Do you know what the single greatest killer throughout the world is? The number one killer in the world is heart disease. Even though heart disease was an uncommon cause of death in the US at the beginning of the 20th century, by midcentury it had become the common most cause. More than 1 million people die of heart attacks every year, 500,000 of which, (or 50% of heart attacks), happen all of a sudden. Essentially, every two or three of us is at risk to die of heart disease!
Heart Disease is sometimes called a “disease of Western, modern civilization” because it was rare before 1900, and still remains much less common in pre-industrialized populations today. By the mid-1900s, coronary heart disease became the nation’s biggest killer, and today, all forms of cardiovascular diseases — including conditions of the heart and blood vessels like angina, congestive heart failure and stroke — are still the leading causes of death in many Western nations. Cardiovascular diseases kill more than 630,000 Americans a year, men and women almost equally. Currently, heart disease is the cause of about 1 in every 4 deaths in the U.S.
What is Coronary Heart Disease?
Coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as heart disease or cardiovascular disease, is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque develops inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. At the point when plaque develops in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. The buildup of plaque happens over many years.
The heart is a muscle and in fact, is the most important muscle within the human body. Its complexity extends far beyond understanding but it essentially consists of blood pumping from the heart to the lungs. At this stage, the blood then collects oxygen. This oxygen–rich blood returns to the heart and organs through the body’s arteries. Additionally, this same routine goes on to repeat itself through the process of circulation.
After some time, plaque can solidify or burst (tear open). Solidified plaque limits the coronary arteries and decreases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. In the event that the plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form on its surface. A large blood clot can partially or completely block blood flow through the coronary artery. Over a period of time, additional plaque further hardens and narrows the coronary arteries.
In its essence, circulation consists of the arteries carrying blood away from the heart and the veins carry the blood back to the heart. Coronary arteries are found on the surface of the heart and are the heart’s network of blood vessels. The Coronary arteries lead the process of circulation by supplying the heart and organs with oxygen. Without oxygen enriched blood, the heart and body’s organs begin to weaken and will soon begin to fail.
During physical activities the supply of oxygen – rich blood may become too low; the reduction in blood flow may not cause any problems at first, but soon enough, as fatty deposits or plaques build up in the coronary arteries signs and symptoms may appear. The narrowing and hardening of the Coronary arteries eventually cause ruptures, heart attacks and other fatal conditions over time.
CHD vs. CAD vs. Atherosclerosis:
- Coronary heart disease and coronary artery disease are used interchangeably by many people.
- The most common type of heart disease is known as coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease occurs when there is a blockage of one or more arteries that supply blood to the heart.
- Angina is the first stage of heart disease. Angina restricts blood flow to the heart. A myocardial infarction, (also known as a heart attack), occurs when the blood flow stops. CHD, or Coronary Heart Disease is what many doctors are referring to when they talk about the combination of these two conditions.
- What is atherosclerosis, and how does it differ from CHD/CAD? The buildup of a substance inside the arteries is what is referred to as arteriosclerosis (also spelled atherosclerosis). Arteriosclerosis is a “disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls.”
- Hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries is referred to as arteriosclerosis. It is known to be a “partially a function of aging.” Over a period of time, the smooth, elastic arterial cells become more fibrous and stiff, thus causing calcium, cholesterol particles, and fatty acids to accumulate on arterial walls and form a swelling called an atheroma. Atheromas are capable of causing blood clots, as well as leading to heart attack or stroke.
Coronary Heart Disease Symptoms:
One of the worst underlying problems of CHD is that not everyone who has it knows it – particularly those who are still within the early stages of it. This is because not all the symptoms are noticeable, in fact most of the people who have CHD experience slight symptoms or at times none at all.
The most common sign of CHD is chest pain or discomfort within the chest. This is due to the lack of oxygen–rich blood being received by the heart. Each individual experiences different symptoms and signs and this is what makes it very difficult to know if the individual has CHD.
