Heart failure is a huge money-making business, and the millions of patients required to fill beds in cardiac care centers across the country are not that hard to come by.
All a heart surgeon or interventional cardiologist has to do is tell them, “If we don’t operate, you’re going to die in the parking lot.” Presto! Grossly misinformed and frightened, people quickly embrace such “lifesaving” therapies as angioplasty, bypass, and other invasive heart procedures.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. The most common cause is a sequence of heart attacks which kill off heart muscle. Other causes include valve disorders, which force the heart to work harder, and global weakening of the heart muscle.
Common symptoms include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and fluid collection in the lower extremities or abdomen. Because symptoms usually sneak up gradually, they are often mistaken as signs of aging. This is unfortunate, because heart failure can be treated if detected early.
Here are a few of the therapies we use at Whitaker Wellness for patients concerned about heart failure:
1. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a potent antioxidant, is crucial for energy production in the mitochondria of all of your cells, but it is particularly active in your heart. While a bicep muscle cell has 200 mitochondria, your heart cells each have a whopping 5,000, and these cellular powerhouses need adequate levels of CoQ10 in order to produce energy. Take 200–300 mg daily, in divided doses with meals.
2. We’ve been using testosterone replacement therapy at the clinic for more than 20 years. Testosterone does much more than improve strength. It also bolsters the heart muscle, helps dilate the blood vessels, and curbs inflammation. Testosterone is natural, safe, inexpensive—and vastly underused as a therapy. Talk to your doctor about topical preparations or injections, which are better tolerated than patches. They may be obtained through a compounding pharmacy. All forms of testosterone require a prescription.
3. I’ve been extolling the benefits of enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) for years. Often referred to as a “natural bypass,” it’s a proven therapy for relieving angina, increasing exercise tolerance, and improving circulation. Researchers in India demonstrated that after a course of EECP (35–40 treatments), patients with heart failure doubled their exercise capacity and had a markedly better quality of life. Even more impressive, the benefits of the therapy were still present after a year. For more on EECP, visit whitakerwellness.com or call 800-488-1500. To locate an EECP provider in your area call 800-455-EECP (3327) or visit vasomedical.com.
Now it’s your turn: What have you done to help protect your heart?