Beloved movie star Elizabeth Taylor recently died from congestive heart failure. Heart disease has touched my life on a number of fronts. I lost both my father and beloved husband to heart disease. They were both way too young too die. As a result I am always checking out new information about heart disease treatment and risk management.
Heart Disease Triggers
Heart disease results primarily from the narrowing of the arteries which pump blood, oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Many people don't realize that heart disease is the number-one killer for both men and women in America. Coronary artery disease is traditionally traced to a condition known atherosclerosis which is the build-up of plaque and cholesterol deposits on arterial walls.
This causes the narrowing of the arteries blocking the natural flow of oxygenated blood to the heart. Known triggers include smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and even extreme cold which can cause an arterial spasm. Extreme stress also has a direct link to heart disease and potential heart attacks. Other major risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Meditation And Acupuncture
Although admittedly I don't do as much as I should to reduce my own risk of heart attack, I do actively meditate since it has been shown to lower cholesterol and reverse carotid artery thickening. I also visit a acupuncturist twice a month since acupuncture has been show to help relax the myocardium and improve circulation. In my case, I do find benefit from both options.
Studies have also shown a positive link between heart disease prevention and regular yoga practice.
Getting The Proper Amount Of Sleep
In a sleep study done at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, researchers followed 71,617 women aged 45 to 65 for 10 years. The study found that women who slept less than five hours a night had an 82% greater risk of heart disease. Those who slept six hours a night had a 30% higher risk. Women who slept seven to eight hours had the lowest risk of heart disease. Ironically, women who slept nine hours or longer had a 37% higher incidence of heart disease.
Black Tea Can Help Prevent Blood Clots
Those same studies indicated that just three cups a day cut your risk by as much as 60%. Researches did point out that in order to get the best benefit from black teas you should dunk your teabag up and down while it's steeping.
Tea bags dunked continuously for three minutes release as much as five times as many heart-healthy antioxidants as those tea bags not dunked or only dunked a minute or so.
Stay Hydrated With Water
Loma Linda University scientists found that people who drink five or more 8 ounce glasses of water per day are as much as 54% likely to ever have a heart attack. Researchers say that water is absorbed into our arteries, where it thins the blood,, dramatically reducing the risk of heart attack triggering blood clots.
Herbs And Nutritional Supplements
Although my husband lived with heart disease for over ten years, he did every thing possible to extend his life with traditional medical techniques as well as meditation, regular acupuncture, rolfing, massage and a committed dietary regime of eating foods known to slow the progression of heart disease.
In addition he took herbs and nutritional supplements known to be used.
Some of the herbs, foods and nutritional supplements known to prevent or slow the progression of heart disease includes, but is not limited to ginkgo, garlic, onion, tumeric (curcumin), ginger (see image to the side), fenugreek and bilberry. He also took L-Carnitine, B6, Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Coenzeme Q10, Vitamin E and Magnesium.
Other beneficial supplements include Guggul, Niacin (Vitamin A) and fish oils. Some experts also believe in the benefits of soy but this is a hotly debated topic.
Ultimately every person must judge for them-self and with the guidance of their primary physician what is the best methods of prevention, management and treatment to follow.
Work With A Heart Specialist
Constant research on heart disease is uncovering new information on a regular basis. Recent studies indicated that regular flossing and teeth care can also play a part in reduction of heart disease development.
Before undertaking any type of preventive or management treatments always work with a physician who can monitor and advise you of your risk factors as well as prescribe an array of options.
Please note that this blog in no way is designed to provide anything by general information. Before undertaking any treatment options always see your primary care specialist first.
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