Angina – When an individual is experiencing CHD, it feels as though someone is squeezing their heart, which is also a common blocked artery symptom. In its essence, Angina is the feeling of chest discomfort and can spread from the breastbone towards the rest of the body such as the throat, shoulders, back, jaw, neck, arms and even the teeth.
There are several types of Angina but 3 fundamentals are:
- Stable angina: The discomfort may last for a short period of time, and it may feel like gas or indigestion. It happens when the heart is working harder than usual, such as during exercise. It has a regular pattern. It can happen over months or years. Rest or medication can relieve symptoms.
- Unstable angina: This is often caused by blood clots in the coronary artery. It occurs at rest, coming on suddenly, and lasts longer and may worsen over time.
- Variant angina: This type occurs at rest, and it is usually severe. It happens when there is a spasm in an artery that causes it to tighten and narrow, disrupting blood supply to the heart. Triggers include exposure to cold, stress, medicines, smoking, or cocaine use.
Another essential symptom or sign of CHD is the shortness of breath (dyspnea). This occurs if the heart and other organs are getting little or no oxygen.
As CHD worsens, it may cause the individual to experience myocardial infraction (heart attack). This occurs when the heart muscle does not have enough blood which equates to not enough oxygen, which can lead to the muscle dying and therefore, heart attack occurs.
Some symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Chest discomfort and mild pain, or a crushing chest pain
- Light – headedness / dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- nausea and vomiting
- Anxiety and panic
A heart attack is very dangerous and at times fatal. It can cause death or permanent damage to the heart. It is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately if able to be treated by emergency services.
Root Causes of Heart Failure:
Inflammation is a major contributor to heart attack and heart failure which damages the arteries. So the question is “what causes inflammation?” Inflammation is the body’s response to protect itself from harm and is initiated by the body’s immune system. Think of playing in a football game. You are the wide receiver, you jump to catch a long pass and come done only to be hit by another player in the knee. You sustain a knee injury. Immediately, your body will begin to initiate the inflammation process releasing white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets to the injured site to begin making repairs. Just as the inflammation process begins there, it also begins in the arteries when it perceives a danger. Your blood vessels have a layer called the endothelial cell layer. This is the layer of the arteries that you want to protect to avoid a heart attack. When this layer of the arteries feels a threat or danger coming it activates the inflammation process. There are many threats to these arteries such as tobacco smoke, high blood pressure, and oxidative damage from a poor diet, and increased stress. Fried foods Contains advanced glycation which is the main contributor of inflammation.
Highly refined flour – processed carbohydrates are a cause of inflammation. These types of foods pass through the digestive tract quicker than usual causing a spike in sugar levels which then causes a spike in insulin levels. Your body will respond to the increase in sugar and insulin levels with inflammation. These foods also cause the formation of AGE which also initiate inflammation.
Sugars – Never in the human history has human being consumed substantial amount of carbs as recently. Having a high sugar level in the body is equivalent to excessive hormone secretion, such as insulin, cortisol, and estrogen. Eating an excess of sugars causes the production of cytokines, which are also related to inflammation in the body.
Inflammation is also caused by many preservatives found in foods such as mono-sodium glutamate, food allergy gluten and individualized food allergy, and toxic chemicals from conventional dairy or meat. The white blood cells then reach the ECL to assess and repair the damage to the artery. Some of these cells cause more harm than help. There is a type of white blood cell called macrophages that acts as Pac man. These cells at some point turn into foam cells. The foam cells with the help of other types of inflammatory chemicals either cause new plaque to form or cause existing plaque to become unstable. The unstable plaque may then rupture, causing a blood clot to form in the artery. This will occlude the artery and cause a heart attack. Also, people should be extremely careful with conventional meats and dairy due to the antibiotics in the arteries which may be harmful to humans. For example, antibiotics coming from cows are not designed for humans. Moreover, Trans fat is a potential cause of inflammation if excess sugar is present!
