Sunday 30 September 2012


Your Cardiovascular System
The heart, blood vessels, and blood comprise your cardiovascular system.  Blood (shown in red) moving from heart delivers oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body.  On the return trip, the blood (shown in blue) picks up waste products so that your body can get rid of them.
Your heart is a muscle about the size of a clenched fist.  It contracts and relaxes about 70 times a minute at rest (more if you are exercising), beats about 30,000,000 times a year, and pumps about 4,000 gallons of blood daily through its chambers to all parts of the body.  Your blood travels through a rubbery collection of big and small vessels.  If strung together end to end, they can stretch 60,000 miles (enough to circle the globe 2 1/2 times)! 
As you inhale, air is sent down to your lungs.  Blood is pumped from the heart through the pulmonary artery to your lungs where carbon dioxide is removed from it and oxygen is mixed in with it.  The oxygenated blood is carried back to the heart through the pulmonary vein.  The arteries carry blood away from your heart under high pressure to smaller and smaller branched tubes called capillaries.  This delivers oxygen to all the cells in your body including bones, skin, and all organs.  Veins bring oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart.
Your blood is mostly comprised of a colorless liquid called plasma.  Red blood cells (which give blood its red appearance) deliver oxygen to cells and carry back waste gases in exchange.  White blood cells attack and kill germs and Platelets cells help your body repair itself after injury.
Your cardiovascular system is a beautiful symphony which sustains your life.  Often it is taken for granted and little is done to ensure its long-term performance.  Lack of preventive care will transform your cardiovascular system into a time bomb.
Cardiovascular Disorders
In 2004, cardiovascular diseases claimed 869,724 lives in the United States (36.3% of all deaths).  148,000 lives belonged to Americans under 65.  According to 2005 estimates from the American Heart Association, 80,700,000 people in the United States have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease:
1) High Blood Pressure - 73,000,000
  • High blood pressure puts added force against the artery walls which overtime damages the arteries making them more vulnerable to the narrowing and plaque build up associated with atherosclerosis.
2) Coronary Heart Disease (caused by atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the coronary arteries due to fatty buildups of plaque which blocks the flow of blood to heart muscle thus depriving the heart of oxygen.  It is likely to cause Chest Pain and / or Heart Attack) - 16,000,000
  • Myocardial Infraction (acute heart attack occurs when a clot or spasm blocks an already narrowed coronary artery, restricting oxygen to a portion of heart muscle resulting in permanent injury) - 8,100,000
  • Angina Pectoris (chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle) - 9,100,000
An estimated 1,200,000 Americans will have a new or recurrent coronary attack this year, and about 310,000 will die as a result.
3) Stroke (occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts) - 5,800,000
  • Without blood and the oxygen it carries, part of the brain starts to die and the part of the body controlled by the damaged area of the brain won't work properly.
  • Brain damage can begin within minutes of a stroke.
4) Heart Failure (the heart does not pump as well as it should) - 5,300,000
  • About 550,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year.
  • It is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65.
5) Arrhythmia (Abnormal Heart Rhythm) - more than 850,000 Americans are hospitalized for an Arrhythmia each year.  It is caused by many factors including:
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Electrolyte imbalance in your blood (such as sodium or potassium)
  • Changes in your heart muscle
  • Injury from a heart attack
  • Healing process after heart surgery
6) Aortic Aneurysm (bulge in a section of the aorta which can burst causing serious bleeding which can lead to death within minutes) - approximately 176,000 Americans are affected annually leading to 15,000 deaths per year.
  • Medical problems such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis weakening artery walls as well as wear and tear that occurs with aging can result in outward bulging of the aortic wall.
  • The slower flow of blood in the bulging area can cause clots to form.  If a blood clots breaks off in the chest area, it can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.  If blood clots break off in the belly area, they can block blood flow to the belly or legs.
Risk Factors
As of 2006, 51% of men and 40% of women at age 50 in the United States will develop cardiovascular disease during their lifetime.  The primary determinants of risk are:
  • Smoking - Smokers' risk of developing coronary heart disease is 2–4 times that of nonsmokers.  Cigarette smoking also acts with other risk factors to greatly increase the risk for coronary heart disease.
  • High Cholesterol - As blood cholesterol rises, so does risk of coronary heart disease.  When other risk factors (such as high blood pressure and tobacco smoke) are present, this risk increases even more.  A person's cholesterol level is also affected by age, sex, heredity and diet.
  • High Blood Pressure - High blood pressure increases the heart's workload, causing the heart to thicken and become stiffer.  It also increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure.  When high blood pressure exists with obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes, the risk of heart attack and stroke increases several times.
  • Physical Inactivity - An inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.  Regular, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity helps prevent heart and blood vessel disease.  The more vigorous the activity, the greater your benefits.  However, even moderate-intensity activities help if done regularly and long term.  Physical activity can help control blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, as well as help lower blood pressure.
