Friday, January 29, 2021

Cardiovascular Disease... What Your Doctor May Not Have Told You

Cardiovascular Disease... What Your Doctor May Not Have Told You
 

Cardiovascular Disease... What Your Doctor May Not Have Told You

If you are experiencing cardiovascular disease either personally or are looking for information in behalf of another person, this page has some important tips for you. The information to follow is based upon the assumption that you either already know you have cardiovascular disease, have had a heart attack, stroke or other CV event, have elevated cholesterol or triglycerides or other known CV problem. The problem people face is how to sort through the maize of dietary and nutritional protocols on the market. What is best, Dr. Phil's Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the Atkins Diet, diet pills, or one of many others? We will offer some general principles and alternative medicine protocols to help you sort through the choices. We also address type 2 diabetes, obesity and weight loss, exercise and other cardiovascular associated conditions elsewhere in this web site.

Cardiovascular disease is our number one killer. Typical medical intervention for CVD is cholesterol lowering drugs. In advanced cases, surgery is the treatment of choice. There are 500,000 bypass surgeries performed annually in the U.S. at an average cost of $45,000 each. Add to that the cost of cholesterol and blood pressure lowering drugs which are prescribed by the truck load. Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that the deleterious consequences of this disease are preventable!

If you have already had your bypass surgery or other intervention, it is still not too late to do what is necessary to prevent further deterioration and reoccurrence requiring repeat surgery.

If you have not had surgery but it is just a matter of time, take advantage of this window of opportunity. Do more for yourself than just rely on medication and maybe a half-hearted attempt at some dietary changes. CVD can be reversed if you act now.

Listed below are the lab tests available for assessment of cardiovascular status. Some of the tests are routine and certainly have been done by your physician and some of them have probably not. The reason all the tests are not routinely performed is that the physician requires only certain ones to give him the information necessary to prescribe your medication. However, if you intend to go beyond just the medication and take charge of your cardiovascular health by changing your diet and lifestyle, the additional tests we list here will give you essential information. The tests accompanied by an asterisk (*) are those you may not have previously had done. Each test is accompanied by suggestions for what you can do to improve the lab results. These tests also have a number of other indications which your physician will want to consider. A Comprehensive Cardiovascular Assessment which includes all the tests discussed here is available from Great Smokies Lab. See our Laboratories page.

Cardiovascular Disease... What Your Doctor May Not Have Told YouGeneral Protocols for Management of Cardiovascular Disease

  1. Find a clinical nutritionist to guide you through the deeper aspects of
  2. cardiovascular disease which go beyond the scope of this report.
  3. Do not smoke.
  4. Avoid alcohol.
  5. Avoid partially hydrogenated or "trans-fat" oils and fats.
  6. Minimize your white sugar intake
  7. Minimize the consumption of coffee, tea, and soda.
  8. Maintain optimal weight.
  9. Minimize the stress in your life.
  10. Increase you fiber intake to 25 grams a day.
  11. Maintain a high fruits and vegetables diet accompanied by high intake ofcereal grains, ocean fish and olive oil (usually termed the "Mediterranean diet").
  12. Exercise daily.

Your basic supplement program should include:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oil or flax seed.
  • Vitamins B6, B12, and Folic acid.
  • Coenzyme Q10 50 to 200 mg. per day depending on your heart condition. Patients with congestive heart failure should have larger doses.
  • Magnesium , about 400 mg. per day.
  • Vitamin E (be sure you get d-alpha tocopherol not "dl-alpha tocopherol which is synthetic) 400-800 i.u. daily.
  • *Caution* Males in the CVD high risk age group of 40 and over should NOT take supplements containing iron. Iron has been found to add to the risk for heart attack in that age of group of men only.

Laboratory Tests for Cardiovascular Health

Triglycerides

If your triglycerides are high, you are probably consuming too much sugar. You will definitely want to minimize your white sugar and also white flour consumption. You also should be sure you are not a candidate for non-insulin dependent diabetes. If you are overweight, refer to the Weight Loss page of this web site and do get on a good weight loss program. You should increase your fiber intake to 25 grams a day. (Most of us are getting about half that amount). Fiber comes in the fruits, vegetables and cereal grains. You should decrease your fat intake by adhering to a low fat diet. Supplements which are helpful are gugulipid, inositol hexaniacinamide, garlic, and omega 3 fish oils.

