(or cardiovascular disease) describes a group of conditions that affect the function and structure of the heart, and usually involves the gradual narrowing of blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
There are many factors that contribute to heart disease – the way we eat and our lifestyle choices are definitely the biggest reasons why heart disease is on the rise!
- High cholesterol
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Coronary artery disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Poor circulation
- Varicose veins
- Heart attack & stroke prevention
Underlying causes that contribute to heart disease:
- Poor diet
(ie. pro-inflammatory, high in sugars, refined flours, processed foods & inflammatory fats)
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits (ie. inadequate exercise)
- **this is the primary root cause of ALL of the risk factors below!
- Hidden inflammation (high C-reactive protein test)
- Oxidative stress
- Environmental toxins overload (ineffective detoxification)
- Hidden allergies from food / environmental
- Dysbiosis (imbalance of healthy gut bacteria)
(genetics may load the gun, but environment / lifestyle pulls the trigger!)
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- Elevated blood sugar / Diabetes
- Overweight (especially around the belly)
- Toxic overload
How do Naturopathic Doctors treat heart conditions?
While conventional pharmaceutical therapy is sometimes necessary for controlling heart conditions, we cannot disregard the effectiveness of positive dietary and lifestyle interventions. Research shows that these healthy changes can be a more powerful intervention to prevent or reverse heart disease than any medication!
( ➜ See the INTERHEART study, published in the Lancet in 2004 )
Diet and lifestyle changes are powerful enough to fix the problem at its roots – it can change our gene expression to modulate inflammation and oxidative stress, and improve our metabolic function. This will not only help us feel more vibrant and healthy (without the side effects of medication), but will also benefit many other chronic diseases!
Dr. Freda Tam, ND’s strategy for treating & preventing heart disease focus on:
- Positive dietary & lifestyle intervention
(healthy fats, nutrient-dense & anti-inflammatory diet)
- Research shows that this could prevent at least 90% of all heart disease! (➜)
- Lowering inflammation
- Steadying your blood sugar
- Correct nutritional deficiencies with quality supplements (ie. omega-3, fiber, etc.)
- Regular exercise
- Effective stress management
- Reduce excess weight
- Improving detoxification
- Reverse the risk factors of heart disease
- Reduce your need for multiple medications