|The Trumpet Medical Advisor|
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Patricia Naeder, RN, BS.
November, 2009 Edition
High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Disease
Do you have high blood pressure? High cholesterol? Are you on meds for this? Being more informed can help you make better decisions, and ask better questions of your doctors.
The cardiovascular system is comprised of the heart, blood vessels, nerves, and lymph system. Blood vessels carry oxygenated blood and nutrients throughout our body. A healthy cardiovascular system has clear and flexible blood vessel walls, with no obstructions, narrowing, or inflammation. We try to avoid high BP, high Cholesterol, Diabetes 2, Heart Attack, Stroke, and others.
Ask your Physician about the following Educational Information to see if any of it applies to your present situation.
What goes wrong to cause this disease to overtake us?
The blood vessel walls thicken and become narrow (stenosis) and inflamed. This can cause high blood pressure, blockage, interruptions, and more. Plaque in the walls can evolve, enlarge and be in multiple places. They can collect platelets and other substances in the inflamed vessel wall. This build-up can occlude blood vessels. Plaque can also break off and move.
Our heart is supplied by 3 coronary Arteries. If blockage occurs in any of these 3 main arteries, or their branches, this causes the death of heart muscle (myocardium). Beyond that point; that is a Heart Attack, also known as a Myocardial Infarction or an “M.I.”
Some Causes of vessel wall thickening, plaque and inflammation in our blood vessels are:
· Our Western Diet, high in fat, sugar, fructose, and red meat, which can be inflammatory.
· Little or no supplements when needed.
· Little or no exercise.
· Cigarette smoking, recently found to be more damaging and inflammatory than ever thought.
· Stress, which releases very damaging Cortisol into the body. That is why it is called the aging chemical.
This vessel inflammation can cause nicks, cracks and plaque in vessel walls. This is Atherosclerosis. If a piece of plaque or clot breaks away, and travels to the brain, that is a Stroke. If it travels to the lungs, that is a pulmonary embolism. To the heart, it is a heart attack.
Smaller Vessels may also become obstructed.
· In the brain, these can cause memory deficit, and cognitive dysfunction
· In the eyes, visual disturbances can occur, such as macular degeneration
There are 3 basic types of Cholesterol:
Have your blood drawn to check on them regularly.
1. LDL is the Bad Cholesterol clogging vessels.
2. Triglyceride is another bad actor causing plaque and thickening of walls.
3. HDL is the Good cholesterol which sweeps the bad cholesterols back to the liver to be metabolized out of the body..
Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia:
These conditions cause damaging high stress, which releases cortisol and adrenalin, which damage blood vessel walls, and your mental peace. Dealing with these issues yourself is exhausting and non productive. You will eventually become worn down and your coping mechanisms may fail. Do the following
1. See your physician for medication relief to balance the 4 main brain chemicals. Ask your Doctor about natural supplements that work for these issues, such as melatonin for insomnia.
2. Then please try a few Talk Sessions with a Psychologist. The combination of these two steps will take the weight of the world off of your shoulders.
3. No one should suffer with these issues. They are real problems, and can be seen physically on a brain scan.
4. Tell yourself: If a brain scan can see the physical effects of these three conditions on me, then I have the ability to change the level of those chemicals.
About Doctors: Remember: If doctors do not hear from you after they prescribe something, they think that your symptoms went away. Get back to them so they can refine their treatment if the first one didn’t work. They use Step Therapy, using conservative first.
If your life consists of Daily High Stress, don’t kid yourself; you are bombarding your vessels and brain with adrenalin, and cortisol. It takes its toll, physically and mentally, over time.
Your goal is to keep you body and brain chemicals in a Calm balance. Maybe you have to delete toxic people from your life, or make a plan to get those pressing issues off of your plate, one at a time. Use problem solving; but only one problem a day.
The Diabetes Connection:
Diabetes and atherosclerosis can be entwined. Genetics, Obesity, Lifestyle.
If you have Diabetes Type I then it starts as a genetic disease, and usually requires Insulin. You may have the gene, but it’s what you do in response that will help you. Diet, exercise, medications, and supplements can help.
