For some people who have heart attacks, the cause is simple. Or at least cardiologists tend to think it’s simple. Arteries full of cholesterol, that’s the answer.
Bad eating habits. That’s the answer.
Smoking. That’s the answer.
Genetics. That’s the answer.
Congenital issues. That’s the answer.
When the attending cardiologist at Skyline Hospital in Nashville told me I had a heart attack because of genetics. Of course, that’s impossible. When I questioned him about my vegetarianism, years of fitness, no smoking, no fried foods etc, he said we all die of either heart disease or cancer. Yet, he told me that he thinks positively by looking forward, rather than backwards. Really? I like to understand the past so not to repeat in the future.
As I’ve researched, I have discovered complexity in the common heart attack. And I wrote about how the liver is involved in this system. Clearly, getting an MA in Whole Systems Design gave me the skills to tolerate complexity and look at things from a variety of angles, searching out patterns and influences before drawing conclusions.
What have I discovered?
1. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. There’s a direct correlation between the liver and the heart. The liver is our cleaning mechanism. If it’s not cleaning our blood well, we’re not well.
2. Medications. Long term medication use exhausts the liver and the body. It leaves deposits in the body. They are toxic and can break down any number of parts of internal organs from inflammation.
Antidepressant use has been linked to thicker arteries, which could contribute to the risk of heart disease and stroke. This is in addition to the already heightened risk for heart disease that accompanies depression. Eleven percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12 is on antidepressant medication.ii
The results of a study of 513 twin veterans, presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans last year,iii found that antidepressant use resulted in greater carotid intima-media thickness (the lining of the main arteries in your neck that feed blood to your brain). The researchers found that the intima-media thickness of the men taking antidepressants was about five percent thicker than that of those who were not using the drugs.
3. Toxicity. Toxins in our environment can kills us slowly. Pesticides, heavy metals, dioxin, PCB’s, air pollution (which holds and spreads all of these things), water pollution is the same and now we need to worry about food sources. The Japan nuclear reactor incident is poisoning the ocean, the BP spill poisoned locally but it expands into all tributaries.
- Most tap water is far from pure, containing a vast array of disinfection byproducts, chemicals, radiation, heavy metals, and even pharmaceutical drugs
- Federal scientists report finding traces of 18 unregulated contaminants in one-third of the water samples collected from 25 municipal utilities across the US in their most recent testing, including perfluorinated compounds like PFOA
- Studies suggest a probable link between PFOA in drinking water and high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, and pregnancy-induced hypertension
- The addition of contaminated fluoride to the water supply may be contributing to increased cancer rates in the US because of the arsenic it contains
- The featured documentary, An Inconvenient Tooth, reveals the many problems associated with water fluoridation, and why it’s a practice that really needs to be stopped for the public’s greater good
4. Stress. Work environments that challenge our sense of self, competition for survival consistently stresses our immune system and adrenals, bullying co-workers and managers breakdown our spirits and in turn, breaks down our body’s defenses.
5. Inflammation. If your immune system mistakenly triggers an inflammatory response when no threat is present, it can lead to excess inflammation in your body, a condition linked to asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease, heart disease, cancer and other diseases, depending on which organs the inflammation is impacting.
If your immune system mistakenly triggers an inflammatory response when no threat is present, it can lead to excess inflammation in your body, a condition linked to asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease, heart disease, cancer and other diseases, depending on which organs the inflammation is impacting.
Diet accounts for about 80 percent of the health benefits you reap from a healthful lifestyle, and keeping inflammation in check is a major part of these benefits. It’s important to realize that dietary components can either trigger or preventing inflammation taking root in your body. For example, whereas trans fats and sugar, particularly fructose, will increase inflammation, eating healthy fats such as animal-based omega-3 fats found in krill oil, or the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) will help to reduce them.
Does this surprise you? Are there areas that you need to change in your life and body? How long have you been juggling more or even one of these issues? Do you want to make changes?
You can. You can take control of your health. I’d recommend starting with this article. And then follow Dr. Mercola’s recommendations. Do more research. Learn more. Change more.
Live better in 2014!