Improving Heart Health Naturally5
It is vital to keep your blood pressure under control because the higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, impotence, loss of mental function, and dementia.
Whats more, dramatic increases in heart attack and stroke risk do not begin with readings of 140/90, the numbers that used to define high blood pressure. We now know that serious, life-threatening risks begin at much lower readings like 130/80. Thats why newly published U.S. guidelines state that high blood pressure is now defined as 130 and higher for systolic blood pressure , or 80 and higher for diastolic blood pressure .4
To lower your blood pressure, start with a heart-healthy, lifestyle-based approach like Pritikin.
Most people with high blood pressure, also called hypertension, can control their blood pressure without the need for medications by following the Pritikin Program. Those who still need pills usually require lower dosages and/or fewer pills.
Key guidelines we teach at the Pritikin health resort for lowering blood pressure naturally include:
She Learns New Things
Learning new things forces you to make new synapses in the brain, enhancing your cognitive reserve, Tanzi says.
Things like learning a new musical instrument, gardening, crocheting, or learning to dance, are all activities that can help keep patients in the present and active.
“You want to stop the brain from being in its default mode,” Tanzi says.
Improving Heart Health Naturally2
As our body weight rises, so does our risk for plaque build-up in our arteries and a heart attack.
Being overweight is linked with several major risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and bad forms of cholesterol.
Whats good for your heart is also good for losing belly fat.
Obesity also can lead to heart failure, a very serious condition in which the heart is incapable of pumping enough blood to meet the bodys needs.
Numerous studies have found that belly fat is particularly dangerous. In fact, in one recent study3, a pot belly even in people who were otherwise normal weight dramatically increased the risk of dying.
Fat in the belly doesnt just sit there, taking up space. It pumps out chemicals like cytokines that trigger chronic inflammation throughout the body. Thats a big problem because chronic inflammation is thought to be one of the major factors linking obesity to various life-crippling diseases, including heart disease.
Fat cells in the belly also produce chemicals, including steroid hormones, which make you more likely to gain fat. Yes, its a vicious cycle. The more belly fat you have, the more fat-storage hormones you produce, and the harder it is to lose weight.
There are more hormonal horrors. When belly fat reaches abdominal obesity levels , another very important fat-storage hormone called insulin is often negatively affected, creating more problems for our metabolism.
Also Check: How Does Fitbit Calculate Resting Heart Rate
Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
Monitoring blood pressure at home, in addition to regular monitoring in a doctors office, can help control high blood pressure.
Chart your blood pressure readings over time. This can reveal trends and help to eliminate false readings.
Find out more about how healthy eating can lower your blood pressure with the DASH eating plan.
Can Congestive Heart Failure Be Reversed If Caught Early
The answer is, it depends. CHF is a chronic condition that gradually worsens over time for many patients, although some cases may be reversed with timely treatment and healthy lifestyle choices. In general, heart disease is more likely to be reversed when it is identified early and promptly addressed.
Read Also: Mayo Clinic Heart Rate
S For The Primordial Prevention Of Heart Disease
Four key lifestyle steps can dramatically reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular risk factors and ultimately heart disease:
1. Not smoking
One of the best things you can do for your health is to not use tobacco in any form. Tobacco use is a hard-to-break habit that can slow you down, make you sick, and shorten your life. One way it does this is by contributing to heart disease.
In fact, researchers examining the relationship between cigarette smoking and smoking cessation on mortality during a decades-long perspective study of over 100,000 women found that approximately 64% of deaths among current smokers and 28% of deaths among former smokers were attributable to cigarette smoking.
- This study also reported that much of the excess risk due to smoking may be drastically lowered after quitting. Additionally, the excess risk for all-cause mortalitythat is, death from any causedecreases to the level of a never-smoker 20 years after quitting.
The nicotine that tobacco products deliver is one of the most addictive substances around. That makes tobacco use one of the toughest unhealthy habits to break. But dont get discouraged many smokers do quit! In fact, in the United States today there are more ex-smokers than smokers. Learn more about the hazards of smoking, the benefits of quitting, and tips for quitting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Maintaining a healthy weight
4. Following a healthy diet
Supportive policy change
Symptoms That Occur First
- Small appearance
- Puffiness around the eyes
However, theres a slight problem when a child is suffering from congestive heart failure. The symptoms mentioned above can very likely be mistaken for a repertory infection or colic. This makes it difficult to diagnose congestive heart failure in children and infants when compared to adults.
If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately.
Improving Heart Health Naturally3
For years, we in the medical community taught that lowering LDL was the primary treatment target for reducing cardiovascular events. And certainly, improving LDL is still very important.
But there is now growing consensus that non-HDL cholesterol is a better predictor of cardiovascular disease risk because non-HDL contains not only LDL but other bad particles that contribute to the build-up of cholesterol-filled plaques in the artery wall.
