by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© December 2015, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Table Of Contents
The Medical Approach
Cardiovascular disease is a large and important area of human health and disease. It is also the leading cause of death in America and in many nations around the world.
The medical approach. The conventional medical approach to cardiovascular disease is usually symptomatic, not preventive, very costly, often disabling, and very inadequate.
Many health authorities believe it is among the worst areas of conventional medical care. The focus is on drug therapy and surgery, neither of which address the causes of cardiovascular disease.
WARNING: Do Not Stop Medication for high blood pressure of other cardiovascular diseases. Stopping medication for high blood pressure is very dangerous, and should never be done until the blood pressure decreases as oneŐs health improves.
The same may be true for other cardiovascular drugs. Do not stop medication just because you begin a natural healing program.
WARNING: Bypass operations. Some medical studies that show that bypass surgery does not extend life. However, if one has a heart attack or other cardiovascular event, often intense pressure is put on a person to immediately have bypass surgery.
This surgery is very costly, and often leaves a person somewhat disabled because the many hours of anesthesia damage the brain. Often one is put on drugs that further damage the body. Nutritional balancing is another option to consider.
CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL BALANCING
Most cardiovascular conditions improve with a nutritional balancing program. These can include:
Arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis
Congestive heart failure
Hypertension or high blood pressure
Low blood pressure
Tachycardia or bradicardia
Varicose veins and spider veins
Prevention. A nutritional balancing program is also excellent for prevention. This is discussed at the end of this article.
Here are some of the more common symptoms:
Angina is pain in the region of the heart upon exercise or exertion. It is due to arteriosclerosis in most cases, which means the arteries to the heart are somewhat clogged and when one exercises, not enough blood flows to the heart. This symptoms is often confused with chest wall pain, also called costochondritis.
Claudication or trouble walking. This is due to impaired circulation to the legs and feet. Poor circulation to the legs can also cause leg ulcers, swelling or edema of the legs, and discoloration of the ankles.
Cold hands or feet. This has several causes, but one of them is impaired circulation due to heart or vascular problems.
Edema or swelling. This often occurs in the legs, although it can occur elsewhere in the body due to impaired blood circulation.
Fatigue, especially upon exertion. This can occur if the heart cannot pump enough blood around the body.
Rapid pulse (or tachycardia), a very slow pulse (or bradycardia), palpitations, skipped beats or heart arrhythmias. For details on these symptoms during a nutritional balancing program, read Palpitations and Rapid Heart Rate on this website.
High blood pressure often causes few symptoms, so it is best to check your blood pressure every few years. Some drug stores and supermarkets have blood pressure machines you can use to do this, so a doctor visit is not required.
Symptoms of high blood pressure may include headaches, redness of the face, nosebleeds, and sometimes broken capillaries anywhere on the body.
Sudden numbness or paralysis of a part of the body. This may be due to a stroke, which is either due to bleeding or a blood clot in an artery in the brain that destroys a pat of the brain.
A very mild stroke is called a transient ischemic attack or TIA. It is often due to a slight blockage of an artery leading to or in the brain.
Pain along an artery or vein. This can be due to inflammation or an infection along the artery or vein. Doctors call this arteritis or vasculitis. It can also cause redness and heat along the course of an artery or vein.
The causes of most cardiovascular conditions is the same as the causes for most illness. These are nutrient deficiencies, toxic substances in the body, and/or a body chemistry out of balance. Emotions and thoughts can also play a role.
Infections are also sometimes an important cause, and these, also, are often due to nutrient deficiencies, toxic metals, toxic chemicals, and imbalanced body chemistry. Let us discuss these basic causes in more detail.
There are at least four reasons why nutrition is a critical factor in cardiovascular (and other types of) disease.
1. The food supply today throughout the earth is low in vital nutrients. It simply does not provide enough nutrition to maintain optimum health. This is mainly due to modern agricultural practices such as the use of superphosphate fertilizers.
These are growth stimulants. They increase crop yields, but result in less nutritious food. This problem applies even to fresh, organically grown food.
This problem is well-documented in books such as Empty Harvest by Bernard Jensen and Mark Anderson. Another excellent book is Food For Naught: The Decline In Nutrition by Ross Hume Hall.
Correcting this important problem should be a focus of modern society, but it is hardly mentioned.
2. Standard diets are often terrible, and do not provide enough nutrition to prevent disease. Common problems with modern diets include consuming sugars, refined foods, few cooked vegetables, and at times, too much or not enough meat.
