February is National Heart Month, so there’s no better time to give some love to the ticker! Cardiovascular health is essential to overall well-being. The following suggestions are all ways to manage risks associated with cardiovascular disease. The risks include high blood pressure, high blood lipids, high blood sugar, being overweight, and inflammatory diet/lifestyle.

 

Diet and Exercise:

Maintaining a good diet and regular exercise should be part of any heart health plan. Following diets like the mediterranean diet which focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and heart healthy fats/oils such as nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, and olive oil can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease1. When it comes to physical activity regular moderate to high intensity exercise that gets your heart rate up to target is best2. See my previous post for more on finding out how to accomplish your exercise goals.

 

Stress and Emotions:

Stress and emotions are also a important factor in managing heart disease3. Reducing stress/anger and having love in your life should not be overlooked. Having your salivary cortisol measured can provide a window into how well stress is being managed. Then a plan can be created to improve your stress response. Addressing mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety is an important piece as well.

 

Cardiovascular Tests:

In addition to basic metabolic and lipid blood tests Reboot offers advanced cardiovascular health tests. A NMR Lipoprofile test is one such test that not only measures your “good” and “bad” cholesterol but also reports cholesterol particle and size, which gives more specific information about heart health. In addition to this, the test evaluates insulin resistance or high blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar well controlled is essential to prevent damage to blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease. Another test often overlooked but worth considering is high sensitivity C-reactive protein or hsCRP. This test is a general marker for inflammation in the body and is often elevated with heart disease. Think of inflammation as the match that starts the fire of heart disease.

 

Naturopathic Treatment: a plethora of options!

Naturopathic integrative medicine offers a wealth of nutritional, herbal, and homeopathic support to address all of these risk factors, without pharmaceuticals. There are far too many wonderful ways to support the cardiovascular system to mention here, and treatment is always customized to you as an individual.

 

To become a Reboot Center patient, click here.

 

References:

  1. De Lorgeril M, Renaud S, Mamelle N, et al. Mediterranean alpha-linolenic acid-rich diet in secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Lancet. 1994;343(8911):1454-9.
  2. Tanasescu M, Leitzmann MF, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB. Exercise type and intensity in relation to coronary heart disease in men. JAMA. 2002;288(16):1994-2000.
  3. Smith GD, Ben-shlomo Y, Beswick A, Yarnell J, Lightman S, Elwood P. Cortisol, testosterone, and coronary heart disease: prospective evidence from the Caerphilly study. Circulation. 2005;112(3):332-40.