Archive for high cholesterol

Heart Disease Prevention and Chiropractic Treatment

Heart Disease – the term could spark apprehension in even the most health-conscious and fit person. Not surprising as cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Many different condition fall under the “umbrella” of heart disease, so we’d like to clarify a bit.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease prevention
Heart Disease, also known as cardiovascular disease (CVD), is actually a group of diseases involving the heart or related blood vessels. These conditions include angina, heart attack (myocardial infarction), stroke, arterial fibrillation, congenital heart disease, and many others.

The causes for heart disorders are, of course, all the “usual suspects”, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, limited or no exercise, obesity, high cholesterol, poor diet, and excessive alcohol intake. High blood pressure accounts for approximately 13% of deaths related to heart disease, while smoking, lack of exercise, excessive weight and diabetes account for 5% to 9% of heart-related deaths.

Other factors that determine a person’s risk of heart disease are age, gender, and family history. Nonetheless, it is estimated that 90% of cardiovascular disease is preventable.

Naturally, regular exercise and a good, healthy diet top the list of things you can do to keep your heart healthy. But there are many other lifestyle choices and therapies that can help as well. We’ll address those in a few paragraphs, but first let’s learn how you can discover it you’re at risk.

Determining your risk for heart disease

the causes of heart disease
Most tests for heart disease are non-invasive or require only a small sample of blood. Generally speaking and depending upon what type of condition your doctor believes you might have, a simple physical exam and information about your personal and family history will be all that is required. However, as we age, other tests may become necessary.

Aside from chest x-rays and electrocardiograms (ECG or EKG), other such tests available are…

Holter Monitoring – A Holter monitor is a portable device that is worn for 24 to 72 hours. It is designed to detect heart rhythm irregularities that are not found during a normal EKG.

Echocardiogram – This noninvasive exam is basically an ultrasound of your chest which provides detailed images of your heart’s structure and function.

Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan – A CT scan is commonly used to check for heart problems. When you have a cardiac CT scan, an X-ray tube inside a donut-shaped machine will rotate all around your body and collect images of your heart and chest.

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – For this type of test, you lie on a table inside a long tube-like machine that produces a magnetic field which, in turn, produces images that helps your doctor evaluate the condition of your heart.

A variety of blood tests can also be used to detect the risk of heart disease. They include the following…

A cholesterol test, which measures the fats (lipids) in your blood.

A CRP (C-reactive protein) test, which indicates a sign of inflammation somewhere in the body as a result of injury or infection. A CRP test, along with other blood test results and risk factors can help paint a picture of your overall heart health.

A fibrinogen test, which measures the protein in your body that helps blood clot. However, too much fibrinogen can increase your risk for heart disease because it can lead to clots forming in your arteries, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Although cardiovascular diseases are prevalent, there are steps you can take to prevent and reduce your risk. Along with improving your eating habits, getting regular exercise, and stop smoking and drinking, you can also benefit from chiropractic treatment.

The benefits of chiropractic treatment in preventing or reducing heart disease

1. Chiropractic treatment can lower blood pressure – When the 1st vertebra (the Atlas) is properly aligned, many people show a marked improvement in blood pressure.

2. Improves the heart’s nerve function– this is called the autonomic tone, and it impacts almost every part of the body including the heart, gastrointestinal tract, lung kidneys, bladder and sex organs.

3. Decreases chest pain – If the vertebrae in the upper neck, the middle (thoracic) part of the spine, or the ribs are misaligned, it may affect the nerves causing the chest wall to tighten. Dr. Martin Gallagher who is both a D.C. and an M.D. states it this way, “The chest muscles, ribs, heart, lungs, and stomach are controlled directly and indirectly by spinal nerves. Misalignments can interfere with these nerves and cause chest pain similar to cardiovascular angina. We call this spinal angina. Sometimes it may even produce tachycardia and other arrhythmias. Few people know about spinal angina and it is rarely diagnosed by medical doctors.” Chiropractic adjustments are a very effective treatment for this condition.

4. Improves lung function – Evidence indication that chiropractic care can positively impact patients with asthma and emphysema. As reduced lung function is linked to heart failure. improved breathing reducing stress on the cardiovascular system.

Dietary supplements to improve cardiovascular health

Although pharmaceutical companies would like you to believe that statins are the only way to reduce cholesterol levels, this simply is not the case. As we’ve discussed in other articles, there are many foods and supplements that can aid in cholesterol reduction without the use of statins. Today we’d like to introduce you to two more favorites: Standard Process’ Cyruta Plus and Cardio – C

Cyruta Plus – This powerful whole food complex can help cholesterol transport and supports healthy healthy peripheral circulation. Some people liken it to a rotor rooter for the arteries..

