INTRODUCTIONHeart disease is the number one killer in civilized nations.
There are so many aspects to this, that it seems well to combine them all in one article rather than divide them into several.
Part of the confusion is that everything is so interrelated: diet, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, angina, and other degenerative heart changes.
In order to fully utilize the data in this article, you should also carefully read the companion articles. Some are listed at the end of this one.
SYMPTOMS OF HEART ATTACKSigns of a soon-coming heart attack may include nausea, sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, feelings of anxiety, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, sudden ringing in the ears, and loss of speech.
The heart attack (angina) itself may feel as a band of intense pressure to the heart. A powerful pain is produced, which may last for several minutes, often extending to the shoulder, arm, neck, or jaw.
But it may be a small attack, producing relatively little discomfort. Sometimes it is mistaken as indigestion. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all. This is termed a "silent heart attack."
An angina shows itself as recurrent pain beneath the sternum, and lasts 30-60 seconds.
SYMPTOMS OF HEART FAILUREShortness of breath, poor color, fatigue, accumulation of fluids, especially around the ankles (edema).
HEART ATTACKWhat is a heart attack? What leads up to it? This article will provide you with an overview of the problem, along with several specific suggestions.
The cardiovascular system is the heart, a blood pump. The blood is sent through arteries and veins, throughout the body.
Cardiovascular disease is the name given to several problems which can stop the heart and cause death.
1 - A coronary is one type of cardiovascular disease. The arteries which nourish the heart muscle itself are the coronary arteries. But if these arteries become narrowed, not enough oxygen and nutrients are supplied to the heart, and not enough carbon dioxide and waste products are carried off. This oxygen deprivation causes a tight, heavy chest pain, usually following some exertion or after a meal. There is a sharp, debilitating pain in the center of the chest. It is called angina pectoris (or simply angina). The pain generally recedes when the person rests. But it is a forewarning of events to come.
An angina may be precipitated by stress, exertion, a large meal, extreme cold, emotion, or other factors. Average life expectancy after the first onset of angina is 5-7 years.
2 - If that blood flow through the coronaries becomes entirely blocked or limited enough, so that it does not reach part of the heart, then a heart attack or myocardial infarction occurs. This refers to the formation of infarcts (areas of local tissue decay or death) in the myocardium (heart muscle). A heart attack does not always kill. But, whether it is mild or severe, a heart attack always produces some irreparable damage to the heart.
3 - The problem may not be in the heart, but in the arteries which nourish it. The arteries have hardened (called arteriosclerosis), and when cholesterol and other materials flows through them, a clot (also called a thrombus) occurs. The hardened walls do not flex to let the blob pass on through. Arteriosclerosis is responsible for most of the deaths due to heart attack.
4 - Lack of oxygen and nutrients can also cause spasm of the coronary arteries, resulting in a heart attack.
5 - Then there is high blood pressure (called hypertension). This is another form of cardiovascular disease, which also prepares the way for a heart attack. When the heart pumps blood, the blood shoots through the body at a fairly rapid speed. The muscular contractions of the heart produce a certain amount of pressure which produces this pumping action throughout the body. But sometimes the pressure builds up too high. This also is not the fault of the heart.
Here are some of the things which produce high blood pressure:
Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) is a primary cause. Earlier, the flexing of the walls kept the pressure lower.
A second major cause of hypertension is a reduction in the size (interior dimension) of the arteries. They come to look like old water pipes, with congealed stuff sticking to the walls. For years, certain things had been eaten which caused this problem (meat fat, grease, saturated fats, hydrogenated vegetables oils, margarine, butter, corn chips, etc.).
Too much sodium in the diet, for too long a time, is another cause of hypertension. The solution should have been to cut out the sodium (salty) foods.
Other causes include stress, enzyme imbalances, certain drugs (including oral contraceptives), and nutritional deficiencies.
There are still more factors which could be involved: hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, adrenal or pituitary disorders, and heredity.
Unfortunately, there is no pain as the hardening and clogging of arteries (which produce hypertension) progresses. So people keep living and eating the way they should not until one day the crisis comes.
HEART FAILURESo far, we have only discussed heart attack, which is an interruption in blood flow to the heart. But there is also heart failure, which is inadequate blood flow from the heart. It is not providing enough blood to supply the needs of the body. Heart failure can be either acute (short-term) or chronic.