- Oxidative damage:
The secondary cause of heart disease/attack is oxidative damage in the artery wall. The lack of antioxidants and formation of free radicals from current industrial oils and processed foods are the primary cause of oxidation in the artery walls. Industrial oils are oxygen-containing molecules with an unequal number of electrons, or free radicals. This unequal number of electrons allows them to react with many other molecules. Industrial oil can cause chemical reactions in your body because they react very easily with other molecules. Industrialized oil is colored and bleached, which also causes damage in the arteries as well as throughout the body. The over-production of free radicals reacts with the cell membrane fatty acids and proteins. This in turn will impair their ability to function permanently. LDL is the great cholesterol carrier supposed to be involved in healing the arteries. When normal LDL cholesterol meets free radicals, it produces oxidized LDL. The oxidation of LDL74 along with inflammation response can result in atherosclerosis. This hardening of the arteries causes decreased blood flow and increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
- Lack of Vital nutrients
Malnutrition in heart disease is related to loss of muscles, fat and bone mass. Its causes are due to minimized intake or inflated loss of nutrients, and inflated rate of protein dysfunction involving cortisol, epinephrine, renin as well as aldosterone.
Lack of minerals: The lack of certain minerals contributes to having a heart attack. Human body requires a minimum of 43 major minerals and 14 trace minerals. Many people are taking too much sodium or too little sodium. Too much sodium may cause an increase in blood pressure. This may damage the arteries leading to the heart, causing a slight drop in the amount of blood that the heart receives. Due to this, sometimes a person will have angina, a sharp pain in the chest. If you continue to take in too much sodium, the damage from high blood pressure will become too severe to the point of a burst artery or a clogged artery, leading to heart attack. Too little sodium in the body will lead to muscles cramps or spams, headache and nausea. It can also lead to weakness as it is the main transporter of glucose into the cells. Glucose is the cell’s energy source. Lack of energy will cause one to become tired and weak. Too much or too little potassium can result in dysrhythmias of the heart muscle and can also lead to a heart attack. All organs of the body need oxygen to survive including the heart. Lack of oxygen supply to the heart muscle will cause a person to have a heart attack.
Lack of Vitamins: Human body requires a minimum of 16 essential vitamins. Lack of certain vitamins will also contribute to heart problems. For instances Vitamin K2 reduces blood vessel calcification. Vitamin C and B groups have many functions. Vitamin C helps to cut down inflammation as well as to heal inflammation in the heart. Vitamin C also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well as help with the immune system. Vitamin B not only reduces homocysteine concentrations, it also improves vascular endothelial function to combat heart attack. Vitamin E is known to prevent damage in the arteries caused by the oxidation of LDL’s.
- High Blood Pressure (HBP)
High Blood Pressure (HBP) is the most well-known factor associated with heart diseases. It narrows the artery line, which is already terribly slender because of the reasons mentioned above. Therefore, HBP causes the heart to work harder in order to let the blood move throughout the body. High blood pressure along with other complexities such as obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes also increases the chances of having a heart attack. In fact, if anyone has high blood pressure, that person could potentially expect heart attack or heart failure anytime.
- Toxicity in the Arteries
Adrenal: The Adrenal gland is considered the pharmacy of the body. When you are faced with a frightful or stressful situation, your body will go into what is known as the fight or flight state. During this time, adrenaline and noradrenaline will be released. Too much of these hormones can cause plaques to dislodge in the arteries, which could send blood clots to the heart and cause a heart attack.
Acidity and Mold: If your body is acidic, you are at higher risk for bacterial and fungal infections. Acidity of the body also contributes to heart attack. When your body is acidic several things may take place. Blood cells will stick together like magnets. This happens when the electrical charge of the blood cells changes due to the acidic blood. The sticking together of red blood cells forms clots which will eventual cause a heart attack or stroke. High levels of acid in the blood draws minerals out of the bones causing atherosclerosis.