Nowadays, most standard lipid panels will tell you what your non-HDL cholesterol is.
What Happens With Heart Failure
The term Heart Failure suggests that the heart has stopped working or has failed. This is not the case. What it actually means is that the heart is not working as well as it should, and cannot pump enough blood to meet the bodys needs.
This happens because the heart is weakened by conditions or diseases that damage the heart muscle. Most of these conditions weaken the heart little by little, over a period of time.
Recommended Reading: Does Dehydration Cause Increased Heart Rate
Risk Factors For Heart Failure
Health conditions that left unrecognized or untreated will increase the lifetime risk of developing heart failure. Some of these diseases include:
- Coronary heart disease and heart attacks
- High blood pressure
Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for heart failure, especially for people who have one of the diseases listed above. Unhealthy behaviors include:
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Use of illegal drugs, like methamphetamines or even excessive alcohol intake
- Eating foods high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium
- Not getting enough physical activity
When To Call 911
Some heart failure symptoms warrant emergency care. Call 911 immediately if you or someone around you:
- Has chest pain that is sharp or radiates throughout the upper body
- Has bluish skin resulting from a lack of oxygen
- Is breathing rapidly
- Experiences sudden or severe shortness of breath
- Loses consciousness
Also Check: Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Elevated Heart Rate
S For Improving Heart Health Naturally
Here are 9 key tips for improving heart health naturally. Tip Number 1: Sit less and more more.
For most of us, preventing heart disease depends largely on our lifestyle, which means theres much that’s in our power to improve our odds of living long and well. Here are 9 key steps for improving heart health naturally.
The use of medications, when appropriate, can be beneficial, but medications should be an adjunct to lifestyle improvements like healthy food. In this article are 9 steps for improving heart health naturally.
Healthy changes in the way we live, particularly diet and exercise, have been proven to:
- Dramatically reduce heart disease risk factors
- Stabilize plaques in the arteries so they are less likely to burst and trigger blood clots that block blood flow, causing heart attacks
- Reverse the progression of coronary artery disease, or atherosclerosis
A heart-healthy lifestyle like the Pritikin Program can help reverse the progression of atherosclerosis.
What Is Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive Heart Failures definition is a medical condition in which the heart isnt able to pump sufficient blood to meet the bodys circulatory needs. It doesnt mean that the heart has failed entirely as in stopped or gone into arrest. Rather, congestive heart failure means the blood output from the heart is weak and that the heart is not pumping the amount necessary for the body to function normally. 1,2,3The weakening of the hearts pumping ability causes:
- Tiredness and shortage of breath
- Blood and fluid backing up into the lungs
- Edema the buildup of fluid in the feet, ankles and legs
Not all conditions that cause congestive heart failure can be reversed but proper treatment can improve the signs and symptoms to improve quality of life. A number of congestive heart failure natural treatments and home remedies are available. 1,2,4,5
Recommended Reading: What Is A Typical Resting Heart Rate For A Healthy Individual
What Is The Pritkin Program
It is a program for diet and exercise. The program champions unprocessed or minimally processed foods in addition to regular exercise and physical activity. It is more of a brand than a scientific method however. It centers on books and a resort that aim to improve cardiovascular health through the associated lifestyle.
Silencing The Hippo Pathway
In this study, we investigated the Hippo pathway, which is known from my labs previous studies to prevent adult heart muscle cell proliferation and regeneration, Prof. Martin notes.
In their study paper, he and his colleagues explain that the Hippo pathway a kinase cascade that prevents adult cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration is more active in patients with heart failure.
This, says first author John Leach, a graduate student of molecular physiology and biophysics in Prof. Martins group, led us to think that if we could turn Hippo off, then we might be able to induce improvement in heart function.
So, the team silenced the Hippo pathway in a mouse model that mimics the type of advanced heart failure that occurs in humans after a heart attack. They compared the results with those of a group of healthy mice .
After 6 weeks we observed that the injured hearts had recovered their pumping function to the level of the control, healthy hearts, says Leach.
The researchers believe that silencing Hippo not only renews heart muscle cells as investigated extensively in their study but it also changes the process of fibrosis, or scarring. They call for further studies to investigate the effects on fibrosis.
Our findings indicate that the failing heart has a previously unrecognized reparative capacity involving more than cardiomyocyte renewal.
You May Like: Does Acetaminophen Raise Blood Pressure
Injured Hearts Favor Scarring To Regeneration
At present, the best treatment for heart failure is a heart transplant. However, the number of heart failure patients far exceeds the number of hearts available for transplant. Having a ventricular assist device implanted is also an option, but it is a much less favorable one.
One of the curious things about heart muscle is that it does not regenerate when it dies after being starved of oxygen, such as after a heart attack.
Instead of generating new beating muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, the heart replaces the dead tissue with scar tissue made from fibroblast cells.
Unlike cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts have no pumping ability, so the heart gradually gets weaker and weaker, with the result that the majority of severe heart attack patients develop heart failure.