Cardio-C – This nutritional supplement was formulated based upon chemical and nutritional findings of Linus Pauling. It’s a fine-powder dietary supplement that you take 1-3 times per day

Linus Pauling, an eminent American chemist, biochemist, and the world’s only two-time unshared Nobel Prize laureate believed that too little vitamin C in the body can elevate cholesterol levels, including the Lp(a) variant which causes narrowing of the blood vessels. Upon learning that Lp(a) binds to strands of lysine protruding from weak and damaged blood vessels, Pauling invented a high-lysine / high-vitamin C unified therapy
Cardio-C is a tasty drink mix, and has no fillers. It’s easy to dissolve and is very easy to take.

We stock these two supplements along with many other professional grade supplements in our clinic.

Image of man meditating for stress
Lastly we need to consider our hectic lifestyles and the ways they may contribute to heart disease. Rarely do we find time to rest and relax, but such downtime is essential for our nervous systems. Take time to play by indulging in a favorite hobby, such as knitting, crochet, coloring in an adult coloring book. Recently Dr. Mixon began playing the ukulele! If music from the Hawaiian islands isn’t your style, guitar might be.

Meditation has also been shown to lower stress levels. You don’t have to take a class, you don’t have to be a pro. The key is consistency and to take time to still the mind. Don’t let your harried lifestyle push aside much needed relaxation.

If you’d like to schedule a chiropractic appointment with our clinic you can contact us through our website, or call us at at 972.840.2520. We are an integrated medical clinic and offer the services of two chiropractors a nurse practitioner, massage therapy and exercise rehab. We can help you bring your life back into balance!

5 Little Known Ways to Lower Cholesterol Without Statins

High cholesterol is an all too common problem in our society. There are people whose genetic makeup predisposes them to unhealthy levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. But, for the vast majority of us, this condition is mainly caused by lifestyle choices.

an image of junk food

So the solution would seem to better eating and more exercise. But what if those habits haven’t been enough to get your levels back into a normal range?

A trip to the doctor will often result in a prescription statin medication. Unfortunately, these popular drugs can have serious side effects like muscle pain and weakness. However, there are other natural alternatives to lower cholesterol without Statins.

1. Eat healthy fats

Cholesterol has gotten a bad rap because researchers believe it to be linked to heart disease and strokes. However, cholesterol is actually a naturally occurring, fatty substance produced by the liver. It is a vital to our overall health. The trouble starts when cholesterol levels get too high. This can lead to the build up of plaque in the arteries and deprive the heart, brain and other vital organs of adequate blood flow.

One way to keep cholesterol levels in check is by incorporating healthy fats into your diet. Olive oil, coconut oil, peanuts and avocados are all sources of healthy fats that will actually work to reduce “bad” fats in your bloodstream. So will many fish oils.

2. Cut out sugar and refined carbohydrates

One of the biggest misconceptions about high cholesterol levels is that they are caused by eating fat. This pervasive logic lead to the demonization of the egg. Now we now know the egg is one of the few perfect proteins that exist in nature.

Recent studies have also revealed that high cholesterol levels, as well high triglycerides, are often the result of eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates.

If you’ve switched to a low-fat diet in an effort to achieve normal cholesterol levels, you’ve missed the target. Low fat diets often dish up increased servings of pastas and breads.

The key to reducing high triglyceride levels is to limit your sugar intake, eat plenty of vegetables (5 to 7 servings per day), legumes and healthy fats. The Mediterranean diet is a good model of one such diet.

Many people have had great success with the Paleo Diet as well. Contrary to popular belief, this way of eating is not about stuffing yourself with huge servings of meat.

The primary focus of the Paleo Diet is to eliminate grains and legumes, as many people have difficulty digesting these food sources. Use of vegetable oils, oils, soybean and canola oils are discouraged, as these oils are often derived from genetically modified crops, while conventional processing leaves them rancid.

Proponents of the Paleo diet eat healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds, olive, coconut and palm oils. The focus is upon large quantities of vegetables, healthy animal proteins, such as pastured-raised eggs and chickens and grass-fed beef as well as sustainable seafood choices.

3. Take natural cholesterol lowering supplements

Biolipotrol from Biogensis is one example of a professional-grade supplement that uses natural ingredients to return your cholesterol and triglyceride levels back to a safe level. This special formula contains red rice yeast, green tea and CoQ10, which work together to help your body metabolize fat. Using this supplement in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle enables your body to process and dispose of fats instead of allowing them to build up in your blood stream and cause blockages.

Cardio Edge by Douglas Labs is another powerful supplement that can help reduce cholesterol. This special blend contains vitamins and concentrated plant sterols, powerful cholesterol lowering chemicals that naturally occur in small doses in certain foods.

4. Eat more fiber

Not only does fiber help you stay regular and keep your digestive system in working order, it also acts as a natural cleansing system for cholesterol. Fiber can work to soak up excess cholesterol and allow your body to dispose of excess fats.

Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet is a simple and easy way to increase fiber intake and send a all-natural maid to tidy up your bloodstream and vessels.

