart stops beating and blood is no longer pumping through the body or the brain. Death can occur within minutes. Harper probably survived the event because of his excellent physical fitness and the immediate medical attention.
However, the fact that he was in such terrific shape also made having a heart attack at 51 that much more stunning.
“It was hugely shocking for me,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned a lot about the fact that genetics played a part in this. It is so important to know your health.”
Harper encouraged others to get regular check-ups even if they are dedicated to fitness like him.
More than 326,000 people suffer an out-of-the-hospital sudden cardiac arrest each year, according to the American Heart Association. The survival is an estimated 10 percent, although that may increase to about 30 percent if treated quickly with a defibrillator, as Harper was.
Cardiac arrest can also occur without warning, although Harper now recalls having dizzy spells in the weeks prior. He has a family history of heart disease his mother died of a heart attack.
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Helping Other Heart Attack Survivors
Though Harper tackled recovery and the requisite changes to his lifestyle with gusto, he admits that he was startled when he learned that having one heart attack puts you at increased risk for a repeat heart attack.
Indeed, according to the American Heart Association, 20 percent of heart attack survivors over age 45 experience a repeat heart attack within five years. And of the 790,000 heart attacks experienced in the United States each year, 210,000 of those are repeat heart attacks.
Learning this reality only further emboldened Harper to take control of his body. It was in that moment that I realized I was going to do everything and anything that my doctors told me, he says.
One of those doctors suggestions was taking the medication Brilinta. Wexelman says the drug stops the arteries from reclogging and reduces chances of future heart attacks.
We know that Brilinta is not a drug that anybody can take because it can cause bleeding, says Wexelman. The reason that Bob is a good candidate for this drug is because hes such a good patient and people on these drugs really need to listen to their doctor whos caring for them.
Ive met so many people since doing this and they all have a special and important story to tell. Its great to give them an outlet to tell their story, he says.
Your Thyroid Lipoprotein And Dr Oz
Its the easiest way to get yourself out of trouble.
Blame the problem on something else that most people have never heard of.
So, last month Bob Harper appeared on the Dr. Oz show to reveal the new culprit behind his heart attacklipoprotein.
You can see the clip here.
Yet, whats even more important to understand is that just like elevated cholesterol
lipoprotein levels are directly influenced by your thyroid function.
Heres a study showing that thyroid hormone replace therapy significantly lowers your lipoprotein:
Effect of thyroid hormone replacement on lipoprotein, lipids, and apolipoproteins in subjects with hypothyroidism.
RESULTS: After levothyroxine treatment, the mean concentration of thyrotropin decreased from 91.4 to 3.7 microIU/mL, and free thyroxine increased from 0.5 to 1.2 ng/ dL. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and apolipoprotein A-I and B-100 decreased after thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Lp levels also decreased significantly after treatment, from a mean of 33.4 to 25.6 mg/dL.
Heres another study that shows that lipoprotein levels are directly correlated to your thyroid stimulating hormone :
As you might expect, high levels of lipoprotein are also found in Hashimotos thyroiditis sufferers:
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
Bob Harpers real problem isnt his cholesterol, genetics, or lipoprotein its his poor thyroid health.
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Biggest Loser Host Bob Harper Says Near
Harper and his longtime love Anthony Gutierrez got engaged in June 2019
Bob Harper suffered a heart attack that nearly killed him in 2017 and it made him question everything, from his career to his relationship with then-boyfriend Anthony Gutierrez.
People dont realize, until you are a survivor, the emotional struggles that you go through, the identity crisis, Harper, 55, tells PEOPLE. I thought, Who am I if Im not that guy in the gym thats throwing up tons of weight and pushing myself to these limits?
The Biggest Loser host and trainer spent two days in a coma after going into cardiac arrest and then went through a rigorous recovery period that included medication and cardiac rehab.
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Through it all, he says, Gutierrez was by his side.
I was super afraid of being alone after having my heart attack, because I thought, If Im alone, I could have another one, he says. “Anthony was always there for me.
He continues: We would take these little heart attack naps in the middle of the day, because with the medication, I was really tired, and it was this simple little thing, but it was just really sweet. He was there to help me with everything because everything was new for me and for me to relinquish control is a really hard thing for me to do.
Harper popped the question in June 2019 during a romantic dinner at the couples favorite New York restaurant, Via Carota.
A Heart Risk Factor Even Doctors Know Little About
To millions of Americans, Bob Harper was the picture of health, a celebrity fitness trainer who whipped people into shape each week on the hit TV show The Biggest Loser.
But last February, Mr. Harper, 52, suffered a massive heart attack at a New York City gym and went into cardiac arrest. He was saved by a bystander who administered CPR and a team of paramedics who rushed him to a hospital, where he spent two days in a coma.
When he awoke, Mr. Harper was baffled, as were his doctors. His annual medical checkups had indicated he was in excellent health. How could this have happened to someone seemingly so healthy?
The culprit, in turned out, was a fatty particle in the blood called lipoprotein. While doctors routinely test for other lipoproteins like HDL and LDL cholesterol, few test for lipoprotein, also known as lp, high levels of which triple the risk of having a heart attack or stroke at an early age.
For most people, lp is nothing to worry about. Levels are strongly determined by genetics and the majority of people produce very little of it.
But up to one in five Americans, including Mr. Harper, have perilously high levels of it in their blood. Studies show that diet and exercise have almost no impact on lp, and cholesterol-lowering drugs only modestly lower it.
But the downside of excessive lp is clear: It accelerates the formation of plaque in the arteries, and it promotes blood clots.
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He’s Done Playing Superhero
“I think the biggest change for me is that I am learning to slow down and that’s really hard for me,” Harper admitted to CBS News. “It’s so hard for me. It’s like working out has really defined me and it’s been who I have been for a very long time. Now I’ve got to just approach my life in a different way The doctors are telling me that I don’t need to go in the gym and try to be Superman anymore. What I’ve realized now is, you know what? I’m not going to be Superman anymore.” You don’t have to be Superman either, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying these superfoods!
Images lead, 1, 2, 3, 8 courtesy of Instagram; 9 courtesy of Facebook.
Eat This, Not That!
From Fitness Guru To Heart Attack Survivor: Bob Harpers Inspiring Story
As a celebrity fitness trainer, health expert, and best-selling author, Bob Harper was inspiring people nationwide to get fit. He never imagined a heart attack would happen to him. After all, he was the picture of health. But when he woke up in the hospital to learn that hed survived a massive heart attack, he knew this shocking experience would change his life entirely.
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He Leans On His Medical Team
Prior to February 2017, Harper would head to the doctors office for a routine physical exam every now and then. I didnt see doctors very much and I would kind of get nervous when Id go to the doctor, he says. And now, Im very comforted by having a doctor. Im working with a team of doctors that have become a part of my life that are guiding me through this new journey.
Something else that is also completely new for him is taking medication. One of the things that was a really big wake-up call for me after I had a heart attack was when my doctors told me Id be more likely to have another heart attack within the first year, states Harper. I said, Okay, you tell me what I need to do. He was instructed to leave the hospital with BRILINTA, a prescription drug for heart attack treatment. Today, Harper is working with AstraZeneca, the company that distributes the med. Teaming up with them has been very personal for me because I am a heart attack survivor. It was such an organic fit.
And he hopes his experience will inspire others to establish a relationship with their physician. I remember Savanah Guthrie from the TODAY show reached out to me and said, When I heard this happened to you, I immediately went to my doctor, he concludes. I thought that was so powerful because I want people to be proactive. I dont want you to just look in the mirror and say, Damn, I look good. I want you to be able to see your doctor and make sure that you are good.