If it’s Diabetes Type II, then it has an adult onset, and your doctor may suggest the supplement chromium piccolinate to help with metabolism of sugar. Losing weight, eating a healthy diet, high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber, coupled with 30 minutes of activity four times a week are suggested.
It is an amino acid in the blood. If you have too much, it damages the lining of blood vessels, the way sugar and smoking do. Homocysteine also increases the chances of producing blood clots. Your physician may recommend Folate (Vit B9) approximately 700 mcg/day. Also, eating a Folate rich diet helps.
Your physician can measure it for you and help you balance it.
Causes damage to the Immune System by inactivating the cells that defend you. It also can cause Anxiety, Depression, and even psychosis; (alcohol induced psychosis). Alcohol attacks the nerves, and can impair memory, and cause numbing of the extremities, (neuropathy). It also enables the excretion of the all important mineral, Magnesium, in the urine. Magnesium is required for good cardiovascular health.
C Reactive Protein: Have your Physician check your blood level for C Reactive Protein:
It indicates inflammation in your body. If it’s positive, it increases your risk for atherosclerosis, and its accompanying inflammatory process in the walls of your blood vessels. Inflammation of the blood vessels, nerve endings and even the brain are being studied more now, and the implications are significant.
What can we do to stay Heart Healthy? You can make Lifestyle changes:
We can keep inflammation down and energy up in our body with diet and supplements:
· Eat low fat, low sugar diets
· Eat diets high in vegetables and fruit
· Take the correct combination of supplements for individual needs. See below
· Regular exercise, such as walking about 4 days a week helps immensely.
Those with allergies should treat them quickly and keep them under control, to prevent the inflammation that is part of the allergic process. Respect your allergies.
Cardiovascular Disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US and the Western world. Yet the Eskimos who eat mostly fish and the fat of the fish, have almost no cardiac disease. Why?
Scientists believed that there was something in Fish that was good for us, and they found it: Omega 3 fish oil! It is better gotten from cold water fish but capsules will work also. Eating specific fish for the Omega 3 is great, but watch your mercury level. Look up fish charts with high mercury and avoid them. Gel caps with Omega Fish Oil, one a day, avoids this problem, so you can balance both.
Omega 3 lowers triglycerides, BP, heart rate, and atherosclerosis. Omega 3 has other significant benefits: It has been studied for treatment of depression, and for increased memory and brain function. It is very versatile.
Dr. Oz and Dr.Roizen, in their book, “One The Manual,” remind us about food:
Dietary Recommendations- Mediterranean Style:
1- The Doctor’s recommend a Mediterranean style diet:
High in vegetables, fruit, fish, olive oil, and nuts.
It has been found by a Study done at Columbia University that this type of diet, reduced Inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, and also the incidence of alzheimers.
2- A Mediterranean type diet is low in red meat, low in sugar and low in hi fructose, low in processed foods with chemical names that are unpronounceable. Eat whole foods. It is low in full fat dairy, cheese baked goods, butter, palm and coconut oils, which inflame blood vessels. It is low in the white processed foods too, like white bread, white pasta, and rice. Better to replace this with Whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, and brown wild rice.
3- Eat plenty of fresh green leafy vegetables like spinach, and kale. Eat brightly colored vegetables like red bell pepper,(which also has anti-viral properties) and have cold water fish 3 times a week: Salmon Mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. Salmon from a can is acceptable.
4- Eat plenty of fruit. Blueberries , raspberries and grapes are excellent for heart and vessels. The supplement Resveratrol is made from red grape skins for heart health. Also fruit has fiber and many anti-oxidents. Shop from the perimeter of the super market where the fresh produce is. Pure Fortified Orange Juice is good but not for diabetics because of the sugar.
5- Eat soups to fill you up, and get the anti-oxidant benefit of the vegetables, but not creamed soup.