Here are some of the problems which, over a period of time, can occur in the heart:
1 - Arrhythmia. The heart does not beat right. The natural rhythms are more irregular. This is caused by problems in the cells in the heart which send out electrical signals to do the pumping sequences.
2 - Palpitations occur when the heart seems to pound, whether regular or irregular.
3 - Tachycardia is when the heart beats too fast when it is resting.
4 - Bradycardia is when the heart beats too slowly.
5 - Ectopic beats (also called skipped beats) are beats which are premature, producing longer rests between some beats than between others.
6 - Fibrillation and flutter are a little different. An electrical error occurs, which sends some beat signals to the heart muscle (causing it to twitch) instead of carrying out its normal blood pumping action.
7 - Valvular disease is the name for problems in the heart valves, so they do not open and/or shut properly. Sometimes this is congenital; other times it is caused by rheumatic fever or endocarditis (infection of the heart muscle).
OTHER HEART PROBLEMSThere are a variety of problems which trace their cause to coronary problems, artery problems, or heart muscle problems. Here are some of them:
1 - Cardiomegaly (cardiac hypertrophy) occurs when the heart can no longer function normally; it works so hard that it enlarges. But this only weakens it. Causes include too much resistance from blood flow through the arteries.
2 - Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition that results in fluids accumulating in the heart and edema in the feet and ankles. There is labored breathing after mild exertion.
3 - Cardiac arrest happens when the heart just stops beating. Because fresh blood is no longer reaching the brain, the person falls unconscious. Coronary artery problems are often the cause.
There are other problems which can occur in the heart, which can also weaken it. But these do not trace their causes to coronary or artery problems.
1 - Carditis is an infection in the heart muscle, sometimes caused by rheumatic fever. It can lead to permanent heart damage.
2 - Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium. This is the sac-like membrane which surrounds the heart. People with damaged immune systems (from HIV, etc.) can acquire it. It can also be caused by surgery to replace defective heart valves. Permanent heart damage occurs.
3 - Cardiomyopathy summarizes several heart problems, including enlargement of one or more heart chambers, heart muscle rigidity, etc. Causes include inherited defects and certain diseases.
Here is a brief overview of some of the problems which require changes, if you would avoid a later build-up of conditions leading to a heart attack:
Too many saturated fats in the diet (animal fats or hydrogenated vegetable oils). Excessive use of overheated or oxidized vegetable oils.
Lack of natural fat emulsifiers (lecithin) in the diet.
An excess of salt and other sodium products. Drinking chemically softened water. Water softeners have sodium in them.
Elevated cholesterol, triglyceride, and uric acid levels.
A low HDL-to-cholesterol ratio.
An excess of carbohydrates (especially refined ones) and sugar. Sugar increases triglyceride levels, platelet adhesiveness, uric acid levels, and blood pressure.
An excess of vitamin D intake (from meat, milk, eggs, or sunlight). Over 3000 units a day add to the plaque development and hardening of atherosclerosis. Carotene (pro-vitamin A) in the diet, from orange and yellow vegetables and fruits, will not cause this problem.
A deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
The use of coffee, alcohol, and tobacco.
Lack of exercise.
High blood pressure.
Diabetes or gout.
Taking birth control pills.
Heavy metal poisoning.
A family history of heart trouble.
Change everything in the above list that you can, and you will live a lot longer.
Here is still more information:
To properly understand the information given in this article, be sure to read the other articles in this section, especially those listed at the end of this one, and in the next (dealing with circulatory problems).
Check your heart beat every so often. The best way to begin the day is to check your pulse when you wake up in the morning. If it is under 60 beats per minute, you are doing all right. But if your resting heart rate is above 80, that is not so good, and indicates that hypertension may be in progress of occurring. An estimated 25% of those who have heart attacks experienced no previous symptoms. So, right now, start eating right and living right.
High blood pressure, using tobacco, high cholesterol levels, stress, obesity, sedentary living, diabetes, and type-A personality are causes of heart trouble. These are things you can change.
Here are a variety of factors which you should consider:
Do not use MSG (monosodium glutamate). Locate your food allergies and eliminate them (see "Pulse Test"). Do not use caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, sugar, and processed foods.
