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Heart Disease Testing: Critical Information

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The prospect that heart disease can be reversed or cured is unthinkable among cardiologists--heart disease is simply managed. Yet every single day, year after year, the unthinkable happens. People with heart disease are cured, the disease is fully reversed because correct therapeutic measures were employed to address the cause of the disease.

 

Unless the cause is identified, most heart disease is managed with treatments that cause other diseases, until the patient finally succumbs. Providing adequate data from which a protocol can be developed is a critical part of the treatment. Keep these data questions in mind the next time you consult, or accept treatment from, any practitioner-- especially a holistic one.

Average blood pressure: If you are on blood pressure drugs, which ones are you using? How long have you been on them? What does your blood pressure do without drugs?

Blood fat levels: These include cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. Always note that a blood test for these fats must be taken after at least 12 hours of fasting.

Lab test results: Lab tests are important. If possible, your homocysteine level should be tested.

Diabetes: Are you diabetic? Do you take insulin or oral drugs for diabetes? If so, for how long?

Exercise: Do you exercise? Does exercising cause chest pain?

Liver or kidney disease: Do you or have you had liver or kidney disease? What type?

Blood type: What is your blood type (A, B, AB, or 0)?

Previous medical treatment: What medical treatments have you had or are you taking now? For how long? Have they helped?

Previous alternative treatment: What holistic therapies or supplements are you taking? How long? Have they helped?

History: How long have you had your present heart problems? Have you had a full medical diagnosis? Prognosis?  Include these.

Stress test: If you have had a treadmill stress test, how quickly (how many beats in the first minute) did your heart rate drop after peak exercise was stopped.

For most people the collection of this data is not an easy task. Some doctors simply don't ask the right questions. Blood type, for instance, is extremely important but often ignored. Blood type has an influence on our entire system at the cellular level. According to Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo, author of Live Right 4 Your Type, "There is an active interplay among various genes, especially those in close proximity to each other."

One example of this interaction is the relationship the blood type gene has with genes that control our stress responses.  According to Dr. D'Adamo, "When we examine the body of research on stress and blood type, we can see a clear difference in the ways that humans respond to stress.  Blood type plays a significant role in how much stress we carry around inside all the time, the way we respond to stress, and how quickly we recover from it."

Type A's usually over-respond to even minor stress.  This can be measured by increases in cortisol.  Type O's on the other hand, produce the least amounts of cortisol and adrenaline in response to stress.  Blood group A and AB are prone to high cholesterol while Type Os and Bs are more susceptible to carbohydrate intolerance resulting in high triglycerides and insulin resistance.  [Blood Type Encyclopedia: 2002; pp 216-222]

In other words, for Os and Bs, it's not necessarily the fat in the food as it is the fat on the person.  When group O and B adopt low-fat, high carbohydrate diets, they gain weight.  This particular kind of weight gain (the "apple-shaped figure") is a major risk factor for heart disease because the release of fat from the abdomen into the blood stream is much faster than for other fat cells -- such as hips and thighs in the "pear-shaped" figure.

As a matter of fact, Os and Bs actually need the right kind of fat to stay thin.  Without protein in their diets, they do not gain the benefits of the specialized fat-busting enzymes in their intestines.  This explains why they can lower their cholesterol by adopting high-protein diets.  Conversely, Type As and ABs have lower levels of this enzyme (intestinal alkaline phosphatase) which is why they are not as able to break down fat which predisposes them to high cholesterol and heart attack.  Each of these pathways leads to a very different life-style plan and diet to stay heart healthy.  

Of course this simplistic description doesn't even begin to tell the entire story.  For more information on the connection between blood type, diet, and disease, go to the Library section of this web site for the book reviews on Eat Right 4 Your Type and the Blood Type Encyclopedia.

The High Blood Pressure Dilemma

As of July 1, 2011, normal blood pressure is assumed to be 120/80 mmHg.  However, in the past the systolic number was believed to be 100 + your age.  In the 1970s, before drug intervention, normal was considered 165/95.  Until 2003, 140/90 was considered normal.  The point being is, the numbers appear to be a moving target in the downward direction and every time they move the "normal" range south, it means billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry as more and more people qualify to be placed on medication.

I told my doctor (June 2011) that I bought a blood pressure cuff and asked when I should worry.  He said 140/90.  So apparently he is going by the 2003 numbers as many doctors still do.  But some doctors prescribe blood thinners for people who they consider to be in the "pre-hypertension" range of 130-139 / 80-89.  My mother, age 86, was one of these people.

She lived in Florida next door to my sister at the time and I am in Pennsylvania.  She didn't tell anyone about the medication until the side-effects kicked in six months later. She didn't want to make her doctor mad by complaining about the side effects, which she didn't even recognize as side-effects even after reading them.  By the time she was taken off the medication, it was too late.  She had already broken her hip and that started a downward spiral that continues to this day. She is now 98.  I wish I could tell you that this is not typical but sadly it's the norm in the USA.  With the increasing consortium between government and big pharma, it's buyer beware when shopping for a doctor.  

Later this year (2011) the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure will meet for the first time since they set the current guidelines in 2003.  The latest JAMA study suggest that cardiovascular risks show up when blood pressure reaches 115/75.  Is this a set-up?  Will they lower the "normal" guidelines again?

I don't know but what I do know is that in 1997, when the definition of diabetes was changed from a fasting blood sugar level of 140 ml p/deciliter to 126 ml, 1.6 million people instantly became diabetics in the US alone... all with the stroke of a pen.  Something else I know is that research data can clearly show that any blood pressure at all increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Only when the heart stops beating does your risk drop to zero.

When Taking Your Blood Pressure

  • Refrain from tobacco and caffeine for at least 30 minutes

  • Legs should not be crossed for at least 5 minutes before taking a reading

  • Most doctors know that the diaphragm side (not the bell side) of the stethoscope should be used.  Placing too much pressure on the bell can occlude the artery and result in higher readings.  

  • The arm must be supported and relaxed with the cuff at the level of your heart.  Higher placement = Lower reading.  Lower placement = Higher reading.

  • Don't forget about white coat syndrome and life stressors you may be experiencing which may contribute to your reading.

 

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