1 out of every 3 deaths in the US is caused by some form of cardiovascular disease. The AHA (American Heart Association) also estimates that an average of 92.1 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke – a figure which should be more shocking than it is. The reality of the matter is that we all know someone who has or has been directly affected by a heart-related condition. These figures are only increasing and it’s becoming more difficult to pinpoint exact causes and effective treatments before they become life-threatening.
Although many will argue that heart conditions are hereditary diseases, there have been several studies in recent years which suggest that this might not be the only cause. Yes, some people are more susceptible to developing heart disease than others, but many functional health professionals assert that this ultimately comes down to a combination of genetics AND lifestyle factors – the latter of which are certainly NOT irreversible or unchangeable.
The most common issues associated with heart health include:
- Heart disease
- Coronary Artery Disease (narrowing of the arteries)
- Heart failure
- Arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat)
Functional Medicine And Heart Health
Many people have experienced lowered levels of heart complications as well as decreased risk of developing them further by enlisting functional medicinal approaches.
Functional medicine aims to avoid the use of prescription medication, in order to remove the toxicity of drugs in the bloodstream and to lower the likelihood of heart conditions either worsening or developing at all.
As a functional health specialist, Dr. Mark Hyman has stated, “Genetics loads the gun. Environmental factors pull the trigger.”
Through this, we can understand that our genetics plays only a small role in the development of these disorders. Other factors that contribute to overall heart health (as modern medical doctors will agree) include our diet, activity levels, stress levels, and unhealthy habits like smoking.
This means that by taking control of the factors which are in our control in order to combat heart disease, we can lower the risks associated with developing heart complications later in life.
Some steps you can take to ensure your heart is in it’s most healthy condition to prevent the onset of heart disease
• Removing cholesterol-ridden foods from your diet
• Maintaining physically active levels
• Practicing stress management
Eating gluten-free is also an effective heart-healthy alternative! See Recipes for Heart Healthy Bread Recipe