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Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Heart of the Matter: You're Only Getting Half the Story (Part 2)

(Did you miss Part 1? Read it here.)

The Documentary, The WIDOWMAKER, takes a look at the challenging aspects of heart disease treatment.  Sadly, death from sudden cardiac arrest is still the number one killer of Americans.

From my perspective as a chiropractor and as I watch many people suffer from chronic heart disease, I know there is a great deal of helpful information that is barely talked about when it comes to long term health and quality of life. 

What's Missing?
1- We need to talk about the nervous system
2- We need to talk about collateral arteries
3- We need to discuss why animals don't get heart attacks
4- We need to stop talking about cholesterol and change the subject to inflammation
5- We need to talk about the Jupiter study
6- We need to talk about the Poly-pill study

1- We need to talk about the nervous system

A burdened nervous system cannot protect the heart and damage can go on unabated.  The real problem begins when the parasympathetic system is off the job.  The vagus nerve is crucial in keeping heart activity balanced.  When the vagus nerve is working poorly, the effects of stress overpower the heart.   Hypertension, diabetes and smoking greatly reduce the protective effects of the vagus nerve.  When the vagus nerve is weakened, it cannot counter the affects of the sympathetic nervous system's response to fight or flight events (stress).  

A physical or emotional stressor triggers adrenaline, this causes heart cells to break down glycogen for energy that then releases lactic acid.  The lactic acid doesn't allow calcium in the cells and the heart muscle cannot move.   Swelling occurs and heart cells die. The pressure of the swelling is what causes nearby plague to rupture.  This is a very short version to explain how the heart loses control.  

When the sympathetic nervous system is reacting to stress, it is doing it's job correctly.  The lack of vagus nerve involvement means heart tissue has been beaten up for a long time without proper maintenance.  

Chiropractic care has been shown to improve the function of the vagus nerve, the pre-frontal cortex of the brain (virtually everything) and the limbic system (emotions and mood).  

2- We need to talk about collateral arteries
The heart has numerous smaller collateral arteries that act as a "back up system" to the larger coronary arteries.  Dr Pascal Meier, a lead author on a study of collateral arteries (European Heart Journal 2011) said people with higher numbers of these collateral arteries have lower mortality even if they have coronary artery disease.  Dr.
Thomas S. Cowan of the Weston A. Price Foundation says coronary arteries don't show up on angiograms, but they are there.  If you wonder why people with a 90% blockage in a coronary artery have no pain,  it's because they have collateral arteries in place doing the work.  But also be aware of this:  the worst enemies of collateral arteries are smoking, diabetes, and high stress. They are smaller vessel so they suffer damage sooner.  This is similar to the study on smokers having more back pain.   Capillaries at the spine of smokers become damaged preventing oxygenated blood from getting delivered to the spinal joints.  So take care of those collateral arteries.

3- We need to discuss why animals don't get heart attacks
Mattias Rath, MD, wrote the book: Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks but People Do.  The short version is humans unlike the rest of the animal kingdom do not manufacture their own Vitamin C.  Cardiovascular disease is really scurvy of the heart and Vitamin C is protective.   Proper intake of vitamins and other nutrients are critical to maintaining heart health. Dr. Rath was good friends with Linus Pauling who asked Dr. Rath to carry on the message about nutrients and health. It is interesting to note Dr. Rath has been involved in a number of lawsuits alleging his information about disease is misleading but has been issued apologies at times by the British Medical Journal and a German court had said his free speech rights have been violated.  

The information in topics 1, 2, and 3 should help us understand the amazing workings of the body.  We don't have to fear our own bodies.  They work very well when treated with TLC.

A balanced life with chiropractic, nutrition, rest, purpose, and pleasure add up to a positive recipe for wellness.  

But, some people struggle with feeling well and under anxious conditions, they are thrust into the world of the prescription merry-go-round.  And that takes us to topics number 4, 5, and 6.  

Continued in Part 3.

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