Blogs & Comment

Heart attacks are preventable

The solution to heart health starts with your head.

How to stop heart attacks in their tracks

Today it’s just not acceptable to hope for the best that your local hospital will save your life should you suffer a heart attack. With modern medicine we can identify and predict those who are at risk for a heart attack before it happens—and stop it from ever happening. I’ve been telling clients this for years and we act on that knowledge daily in our practice. Now other doctors are chiming in and the message is simple: It’s time to stop treating heart attacks “backward.”

What do I mean by this? If people were smart enough to listen to prevention experts and take their heart health in their own hands, we could send heart attacks the way of the dinosaur. No more dealing with them during or after the fact.

Heart attacks are predictable, and you can prevent them

Start by adjusting your thinking. Many people find it hard to believe that most diseases, if detected early, are treatable—and curable. That includes heart disease, diabetes and cancer. But it’s true, and seeing Dr. Sanjay Gupta comparing notes with President Bill Clinton about that fact prompted this blog.

You’re still thinking, “It isn’t that simple.” Or that living free of heart attacks is too grandiose a claim. For just a moment, put aside what you think you know, and start acting—now—to save yourself a gurney ride to emergency surgery. After all, what have you got to lose?

I make heart attacks disappear for my patients. Here’s what I tell them to do.

1. Get a simple saliva test to understand your genetic risk.

2. Nourish yourself with nutrients that counteract inflammation that leads to artery blockage. These nutrient levels, critical to good heart health, can all be measured.

3. If there is evidence you could be at cardiovascular risk, a CT scan can determine if you have any blockage developing.

4. Don’t be a sitting duck for a heart attack.  Know your risk—get tested. Before symptoms.

“I don’t want to know about it. It’s likely too late to do anything now, anyway.”

A common reaction, but seriously? Tell you what: Let me reach in and give your heart a really hard squeeze. Then tell me if you’d rather stay uninformed than take the minor pain of making a few changes now to avoid major trauma later. When people say to me, “I don’t want to know,”  I say, “Yes, you most certainly do, especially when you can do something about it.” The risk of early treatment is a lot less than the risk of dying from an undetected heart attack. Oh yeah, and a hell of a lot less painful if you manage to live through the first attack. (Because there will be another one.) I’ll let go of that ventricle now and we’ll start talking prevention.

Don’t get short-changed on prevention—otherwise it could be a short-lived life

I heartily recommend you spend 40 minutes with recent CNN documentary “The Last Heart Attack”on why heart disease can be virtually eliminated if we choose to make it happen. Hosted by their medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, it’s a film that could save your life.