Dr. Sladic Discusses Heart Disease
Cardiovascular Diseases are really disorders in the lining of the vessels. Your vessels are lined with a type of tissue called the Endothelium. It is a single layer of cells that act as a wall with thousands of little gates called receptors that allow certain chemicals in to affect the smooth muscle layer beneath it. If this protective wall gets damaged or the gates get stuck open, we are going to have a problem.
This endothelial lining is really the KEY; it is the wall, that allows changes in the muscle tone as well as invasions into the delicate space underneath. Think of the endothelial cell layer as a fence with hundreds of gates called receptors. These gates are opened with specific chemical keys that change the function of the smooth muscle layer behind the fence and can even change the shape of the fence. Under normal conditions, chemicals released by the brain and other organs and glands can knock on the gates looking for permission to enter. For example, when you perceive danger a sympathetic nervous system response in the brain causes the release of a chemical that will enter a gate to cause the smooth muscle layer to contract and increase the speed of blood flow which increases the blood pressure so you can run away from the danger. It is a normal response; but we can get ‘stuck’ in an ‘on’ position from chronic stress or inflammation in the brain that makes the chemical.
There are an endless number of ways that the endothelial wall and gates get damaged. Oxidation, Inflammation, Sugar, Stress, Chemical toxicity, heavy metal toxicity, food sensitivities, and infections. It is termed “endothelium dysfunction” and it’s a key event in the development of heart disease.
Once the immune system becomes aware of this damage it sends white blood cells called monocytes to the scene. These monocytes also release cytokines which are inflammatory themselves. These cytokines cause the endothelium to release sticky molecules that act like Velcro grabbing on to the monocytes that have been released. The monocytes become macrophages which are known as scavenger cells and are responsible for eating up the molecular junk. The problem is that the macrophages continue to eat until they burst and die releasing a whole new set of toxins into the walls of the artery. As you can see this cycle will be continually triggered until the cause of the problem is addressed. The body tries to contain this buildup by building a scar or fibrous cap on the area. Over time if this cap weakens a rupture can occur. When this blister pops we have a Heart attack.
More About the Healthy Heart
Cholesterol is also one of the important weapons your body uses to fight infection. Cholesterol is delivered to the scene and is used to neutralize the toxins that are released. As Dr. Sinatra MD. Cardiologist states “Blaming cholesterol on the injuries is like blaming the firefighter on the fire”.
Cholesterol is also the raw material that your body uses to make vitamin D, sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. It is also used to make bile acids that are needed for digestion. You also need cholesterol to make brain cells. Low cholesterol has been linked to depression, aggression and memory loss. The brain contains 25% of the body’s cholesterol as it plays a vital role in allowing the cells to communicate with each other. You do not want your levels to go below 150 total. Memory loss and neuropathy are side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs. Life can’t go on without cholesterol it is needed for normal physiology.
Most of you have heard that we have good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). However, there is more to the story. Being a fatty substance cholesterol is not soluble in water or blood. So how does it get into the blood to be measured? The liver surrounds it with a protein coat that allows it to enter your circulatory system. This protein wrapper bundles cholesterol with other substances like triglycerides and it is released into the blood stream. It is these substances known as” lipoproteins” that we measure when we measure our cholesterol levels. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells that need it and HDL carries excess cholesterol back to the liver. The idea of good and bad is outdated.
We now know that we have subtypes of LDL, subtype A and subtype B. Subtype A are big and fluffy and do absolutely no harm. Subtypes B are small and dense and are the ones that can become oxidized. Remember form our earlier discussion about the triggers of endothelial dysfunction and one of them being oxidation. Well subtype B particles become oxidized and become sticky which can contribute to the damage to the wall and these small particles can also pass through the gate. You don’t want to have subtype B dominating.
Knowing you have a high LDL level is pretty much useless unless you know how much of that LDL is subtype B (small and dense) or subtype A (big and fluffy). There are several labs that offer cholesterol particle testing one of them known as a “VAP test” also “LPP” (lipoprotein particle profile)
In addition to LDL and HDL particle testing;
High Sensitivity C – reactive protein
Lp(a) Lipoprotein a
We can identify and monitor inflammation and oxidation with the above markers. Next we must determine the source of the problem, is it Blood sugar, Oxidation, Inflammation, Stress, Leaky-gut, Chemical toxicity, heavy metal toxicity, food sensitivities, or infections. As stated earlier there are a number of different scenarios and every patient is unique and must be investigated as such.
Our approach is to prevent problems. Let’s be clear conventional medicine is simply terrific at keeping people alive in emergencies. If you are having a heart attack go to the nearest emergency room you can find. But as good as medicine is at treating emergencies it’s bad at overall preventative care. Our goal is to keep your heart healthy for the long run and keeping you out of the hospital in the first place.
It’s well documented that proper diet and nutritional supplements can feed and heal your heart. Studies also support the fact that diet and nutrition can reverse heart disease. We offer a comprehensive natural solution to be sure you are headed in the right direction.
Key Ingredients for a Healthy Heart
Diet: Most patients think they have a good diet. However, many people have silent food sensitivities, For example, upon ingesting gluten your body’s immune system reacts and cytokines are released. Cytokines are inflammatory, so that piece of whole wheat bread you have for breakfast is not as good for you as you think. Testing for food sensitivities is important. Wheat (gluten) Dairy, rice, soy, whey, rice, corn, potato, egg, oats, and coffee, all of these foods can contribute to inflammation. Our patients receive complete personal support in modifying eating habits so that it becomes a reality and lifestyle.
Nutritional support: Quality Supplements is key. Do you smell your B vitamins in your urine ? do you burp up fish oil ? Those are signs of low quality. Not all supplements are created equally. We use high quality supplements that are absorbed by your body. Determining the type of product or products used could vary from patient to patient . Dependent on what systems need to be fixed based on metabolic testing. Even if you are currently on medication nutritional support can help.
Stress Management: An excess of stress hormones can create inflammation and contribute to heart disease. The main stress hormones are cortisol and adrenaline. Testing cortisol levels can help identify problems. It is also important to provide therapies that balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic system is what prepares us for fight or flight. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure. It becomes active in times of emergency, for example swerving to avoid a deer while driving. It also suppresses non-emergency functions such as digestion and libido. With the high stress society most people are sympathetic dominant. If you constantly crave sugar you might be sympathetic dominant.
Exercise: Our patients receive a video outlining a program that requires 2 days per week of exercise. Exercise will strenghten your heart.