Caffeine blocks the breakdown of adrenaline, resulting in the same response as heavy stress. Heavy caffeine consumption doubles the risk of coronary heart disease.
The dangers of tobacco in producing heart attacks and other heart problems are well-documented.
Do not eat any types of grease or oil (fatty foods, meat, margarine, butter, peanut butter, hydrogenated oil), except a small amount of cold-pressed vegetable oil. (See "Cholesterol, Reducing," for much more detail.)
Fat is in all meat. Do not eat meat and you will have a longer life. It is well-known that vegetarians live longer than others. They have less coronary disease, less heart attacks, and less heart failure.
If you are an adult, avoid vitamin D. More than 400 IU per day result in calcification of the coronary arteries.
Research studies by the Chinese reveal that constipation is a significant factor in many heart attacks.
Eat smaller meals.
Be sure and drink enough water every day, and frequently throughout the day! This cannot be stressed enough. Sludged blood is a very real cause of heart and vessel problems.
Eat a high fiber diet, using whole grains, brown rice, beans, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Through nourishing food and supplements, obtain all the vitamins and minerals. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are important; so are the vitamins (A, B complex, C, and E). Eat Nova Scotia dulse or Norwegian kelp for trace minerals. Flaxseed oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce risk of coronary heart and cardiovascular disease. L-carnitine helps dissolve fat deposits around the heart. CoQ10 and germanium strengthen veins and provide oxygen to the blood and cells.
If you tend to experience angina attacks at night, place 3-4-inch blocks under the head of your bed. This will reduce the attacks. More blood pools in the legs, and not so much tries to crowd in through the narrowed arteries into the heart.
Sodium is a problem which must be dealt with, since it can increase the likelihood of heart disease. Here are items to omit from the diet:
Table salt. Use a small amount of Nova Scotia dulse or Norwegian kelp instead. That will supply some salt, plus many vital trace minerals.
MSG (monosodium glutamate), which is an accent flavor enhancer.
Diet soft drinks.
Commercially prepared food.
Foods with preservatives.
Foods with mold inhibitors.
Foods with preservatives.
If you have any kind of heart problem, see your physician. Preventionliving right and eating right ahead of timeis the best key to success.
Here are additional things to think about:
Heart disease: Eat no fried foods. Avoid vitamin D. Obtain essential fatty acids; the best is cold-pressed flaxseed oil or wheat germ oil; also take selenium, vitamin E, 5-10 alfalfa tablets daily. And, if needed, obtain HCl. Take a 30-minute walk outside every day. Keep a 30-minute oxygen tank in your house, ready to use when you need it.
Palpitations: Do not eat MSG, caffeine, sugar, or processed foods. Avoid food allergens. Obtain vitamins B1, B3, C, selenium, and potassium.
Cardiac arrhythmia: Avoid food allergens and MSG. Add selenium, chromium, magnesium, potassium, and CoQ10 to your diet. Hypoglycemia can be a cause.
Nervous heart: Causes can include anemia and low stomach acid. Obtain B1 and iron.
Angina: If you survive, take calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and extra vitamins and minerals. Reduce vitamin D intake from all sources (meat, fish, dairy products, and the sun). Avoid caffeine, sugar, and cigarette smoke. Exercise for 30 minutes every day.
Congestive heart failure: Causes can include lung disease and high blood pressure. Obtain vitamin B1 and selenium.
Myocardial infarction: Rebuilding afterward (if you are still alive) should include vitamin C to bowel tolerance, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Obtain HCl and pancreatic enzymes.
Here is information about fats and oils:
Animal flesh contains fat. Do not eat animals. It increases blood cholesterol. But some vegetable oils are a problem also. These are refined, heat-treated, and partly (or wholly) hydrogenated oils.
Heating the oil changes it from the cis form to the trans form (also called a trans-fat), which is abnormal and can cause heart diseases, just as animal fats do. Only use cold-pressed vegetable oils, and not too much of that.
Then there is the LDL and HDL story. It is also important, if you want to live longer. (In order to understand more fully the following facts, also read the articles, "Triglycerides, Lowering" and "Cholesterol, Reducing." Much more information will be found there.)
All kinds of fats (both the grease and oil form) are carried in the blood in a protein-fat molecule, called a lipoprotein. There are two primary kinds: the low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), which are large cholesterol-laden molecules and the high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), which are smaller molecules with more protein and less cholesterol and triglycerides.
