Hello Periscopers, Dr Olivia Joseph
here. I wasn’t planning on talking to you about heart disease today, but I figured
I might as well capitalize with it being Valentine’s Day weekend and matters of
the heart and the American Heart Association putting out a lot of press
on wearing a red shirt in speaking about heart disease. So I thought this was a
great time to educate you on some natural things that lower your
cardiovascular risk factors, but also to educate you on some real risk factors
for cardiovascular disease that you might not even be aware of. So first let me talk to you about some
things that increase your risk for heart disease. And you might be thinking the
most obvious thing like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Now those things are true. So if you find out you have these things, what are you gonna
do? Well, if you’re like most Americans you are gonna start medication for these
things, right. Because you find out you have a disease or you get a diagnosis, and so how
are you gonna fix that with medication. And, what ends up happening, is you get
false hope, because that medicine that you take for your blood pressure, lowers
your blood pressure. The medicine you take for cholesterol, lowers cholesterol. The medicine you take for your blood sugar may, lower your blood sugar but all the
while you don’t change your diet you don’t change your lifestyle you don’t
change the supplements you take and your risk factors really don’t change so just
to give you a little bit of fact, half the people who have a heart attack and a
stroke in the United States have normal cholesterol. I just had a patient last
week a lovely lady who came in and as I was doing her history, I always go
through a list of medications that they’re taking and what they’re taking
those medications for, and she told me she had a heart attack last year and I said
I’m so sorry to hear that. Is that why you were put on these medications? And she
said to me, “No, I was taking these medications when I had my
heart attack.” I said, so hold on, let me just make sure I have this straight you were taking blood pressure
medicine, you are taking cholesterol-lowering medicine, you are not
overweight, and you still had a heart attack? She said, yea, I find that
interesting. So, I think what happens in America is, we medicate for this and then
this and then this. I see more people with high blood pressure high cholestero,l and
diabetes, than any one of those things alone. So one thing you need to be aware
of is if you have a high level of inflammation that puts you at a higher
risk for cardiovascular disease. And those medicines that I just mentioned
for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, they don’t reduce
inflammation at all. Having high levels of inflammation raises something called
C-reactive protein. Now you can have C-reactive protein tested on any old
blood test it’s not fancy it’s not special, but it gives you a better
picture of your cardiovascular risk than cholesterol does. So if you have normal
cholesterol, normal blood pressure, and you get a C-reactive protein tests back,
and it comes back elevated, you are at a higher risk for a heart attack, ok. You have to be aware of those markers,
and every cardiologist I know, and every cardiologist I work with, is testing that
as a marker. Now not every family practice physician is, they are usually
just testing blood pressure and cholesterol. And the problem is, is you could be a
ticking time bomb and not know it. Another thing that I see quite a bit is elevated
homocysteine. Homocysteine is an inflammatory marker which increases your
risk for a stroke. So hopefully you are getting the jist that inflammation increases
your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Now what do you do for homocysteine. Well,
what typically causes people to have elevated homocysteine is a gene mutation called MTHFR. And if
you find out you have this gene mutation, you need to avoid supplements that have
Folic Acid and you need to only take supplements that contain the Methyl form
of Folate which is L-5 methyltetrahydrofolate I know it’s a mouthful, but
it’s very important information for you to know, if you have this gene mutation. And just so you’re aware 60 percent of the population has this gene mutation
so there’s a pretty good chance you may have it, and it does increase your risk
of stroke. So, if you do have an elevated C-reactive protein, what do want to do?
Well, you want to do whatever you can to lower that C-reactive protein. So what I
use with my patient’s, fish oil, ginger, turmeric, and Boswellia. I also use garlic
but you have to be careful because some people do have garlic sensitivities or
food allergies to garlic. I food allergy test a lot of my patients, so usually I
have that information to decide on what I’m gonna use with them. But I will say
fish oil, ginger, turmeric, and Boswellia. Studies are being done right now on Boswellia and it’s benefit for heart disease now it’s still in the early
stages. Turmeric is used for inflammation all over the world. You can eat it, and
you can take supplements that contain therapeutic levels. But another thing I
do want to make mention of is ginger in that family. So let me tell you how I
came across ginger when I started practicing thirteen years ago as a
chiropractor, a lot of people came to me because they had pain, right, back pain
or what have you. But the interesting thing is, is 13 years
ago when I started practicing, Vioxx was hot. It was prescribed for arthritis
pain, left and right. But, a lot people were dying of heart disease from taking
this medication. So Vioxx got recalled by the FDA, because so many people were
dying of heart disease. And during that time, I had so many patients coming to me
saying, I have my my pain is so bad, my inflammation is so high because I had to
stop taking Vioxx. What else can I do there’s no pain reliever out there
really helping me. So I started doing some research on (gosh) what can I
recommend for my patients to really help give them pain relief in addition to things
they were doing like chiropractic, accupuncture, massage, glucosamine, MSM. I
mean those things are really popular but people needed more than just those
things. So I found a lot of research on ginger, and ginger became very popular
originally when Vioxx got recalled. Turmeric thirteen years ago was not as popular as
it is today. And what you need to know is that ginger and Turmeric are in the same
family. They are both a root and they both help tremendously with
inflammation. But the great thing about them is, they’re great for your heart, great for your stomach. Won’t cause any
damage to your digestive tract, your liver, or your kidneys, which a lot of pain
medication will. I mean Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are great pain
relievers, as needed. But if you need them daily, for weeks, or months at a time
you are playing with fire, because you could really damage your stomach, your
liver, your kidneys. And also, they may have a negative impact on your heart. The FDA has just issued warnings in 2015
against Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and in the fact that they can
cause a heart attack. Well that’s what Vioxx was a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
Celebrex also got recalled for the very same reason so what I want you to know
is that just because you have normal cholesterol, normal blood pressure, that
does not mean you are at a low risk for heart disease, even if you’re taking
medication. You want to take your health into your own hands, and you want to ask
for the right testing. Ask for C-reactive protein if you’re at a high risk for
cardiovascular disease. Ask for homocysteine if you have a
family history of stroke, and if that test does come back positive, ask for an MTHFR
gene mutation test. This is testing that you have at your fingertips any doctor
can order them. If you have any questions, see a cardiologist. I would encourage you to
find a cardiologist, if your have heart disease that is trained by the Institute
of Functional Medicine and what you are gonna find is many of these tips I shared
with you today like garlic, ginger, Boswellia, turmeric, fish oil These doctors gonna talk to you about those
very things. As well as things in your diet that are very inflammatory like gluten. I hate to say it, but it’s true. Not just a low-fat diet. Really avoiding foods that
are inflammatory which of course are deep fried foods and a lot of your dairy
products, to be perfectly honest with you. So I hope that these tips, help keep your
heart healthy. And keep an eye out, because I’m gonna be doing longer periscopes more
specifically on some of the ingredients that we talked about today. Particularly
ginger, I don’t think ginger gets enough attention now that turmeric is the big
man on campus. So I’m gonna be doing the whole periscope just on the benefits of ginger,
reasons to take it, some negative press that has no research to back it up
against ginger. So that’s going to be one of our hot topics we talked about on one
of our next periscopes. So happy Valentine’s Day to all of you and I hope
your heart stays super healthy.

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