Heart Conditions at San Diego Clinic of Integrative Medicine

heart conditions san diego clinic of integrative medicineOur basic approach with our cardiovascular patients is to ascertain exactly why patients have plaque build up in their coronary blood vessels. Even with the current statin drug therapies, many people continue to accumulate plaque in their coronary arteries and suffer worsening of their heart condition. The vast majority of our cardiovascular patient population has already experienced one significant cardiac event, such as heart attack, major angina episode, cardiac arrhythmia, etc. The vast majority of the patients have extensive vascular plaque. We attempt to find the underlying cause for these problems; for example, we do a sophisticated comprehensive cardiovascular laboratory panel, summarized below.

Homocystein Levels – This molecule, in high concentrations, acts as a scouring substance that rakes at your arterial walls, causing lesions. Lesions cause rough artery walls that allow the plaque in your blood stream to adhere more strongly.

Lp(a) – Lipoproteins transport fats and cholesterol through the blood’s plasma. They bind themselves to “junk” cells that are part of the gluey plaque that sticks to your arterial walls.

Fibrinogen – This globulin is created by the liver and is elevated by stress, aging, smoking and obesity. Fibrinogen affects blood coagulation, and assists in occluding arteries by supporting the creation of blood clots, thereby causing a risk of stroke and heart attack. Fibrinogen is an acute phase reactant, and when elevated, it increases the risks associated with heart attacks and stroke.

Pattern B LDL – These are small dense lipoproteins which, when formed are easily oxidized and penetrate through the arterial walls and form a nidus (focal point) for plaque formulation. This form of LDL renders the patient at an extremely high risk for cardiovascular events.

C-Reactive Protein – There is strong evidence that this protein is a sign that your arteries may be inflamed and that there may be damage to the vascular walls, creating the environment for plaque formation.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) – One can see from the animation, as we get older our arteries become stiffer and this has the propensity to raise our blood pressure. The sheering phenomena created by hypertension, especially at the bifurcation (area where the artery divides into two branches) is usually the site of most plaque formation. It is believed that good blood pressure control is the most important variable to control in cardiovascular disease.

Toxic Metals – Toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and iron (yes iron – an essential element) can be toxic if it is in too high a concentration. There are one and a half million people in the United States who have a condition called hemochromatosis. Their blood has too much iron and is too thick. People with emphysema and congestive heart failure often have this same problem. EDTA chelation therapy safely removes this excess iron and many other toxic metals like mercy, aluminum, lead & cadmium. Metals can cause interference in enzyme system and are damaging to the living of the blood vessels.

Metabolic Syndrome & Type II Diabetes – This is an ever-increasing problem in our modern fast food society. There are approximately forty-seven million people in the United States with Metabolic Syndrome and twenty million people with Type II diabetes. This is over 1/5 of the adult population. We find that very right control of blood sugars is necessary for good heart and blood vessel health. If the sugar level is too high, it acts as an irritant to the artery walls and it increases the viscosity (thickness) of the blood. It would be like pumping ketchup through your blood vessels instead of water. We concentrate on changing your diet as well as your metabolism. We combine these techniques with prescription medications if necessary. Dietary measures and often prescription medication are required to maintain good blood sugar control.

The interesting thing is that all of the factors listed above are modifiable through natural means and sometimes with medication. In any case, we do the investigation to find out what kind of bad cholesterol your liver is creating and rectify the condition by dietetic means (nutritional consultation) if possible, or through a combination of medication and natural means as necessary.

Our goal is to remove the offending agents causing inflammation, i.e., toxic metals, sugar, viruses and bacteria, normalize metabolism and provide the nutrients necessary for the body to heal the lining of the blood vessels, thereby improving circulation.

Frequently, through our investigative process, we find indicators of significant inflammation in the cardiovascular system. We know that inflammation creates an active environment for plaque to be laid down in the patient’s blood vessel walls. We know from numerous research papers that this inflammation is possible caused by viruses or bacteria (some very small). We then do laboratory tests to identify whether or not the patient has a bacterial or viral infection that is actually causing the inflammation and resultant plaque deposits in their blood vessels.