Something we all want to stay away from! Studies have found that people in Western countries have much higher rates of heart disease than anywhere else in the world. It’s become so rampant, that heart disease is now known as a “disease of affluence.” It only makes sense that a lifestyle disease can be treated with lifestyle modifications, and there are powerful steps that can be taken now, to prevent heart disease in the future! Here are some of the more common heart conditions..
High blood pressure is an extremely common medical condition that increases a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Hypertension is a blood pressure reading that is 140/90 mmHg or higher. The cause of most people’s high blood pressure is unknown, but there are correlations with stress and exercise. Medications for high blood pressure have their fair share of side effects, and lifestyle changes and natural therapies can help. Learning more about high blood pressure.
Cholesterol is a normal part of your cells, but when your blood cholesterol levels get too high, it becomes a risk factor for heart disease. Too much cholesterol can lead to a build up inside your blood vessels, creating a higher chance of your arteries becoming obstructed, and no one wants that! Statins, the medications usually prescribed to help lower your cholesterol, come with side effects, and there are natural methods that work. Find out about naturopathic approaches to treating high cholesterol.
Angina is a kind of chest pain caused by not enough oxygen getting to your heart muscles. It’s not the same as a heart attack, but it often feels like one, and your risk of having a heart attack is much higher if you have angina.
There are two main types of angina:
- Stable angina – this type of chest pain occurs after exercise, and gets better with rest or nitroglycerin. People with this type of angina very rarely feel pain without doing some kind of activity.
- Unstable angina – this type of angina refers to chest pain that is unstable or worsens. It might occur at rest, be new, or be more severe than usual. Unstable angina might signal an impending heart attack.
Angina can be treated with naturopathic medicine by providing antioxidant and nutrient support to the heart muscle. By focusing on weight loss, healthy diet choices, and herbal medicine to strengthen your cardiovascular system, we can increase healthy blood flow in your body.
Chronic or congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition where your heart can’t pump blood well enough to maintain the needs of your body. Signs and symptoms of CHF include shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling of the ankles. CHF is a chronic condition and takes time to develop. It may be the result of a previous heart attack, high blood pressure, alcoholism, or medication toxicity.
Heart Attack & Stroke
Knowing the signs of a heart attack or stroke could save someone’s life. In men, heart attacks usually follow a typical pattern. There is intense chest pain that some people say feels like an elephant stepping on their chest. There is often left-sided arm pain, and the person will likely be clammy and sweating. It may be difficult for them to breathe. In women however, the symptoms of a heart attack might look like a cold or flu. Often they will have stomach pain or nausea, and pain in their right or left arm. If you think someone may be having a heart attack, call 911 right away. It’s better to get it checked out than risk death!
A stroke is caused by a lack of blood-flow to your brain, either because of a ruptured blood vessel or a blood clot. Symptoms of a stroke may be mild, but the person may have an excruciating headache and seem confused. If you ask them to stick out their tongue, it may go off to one side, or their eyes may look in different directions. Like a heart attack, the sooner you can get the person to a hospital, the better their chance of survival. Call 911 immediately if you think someone may be having a stroke!
Naturopathic Medicine and Heart Disease
Naturopathic doctors get the same physiology and pathology training as medical doctors and are well-versed in the causes and treatments of heart disease. While medications may be a necessary step, naturopathic options like herbs and supplements can help reduce side effects and may help lower the pharmaceutical dose you need to take. Lifestyle counseling is one of our core modalities, and we can help you to make the changes in your diet and exercise that will get you healthy. Reducing stress will help lower blood pressure, and acupuncture and IV therapy can both help with your symptoms.
Keep a healthy beat and book an appointment today!