Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

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Looking at the physical Heart

Your heart muscles needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. This slow process is known as atherosclerosis. When plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot can form around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is starved for oxygen and nutrients, it is called schema. When damage or death of part of the heart muscle occurs as a result of schema, it is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI). About every 34 seconds, someone in the United States has a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Source: American Heart Association

The heart muscle begins to heal soon after a heart attack and usually takes about eight weeks. Scar tissue may form in the damaged area, and that scar tissue does not contract or pump as well as healthy muscle tissue. The extent of damage to the heart can impact how well the heart pumps blood throughout the body. The degree of loss of function depends on the size and location of the scar tissue. Most heart attack survivors have some degree of coronary artery disease (CAD) and will have to make important lifestyle changes and possibly take medication to prevent a future heart attack and lead a full, productive life.

Everyone should try to learn CPR (Courses for lay persons are given by fire stations.)

RISK FACTORS (Can be changed by lifestyle modification)

Tobacco smoke

High blood cholesterol- Can lead to atherosclerosis (Fat builds in blood.)

High blood pressure (B/P)

Physical inactivity

Obesity and overweight

Diabetes mellitus

Homocysteine levels (Please research this important lab test.)

Lack of Folic Acid

Lack of Vitamins B6 and B12

Genetics

Hereditary risk factor cannot be changed, but lifestyle modification can decrease risk factor. And through prayer to break generational curse.

SYMPTOMS

-Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involves discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

-Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

-Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or feeling lightheaded.

PREVENTION OF HEART DISEASE

Get active- strengthens heart muscle and lung function.

Eat healthy- Increase fiber if tolerated, reduced salt and sugar.

Lose weight if overweight. Easier said than done but do not give up!

Stop smoking- Causes irritation of the blood vessels and heart.

Control cholesterol – Can build up in the blood vessels causing blockage.

Manage blood pressure- Increased B/P increases pressure on the heart.

Reduce blood sugar- High BS often correlates with high cholesterol levels.

For women concerned with calcium intake. Certain kinds of calcium can build up in the blood vessels. Calcium citrate is easier to digest.

Too much calcium can end up in vessels (Thyroid issues, kidneys stones can be caused by too much Calcium Oxalate). Years ago, chelation therapy was a popular method in conventional medicine to remove calcium from the vessels. Now, it is more commonly used among natural medicine practitioners.

A diet that reduces inflammation helps repair damage to blood vessels and vital organs.

Adequate sleep- Our body tries to self repair during sleep.

Reduce stress – Stress can age you. It sets up acidic conditions in the body and causes inflammation along with a number of other things, including the release of cortisone, which increases heart rate. Cortisone keeps the body in a fight or flight mode and causes chemical reactions that are not good.

**We must protect our kidneys and other vital organs as well by keeping toxin levels down in our body. Consume natural foods and use natural body products to reduce chemical build up, including organic foods. This takes the load off of kidneys, liver and other vital organs.

Practice the art of forgiveness. Not worth holding on to grudges.

Complimentary treatment (Supplements)

For heart and Blood pressure maintenance

The information given here is not intended to diagnosis, treat, or to be a substitute for professional medical advice given by your doctor. There are no miracle cure-alls or magic pills that will cure your condition. It is usually a collaborated effort of varies entities of treatment. One should make informed and responsible decisions about their health. All persons have the sole responsibility of dealing with any information or advice presented as they see fit for their situation. I do not prescribe, diagnose, nor substitute the care given for any medical condition. This material is being provided for general informational purposes only.

CoQ10 – Strengthens heart muscles, increase lung function, and is an anti-oxidant. CoQ10 also increases energy, assisting to increase ATP reserve. Sources: Fatty fish, chicken, eggs, veggies, grains.

Omega 3 fish oil – Omega 3 fish oil naturally thins the blood, assisting in preventing blood clots in arteries and is a natural alternative to baby aspirin. Baby aspirin (low-dose aspirin) is a blood thinner. Also greatly reduces inflammation. Sources: Fish, flaxseed oil, cod liver oil

Hawthorne Berry– Strengthens the blood vessels and assists in reducing blood pressure.

Magnesium– helps to lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.

Potassium supplement– Assists in regulating electrolysis, aiding in reducing B/P. Take caution if you experience inadequate urine output due to kidney dysfunction.

Garlic- Natural anticoagulant (blood thinner). Garlic is such a good anticoagulant, in fact, the Mayo Clinic advises patients to stop taking it and other blood thinning products for two weeks before surgery (to prevent excess bleeding). It’s also a natural ACE Inhibitor. As the body increases production of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), blood pressure increases. Pharmaceutical ACE inhibitors work by blocking the formation of ACE. Glutamylcysteine is a natural ACE inhibitor, and adenosine helps to dilate artery walls. Garlic contains both. Hydrogen sulfide and a high Alicia content also give garlic its ability to inhibit angiotensin II and dilate arterial walls.

Vitamin D – People who have insufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood have a higher risk of developing heart disease than people who have good vitamin D levels. Having poor levels of vitamin D may raise your risk of calcium buildup — which is a part of plaque — in your arteries.

Vitamin C- Naturally reduces inflammation. Vitamin C may help protect arteries against damage. Some studies propose that vitamin C can impede the progression of atherosclerosis— hardening of the arteries. Furthermore, people whose diets are inadequate in vitamin C may be more likely to have peripheral artery disease, a stroke, or a heart attack. Peripheral artery disease develops when plaque accumulates in the walls of the arteries, which supply blood to your limbs and organs. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 75 milligrams for women. and 90 milligrams for men per day, though natural medicine practitioners suggest more. For a healthy and robust heart, include vitamin C-rich foods in your diet such as oranges, strawberries, watermelon, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, cauliflower, and cabbage.

B-12-Helps Regulate Homocysteine Levels. Found mostly in animal foods, including fish. Deficiencies may develop among strict vegans, as there are no identified natural vegetable sources of B-12. Therefore, natural supplements are important for them to have normal B-12 levels.

Oils and Fats

Coconut Oil- actually helps reduce cholesterol and inflammation, and is a good fat despite being saturated. (Conflicting recommendation still exists)

Butter has saturated fat but margarine is worse because of the trans fatty acid which causes inflammation and does more damage to the internal vessels. Try to choose organic butter if necessary. However, use sparingly.

For more information of preventing heart disease, visit the American Heart Association’s web site at www.heart.org

Compiled by Debbie Mirander RN, BSN