Monday, May 21, 2012

The Silent Heart Attack

Most of us are familiar with the classic symptoms of a heart attack: chest pain, numbness in the left arm, shortness of breath, etc. Sometimes the symptoms are very strong and obvious and sometimes they are more subtle, resembling heartburn or angina.

But what if the heart attack produced absolutely no symptoms? A silent heart attack is not only possible, it's fairly common.
People who have had a silent heart attack are fortunate to be alive because it is one of the most deadly types of heart attack you can suffer. Twice as many people die from them compared to those who experience chest pain during a heart attack. Silent heart attacks are caused when your arteries narrow and you don't get enough oxygen to your heart. Chronic lack of oxygen normally just results in a condition called angina. But in 25-30% of cases, lack of oxygen can produce a heart attack that doesn't have any symptoms.

The absence of pain doesn't mean there's an absence of damage to the heart muscle. And, because they go untreated, silent heart attacks can be deadly. They also increase your odds of having a second heart attack, which would be more likely to kill you.

While most physicians believe the heart is permanently damaged during a silent heart attack, there is hope. With the right approach you can actually rebuild your heart muscle after a heart attack.
And doing so will help you avoid another attack.
What can be done to rebuild the heart muscle

If you've suffered a heart attack, you have to flood your heart with the right nutrients. The most crucial nutrient you need is oxygen. Providing your heart with oxygen will allow your heart muscle to regenerate.

  • The best way to get more oxygen to your heart is through bio-oxidative therapies administered by a healthcare practitioner skilled in these methods.
  • The patient also needs to take heart-specific nutrients such as the amino acid L-Carnitine, Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, etc.
  • Keeping in mind that the heart is a muscle, a protein-rich diet and strength-building exercises are essential.

A few simple steps such as these can either protect you from a heart attack or prevent a second attack if you’ve already had one.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Healing Heartburn Naturally

When stomach juices including hydrochloric acid and pepsin (a digestive enzyme), back up into the lowest part of the esophagus (where they don’t belong), heartburn is the result. The fiery pain and pressure beneath the breastbone can be so severe sometimes that it is mistaken for a heart attack.

How heartburn happens
The esophageal sphincter (the muscular ring separating the esophagus from the stomach), fails to keep the stomach contents down where they belong. This can happen due to several reasons.
What causes heartburn?
Some foods can relax the sphincter muscle causing acid reflux. Other foods can increase the acidity of the stomach juices. Still others can irritate a damaged esophagus through direct contact.
Foods that have a reputation for causing heartburn:
Onions, garlic, spicy foods, fatty foods, fried foods, tomatoes, citrus fruits, chocolate, coffee, milk and alcohol.
Eating habits
Eating too fast or too much can overfill the stomach, forcing the sphincter muscle to open. Lying down (especially on your right side) after a big meal encourages the sphincter to open. Having a huge belly also puts pressure on the sphincter, promoting reflux.
Stress contributes significantly to heartburn by reducing the stomach’s ability to protect itself from its own acid. A high-pressure career, stressful family situation or major life event, such as changing jobs or purchasing a home, can trigger heartburn.
Prescription drugs – yet another source of heartburn
This may surprise some people, but the drugs you take can lead to indigestion and heartburn.
  • Aspirin and Ibuprofen
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (including death from sudden gastric hemorrhage).
  • Calcium-channel blockers
  • Asthma drugs
  • Beta-blockers (used to lower blood pressure)
  • Parkinson's Disease medication
  • Birth control pills…and the list goes on
Note: Nicotine in all its forms can cause heartburn.
The downside of antacids
Antacids are one of the most-prescribed medicines worldwide.
While antacids "block" stomach acid, they also block the absorption of nutrients, hindering proper digestion. Insufficient hydrochloric acid in your stomach means your body cannot breakdown proteins into usable amino acids.
Many popular antacids contain:
  • Aluminium compounds which cause constipation
  • Magnesium compounds which cause diarrhea
  • Sodium bicarbonate which causes gas and bloating
  • Calcium bicarbonate which can cause the stomach to create more acid than normal (once the antacid wears off).
A popular heartburn drug used in the US since 1993 has caused 70 deaths and 200 other incidents of heart problems. The US government now says it should only be used as a last resort.  
What to do first
Get your doctor’s support to try this effective, natural approach before resorting to antacids:
  • Reduce fat. Eat more complex carbohydrates and lean proteins
  • Go easy on chocolates, coffee, alcohol and foods such as raw onions
  • Reduce citrus fruits and spicy foods (if you are sensitive to them)
  • Get rid of your abdominal ‘spare tire’
  • Don’t lie down for at least 2-3 hours after a meal (that includes dinner!)
  • When sleeping, lie on your left side rather than your right
  • Do not go to bed soon after drinking alcohol
  • Drink water half an hour before meals (and when you feel heartburn coming on)
  • Do not overeat
  • Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly
Do not suppress stomach acid. Keep it where it belongs!