When found at high levels in the blood, the LDLs increase the risk of coronary heart disease. But high levels of HDLs actually reduce the risk of heart disease. For this reason, the cholesterol-to-HDL ratio is very important. Physicians even use it to estimate how likely it is that you will have a heart attack. The HDLs get rid of excess cholesterol in your bloodstream! They carry cholesterol from the blood to the liver so it can be converted into bile and eliminated from the body. Here are nutritional facts which have been found since the importance of HDLs was discovered:
Bran fiber reduces blood cholesterol and triglycerides, increases HDL, and lowers LDL. Very important, it also helps prevent recycling of bile from the bowel back to the liver.
Vitamin C helps increase HDL levels and lowers LDL levels. It also activates conversion of cholesterol into bile salts. Taking 1-2 grams a day can produce a 30% reduction in cholesterol levels which are 400 or above. Vitamin C also lowers triglyceride levels.
Vitamin E helps dissolve blood clots, dilates blood vessels, and conserves oxygen so the heart does not have to work as hard. Because of its antioxidant function, it also prevents fatty acids from becoming toxic.
Vitamin B complex helps keep cholesterol from collecting plaque.
Flaxseed oil (and to a lesser extent, wheat germ oil) is rich in Omega 3EFA, and decreases platelet adhesion, reduces blood cholesterol, and increases HDLs.
Lecithin is essential for utilizing fat and cholesterol in the body, and significantly lowers blood cholesterol levels.
Brewer's yeast and chromium 15 lower HDL levels, and cause atherosclerotic plaques to recede.
Garlic lowers blood cholesterol and reduces platelet adhesiveness, as well as lowering triglycerides and increasing HDLs. (It also helps normalize blood pressure.)
Alfalfa meal (from ground seeds) contains saponins which prevent bile-like substances from recirculating to the liver.
Soy protein lowers blood cholesterol.
It should be noted that coronary bypass surgery has failed to prevent second heart attacks or extend life. It is not the "cure" for coronary atherosclerosis and severe angina, as suggested. The disease is systemic, and heavily influenced by nutritional, and other, factors. Bypass operations are not the solution. They are only emergency repair jobs which do not remove the causewhich, unless properly corrected, will only return.
Fortunately, even the most advanced cases of heart disease can be helped by the discoveries provided by nutritional research.
Also see "Triglycerides, Lowering"; "Cholesterol, Reducing"; Hypertension"; "Stroke"; and "Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis."
ENCOURAGEMENTJesus is today in heaven preparing mansions for those who love Him; yes, more than mansions, a kingdom which is to be ours. But all who shall inherit these blessings must be partakers of the self-denial and self-sacrifice of Christ. Obey the Ten Commandments, and live to help and bless others.
TO COMBAT INFLAMMATIONContinuous Ice Bag over heart or Cold Compress over heart area at 600 F., changed every 15 minutes. Rub chest with dry flannel until skin is red.
TO ENERGIZE HEART AND MAINTAIN VITAL RESISTANCECold Mitten Friction; Cold Towel Rub twice a day.
FEVERProlonged Neutral Bath; Neutral Wet Sheet Pack.
PAINFomentation for 1-3 minutes every half hour; Cold Compress changed every 15 minutes during the interval between.
MYOCARDITISEmploy all the means recommended above, except avoid Ice Bag over the heart.
Also see "Cardiac Problems."
CAUSES AND TREATMENTThe word means "heart muscle disease." This is a disease of the myocardium, which is the heart muscle itself.
The World Health Organization recognizes that cardiomyopathy is a selenium deficiency disease.
J.D. Wallach, in his book, Let's Play Doctor, makes this statement:
"This is the type of heart disease that makes individuals a candidate for heart transplant . . It is typical that $1 per month in selenium supplement would prevent this disease and the need for a $250,000 procedure that carries a 20% mortality rate. This disease is also found in cystic fibrosis patients . . Veterinarians have eliminated this disease [cardiomyopathy] in animals with selenium injections and oral supplementation of diets."
ENCOURAGEMENTThe wants of the soul, only the love of Christ can satisfy. If Christ is abiding in us, our hearts will be full of divine sympathy. We will do all we can to help and encourage others.