For all the research and millions spent, heart disease is still the primary cause of death and disability for both men and women but still remains largely preventable. When you look at what people have in the shopping carts and see the drive-through line at fast food restaurants and donut shops, the death rate from cardiovascular disease is not really a mystery. If you wish to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease you will need to learn what your body needs and make changes to make sure your body gets proper fuel and support.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) consists of heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S and stroke takes the number three spot. 1 in 5 males and females, have one or more types of CVD. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women but 60% of women believe that cancer is their greatest health risk.
As bad as sudden death from stroke or heart disease can be, what’s worse is living with long term disabilities from these conditions. CVD can affect every area of life including the ability to perform basic activities of daily living. Everyone has activities that are important to them. It would be helpful to think of what is important to you and think of how your life would change if these were not in your repertoire anymore. Maybe you like to cook or maybe take walks or play music or paint. How much will your quality of life be decreased if you can’t do the activities that are meaningful to you?
The solution is in two parts. The first is knowing what is healthy for you and the second is actually making those changes.
It is thought that the risk of CVD can decrease by 80% if people maintain proper weight, follow a prudent diet, do not smoke, participate in regular exercise and use supplements that make sense for their particular physiology.
Many dietary factors play into the formation of CVD. Barry Sears did a lot of writing about this topic in the 90’s and advocated a zone diet. He developed this system in order to keep himself alive as the men in his family tended to die suddenly before the age of 50 from heart disease. His research led him to adopt a 40-30-30 diet describing the percent of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in each meal with the actual amount of total food also being controlled. Making the shift to a Zone diet will take some effort on your part but can really help to optimize your HDL, LDL and their ratios.
Wouldn’t it better to just take a pill? Statin sales exceed $10 billion per year. That’s over $30 per year per man, woman and child in the U.S. It seems that every day a new study comes out touting some additional benefit of statins such as helping with macular degeneration or for treating heart problems in young people for example. The drug companies are scrambling to find other uses for statins.
Lots of debris is washing up on shore of people who have sailed off in that direction and we have witnessed some of this personally in family and friends. One dangerous issue is the rampant denial by medically trained professionals about the negative effects of statins. Usually the patient or an observant family member is the one who connects the drug treatment with the dangerous effects.
Some commonly reported issues that arise are: fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, chest pain, back pain, stomach pain, muscle pain, joint pain, arthritis and urinary tract infections. Let’s not forget neuropathies from damage to the myelin sheath. The medical term is statin induced sensory peripheral neuropathy and has been addressed in medical literature for several years.
So what happens if a person develops peripheral neuropathy that affects the soles of the feet? Now they find they can’t get out and walk, eliminating an important exercise option that the body needs to help keep the heart and mind healthy. Of course the doctor sends this person to a neurologist who probably prescribes Neurontin without talking about the sudden onset of the neuropathy a few weeks after beginning the statin. Maybe the person’s will power declines and their diet worsens.
Fatigue and muscle aches and pains are also associated with interference with energy production pathways that include blocking of coenzyme Q-10 or CoQ-10. Everybody taking statins should be supplementing with CoQ-10, probably 200 mg or more per day in order to restore balance.