Naturopathic Doctor Arlan Cage explains how Naturopathic Medicine is able to reverse Heart Disease. Produced by Larry Cook.
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Well, heart disease is a collection of gradually increasing symptoms that affect the heart's ability to pump blood through the body. Perhaps one of the first symptoms that can show up is high cholesterol. Usually the next thing to show up is high blood pressure. This can then lead to a condition known as atherosclerosis, which is basically referred to in lay terms as blocked arteries. The next step for most people is sometimes angina or pain in the chest, and if left untreated that can lead to thickening of the heart walls, that we refer to as congestive heart failure, and eventually it can lead to heart attack and even death. The conventional medical approach to managing heart disease is to attempt to control each individual symptom with a different medication. So they will try to control the high cholesterol with a cholesterol lowering drug. They will try to control the blood pressure with one or more blood pressure controlling drugs, and so on. And in those case, they can be valuable tools for the short-term, but long-term for case management, they produce side effects, and they don't address the root causes of the condition. Well, when patients come to see me, I always start with a thorough history that looks at their diet and lifestyle factors. Heart disease is 100% related to improper diet and lifestyle, and so if they have these, I need to know what factors are going on in each patient's history, so I can help teach them how to reverse those. Next, I am going to order basic blood work, where I need to look at things like lipid panel, but also some things that are often missed, like homocysteine levels, and C-reactive protein levels, because those factors are actually some of the things that actually cause vascular inflammation. I will then also order electrocardiograms to look at the electrical conductivity of the heart. Usually a Doppler echocardiogram to look at the cardiac output, and is it pumping blood efficiently, and sometimes a CT scan, to see if they have calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. I always base my treatments on test results. For example, if someone has high levels of homocysteine, which is a normal metabolic waste product, that can actually damage the blood vessel linings, the treatment involves high levels of vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, and an amino acid called glycine. If a patient is consuming lot of dairy products, such as milk or cheese, and those products happen to be pasteurized, one of the risk factors is, an enzyme in cow's milk, known as Xanthine Oxidase, will be broken up into fragments which the body absorbs into the bloodstream, and those Xanthine Oxidase fragments actually cause inflammation and damage to the lining of the blood vessels. That in turn causes the elevated cholesterol and the other symptoms we see in heart disease. So it would be very important for those patients to give up their dairy products completely. If a patient is presenting with an angina or chest pain, one of the problems is either a blockage or a constriction of the blood vessels supplying the heart with blood, which are called the coronary arteries. The main form of treatment I use is the amino acid, arginine, which stimulates the body to produce its own natural nitric oxide, which could help dilate the blood vessels and stimulate the healing of the blood vessels. Well, in every case with patients with heart disease I always prescribe a nutritional plan consisting of organic whole foods, and no processed foods. I will supplement essential vitamins and minerals. In every case I am always prescribing some form of appropriate exercise program and stress reduction plan. I always am using the herbs, hawthorn berry and ginkgo biloba. The hawthorn will help nourish the heart, and the ginkgo biloba increases the fine circulation in the body. Well, patients who follow my treatment protocol have had great success. Their high blood pressure is lower. Their high cholesterol is lower. Their angina goes awa