Causes of Heart Disease

Holistic cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson explains the causes of heart disease

“How did this happen?” is a common question I get from patients when I first tell them they have heart disease.

There are many possible causes of heart disease. Fortunately, we can group them into three categories, which I’ll cover real soon in this article. But first, let me get something off my chest.

Heart Disease and Genetics

I’m going to tell you how you get heart disease but let’s get one thing out of the way and off the table right off the bat – you didn’t get heart disease because of genetics.

Sure, there are characteristics you can inherit that make you more susceptible to heart disease.

But having these characteristics does not mean you are going to have heart problems.

Think of your hereditary predisposition to heart disease as the ingredients for a camp fire.

You can have all the ingredients assembled and still not have a fire.

The ingredients need a spark to create a fire.

Hereditary predisposition to heart disease works the same way. You can inherit the ingredients, but you still need a spark to make it happen.

Common Causes of Heart Disease

There are many types of heart disease. Each can have its own symptoms and treatments.

However, the causes of all types of heart disease can be grouped into three categories:

  1. Nutrition and food choices
  2. Lifestyle choices
  3. Reactions from pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures

Bad Food Choices Cause Heart Disease

Poor nutrition is a major cause of heart attacks, stroke, and atrial fibrillation.

Most people eat foods covered in pesticides. These pesticides then enter the body when food is consumed, bringing havoc to the body and your heart. Your body was not engineered to consume chemical, man-made poisons. They destroy your heart.

Study after study confirms what’s common sense. When you put poisonous, artificial substances like pesticides in your body, your heart will suffer.

Here’s a study establishing a clear link between agrochemicals and cardiovascular disease.

Here is another study showing the link between pesticide exposure and cardiovascular disease in pre-menopausal women.

Most meats and seafoods are raised using antibiotics. About 80% of all antibiotics in the US are used in meat and poultry production. Most are fed non-native foods and raised in artificial, non-humane conditions.

The negative health impacts of antibiotics in meats is again well-known. Read Consumer Report’s position paper on the matter.

Even the Food and Drug Administration says it is a problem to your health.

Now I’m going to move on to sugar.

Sugar is not a required nutrient for good health. Your body does not need it.

Yet the Standard American Diet (SAD) is loaded with sugars, with many consuming more than 20% of their calories in sugars.

The Harvard Medical School does an excellent job citing study after study showing how excess sugars lead to dying from heart disease.

Sugar can also lead to a variety of other medical issues, including obesity and diabetes.

So, what’s the solution?

Eat only organic foods. They’ve been produced without pesticides or genetic modifications.

Follow a Paleo diet. It’s the diet of our ancestors. It’s free from artificial sugars and processed foods.

Eat only organic, free-range, meats and only wild seafood and fish. That way you’re sure to eat the best quality non-contaminated meats and seafood.

Finally, take nutritional supplements. You can’t get all the nutrition you need from food alone.

Over time due to soil depletion, fruits and vegetables have come less nutritious.

Scientific American cited studies proving that vegetables and fruits of today are less nutritious than those grown in the 1970s.

Since you can’t get all the nutrition you need from food alone, nutritional supplements are a practical alternative.

The exact nutritional supplements necessary for good health vary by person. Get your blood tested by a holistic physician to see exactly what you need.

There are five supplements I believe you should take for good heart and overall health. I call them the “Foundation 5.”

Lifestyle Choices Cause Heart Disease

By now I believe everyone on the planet knows that smoking harms your heart.

Cigarettes. Marijuana. Vapors. All kill your heart one puff at a time.

Don’t smoke.

I’m not a big supporter of the American Heart Association. I feel their policies are driven by Big Pharma, Big Ag and Big Business, and that most of their health guidelines are motivated by money, not what’s in the best health interests of the nation.

However, even the American Heart Association cites alcohol consumption as a major cause of heart disease. Some of the cardiovascular risks they document from drinking alcohol include sudden cardiac death, cardiomyopathy, abnormal heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmia), heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and more.

If you choose to drink, stick with organic alcohol and keep it to three or less drinks a week.

Let me tell you about some other lifestyle choices that cause heart disease.

One of the first things I do with my heart patients is have them get rid of their personal care and household cleaning products. Most are packed full of toxins that weaken our immune system and damage our heart.

Perfumes. Toothpaste. Air freshers. Bath and window cleaners. Laundry detergent. Deodorants. Sunscreen. Most every personal and cleaning product in most households contain toxins that will harm your heart.

The solution? Use all-natural products containing organic ingredients. You can make them yourself or buy them. Here’s a list of what we use.

Lack of adequate sleep can cause heart disease.

Irregular sleep (one that varies from the 7-9-hour norm) is linked to coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Doctors studying sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School found people sleeping less than 6 hours a night have higher levels of stress hormones and markers of inflammation – both of which are major players in causing heart disease.

Your body rests and rejuvenates during sleep. Eight hours of quality sleep each day is a requirement for good heart health.

Vitamin D deficiencies are a major cause of heart disease. Our bodies were designed to get the vitamin D we need from the sun. That’s why a lack of sunshine is a major contributor to heart disease.

Most people nowadays spend way too much time indoors, away from the sun. And when they are in the sun, most cover themselves with toxic sunscreens that block the sun and destroy their heart.

Now I don’t want your skin to burn. If you are out in the sun for prolonged periods, use a sunscreen with natural organic ingredients. We use Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream SPF 35.

I do want you to realize however the importance of sunshine to your health. Our ancestors were in and out of the sun, naked, every day. Don’t be afraid of the sun. Embrace it. Your body uses the sun to make vitamin D, which you’ve already learned is essential to good heart health.

I advise you to spend at least thirty minutes a day outside in the sun, minimum.

Dehydration is also a cause heart disease.

Dehydration thickens your blood. This causes your heart to work harder to force thickened blood through constricted blood vessels. Your heart rate increases in an effort to maintain adequate blood pressure.

A 2002 study showed that people who drank 5 glasses or more of water per day had significantly lower risks of coronary heart disease. In fact, staying properly hydrated lowers the risks of coronary heart disease 46 percent in men and a whopping 59% in women!

And yet another study linked even mild dehydration to cardiac disease and arterial hardening in young, otherwise healthy men.

The evidence is clear. For a healthy heart, drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of quality water every day.

Medications Cause Heart Disease

There’s a dark little secret that Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know.

Many medications cause heart disease and can lead to heart attacks and even death.

The American Heart Association published an extensive list of drugs that may cause or exacerbate heart failure.

And here is another list of non-cardiac drugs that cause heart failure, this time from the US National Library of Medicine.

None of this should be shocking to you. If you watch television in America, you’ll note the list of side effects to most medications is a mile long.

Now I’m not telling you to stop taking your prescription meds. What I am telling you is to find a way to get healthy naturally, without prescription medications. There are ways to do that, ways we write about regularly on this blog and in our free monthly natural health newsletter. Stay in the know and sign up today.

Even though many things can cause heart disease, they are all PREVENTABLE.

Eat the right foods. Get proper nutrition. Make the right lifestyle choices.

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