  • Obesity / Excess Weight - People who have excess body fat (especially if a lot of it is on the waist) are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke even if they have no other risk factors.  Excess weight increases the heart's work.  It also raises blood pressure and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lowers HDL ("good") cholesterol levels.  Diabetes is more likely to develop.  By losing even as few as 10 pounds, you can lower your heart disease risk.
  • Diabetes Mellitus - Diabetes seriously increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  Even when glucose (blood sugar) levels are under control, diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.  The risks are even greater if blood sugar is not well controlled.  Roughly 67% of men and 57% of women with diabetes at age 50 will develop cardiovascular disease by age 75.  About three-quarters of diabetics die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.  If you have diabetes, it's extremely important to work with your healthcare provider to manage it and control any other risk factors you can.
  • Stress - Individual response to stress may be a contributing factor.  Some scientists have noted a relationship between coronary heart disease risk and stress in a person's life, their health behavior, and socioeconomic status.  These factors may affect established risk factors.  For example, people under stress tend to overeat, smoke more, and increase alcohol consumption.
  • Alcohol - Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, cause heart failure, and lead to stroke.  It can contribute to high triglycerides, cancer and other diseases, and produce irregular heartbeat.  It contributes to obesity, alcoholism, suicide, and accidents.  However the risk of heart disease in people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol (an average of one drink for women or two drinks for men per day) is lower than in nondrinkers.  One drink is defined as 1-1/2 fluid ounces (fl oz) of 80-proof spirits (such as bourbon, Scotch, vodka, gin, etc.), 1 fl oz of 100-proof spirits, 4 fl oz of wine or 12 fl oz of beer.  It is not recommended that nondrinkers start using alcohol or that drinkers increase the amount they drink to lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
If you reach the age of 50 with none of the above risk factors, the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease is just 5% for men and 8% for women.  There is a good chance the you will live into your 90s.
If the age of 50 is reached with two or more risk factors, then lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease jumps to 69% for men and 50% for women.  The median survival rate for men and women with two risk factors is a decade shorter than the ones with none.
The following symptoms are indicative of various cardiovascular diseases:
  • A "cold foot" or a black or blue painful toe - Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • A pulsating sensation in the abdomen - Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Back pain - Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Blood in the urine - High Blood Pressure
  • Cough or shortness of breath - Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Cough that produces white mucus - Heart Failure
  • Deep and aching or throbbing chest pain - Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Difficulty or pain while swallowing - Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Discomfort in shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw, or back - Angina
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm - Heart Attack
  • Discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing, or painful feeling in chest (it might be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn) - Angina, Heart Attack, Arrhythmias, Heart Failure, High Blood Pressure
  • Extreme drop in blood pressure - Burst Aortic Aneurysm
  • Faster Heartbeat - Heart Attack
  • Fatigue or Confusion - High Blood Pressure, Stroke
  • Fever or weight loss - Abdominal or Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Hoarseness - Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Numbness, weakness, or paralysis of the face, arm, or leg, typically on one side of the body - Stroke
  • Pain in the chest, abdomen, or lower back, possibly spreading to the groin, buttocks, or legs - Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Palpitations (irregular heart beats, skipped beats or a "flip-flop" feeling in your chest, or feeling that heart is "running away") - Heart Attack, Arrhythmias, Heart Failure, High Blood Pressure
  • Pounding in your chest - Arrhythmias
  • Quick Weight Gain (for example 2 or 3 pounds in one day) - Heart Failure
  • Severe Headache - High Blood Pressure, Stroke
  • Shortness of breath when lying down flat in bed - Heart Failure
  • Slurred or garbled speech - Stroke
  • Sudden, severe pain - Burst Aortic Aneurysm
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness - Heart Attack, Heart Failure
  • Swelling in ankles, legs, and abdomen - Heart Failure
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination - Stroke
  • Vision Problems - High Blood Pressure, Stroke
  • Weakness, dizziness, anxiety, shortness of breath - Heart Attack, Arrhythmias, Heart Failure, High Blood Pressure
The symptoms related to High Blood Pressure are for extremely high cases.  Generally High Blood Pressure has no symptoms.
Western Medicine
Western medicine relies on aggressive and costly prescription drugs and prohibitively-expensive surgery to deal with problems related to cardiovascular disorders.  These methods generally address only the symptoms of cardiovascular disorder and not the underlying causes.  As soon as you stop using the drugs, the problems return!  And these prescription drugs often result in unwanted and even dangerous side effects. 
The options for drug treatment are bewildering: Alpha Blockers, Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors, Antiarrhythmic Drugs, Anti-Coagulants, Anti-Platelets, Thrombolytics, Beta Blockers, Calcium Channel Blockers, Centrally Acting Drugs, Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs, Digitalis Drugs, Nitrates, Diuretics, Peripheral Adrenergic Antagonists, and Vasodilators.
