Cardiovascular diseases are diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and represent the number one cause of mortality and morbidity in the western world.
Atherosclerosis is the main reason for cardiovascular disease. It is a degenerative process of the arterial wall characterized by the formation of plaques in the blood vessel wall, as shown in the figures below.
The damage to the arteries (atherosclerotic process) is a gradual and diffuse (i.e. affecting many arteries) process that starts at a young age. The etiology (causes) of atherosclerosis are multiple, and go far beyond simply cholesterol, obesity, hypertension, or smoking. The figure and table below demonstrate some of the risk factors for developing atherosclerosis.
Risk Factors for Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Disease:
- Endothelial damage and dysfunction
- Free radical damage
- Imbalance of essential fatty acids in phospholipids
- Insulin resistance
- Hormonal imbalance
- Elevated lipid profile
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Immunologic factors
- Excess or deficiency of essential elements or vitamins
- Toxic Elements
- Platelet aggregation
- Cigarette smoking
- changes in concentration, memory, and behaviour.
- changes in vision
- stroke, transient ischemic attack
- chest pain (angina) at rest or with exertion
- shortness of breath
- irregular heart beats
- changes in bowel function and absorption
- changes in kidney function and hypertension
- sexual dysfunction
- pain in the lower limbs at rest or with exertion
- skin ulceration
- cardiovascular disease continues to be the main reason for mortality and morbidity in industrialized nations. This remains true despite the billion of dollars spent on the campaign to fight cholesterol and hypertension and on different types of heart operations.
- the first stages of atherosclerosis begin in childhood.
- by age twenty, the atherosclerotic damage may already be quite advanced.
- angina pectoris (pain due to heart disease) often begins after the blood vessels to the heart (coronary arteries) are seventy percent occluded. This means that you may be pain free and given a clean bill of health despite having advanced heart disease.
- unstable plaques in the blood vessels are the main reason for heart attacks and sudden death
- in general, unstable plaques are not seen by angiography
- in many instances, bypass surgery does not prolong life-span
- coronary artery bypass surgery is associated with a high incidence of neuropsychiatric abnormalities. When formal testing is performed, various degrees of cognitive impairment are seen in up to 79% in the weeks following surgery (Shaw PJ, et al. Neurologic and neuropsychological morbidity following major surgery: comparison of coronary artery bypass and peripheral vascular surgery. Stroke. 1987 Jul-Aug;18(4):700-7).
- heart attacks may be painless
- The progression and manifestations of cardiovascular can be different in men and women.
- death can be the first sign of cardiovascular on twenty to thirty percent of us
- The Framingham Heart Study found that sudden death was the first symptom of coronary heart disease in two thirds of menopausal women (American Heart Association. 1997 Heart and Stroke Facts: Statistical Update. Dallas, Tex: American Heart Association; 1996).
- A stress test may be normal if the blood vessel to the heart is less than 70 percent occluded. This means that you may receive a clean bill of health despite having advanced heart disease.
At the Longevity Healthy Aging® Research Group we offer:
- programs for the prevention, reversion, and treatment of cardiovascular disease
- programs for men and women focusing on the various manifestations of cardiovascular disease in both sexes
- a combination of conventional and complementary care
- testing for the multitude of risk factors predisposing to the development of cardiovascular disease, such as inflammation, glycation, oxidative stress, imbalance of essential fatty acids in phospholipids, and homocysteine, among others
- programs for managing the various cardiovascular risk factors, such as endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative stress, free radical damage, unstable plaques, immunological factors, elevated homocysteine, hormonal imbalance, toxic elements, deficiency or excess of essential minerals and vitamins, and an imbalance of essential fatty acids.
Despite being public enemy number one, most of us (including people who have had heart attacks or heart operations) have limited knowledge on heart disease. Education is essential.
Our program includes education on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative diseases of aging, including diagnosis of risk factors, prevention and treatment. Education is essential because in order to make the right decision we have to understand the problem. Once we identify the risk for disease, it is easier to prevent and treat it.
In addition, our program includes teaching the appropriate diet based on the results of tests (diet by science), use of oral products, as well as various types of intravenous treatments such as advanced chelation. As each person is unique and has a different risk profile, the treatment may vary from one person to another.
The sad thing about heart disease is that in most of us it is preventable.
For a more in-depth view of cardiovascular disease, including cardiovascular disease in women, click here.
“I work hard day and night. If I stop beating, that is the end for you and me- please take good care of me.”
An appropriate balance of essential fatty acids in phospholipids is associated with a decreased risk of sudden death, irregular heart rate, and improved memory and vision. Testing for essential fatty acids in phospholipids is available at Longevity Lab Services® (LLS®).
Free radical damage and oxidative stress testing are available at Longevity Lab Services® (LHA®).