Defeating Heart Disease

By Holly Lucille, ND, RN, Healing From Within Healthcare

The heart is the symbol for love. We communicate with heart icons all the time to express affection, love and caring. I saw a T-shirt just yesterday that exclaimed “I ♥ My Job.” Your emotions, passion, zest for life, and integrity are all associated with feelings from the heart. No one wants a broken heart, right? So why is heart disease the #1 KILLER of both men and women in America? Most do not know how significant this is. If you add the 2nd, 3rd and 4th causes of death together, they still don’t add up to the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease.

This month being American Heart Month, I want to talk about just that: awareness! I ask “why?” this disease remains so prevalent because, as a naturopathic physician, it is my responsibility to “Identify and Treat the Cause” of disease. Many people are well aware of certain risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease as well as what to do about them. It is well known, for example, that having your cholesterol, both “good” and “bad,” checked is vital to understanding heart health. Yet having your cholesterol checked and, for that matter, your blood pressure monitored are two common things that are important to heart health, but they are not enough. I have plenty of patients who have had acceptable ranges of both blood pressure and cholesterol and have experienced a cardiovascular event such as a stroke or heart attack. If we are going to defeat the #1 killer, and truly succeed at preventing disease of the organ which we use to convey comfort and care, it is imperative to be aware of other causative factors in our lives that are contributing to this ever-pervasive malady.

Research is piling up that it is the silent, often chronic state of inflammation that is playing a role in keeping heart disease #1. Modern day influences such as air pollution and high cortisol (our stress hormone), as well as poor sleep, diet, and activity, are fueling the fires of inflammation and contributing to cardiovascular disease across the board.

The good news is that the odds in this game our in your favor because the amount of inflammation in your body is largely under your control. But you have to get in the game, NOW. Don’t wait to die. At times #1 sign for cardiovascular disease, especially for women, is sudden death. You can reduce inflammation daily by eating more colorful vegetables and low glycemic fruits for their antioxidant value, increasing your fish and fish oil consumption, getting consistent anaerobic and aerobic exercise, improving your stress response, and making sure to get a solid night sleep. Supplementing your lifestyle if needed is also important. Click the link below to find a licensed Naturopathic Physician near you who can help you through an effective detoxification, rule out other hidden areas of inflammation, and guide you through the sea of choices when it comes to supplements.

Start to “♥ your heart” now!

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