The U.S. has made a lot of progress against heart disease since the 1960s, and the death rate from cardiovascular disease has steadily declined—until now.
Over the past few years, progress has stalled, and the mortality rate from heart disease is inching up. Even before COVID-19 hit, the average life expectancy in the United States had been decreasing.
It is easy to chalk this up to the aging of the American population, and this obviously plays a major role. Health problems disproportionately strike older people, and 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day.
However, there has also been an alarming increase in deaths from heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure in younger people. The cardiovascular mortality rate in the 45–65 age group has jumped in recent years. In the top 10 hardest-hit metro areas, which include Corpus Christi and Beaumont, it increased by about 25%!
I am laying out these facts to encourage you to get serious about improving your own health, and it’s never too early or too late to start.
How Did We Get to Where We Are?
The reasons behind these disturbing trends are not all that surprising, given how many Americans have one or more risk factors for heart disease.
- More than 108 million Americans—45% of adults—have hypertension, and only a quarter of them have their blood pressure under control.
- Diabetes affects more than 1 in 10, and 1 in 3 have prediabetes, meaning their blood sugar is higher than it should be.
- Nearly three-quarters of adults are overweight, and more than 42% are obese.
- Only 23% get the recommended amount of physical activity.
- The average American diet is low in vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats and high in refined grains and added sugars and sodium.
- A third of adults say they do not get enough sleep.
- Smoking rates are much lower than they used to be, but smoking is still a leading cause of cardiovascular debility and death.
If you want to live a long and healthy life, free of heart disease, you must take charge of these and other risk factors—and each and every one of them is within your control.
An unhealthy lifestyle is a huge contributor to our nation’s burden of cardiovascular disease, but there are other factors as well.
Georgia came to see us after an acute cardiovascular episode that landed her in the hospital. She had been feeling unusually tired and headachy with a pounding sensation in her chest and head. After a couple of days of this, she went to the ER, where they stabilized her sky-high blood pressure and admitted her to the hospital. She was released after two days, only to have another episode and ER visit 24 hours later.
Georgia saw a cardiologist who ran extensive tests, told her they could find nothing wrong and gave her two heart medications that she was to take for the rest of her life. That is when she knew she needed to find another doctor and came to us.
We determined that her hypertension, ongoing fatigue, and other symptoms were suggestive of low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) and started her on bioidentical thyroid replacement. In short order, Georgia’s blood pressure normalized without drugs, her energy bounced back, and her other symptoms resolved.
Many doctors seem to forget that thyroid hormones have a profound effect on the cardiovascular system. When levels are too low, things slow down. The heart beats less forcefully and its ability to pump blood through the body decreases. LDL cholesterol increases, and the arteries become less flexible, causing blood pressure to rise. All told, untreated hypothyroidism is an overlooked risk factor for heart disease.
Take Control of Your Heart Health
Follow Georgia’s lead and work with a physician who will spend the time to consider all potential underlying causes of your cardiovascular concerns and create an individualized treatment program.
- In-depth testing: A comprehensive history and physical exam, blood and hormone workup, and specialized cardiovascular screening tests such as a heart scan, carotid echocardiogram and the new PULS Cardiac Test, which estimates your “heart age” and likelihood of having a heart attack within the next five years.
- Lifestyle changes: A heart-healthy eating plan and exercise program—and the guidance and support from doctors, nurses, certified nutritionists, and other health professionals needed to help you make these changes a permanent part of your life.
- Hormonal and nutritional support: Bioidentical thyroid or other hormone replacement therapy, if indicated, plus a personalized regimen of nutritional supplements with proven cardiovascular benefits, such as Arterosil, coenzyme Q10, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, L-lysine, L-proline and vitamins C, D and K2.
Preventable and Treatable
Heart disease can be prevented and treated, but you need to know what you’re up against, a personalized treatment program and help sticking with necessary lifestyle changes.
Give us a call at 281-698-8698 to schedule a Free Wellness Consultation and discuss how we can help. To learn more about nutritional supplements for heart health, contact Hotze Vitamins at 281-646-1659.