Mary Lou Sheehan: Hypertension, Diabetes

Updated May 6, 2013

Saves $295/month on medications and regains her lost health — with vegan diet and exercise

Arrived taking 135 pills a week, barely moving, pasty, and always tired – left with a determined step and hope for the future. 10 days later, she now saves at least $290.05 on monthly medications.

Mary Lou Sheehan is a retired Registered Nurse from Springfield, Virginia who came to the April 2002 McDougall Program out of desperation.

“When I walked I felt like I was up to my waist in molasses.   I was tired all the time.  We couldn’t do anything in the evening, because by 7PM I was exhausted.  Even though my dietitians and doctors tried to help me, their efforts made no difference. They kept telling me to lose weight, and I knew they were right, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get better.

“On one hand, I was afraid to leave my doctors and the hospital.  We had become so close that I think they should have put a plaque on one of the ICU rooms with my name on it.  In the past few years, I had had a stroke and 3 angioplasties.

“On the other hand, it was plain to see that I was making no progress – I was dying.  I knew I had to stop the downhill slide with my health.

“Things began to change when I saw a story about the McDougall Program in a magazine called Diabetes Forecast (April 2002) — this program was given a 5 star rating.  So I bought the McDougall books.  They made sense and I saw for the first time that I had a possibility of getting better.  The stories of the people in the books were very inspiring.  My decision to travel across the country to Dr. McDougall’s center was finally made when I realized that I needed a jump start, and with all the medication I was taking I was afraid to make the change on my own without medical support.  Embarrassment was also a big motivation, making me decide I wanted a better life – I hated telling people I was 5’4″ and 225 pounds.  Fortunately, through all this decision making process, my whole family supported me 100%.”

Mrs. Sheehan had suffered from high blood pressure since she was a teenager. Recently her doctors had a difficult time controlling her pressure (increasing to 300/200 mmHg) and she was put on a very powerful medication called Minoxidil. She also took three other medications for her high blood pressure upon arrival at the clinic. She has suffered from type-II diabetes mellitus since 1987, and for her diabetes she took two kinds of pills.

Over the course of the 10-day program she stopped all of her diabetic medications and her blood sugar remained normal (101 and 108 mg/dl).  She stopped 2 of her blood pressure medications (Minoxidil and Prinivil) and cut another one in half (Atenolol).  Her blood pressure decreased from 136/90 to 140/80 mmHg.  Since she has been at home her blood pressure has remained low – usually 138/74 mmHg.  She lost 6 pounds in 10 days at the program, while fully satisfying her appetite.  Now she is very active – going on daily walks, and she is feeling great all day long (well past 7 PM).  “I called my daughter, Lori, when I came home and she told me that even over the phone she could tell I was much better by the increase in strength in my voice.”

“I finally have hope – for first time I now know that I can feel better and get better – it is no longer all downhill.  I walk every day.  I have no trouble with the diet – I’m 100%.  My children and grandchildren are interested too.  They don’t want to become fat and sick like they saw happen to me.”

Hypertension Medications:
Minoxidil 2.5 mg, twice a day = $27.09
Dyazide, everyday  = $9.99
Atenelol 25 mg, everyday = $3.50
Prinivil 20 mg, twice a day = $101.98

Diabetes Medications:
Avandia 8 mg, everyday = $143.99
Glucotrol XL, everyday = $16.99

Even though these results do not occur with everyone, they are typical for people who make the diet and lifestyle changes at the 10-day McDougall Program.