The cardiovascular system requires dozens of nutrients such as zinc, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, coenzyme Q-10, L-carnitine, adequate protein, and others. Doctors should advise people about this matter, but this is rare.
3. Once ill with any condition, doctors routinely prescribe medical drugs that worsen nutritional deficiencies. This further contributes to cardiovascular and other diseases. This is another major failure of the current medical profession. For more details, see the article on this site entitled Drug Problems.
4. Cardiovascular surgery always further depletes many nutrients. This worsens the patientŐs health, even if surgery is successful.
Doctors should take this into account when they perform surgery, but very few do this. Cardiovascular surgery is sometimes life-saving, but often not needed if one follows a nutritional balancing program.
Some day, I hope this disastrous nutritional situation will change, but medical training does not include nearly enough nutrition, so it is not likely to happen any time soon.
Toxic levels of certain minerals cause or aggravate cardiovascular disease. Toxic minerals are of two types. Some are the toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury. Other are toxic forms of physiological minerals such as oxides of iron, copper and calcium.
These can act as irritants and oxidants, in some cases. Toxic metals replace vital minerals in some critical enzymes. They can also clog the arteries, harden the arteries and cause other types of damage. Here are a few of the most important ones.
Cadmium replaces zinc in the arterial walls when one becomes deficient in zinc. Everyone is low in zinc today, in my experience.
Zinc is low in foods today due to zinc-deficient soils, modern agricultural methods such as the Ňgreen revolutionÓ, and food refining. All types of stress also increase the bodyŐs requirement for zinc.
Cadmium in the arteries causes increased brittleness and hardening of the arteries. Cadmium in the kidneys causes congestion that can raise blood pressure, placing extra stress on the entire cardiovascular system. High cadmium is also associated with inflammation and cancer.
Lead. Lead replaces calcium in the body, in the bones and in many other tissues. It also hardens the tissues, interferes with nerve impulse transmission, and is associated with cardiovascular disease. Most people have too much lead in the body.
Mercury can affect the heartŐs pacemaker, leading to arrhythmias and other disorders. Mercury can also build up in the kidneys, contributing to high blood pressure.
Nickel and aluminum. These toxic metals can also build up in the kidneys and contribute to high blood pressure.
Toxic forms of nutrient minerals:
Copper imbalance. Both high copper and copper deficiency are associated with cardiovascular disease. Copper is required for the integrity of connective tissue. Arteries, veins, and parts of the heart itself are made of connective tissue.
Slow oxidizers often develop heart disease because they tend to have too much of a biounavailable form of copper in the body.
Fast oxidizers tend to be copper deficient. Dr. Leslie Klevay and other researchers proved that copper deficiency is associated with an increased risk of arteriosclerosis. It can also contribute to heart valve problems, and fatal heart attacks.
Toxic calcium. A toxic form of calcium often builds up in the arteries and kidneys as people age. The cause is a slow oxidation rate with low tissue sodium and potassium.
The latter are solvent minerals needed to keep calcium in solution in the blood. Without enough of them, calcium begins to precipitate out of solution and will build up in the soft tissues of the body. This forms plaques that that narrow the arteries and harden them. Calcium in the kidneys contributes to high blood pressure and other kidney problems.
OXIDATION TYPES AND HEART ATTACKS
We distinguish two metabolic types, fast and slow oxidation. Other types are mainly a combination of these in some degree. Interestingly, two primary types of heart attacks (or myocardial infarctions) occur. Let us correlate how these relate to the metabolic rate and metabolic type, as discovered using hair tissue mineral analysis research.
Coronary Thrombosis. This is the most common type of heart attack. It occurs when a small piece of arterial plaque or other foreign material completely clogs a coronary artery leading to the heart muscle. The area served by this artery is then deprived of blood, and therefore of oxygen and nutrients, and the muscle dies, or is damaged to some degree.
This type of heart attack correlates best with slow oxidizers. These individuals tend to develop clogged arteries with a buildup of calcium, toxic metals or fatty plaques in the arteries. They also tend to have more sluggish circulation, which can also lead to plaque buildup.
Hair tissue mineral analyses on these individuals tend to show high levels of calcium and magnesium, and lower levels of sodium and potassium. Toxic metals may or may not be revealed on early tests because the energy level is low and the toxic metals may be hidden deep within body tissues, including the artery walls.
These individuals may also develop high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases for the same reasons explained in the paragraph above.