6- Eat Walnuts and other nuts for omega 3
7- Eat mushrooms for antibiotic properties
8- Eat yogurt, low fat sour cream for the pro-biotics to strengthen your Immune System
Supplements: Consult with your Physician on the following so that they can check interactions with your present drug regimen:
Generally you should take:
1- A daily Multi-vitamin, (with minerals if you’re over 50 yrs.) “Your Multivitamin is a Fountain of Micro Nutrients!
2- Omega 3 capsule, one a day. It makes platelets less sticky, lowers LDL,cholesterol, raises the good HDL cholesterol, calms inflammation, thereby lowering blood pressure. Studies are pouring in as to it’s multiple benefits.
3- CoQ10 has been used to energize cells, giving the heart extra strength. It speeds up mitochondrial multiplication at the cellular level. For instance it can heal bleeding gums in half the time, and dentists use it for periodontal disease. Most Medical Centers use CoQ10 as Standard Treatment Protocol of Cardiac patients. Take one a day. Start with lower dose and work up.
4- If you have diabetes, your can take chromium piccolinate otc, to help sugar metabolism. Check with your doctor.
5- Ask your Physician about taking Niacin.
6- If you are not allergic, your can take ˝ an aspirin once in a while, to keep blood a little thinner, However if you are on Plavix,, Coumadin, heparin, or any other blood thinner don’t take it. They all thin blood; even Vit E thins blood, so you must consult your physician for balance here.
7- It is critical for you to Make a List of all of your Meds, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and bring it with you for Doctor visits.
8- These Substances Interact with each other and need to be constantly re-balanced. You can also hand your list to your Pharmacist and they will know the same interactions and balance. They will call your doctor for you, if you wish.
Walking 30 minutes 3 times a week will help right away.
Do not over exercise. It causes micro-injuries in muscles and joints & requires repair time, and unnecessary demand on your body.
1- Walking lowers BP, Lowers LDL, Raises the good HDL .
2- Increases circulation, bringing oxygenated blood and healing nutrients to all parts of your body.
3- It decreases inflammation. Vessels become more elastic, and it strengthens Heart squeezing power.
4- You lose weight. But not too much. Then you might have other problems. If you are under-weight ask your physician for a protein supplement to help you.
5- Walking raises endorphins.
We all know this list is very long. But walking is a life saver.
Your physician will usually use “step therapy” to treat cardiovascular issues; that is using the mildest medication first and then adding on, or switching agents if blood pressure, and/or cholesterol are not well controlled.
Statins may be prescribed to control cholesterol. Sometimes CoQ10 supplement may be added here.
For Blood Pressure, thiazides may be prescribed. They are diuretics and you will be going to the bathroom more often.
You doctor may prescribe an A.C.E. inhibitor, Beta Blocker, Calcium Channel Blocker, and many others.
Consult with your physician about the action of these meds.
Continue eating a low calorie, low saturated fat, low sugar, high vegetable, natural fruit diet, with more fish, chicken, and lean meats, and less red meat.
Your doctor may advise you to take over the counter supplements such as:
1- multivitamins with or without minerals,
4- chromium piccolinate if you have high blood sugar,
5- Alpha Lipoic Acid, especially for diabetes
There are Four Natural Supplements that are commonly used for cardiovascular health. This is explained very well by Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C. in his book, “The Sinatra Solution” metabolic cardiology.
The Awesome Foursome:
1- CoQ10 – A powerful Antioxident that increases cellular energy, and repair, making cardiovascular system stronger.
2- L-Carnitine – works with CoQ10 to increase cellular energy and strength. It has been found to be deficient in people with heart disease and renal insufficiency.
3- D – Ribose – Re-fills the cellular energy pool when there is oxygen depletion.
4- Magnesium – is critical for energy processes in vessel walls to keep them toned.
“You, The Owner’s Manual” Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD.
“Foundations for Healing” Dr. Richard Becker D.O.
“Reversing Heart Disease” Dr. Sinatra, M.D, F.A.C.C.
Good Health to you,
|This column is for informational purposes only, and represents the opinion, and reporting of the author only. Any discussions with the Author should be presented to your own personal Physician for his/her Professional opinion. It is not meant to substitute for seeing one's own Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, or Psychologist for Professional care.|