Can Heart Disease Be Reversed?
According to the CDC, one person dies of heart disease every 36 seconds in the USA. It’s the leading cause of death in the nation for males and females. It’s also estimated that 18.2 million adults in the USA (those aged 20 and above) have some level of coronary heart disease.
Heart Disease: Can It Be Reversed?
Cardiovascular disease can take several different forms but the most common is arteriosclerosis, where fat and other substances gradually build up on the walls of the arteries, eventually causing life-threatening blockages.
As we get older, we gather deposits in the arteries and veins but it can take many decades before we see the consequences.
Lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diets and lack of exercise can increase the speed at which a disease such as arteriosclerosis progresses. The truth is that many of us live in violation of our natural physiology, putting us more at risk, especially here in the affluent western world.
The good news is that, with certain lifestyle changes, people can reduce the risk of developing arteriosclerosis and in some cases can reverse it, even in later life.
Convenience Is Pushing Our Bodies to the Limit
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not have big freezers full of meat and ready-meals. They didn’t have local stores where they could stock up on provisions when needed.
They lived a life of feast and famine, depending on what they could find around them – and they ate their fresh food as soon as they had found it (or killed it).
Hunter-gatherers developed mechanisms to store fat so that they could get over fallow periods. Their metabolism also adjusted to times of plenty and times of famine. We have the same mechanisms in place today but there’s an obvious difference.
We no longer have to hunt. The most energy we expend is in driving to the supermarket or pushing a trolley down the aisle. We’ve also found new ways of feeding ourselves with highly processed, mass-produced meals that contain dangerously high levels of sugar and salt.
5 Step Coronary Reversal Program
Doctors are often quick to prescribe drugs like statins even if there is no medical indication that they are required.
Statins can often cause side effects such as muscle pain and they are not suitable for patients who are not at immediate risk. The build-up of plaque is often measured by the level of calcification. A score test value of between 100 and 400 suggests a moderate narrowing of the arteries while above 400 indicates there is a serious issue..
There is evidence to suggest that calcification can be significantly reversed by making lifestyle changes that benefit the individual. Here are the 5 steps that can aid in the reversal of coronary heart disease:
1. Get Tested
The first step is to understand how the heart disease is manifesting and what stage it is at. This should be done in conjunction with a physician and will involve physical tests as well as taking a full history of the patient.
2. Lifestyle Changes
Coronary heart disease is associated with several lifestyle risks and changing these for the better can stop further deterioration and may even lead to a reversal. These include:
- Quitting bad habits: Smoking and drinking are two of the highest risk factors involved in developing heart disease and quitting can have a huge impact on overall health.
- Nutrition: What we put in our bodies is important. Switching to a healthier diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables and removing processed foods not only improves the gut biome but has a profound effect on other areas of the body.
- Sleep: It’s vital for repairing the body and maintaining healthy function but many of us suffer from poor or inadequate sleep. Cultivating the right nighttime habits and finding ways to improve sleep has significant and positive health impacts.
- Exercise: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. The fitter people are, the lower their risk of developing heart disease.
- Wellbeing and happiness: Many of us have stressful work lives and finding ways to reduce this and live more happily also has amazing benefits for overall wellbeing and cardiovascular health.
Especially in the early stages of lifestyle changes, supplements can help provide that extra support needed for individuals with heart disease. This includes Calabrian Bergamot which may help reduce bad LDL cholesterol according to some research.
At Miskawaan we offer a chelation treatment that dissolves the calcium in your arteries. It is possible after a number of these treatments to reduce your calcium score to near zero. While lifestyle changes are the best medicine, important to work with a physician and take prescribed medication when needed. These can help stabilize more serious heart conditions and give the body the chance to ‘recover’ further through focused lifestyle changes.
5. Following Up
Finally, it’s also important to get feedback on the impact of any changes made to the individual’s life and what effect this has on their heart disease. Regular updates on coronary health give the individual the chance to make further changes as they grow older.
The content above is based on the information featured in the three articles linked below.
The author of these articles is Dr Ross Walker, one of Australia’s most esteemed cardiologists and a member of the Miskawaan Medical Advisory board.