5. Drink green tea

If you take a close look at the ingredients in a lot of metabolism boosting and cholesterol lower supplements, you will notice that many of them contain green tea. This super drink is full of antioxidants and has been proven to lower levels of bad cholesterol. If you are eating well, exercising and taking plant sterol based supplements, drinking a few cups of green tea everyday will provide another boost in the fight against high cholesterol. Look for green teas that are naturally decaffeinated to enjoy the full benefits.

With heart disease there are very few symptoms and warning signs. Even subtle symptoms are easy to dismiss and chalk up to other causes like fatigue. If you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and don’t smoke, it may not even occur to you that an increase in high cholesterol levels could be putting you at risk.

Take the first step and get your levels tested. Once you are aware of your own cholesterol levels, you can take proper precautions, by adding natural cholesterol supplements to your daily healthy regimen. If you’d like more information about our Nutritional medicine programs, contact us by clicking the link, or by calling (972) 840-2520.

Why Your Cholesterol Medication May Be Making You Sick

cholesterol medication pill bottles
Prescription cholesterol medications such as Lipitor and Crestor are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States. Known as statins, these drugs have been credited with saving thousands of lives. But medical experts have expressed mounting concerns about the health risks associated with these medicines. They might not be your best option for heart health, especially when more natural, effective remedies exist.

The New York Times reports that recently published evidence suggests a link between statins and type two diabetes. Statin therapy was associated with a 9 percent increase in incident diabetes in a study of 91,140 individuals.

Furthermore, statins make no distinction between bad cholesterol and good cholesterol in the body. Statins work by lowering levels of all types of cholesterol in the body. Statins decrease levels of beneficial cholesterol, which serves a protective role in the body, and also lower levels of CoQ10, which is important for heart health.

So while cholesterol medication could help those in imminent danger of heart attack or stroke, or those who have severe cardiovascular blockage, they are not a good option for healthy people looking to lower their risk of heart attack and stroke. In healthy people, statins have a clinically insignificant effect in reducing heart attack risk. In other words, the benefits are not worth the risk.

Natural remedies exist that have been proven to improve heart health without the harmful side effects of prescription cholesterol medication. The following foods, taken as daily supplements or included in an overall heart-healthy diet, can be much more effective in boosting heart health than taking a risky prescription cholesterol medication.

Six effective, natural solutions for long term heart health

  1. Tuna Oil
    Tuna Oil contains essential Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which provides a plethora of heart health benefits. Omega-3 supports normal lipid function, lowering bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. It supports the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response, which can drastically reduce heart attack risk. Supportive research has shown that DHA and EPA Omega-3 fatty acids has the potential to lower risk of heart diseases. We carry a tuna oil omega-3 formula made byStandard Process that contains all the benefits of tuna oil in a convenient daily supplement.
  2.  White Willow Bark
    With all the similar pain and inflammation treatment properties as aspirin, minus the gastric side effects, white willow bark has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory. This has led to a recent resurgence of one the oldest natural remedies known. Use of white willow bark dates back to ancient Egyptian times.
  3.  Curcumin
    Curcumin, derived from turmeric, is known to inhibit inflammation by restricting NF-kB in the body’s inflammatory response. This reduces inflammation without many side effects, although taking more than 600mg of curcumin daily in extended use can cause upset stomach.
  4. Green Tea
    Green tea is an excellent antioxidant, and is therefore known to have cardiovascular disease and cancer preventive characteristics. Research into the effects of green tea in the body has shown in to be an effective, natural anti-inflammatory agent, providing the benefits of cholesterol medication without the risky side-effects. Taken daily, it can contribute to long term heart health.
  5. Frankincense
    Boswellia serrata resin, derived from frankincense, possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-arthritic properties. Clinically, it is typically used in the treatment of joint problems, but the residual heart health benefits make it a great daily supplement.
  6. Whole Grains
    Whole grain foods such as breakfast cereals, whole grain wheat toast, and any food with whole grain fiber can lower cholesterol. The American Heart Association says that eating whole grains provides important health benefits. It is a good source of dietary fiber, which can lower the risk of heart attack. Dietary fiber leads to a feeling of fullness, which can promote healthier eating habits. Whole grains also contain many other nutrients such as B-vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, and selenium.

The most effective heart-attack preventive measure is nutritional therapy. Alterations in diet can lead to drastically reduced risk of heart attack, and better overall heart health. Of course, lowering your sugar and fat intake will help, but there are also foods that are especially beneficial. Eating heart healthy foods and taking natural, herbal supplements is a much better long term plan for heart health than relying on cholesterol medication as a silver bullet.

If you’d like a safe and healthy way to lower your cholesterol, contact the health professionals at Texas Spine & Wellness. Garland chiropractor Dr. James Mixon and his staff specialize in Nutrition Response Therapy, and customized Nutrition Programs. Each year they help hundreds of people regain their energy and vitality and get back to enjoying life!

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