Prof. Martin says that he and his laboratory team are studying biological pathways that are active during heart development and regeneration in order to find ways to heal heart muscle.
Biological pathways are series of molecular events inside cells that lead to changes in the cell or result in particular products. For example, they can turn genes on and off and they can trigger cells to make fats, proteins, hormones, and other molecules. They can also carry signals and cause cells to move.
What Causes Heart Failure
Cardiomyopathy is the general term for a heart that is enlarged or damaged by one of several diseases. Cardiomyopathy can be caused by coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, viral or bacterial infections that attack the heart, drugs that damage the heart muscle, prolonged alcohol abuse, some metabolic diseases, as well as other causes.
Coronary Artery Disease is the most common cause of Heart Failure. CAD is a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. Cholesterol deposits clog the arteries, decreasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. This can weaken the heart muscle. Opening the arteries may improve Heart Failure. CAD can result in a myocardial infarction or heart attack. A heart attack occurs when plaque and clotting cause a complete blockage in a coronary artery. The heart muscle that was receiving blood from the blocked artery dies, causing permanent muscle damage. An enlarged heart from CAD or from a prior heart attack may be referred to as ischemic cardiomyopathy. Six out of every seven patients hospitalized with Heart Failure have a history of coronary artery disease, and three out of four have a history of high blood pressure.
Other conditions some of which are temporary and treatable, can cause Heart Failure. These include:
- Unknown causes
You May Like: Tylenol And Heart Palpitations
Nutrition And Dietary Supplements
Heart failure is a serious medical condition and should be treated by conventional medicine. You should never add supplements or complementary and alternative medicine therapies to your regimen unless specifically instructed to do so by your physician. It is best to work with a health care provider trained in the use of nutritional medicine. Many people with heart conditions take multiple medications, including blood-thinning medications, blood pressure medications, and others. The supplements below can interact with these and many other medications and may not be right for people with certain medical conditions. You should use the supplements listed below only under the supervision of your cardiologist, and a doctor who understands the contraindications and interactions associated with these supplements.
Amino acids. A few small studies suggest these amino acids might be helpful for heart failure. More research is needed:
- Arginine . Arginine can lower blood pressure, and may be unsafe to take with blood pressure medications. It may also interact negatively with medications that increase blood flow, such as nitrates, as well as medications used to treat erectile dysfunction.
- Taurine . Taurine can interact with lithium, and may be unsafe in people with bipolar disorder.
Diet Is Key To Eliminating Risk Of Heart Disease
Many people wait until disaster strikes before addressing any significant lifestyle changes including radical shifts in diet. I remember my Uncle Kuni, who when I was a child survived a massive heart attack and immediately afterward took on a strict vegetarian diet.
When I was growing up he seemed eccentric and a bit extreme, but now I understand his near death experience pushed him to a new way of viewing food and the purpose of eating. He ate to stay alive, not for his personal pleasure or as a distraction or as a way to modify his mood. He ate clean food, exercised daily and lived for 20 years after that initial cardiac event. In fact he outlived almost all of his siblings who didnt get that early memo that food matters and that what we eat is truly a matter of life or death.
You May Like: Dehydration And Arrhythmia
What Is The Ornish Plan
The definition often used in research studies of this plan is low-fat vegetarian diet, stopping smoking, stress management training, and moderate exercise. Its often neglected that this plan is not simply a diet, it is a comprehensive lifestyle change with all of the above that would be required to see the claimed results. It is a profit driven enterprise that centers on books and programs.
Improving Heart Health Naturally7
Chronic inflammation in our bodies is often brought on by excess bad cholesterol and other lifestyle-related insults like high blood pressure, high blood glucose, being overweight, and smoking.
We want to quell these inflammatory flames because they often lead to the formation of fatty streaks throughout our arteries, which can eventually lead to plaque build-up, heart attacks, and strokes.
One key marker of chronic inflammation is high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, or hs-CRP. Your hs-CRP score measures a protein produced by the body when blood-vessel walls are inflamed.
Other markers of chronic inflammation include noxious chemicals released by both white blood cells and fat cells called inflammatory cytokines.
In research on children at the Pritikin Longevity Center, scientists at UCLA found that within two weeks, levels of inflammatory cytokines dropped markedly.11 Similar results published in several studies over the past decade have been observed in adults at Pritikin.
You May Like: How Accurate Is Apple Watch 6 Heart Rate
Optimal Way To Shed Fat
The optimal way to shed fat, including belly fat, and keep it off is with a healthy eating and exercise program like Pritikin.
With the Pritikin Eating Plan, youre focusing on foods like whole fruits, vegetables, water-rich whole grains, and beans that naturally keep daily calorie intake low. Youre achieving satiety, or fullness, without going overboard on calories.
With Pritikin living, youre also stay physically active, helping create a calorie deficit.