Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. In the US alone, there are about 600,000 deaths annually and millions who have severe disabilities from its manifestations. Heart attacks are preventable. One hundred years ago they were rare! Lifestyle is the most imporant treatment to prevent and manage heart disease.
Yet it is a partnership between the mainstream of medicine and preventive lifestyle-based strategies that offers the best solution for this problem.
This series of videos offers an introductory overview on what you should know to prevent, restore, and maintain good heart health.
Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Abnormal heart rhythms may arise because peri-infarction tissues are very irritable and electrically unstable. These rhythms can compromise cardiac output and be lethal. It is very important to take your medicines if you have a problem with abnormal heart rhythms because they can result in a reduction in cardiac output that can be critical. Dr. Saputo recommends the following media files to explain more about these rhythms.
Angina is the pain caused by insufficient blood flow to an area of the heart. While this is not lethal in itself, it can be very painful and disabling, and is also a warning that there is at least one blood vessel that is severely blocked and in danger of closing off entirely. A myocardial infarction may be impending. Dr. Saputo recommends the following media files to learn more about controversies in managing angina.
Atrial fibrillation occurs when the top part of the heart, called the atria, beats at around 300 beats per minute and leads to ineffective contraction of the atria. This predisposes to clots forming in the left atrium that can break off and travel to the brain and block circulation and result in strokes. Anticoagulation is the treatment of choice but there is considerable controversy about how to do this. Coumadin, aspirin, Plavix, fish oil, and nattokinase are discussed.
Cholesterol is related to but not the direct cause of arteriosclerosis, heart disease, and strokes. We cannot live without cholesterol, we must have it to make cell membranes, vitamin D, many hormones, and bile salts. Yet it is related to heart disease. In general, the higher the cholesterol the worse the risk for heart disease. But it is not the total that is most important, it is the relationship between types of cholesterol subfractions. There are nine different types of LDL cholesterol and five different types of HDL that provide even further information. In general, it is the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol that should be used in general screens. Lowering LDL has value to a certain point, but beyond a certain point low cholesterol may reduce heart disease but increase all cause mortality. Vytorin is a combination of Zocor and Zetia to lower cholesterol more may reduce mortality from heart disease, but overall survival is not increased, and all cause mortality may be higher.
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure develops if there is sufficient death of heart muscle (myocardial infarction) and subsequent inability of the remaining normal heart tissue to pump enough blood to the body. Tissues that die obviously cannot contract, but there are also areas around the infarction, called the peri-infacrtion area, that are in shock and may not be able to contract because blood flow to them is not sufficiently compromised to kill them. They may eventually recover if blood flow can be re-established.
Hypertension is caused most of the time by lifestyle habits that can be improved to make a major difference in your blood pressure. Mainstream medicine looks to the quick fix with an array of anti-hypertensive drugs that can work, but at the price of a multitude of known and unknown side effects that can be disabling or even lifethreatening. Most people with hypertension can get off of their drugs if they will adopt a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Saputo recommends getting started with lifestyle, dietary changes, and supplements to start the process of lowering your blood pressure.
Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the US, yet a hundred years ago they were a rarity. Artiosclerotic heart disease is a preventable disease that is nearly always reversable by living a health lifestyle. Heart attacks are an epigenetic disease caused by an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, insufficient sleep, being overweight, being exposed to toxins in the enviorment, and stress. Only on rare occasions are there genetic factors ectched in stone that will ineveitably lead to heart disease. Inflammation is what starts the cascade of the events that lead to plaque formation in our arteries and makes our blood sticky, and there is a lot we can do to prevent it.
Once the heart is compromised by a significant heart attack, There is a lot that caan be done in modern medicine to stabilze the angina, congestive heart failure and rythms that charactorize heart disease from progressing. These options range from drugs to high tech surgical procedures. What modern medicine fails to recognize and deal with is the importance of lifestyle and it's amazing technology. Nutition of the heart is ignored most of the time. We must remember that the disease process is directly related to a defiecneny in energy production and that it is usually possible to improve energy production through lifestyle stratigies.
Psychological issues cause heart attacks and increase their complications. It is important to deal with these challenges because their complications can be prevented by reducing the inflammation that is an underlying cause. Dr. Saputo recommends the following media files that will show the deep impact of anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress on the development of heart disease.