When it comes to heart health, there are so many natural ways to be pro-active as well as preventative. For all of my patients, since I practice preventative care as a Naturopathic Doctor, I screen via labwork with a marker called hs-CRP. It stands for high sensitivity C-reactive protein. It specifically picks up if there is inflammation anywhere in the cardiovascular system, whether it is the heart muscle or the arteries/veins. Since COVID, this marker has been increased across the board unfortunately. By running an extensive labwork panel, I can have a conversation with my patients as to the reasons why it may be elevated.
In addition, I often refer out for a full workup by my trusted cardiologist depending on the case. In addition, there are so many supplements that could support cardiovascular health naturally! Many can also be tested via labwork such as magnesium, Ubiquinol aka COQ10, taurine, carnitine and Vitamin C & E. Antioxidant support is key to decreasing inflammation so don’t forget the basic vitamins. Natural statins such as red yeast rice or plant sterols may help to lower cholesterol which, if elevated, can put someone at risk. There are different types of magnesium as well, so if you want to support your heart choose magnesium taurate which has many cardioprotective measures such as regulating muscle contractions, antihypertension and keeps electrolytes balanced in the body. It also protects the heart from damage and stress. Ubiquinol is a powerful antioxidant found in every cell of your body and it provides organs including the heart with energy to function optimally. Taurine is an amino acid that supports heart health by calming the nervous system and lowering blood pressure. Carnitine helps to support heart health and can be particularly helpful with leg pain associated with peripheral artery disease. It is also an amino acid that helps to break down fats to be used for energy sources.
One of the best ways to help your health naturally is making diet changes. If a heart healthy plan is in order, make sure to avoid red meat entirely. The best foods to add in are colorful veggies as those colors are antioxidants your body needs. Leafy greens will clean up your arteries. Good omega 3s such as two tbsp of ground flaxseeds a day plus a variety of nuts and seeds will surely be beneficial. Hibiscus tea is great for your heart and kidneys. Mindfulness goes a long way so keep yourself centered and calm knowing your body is trying to find health and balance.
Oftentimes, there are no symptoms with heart disease or heart failure. Symptoms can vary from chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue and much more. No symptom gets dismissed in my practice. If a patient is in my office, they are there for a reason and it’s my place to help them.