These heart attacks are often non-fatal because only one or a few coronary arteries are involved. With adequate bed rest, magnesium infusions, vitamin E and other standard supportive care, the body can often develop what is called collateral circulation to go around the clogged coronary artery. New blood vessels grow and surrounding blood circulation may also become enhanced to nourish the heart muscle.
Sympathetic Nervous System Heart Attack. The arteries have muscles in their walls. In this type of heart attack, the arterial muscles contract or spasm to such a degree that they inhibit the flow of blood to the heart. A vicious cycle occurs, in which the shock of the coronary artery spasm causes an alarm reaction in the body that further stresses the body, causing even more spasm of the coronary artery.
If this cycle is not broken, death can easily result. This
type of heart attack is often fatal because it can affect most or all of the coronary arteries at the same time. Thus there is less chance for the heart to continue receiving enough oxygen and nourishment to continue beating.
This type of heart attack occurs more often in the metabolic type called the fast oxidizer, especially if the oxidation rate is extremely fast. In these individuals, the hair tissue levels of calcium and magnesium tend to be quite low, usually less than 30 mg% or 300 ppm of calcium and usually less than 3 mg% or 30 ppm of magnesium. The hair sodium and potassium levels are often quite elevated due to stress.
These individuals may or may not have somewhat clogged arteries secondarily that contribute to their cardiovascular problems. Also, these individuals may be quite young and may appear to have very healthy coronary arteries.
Blood pressure may be normal or even low at times. Labile hypertension is more common among them, as the pressure can rise and fall as the arterial muscles contract and relax. These are people for whom a shock can cause a sudden, massive and fatal heart attack with no warning. Emotions such as anger, resentment and other strong feelings may play a large role in the causation of this type of heart attack.
EFFECTS OF EMOTIONS AND LIFESTYLE
Anger. Studies indicate that anger turned inward is associated with increased blood pressure and greater risk of heart attacks. Frustration, hostility and resentment in particular create this pattern. Not all 'type A' personalities have more heart attacks. However, the angry and frustrated 'type A' personalities have a much greater risk of heart attacks.
Rest, exercise and good eating habits. These are important to prevent all illness, including cardiovascular conditions. Some exercise is also helpful although with a nutritional balancing program, vigorous exercise is not needed or helpful.
SALT-EATING AS A CAUSE OF HEART DISEASE
Doctors say that people with high blood pressure should eating salt. They are correct that one should stop all common table salt. It is a horrible, mineral-depleted product.
However, unrefined sea salt can often be eaten in moderation and helps get rid of mineral deficiencies. Used in moderation, in almost all cases it will not raise blood pressure. It also provides many essential trace minerals that most everyone needs. Doing without it just makes most people even more mineral-deficient. For more details, read Salt on this site.
STIMULANTS AND THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM
Many people use stimulants ranging from caffeinated drinks to sugary foods and beverages, kombucha tea, soda pop, more than one cup of coffee or tea daily, and others. All of these stimulants stress the cardiovascular system.
IMBALANCES IN THE FOURTH ENERGY CENTER
The heart is located very near to the fourth physical energy center of the human body. This center has to do with human relationships, give and take, and letting go of the ego, to a degree.
When this energy center is not open or not working correctly, it can cause stress to the heart and the large blood vessels entering and leaving the heart.
This can contribute to heart and cardiovascular conditions. For more details, read The Energy Centers on this site.
OBESITY AND HEART DISEASE
Each pound of extra weight on the body adds as much as a half mile of capillaries through which the heart must pump blood. Losing weight if one is overweight is therefore important to reduce strain on the heart. It will often help reduce blood pressure, as well.
A nutritional balancing program will always cause significant weight loss if the diet is done correctly. Vigorous exercise is not needed, nor are any drugs, hormones or other medical interventions.
Things to keep in mind are:
1. The cardiovascular system is profoundly affected by the sympathetic nervous system. Stimulation of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system causes what is called the fight-or-flight response. Sympathetic stimulation:
A. Increases the pulse, or beats per minute.
B. Causes the heart to beat harder.
C. Causes some constriction of the arteries, which raises the blood pressure.
D. Draws blood away from the digestive and eliminative organs, while increasing circulation to the brain and the muscles to prepare the body to fight or run away.
E. Tends to move more blood toward the center of the body and away from the extremities. This is also done to help the body survive a fight. When it happens chronically, however, it causes impaired circulation to the hands and feet, which can result in ReynaudŐs disease.
