By Compton Chiropractic Care –
If you are like the average American your heart may be in need of help before you reach retirement age. Most American males will need a heart procedure such as a stint before they are 60, and many will need invasive surgery such as coronary bypass between 60-70 years of life. The statistics are only slightly better for American females and heart disease is the leading cause of death for both sexes. When it comes to heart health beating the averages requires dietary and lifestyle changes. At Compton Chiropractic we take additional steps to improve our patients overall health and help prevent heart disease. We do this by targeting the cause of the problem not just treating the symptoms.
In our practice, we use several diagnostic tests to determine your hearts function. We are interested in knowing more than your cholesterol levels which is the current focus of heart health. One test we often recommend is B-natriuretic peptide or BNP. The BNP test will tell us the current risk of an impending heart attack. BNP levels below 100 pg/ml indicate a lower risk and levels above 100 pg/ml indicate heart failure is present. The higher the numbers the greater the immediate risk of heart attack. Many doctors often do not perform this test because medicine has proven to have little to no effect on reducing patients BNP scores. The only way we have found to lower one’s BNP or risk of coronary event is through diet and exercise there is no pill that can do this. Besides evaluating your cholesterol and BNP we evaluate how other organs, such as the liver, are functioning as most drugs used to treat cholesterol have a toxic effect on the liver and this is a concern. Occasionally we see the cause of irregular blood work to be due to liver dysfunction which if not caught early can lead to more medication and further liver damage. This is why your physician checks your liver enzymes regularly if you take one of the many drugs more likely to cause this effect.
At Compton Chiropractic, our goal is to help you make better dietary and life style choices which will decrease your risk of a coronary event. We can monitor your progress by positive changes in your blood profile including a complete metabolic panel, and the BNP values as mentioned prior. As the results of blood work improve the need for medications decreases and we will work closely with our patients primary physicians or cardiologist to decrease or remove medications that we can show are no longer needed. This plan not only improves heart health but our patients see overall health improvements as well. Recently, a patient reported improvement in his overall health and his erectile dysfunction (ED). This is not unusual while we were not specifically treating him for ED, as he had not divulged this condition on his initial exam, he still had improvement. I explained to him having ED is an indication of underlying disease; often cardio-vascular in nature. Our nutritional program is designed to improve overall health and not any particular condition, for him this was a pleasant unexpected effect of our treatment.
Our patients initial blood workup also includes vitamin levels particularly vitamin D which has been shown to help prevent many different cancers and is a precursor to many of our hormones. Blood testing is specific to each patient’s needs; for example in a osteoporotic patient levels of Vitamin A, D, and K2 are evaluated as well as calcium levels and parathyroid function as all these are necessary for bone health. If the patient has fatty liver disease we limit carbohydrates in their diet rather than fats. When glucose levels are low the liver metabolizes fats and fatty liver disease can be treated and reversed by diet only as no medication can do this.
As all drugs we ingest must be processed by the liver including supplements, recommending supplements that are not necessary can further tax the liver. Supplement needs are different for each patient which is the reason blood and urine testing are necessary. The more severe the diseased state the more radical the dietary and lifestyle changes need to be and adherence is often the most difficult part.
Our recommended heart smart diet focuses on reduction of carbohydrates while maintaining adequate protein and fats preferably that are unsaturated. We utilize blood and urine testing to monitor and chart patient’s progress. One thing we have noted since the inception of our program is that many of our patients with preexisting heart arrhythmias particularly atrial fibulation experience a reduction in the frequency of A-fib occurrences and about 8 out of 10 patients can prevent arrhythmias from returning by dietary changes alone. The reason for this is thought to be less than optimal potassium levels in the body as too little potassium can cause arrhythmia’s on the other hand too much potassium can cause the heart to stop beating. As a physician focused on nutrition, I make sure my patients understand they cannot intake too much potassium from food sources alone unless there is an underlying kidney disorder. We recommend daily coconut water for our patients with arrhythmias often one bottle per day is adequate however more may be necessary with use of diuretics. One patient I saw had already had two cardiac ablation surgeries for her daily arrhythmias she was also on Coumadin for the arrhythmias. I recommended for her to intake 3 bottles of coconut water daily. She returned the next month and was very happy as she had only one arrhythmia all month that she reported was relieved by drinking one bottle of coconut water and resting a few minutes. She has since been taken off Coumadin and rarely has an arrhythmia. There are many causes of arrhythmias and additional potassium may not help in some cases but there is no harm in trying this simple dietary change as coconut water is very hydrating and is a good source of minerals. If you feel you can benefit from our program call today for a free seminar as space is limited to the first 20 callers each week. The information contained in this article does not constitute medical advice. Before beginning any new dietary or exercise programs please consult with your physician or call us. We can be reached here in the Villages at Compton Chiropractic Care located in The Palm Ridge Plaza one block off Hwy 466. Office hours are 9-5 M-F call today (352) 633-0887.