Heart Attack & Coronary Thrombosis
Epidemic levels of heart disease, stroke and circulatory disorders contribute to premature death and poor quality of life for millions. Lifestyle factors are almost always the cause. Early warning signs of heart and circulatory disease include high blood pressure, angina, sticky blood and blood clots plus raised cholesterol levels.
When you have a heart attack it is because chronic inflammation has caused debris to collect in a part of the circulatory system and over time this will form a clot. Blood pressure is raised locally to push blood around the clot but this often means that the entire clot or a portion of it will be pulled away from the place that it formed. In this free circulating state it eventually lodges somewhere in the arterial system. When this causes a total obstruction of the blood vessel it denies blood and oxygen to the point beyond it. This causes tissue death. If the clot stops at the coronary arteries (which feed the heart muscle) then it is the heart muscle that dies. This is a heart attack. Other common places for a clot to stop is the brain (causing stroke), the eyes (causing blurred vision and blindness) and the kidneys (causing kidney failure). Public health education seeks to increase the awareness about cause and effect as well as the right actions to take to prevent heart disease or treat a heart attack promptly when it does occur. It is therefore important that each of us understands our risk factors for heart disease and manages those risks that can be changed.
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Being physically inactive
- Having a family history of early heart disease
- Age (55 or older for women)
The 10 heart health commandments are as follows:
Know your risk factors for heart disease (see above).
- Talk to your doctor about reducing your risk of heart disease and then get started.
- Check your blood pressure regularly.
- Know your cholesterol numbers: total cholesterol, HDL or "good" cholesterol, LDL or "bad" cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These are influenced by the food you eat and liver health and genetics.
- Have your blood sugar level checked for diabetes.
- Stop smoking (smoking remains the biggest killer).
- Eat for your heart (see below).
- Get regular physical activity: at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most or all days of the week.
- Aim for a healthy weight and maintain it.
- Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and be focused on the need to seek immediate emergency help (see below).
- It is also desirable to understand how to perform basic resuscitation techniques.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Various degrees of central chest pain.
- Pain that may radiate across the back and one or both arms.
- Jaw pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Discomfort with the sense of pressure or squeezing of the upper body.
Other symptoms include cold sweating and unexplained fatigue that can last for several days. There can also be digestive symptoms including indigestion, nausea and vomiting. If ignored it may mean that a heart episode is missed. The recommendation is always to seek urgent medical attention even if you think you have just had a bad attack of indigestion. Early stages are more easily treated and heart muscle damage is minimised. Women in particular present symptoms that are often not recognised and women have a greater need to understand their risk and manage it. Hypertension is one example where there are unique risk factors for women, especially those taking the contraceptive pill; pregnancy and the menopause bring other risks (after the menopause women lose the protection of oestrogen, which thins the blood).
Foods & herbs for the home
- Eating for a healthy heart means a low animal fat diet with as little processed food as possible. Processed foods are frequently high in sugar, salt and undesirable forms of fat, which all contribute to the heart disease and obesity epidemic.
- Richly coloured fruits and vegetables are mildly cardio-protective so emphasise several portions a day of organic fruits in season such as cherries, currants, lemons, oranges, mandarins, plums, apples, figs, grapefruit, melons, nectarines, peaches, prunes, pears, rhubarb and pineapple.
- Occasionally eat the inner pith of citrus fruits because this contains compounds that help to strengthen the vein walls.
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli and kale are excellent food choices. Superfood Plus contains excellent levels of food-based minerals, vitamins, healthy oils and trace elements to support heart health.
- "Garlic" by Jill Davies is available as a free download for you to learn about a food that has a traditional reputation for assisting heart heath.
- Another book by Jill Davies explores the traditional use of Hawthorn as a gentle preventative herb for heart and circulation support.
- Stimulating culinary spices can help the circulation and mildly thin the blood; examples include black pepper, ginger and organic Cayenne Powder.
- Ask us for a sample of PumpBeet Capsules.
- Natural healing pays significant attention to the interaction between the body, mind and spirit. Balance your life in such a way that you value all aspects of yourself and minimise your reactions to stress.
- Meditation and other stress reduction techniques may help to lower blood pressure.
- Massage is one method to reduce stress – use Relaxing Massage Oil which is a blended mix of essential oils.
- Mix your own soothing blend and add a few drops to a bath – try organic Lavender and Petitgrain essential oils.
- If anxiety and depression follow on from a heart episode then speak to your doctor about a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and allow your mental equilibrium to return.
- Learn more by watching a video presentation by Jill Davies discussing heart health.
- Read the newsletter by Jill Davies on cholesterol from summer 2012 – this can be found at the bottom of the Circulatory System page.
Additional help is available by phoning the free product advice line at Herbs Hands Healing between the hours of 9.00am to 1.00pm. Tel: 01379 608201.
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Learn more about Dr. Richard Schulze’s Superfood Plus and why we believe this is such a wonderful food by following this link on our website, where extensive information is available. Also please visit our Superfood Plus facebook page for articles and current news.
To learn more about natural healing for this and other ailments, visit Dr Schulze's blog.
If you would like to see videos of Jill Davies showing you plants growing in their natural settings and discussing their medicinal attributes then visit us on facebook. You can also explore additional herbs and their traditional uses by linking to Herbs Info & Photo Gallery and Herb Profiles. Useful additional information can also be found at the Herbs Hands Healing information pages on Detox & Cleansing and Natural Healing.