For the reasons above, any imbalance, toxicity or nutritional deficiencies that involve the autonomic nervous system may affect the heart and the entire cardiovascular system.
2. The heart is a muscular structure that must have an excellent blood supply to keep pumping correctly.
3. The heart valves, the arteries, the veins and the capillaries are largely made of connective tissue. Thus, any imbalances or nutritional problems involving connective tissue will often affect the heart and the vascular system of the body. The most common of these are elevated copper, low copper, cadmium toxicity, and low zinc.
4. Inflammation is often a problem in the cardiovascular system. Inflammation roughens the walls of the arteries and impairs blood flow. It can also cause a piece of plaque to break off, which can cause a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or a stroke.
Inflammation also often affects the veins, the heart valves and every part of the cardiovascular system. Eating sugar or fruit in any form often increases inflammation.
Inflammation can be the result of the presence of toxic metals, oxidant damage, and deficiencies of nutrients that are vital for the heart and cardiovascular system. These include:
1. Omega-3 fatty acids,
2. Vitamin D
3. Coenzyme Q-10 (found in lamb in the highest quantity)
4. Carnitine found in sardines and other meats.
5. Cardiovascular symptoms are often easy to help with a complete nutritional balancing program. This was somewhat surprising to me, at first. However, it has proven true many times. Even serious cardiovascular conditions such as angina, congestive heart failure, aneurysms, heart valve problems, and cardiomyopathy respond well to a complete nutritional balancing program, even when drugs and surgery do not work well.
This may occur because nutritional balancing addresses stress at deeper levels than any other type of medical or holistic therapies that I know of. These conditions can usually be stopped from progressing, and often reversed if a person follows the program for several years.
Other conditions that respond very well are many cases of high blood pressure, clogged arteries or arteriosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, and other heart arrhythmias. To learn more about this program, please read Introduction To Nutritional Balancing and many other articles about this program on this website.
DIET AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Low-fat diets. Dr. Dean Ornish demonstrated reversal of plaque formation with a combination of a low-fat diet, meditation and exercise. Those who do well on this regimen are generally slow oxidizers, who do not fare well on a high-fat diet.
Low carbohydrate diets. However, Robert Atkins, M.D., a New York cardiologist, as well as many researchers since, found that a low carbohydrate diet with some fat with each meal is very helpful for certain cases of heart disease. These are most likely fast oxidizers. In these individuals, high-quality fats and oils with each meal balance body chemistry and lead to improved health.
Omega-3 oils. Most people today overeat on omega-6 fatty acids due to the way animals are fed, and the widespread use of vegetable oils in cooking, frying, and in making hundreds of prepared food products. These oils, in excess, are pro-inflammatory and can definitely worsen many heart conditions.
In contrast, the omega-3 oils – usually from fish oil or sardines – are important anti-inflammatory nutrients that everyone needs today to balance the high intake of omega-6 oils that is very difficult to avoid in modern society.
Do not eat other fish, such as salmon or tuna, which are too high in mercury. Some say not to worry about this if you take selenium, but we donŐt find that to be true based on hair mineral testing. Only sardines are low enough in mercury to be eaten regularly.
Exercise has been shown to be important. However, do not overdo on exercise. Many doctors recommend vigorous exercise. We find, however, that with a nutritional balancing program, gentle exercise such as walking is plenty. I know this sounds unusual, but it is our experience.
Adequate rest and sleep are very important. Most people need 9 or more hours of sleep every night.
Sunshine in moderation is helpful for the circulatory system.
Stress reduction is often very helpful.
Quit drugs and smoking. This includes no marijuana.
Eating habits. Always have relaxed, sit down meals, do not drink liquids with meals, chew thoroughly and do not eat when upset or anxious.
Thoughts. Let go of grudges, resentments and anger. Learn to forgive and be grateful with everyone, at all times.
WATER INTAKE AND HEART DISEASE
Proper hydration of the body can help with circulation, and even high blood pressure, in some cases.
Research has shown clearly that drinking softened water is not as healthful for the heart. Hard water, which is much higher in calcium and magnesium, is better.
Also, do not drink reverse osmosis water or distilled water. It is mineral-deficient and yin in macrobiotic terminology. It can worsen health problems for this reason. For more on water, read Water For Drinking.
How much water should one drink? Adults need 2 to 3 quarts or liters of water daily.