Cancer causes: Plastic, petroleum, pesticides, dental restoration materials (several types of Hg fillings), Pd (degrade function of tissue) are factors linked to cancer, they are also found in the clogged arteries as a potential cause of heart diseases.
The goal of conventional treatment to stop the narrowing of the arteries and prevent blood clots. This can be done with medications. To decrease the amount of heart damage, these medications must be given as soon as possible. Delaying these medications will result in more damage and less benefit of the medication.
Some drugs that may be used to treat a person after having a heart attack include:
- Aspirin which works to prevent more blood clots that are likely to worsen the heart attack
- Other antiplatelets, such as Brilinta, Effient, or Plavix which are also used to prevent blood clotting.
- Thrombolytic therapy which dissolve the blood clots in the heart’s arteries
- Vasodilators may be given to dilate the blood vessels allowing more oxygenated blood to flow through.
- ACE inhibitors – These medications lower blood pressure and reduce the work on the heart muscle. They will also slow down further weakening of the heart muscle
- Statin medications – These medications will help to lower cholesterol levels
- Beta blockers- These drugs slow down the heart rate and decreases the strength of the heart muscle contractions which minimizes how hard the heart must work.
After a heart attack, the patient may be taken to the Cath lab to evaluate the heart’s arteries and the amount of damage to the heart. This is where an angioplasty or stents may be placed to help open the narrowed or blocked arteries. If necessary, a bypass surgery may be performed after a heart attack to restore the blood flow to the heart’s muscle.
Why conventional treatment does not cure?
In this day and age, CHD is believed to be more chronic than it is believed to be fatal. Cardiologists have been trying their best with medicines and medical procedures to prevent heart failure. Doctors have turned to medications and surgeries to help treat CHD, however these treatment processes are merely meant to just resolve these problems temporarily rather than address the causes of heart diseases and preventing it from happening. Although the number of hospitals and pharmaceuticals have been growing for over a decade, heart disease has also continuously increased. It was the number one killer in 1950 and is the same now. Studies have concluded that one in three of us is waiting to die of a heart attack. Surgical procedures are not the best method due to incomplete removal of the deep cause of artery blockage. Diabetes and heart problems develop not because of lack of medicine but due to lack of nutrients. Therefore, drugs and procedures are just increasing the death rates according to many studies. While the conventional treatment helps to control and maybe alleviate some of the symptoms, they also have grave risks which prevent them from being completely effective.
ACE inhibitors may cause your blood pressure to drop drastically, causing the individual to become dizzy or even faint. The function of the kidneys may also be compromised by the drugs due to the increase in potassium levels. Both too much potassium and too little potassium will lead to abnormal heart rhythms.
Angioedema is also a side effect of these drugs which will lead to airway obstruction. Beta Blockers may not be effective in treating or preventing heart attack because they may slow the heart rate down too much, resulting in the person becoming dizzy and/or fainting. These drugs also constrict the airways and are contraindicated in patients with chronic lung disease or asthma.
Aspirin and antiplatelets may cause the individual to have increased internal bleeding. They may cause bleeding of the brain which is the control center for all organs of the body including the heart. For those reasons, bleeding of the brain is extremely dangerous and life threatening.
Statins have been shown to increase the risk of diabetes, which is one of the #1 leading causes of heart attacks. Vasodilators have been known to cause chest pain, rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations and severe headaches that may not go away.
Nutritional Treatment of Heart diseases
Over the last five years of groundbreaking discoveries on nutritional science has shown that heart disease is completely reversible with curing its root cause by nutritional treatment. Eventhough nutrition has not been applied to treat the heart problems, the best preventative and complete recovery methods for CHD is through excellent lifestyle with high nutrition dense food. Here are the summery of nutro-scientific treatment.
1. Gut health: We need plenty of nutrients every day for good overall health and to maintain a healthy digestion system. This includes plants and vegetables, which contain plant-based Micronutrients, phytochemicals, fiber, and plenty of antioxidants.