Total Cholesterol

If your total cholesterol is too high, follow a low cholesterol diet which restricts animal fat, eggs and organ meats. Your diet should include fiber, especially oat bran and fruits and vegetables. Supplements should include gugulipid, garlic, milk thistle, niacin, chromium, and vitamin C.

  • * Lipoprotein levels including:
  • LDL (Low density lipoprotein)
  • *Lipoprotein (a)
  • *Lipoprotein B

LDL is sometimes termed "bad cholesterol" and therefore the lower the number, the better. Lipoprotein (a) and B are similar to LDL in their effect on the cardiovascular system. The principles for managing these lipoproteins are similar for all three. Lowering your LDL is usually more difficult than lowering your total cholesterol but the protocols are about the same. You should do what is suggested above for triglycerides and cholesterol but in addition antioxidant supplements including vitamins E, A, C, B complex are good. Exercise is particularly important. High fiber intake is cannot be overemphasized and you might want to consider a fiber supplement product as well. You should be eating 25 grams of fiber a day, at least. Particularly good for CVD is oat bran fiber.

 * Homocysteine

Cardiovascular Disease... What Your Doctor May Not Have Told You

Studies have shown homocysteine, a toxic amino acid found in the blood, to be a good indicator of cardiovascular risk. Elevated blood levels greatly increase the risk for CVD. It is strongly recommended that you have your levels tested. Even though the typical laboratory may consider the "normal" range to be below 11, studies have shown the lower the better with a level below 7 to be best. To lower your blood homocysteine levels, in addition to the general protocols above, pay particular attention to adequate amounts of Vitamin B6, B12, Folic acid, zinc and trimethylglycine (TMG) . These five supplements have been repeatedly successful in lowering homocysteine levels.

* C-Reactive Protein

If this test is elevated you need the consultation of your nutritionist or physician to further investigate the reason. The test indicates the presence of inflammation somewhere in your body.

* Fibrinogen

Fibrinogen is associated with the blood clotting mechanism and consequently is important to assess in stroke and heart attack victims. Its levels in the blood may be reduced by Vitamin E, C, EPA and GLA Fatty acids and using Olive Oil as the main source of dietary fat. In addition, natural anti-clotting factors include garlic, onions, pectin, licorice and ginger will help lower fibrinogen levels.

HDL (High Density Lipoprotein)

HDL is sometimes termed "good cholesterol". Therefore, the higher the number on your blood test, the better. HDL levels can be improved by the suggestions made in the paragraphs above with particular emphasis on exercise, fish oils and high fiber.

* Apolipoprotein A-1

Apo A-1 is the major component of HDL cholesterol and therefore, the higher the number, the better. The blood levels of Apo A-1 will increase with the protocols listed above for HDL, Triglycerides and the High Lipoprotein Levels. Please refer to those paragraphs.

Herbs Beneficial for CVD

Gugulipid is an excellent herb for improving cholesterol and lipoprotein levels. It has performed well in studies comparing it to Lipitor and other statin drugs. Take a product which yields 25 mg. of the standardized extract three times a day.

Hathorne Berry is a practitioner's favorite herb for CVD. Take 160 mg. daily in two divided doses. For intensive treatment you can start with 160 mg. three times a day.

Garlic is a proven cholesterol reducing herb. Take enough to get 2500 mcg. of allicin, the active ingredient, twice a day.

Psyllium seed is the high fiber ingredient in most high fiber products.

In Conclusion

It is astounding to see the number of cardiovascular patients who make no effort to lose weight! Such a simple thing to do, yet it has life saving effects upon the heart and circulation. Shame on the doctors who do not insist that their CV patients lose weight. If you are overweight, lose it now! See the Weight Loss pages of this web site (links to follow).

Cardiovascular disease is preventable! Even though it is the number one cause of death and disability in the world, the good news is you can do something about it on your own. If you are already a victim, maybe you've had a bypass, and you're wondering if there is hope, the answer is a resounding YES! Find a good nutritionist who can apply the lab tests we've discussed above, follow the protocols we've given you here, lose weight and get on with your life. You'll do just fine. It requires lifestyle changes and self discipline. But it sure beats a life of drugs, surgeries inconvenience and disability, or worse. Get started today. You can do it.

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