The dehydration diet. Beware that drinking any caffeine, sugar or alcohol depletes water from the body, making hydration much worse. This can also cause heart and other cardiovascular problems.
No substitutes for water. Few other beverages hydrate the body as well as simple spring water or carbon-only filtered tap water. Please drink water, not a lot of juice, coffee, soda pop, or other drinks with caffeine, sweeteners or alcohol.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS ONE MUST OFTEN AVOID WITH HEART DISEASE
This short section is critical! Many serious cases of congestive heart failure, valve problems and pending heart attack are due to a particular mineral imbalance called fast oxidation with a low sodium/potassium ratio.
In this case, taking zinc, potassium, B-complex vitamins, and/or vitamin C and E can make the problem much worse!
In the book, Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis, (2010, 2014 and 2016 editions) is a case of a friendŐs mother who was being treated for a heart valve defect by regular and holistic cardiologists.
Unfortunately, her treatment made her far worse because her holistic doctor gave her zinc, B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium. All of these threw her body chemistry further out of balance because she was a fast oxidizer and because giving these supplementary nutrients lower copper in the body.
Copper is essential for connective tissue, and some people need a lot more of it, while others have too much. This common nutritional and medical error further damaged her heart valves and definitely made her heart condition much worse.
A nutritional balancing program turned her condition around only days before heart valve replacement surgery was scheduled. She never needed the replacement heart valve. Please read this case before taking much of these supplements for heart problems.
SAUNA THERAPY AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Sauna therapy may seem dangerous if one has a heart condition. However, if done correctly, it is safe and helpful. The rules are:
1. I only recommend using a red heat lamp sauna, and not other types of saunas.
2. One must be on a complete nutritional balancing program. The sauna alone could be unsafe, often because it causes rapid detoxification and other changes in the body.
3. Be supervised in your sauna program if heart disease is present.
Sauna effects. When done properly, the red heat lamp sauna improves circulation, and relaxes the sympathetic nervous system.
It also dilates the peripheral blood vessels, which helps lower an elevated blood pressure. It also promotes the removal of all the toxic metals and hundreds of toxic chemicals that often contribute to hardening of the arteries and most cardiovascular conditions.
Near infrared energy also seems to have wonderful healing effects on the connective tissues that make up the cardiovascular system of the body.
Some holistic doctors offer chelation therapy to remove calcium plaques from the arteries. It can be helpful for this purpose. However, in my experience, a nutritional balancing works better, is less toxic, and has many other benefits. For more details, please read Chelation Therapy.
Nutritional balancing for prevention. With cardiovascular disease, prevention is job number one, and can be the only way to stay alive. Nutritional balancing programs are by far the best programs I know of to prevent cardiovascular disease.
I have seen many people have heart attacks and strokes die young while they were supposedly eating well. They were also taking many supplements to benefit the heart and cardiovascular system. The reason for this tragedy is usually that the body is out of balance and/or too yin. Very few healing programs can correct this as can a nutritional balancing program.
V. HAIR ANALYSIS INDICATORS OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
THE SODIUM/POTASSIUM RATIO
An important indicator for cardiovascular disease is a hair sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1. This ratio indicates tissue breakdown. This can result in cardiomyopathy (destruction of the heart muscle) or irritation of the arterial walls.
The breakdown of arterial tissue causes weakening of the arteries and an increased tendency for hemorrhage, aneurysms and strokes. Weakening or irritation of the artery walls may cause the body to respond by coating the arterial walls with fatty or calcium plaques. The results are arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.
A sodium/potassium ratio less than 1:1 is considered a strong trend for a heart attack or other serious cardiovascular disease.
An elevated sodium/potassium ratio is strongly associated with inflammation, and at times with high blood pressure.
Cadmium greater than 0.06 mg% is associated with hardening of the arteries and kidney disease that can cause high blood pressure.
Nickel greater than 0.02 mg% may be associated with buildup of nickel in the kidneys.
Lead greater than 0.06 mg% may indicate problems with lead in the body.
Mercury greater than 0.035 mg% indicates problems with mercury in the body.
FAST OXIDATION WITH A LOW SODIUM/POTASSIUM RATIO
This can be a serious heart condition pattern. It requires a special program, which will take the stress off the heart.
A special case of this pattern is called The Step-Up Pattern. It is considered a quick death pattern from a heart attack or stroke. For more details, read Step-Up Pattern on this site.
There are numerous articles about cardiovascular health conditions on this website. They are available by clicking here.