Most of my medical career has been spent saving lives in the emergency department setting. During that time I’ve given thrombolytic clot busters to countless individuals and have sent almost as many to the cath lab for emergency balloon angioplasty where a catheter is fed from the groin into the clotted coronary (heart) artery and inflated, then a stent placed to keep the artery open. These were always time critical procedures. I’ve also brought back patients suffering sudden cardiac arrest with a precordial thump, electric shock and/or medications effective against dysrhythmias. It never occurred to me until just a few years ago that much of this effort would have been unnecessary had we placed greater effort in cardiac disease prevention rather than treatment. Hypertension and cardiac disease can be largely prevented! Why did I never learn this in medical school? Cardiac disease naturally results from our clot forming lifestyles in the United States. Perhaps this is news to you now. You may be wondering why there is so much emphasis placed in medicine upon treating cardiac disease and heart attacks by cardiac surgery or stenting rather than preventing these maladies by changing our lifestyles. Enough is enough.
A couple of years ago, an elderly friend approached me with a request to help him line up a cardiac cathiterization to prove his clotted coronary blood vessels had reversed themselves. About 30 years earlier in his 50’s he had suffered a heart attach in the Ukraine. Being a scientist, he discovered the cardiac disease reversal program of Dean Ornish, MD and others at the University of California San Francisco, read his books, and applied his cardiac reversal plan. At the time he spoke with me to make the request he was feeling great. He had been following the cardiac reversal plan for almost 30 years and had no cardiac symptoms–no shortness of breath nor cardiac chest pain (i.e. angina), nor limitations. I told him that he did not need to undergo a cardiac cathiterization to prove his cornonary arteries were clean; his freedom from cardiac symptoms proved his vessels were open and functioning normally. It is just that simple. We perform way too many procedures and tests to diagnose and treat diseases that we can cure with critical changes in our lifestyles.
If you’ve had heart disease, cardiac cathiterizations or stents, and you want to reverse your heart disease, or you want to avoid developing further heart disease requiring these procedures, I suggest you do what my friend did: begin reading the works of Dean Ornish, MD and follow his cardiac reversal program. If you have risk factors of diabetes, hypertension, smoking, hypercholesterolemia–turn it around. Even loosing 10 pounds, and avoiding salt is sometimes all that is needed to reduce high blood pressure to acceptable limits. First you need a plan, and you need a good way to monitor your progress. If you feel you would like professional help in this regard, I’d be happy to see you in my clinic. Set up a comprehensive visit with me by selecting the tab below. When we meet, I’ll help you focus upon what is most important to do first. Our goal is to save heart muscle and to save brain tissue. You want to avoid the heart attack and the stroke. These are the result of the same vascular disease that can be limited and even reversed sooner than you think by changing your lifestyle. However, don’t put it off. You need to get started on this prevention program today if possible. Apply some of what you have learned from reading this page. Other prevention recommendations include: no tobacco, taking an Omega 3 fish oil supplement daily (3,000 mg of omega 3 per day is recommended), reducing your stress, getting 7-8 hours/night of good sleep, and exercising at least 20-30 minutes daily–start by walking. Other lifestyle changes that will help are discussed under “B E S T S E L F” on this web site.