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Heart Disease.....No Thank you!!

During American Heart association month, I often turn my thoughts to the prevention of heart disease and also stopping any further heart attacks even after you have had one. One thing we have learned during our pandemic is that mortality often came down to a persons base-line health.

Current most common US life-style diseases:

  1. Diabetes

  2. Cardiovascular Disease

  3. Cancer

  4. Some Auto-immune diseases

  5. COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  6. Cirrhosis

  7. Respiratory Illness

  8. Metabolic Disease

  9. Diarrhea

The question on everyone’s mind in this heart health month is how to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and reduce atherosclerosis. The most common lifestyle based health hacks and sorry to say this list is going to feel boring and familiar; but the truth about health is that it can’t be a goal you reach, like “I will get healthy in 2022.” The truest form of health is pursing it everyday, day after day. It is never a mountain peak you climb and then are done.

Lifestyle hacks:

  1. Exercise (this means increasing your heart rate to a point it is not easy to have a conversation) – 30 minutes a day- but move as much as you can always.

  2. Eat More Vegetables – No matter the diet you are following at any time, the one thing they all agree on is vegetables. Reverse your thinking: plan the vegetable first then the protein -not the other way around.

  3. Drink as much water as you can and maybe it will be enough. Most of us never get close -so putting this in your brain is a health hack.

  4. Go to bed by 11pm every night but more importantly calculate how to get 7-8 hours a night. For our family, that means 10:30 bedtime at latest.

  5. Poop daily and hopefully it looks like a well formed log. Our bowel movements may seem like gross talk but if they are not regular and well formed then our gut microbiome may not be all that healthy either which means we won’t eliminate toxins, allergens and hormones very well leaving them to harm our body.

But as a functional medicine practitioner, I also think about how to improve the health even more by adding the right supplements into a person’s diet for their heart health especially if heart disease runs in their family. Prevention is always best but don’t despair if you have had a heart attack we do want to continue to pursue health and prevent any future cardiovascular events.

Supplements to take for preventing a cardiovascular event or stopping another event:

(All recommendations need to be looked at to make sure they don’t interact with any other medications.)

  1. Fish oil – Omega-3’s had a 30% reduction in death from heart disease. -Take 1500mg to 2000mg per day. For most people, I like splitting the dosage and if you have a history of gallbladder issues or inability to eat fatty foods, take it with a digestive enzyme that contains bile salts or ox bile.

  2. Co-enzyme Q10 – This vitamin acts kind of like an antioxidant and appears to have a healing effect on the heart if given soon after a heart attack. -Take 100mg-150mg a day. This will also need to be taken if on a statin as it reduces CoQ10 levels.

  3. Berberine -Compares to Metformin in that it regulates glucose, insulin and helps with the regulation of lipid metabolism and is a wonderful herb to take to prevent an event if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease. -Take about 1000 to 1500mg per day to have the best therapeutic dosage. Please beware that if you are having GI issues, berberine also has a killing effect on some bad bacteria which means sometimes you will have gas or bloating.

  4. L-Carnitine showed massive help in improving survivability after an event. -Take 2 grams per day in divided doses.

  5. Hawthorne Extract – Helps bring down high blood pressure by bringing down peripheral vascular pressure. -Take 500mg 3x a day with or without food, but make sure to check with other medications you are on for counter indications.

  6. Red Rice Yeast – Helps improve digestion, blood circulation and lowers cholesterol levels. It usually takes 12 weeks to see it lower the cholesterol levels. -Take 1200mg 2x a day and it needs to be checked with your doctor.

Please have Wonderful Cardiovascular Health and don’t ignore it till you have a problem. Call our office if you need help or blood work ordered.

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