Typically once drug treatment begins, it is recommended for life and usually involves a series of medications.  The combined side-effects include anxiety, bleeding, bruising, chest pain, cold hands and feet, confusion, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry hacking cough, dry mouth, fainting, fever, headache, heat intolerance, hyperthyroidism, increased blood sugar, indigestion, inflammation of heart, insomnia, intolerance to cold, itching, joint pain, kidney function disruption, liver inflammation, loss of appetite, loss of concentration, low blood sugar, lower blood platelet count, lung inflammation, lupus, memory loss, metallic taste in mouth, muscle degeneration, nausea, nightmares, orthostatic hypotension, palpitations, rapid heart rate, rash, restlessness, ringing in the ears, seizures, severe rise in blood pressure, shallow breathing, skin discoloration, slow heart rate, susceptibility to sunburn, sweats, swelling, temporary impotence, tremors, twitching, urination difficulty, vision disturbances, vomiting, weak heart contractions, weakness, weight gain, weight loss, and worsening of glaucoma.
Surgical options include Angioplasty, Artificial Heart Valve Surgery, Atherectomy, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyoplasty, Heart Transplant, Implantable Medical Devices (Left Ventricular Assist Device, Pacemaker, Cardioverter Defibrillator), Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery, Radiofrequency Ablation, Stent Procedure, and Transmyocardial Revascularization.  All of these surgical procedures carry risk of infection and serious complications, most require follow-on drug treatment for life, and do not guarantee lasting cardiovascular health.
Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurveda, the science of life, prevention and longevity, is the oldest and most holistic and comprehensive medical system available.  Its fundamentals can be found in Hindu scriptures called the Vedas - the ancient Indian books of wisdom written over 5,000 years ago.  Ayurveda uses the inherent principles of nature to help maintain health in a person by keeping the individual's body, mind, and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.
India Herbs has a seasoned group of Ayurvedic doctors specialized in Kaya Chikitsa, one of the eight major specialties of Ayurveda that deals with Internal Medicine.  It is the branch of Ayurveda that offers therapies for purification and detoxification.  Kaya Chikitsa dwells deep into defining the root cause of a disease and prescribes the therapeutic use of various herbal medicines and holistic treatments for enhancing the cardiovascular capabilities while strengthening the body and overall well-being.
India Herbs' Kaya Chikitsa doctors combine a proprietary herbal formula based on centuries' old wisdom with advice on diet, exercise, mental training, and relaxation to help individuals attain their peak cardiovascular health and overcome health concerns through safe, natural means.
You can optimize your long-term cardiovascular health by:

1) Reversing Damage - Years of stressful living caused damage to your cardiovascular system.  To help reverse this, Cardiofy releases hundreds of phytonutrients that act at the molecular level to improve blood circulation, normalize lipid metabolism, regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels, stimulate liver functions, reduce platelet aggregation, strengthen blood vessels, minimize heart stress, energize heart tissue, and avert hypertension.
2) Avoiding Saturated Fat - Saturated fat is the main dietary cause of high blood cholesterol.  Foods to avoid include beef, veal, lamb, pork, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses, whole dairy products, two percent milk, coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, tropical oils, and cocoa butter.
3) Avoiding Hydrogenated Fat - Hydrogenated fats raise blood cholesterol.  Foods to avoid include margarine and shortening.
4) Avoiding Trans-Fatty Acids - Trans-fatty Acids raise blood cholesterol.  Foods to avoid include french fries, doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies, and cakes.
5) Consuming Unsaturated Fats - Getting between 25% to 35% of your calories from unsaturated fats will help lower your blood cholesterol level.  Foods to consume include salmon, trout, herring, avocados, olives, walnuts, and liquid vegetable oils (soybean, corn, safflower, canola, and sunflower).
6) Reducing Sugar Intake - Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars to lower your calorie intake and help control your weight.  Examples of added sugars are sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, corn syrups, high-fructose corn syrup, concentrated fruit juice, and honey.
7) Minimizing Salt Intake - Foods low in salt lower your risk of high blood pressure.  Strive to consume less than 1,500 mg of salt daily.  Choose "reduced-sodium" processed foods and limit soy sauce, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, flavored seasoning salts, pickles, and olives.  Use lemon juice, citrus zest, and hot chilies instead for flavoring.  Rinse canned tuna and salmon, feta cheese, and capers to remove excess sodium.
8) Increasing Fiber Intake - When eaten regularly as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, soluble fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol and may also reduce the risk of diabetes and colon and rectal cancers.  For every 1,000 calories in your diet, 14 grams of fiber (in both soluble and insoluble forms) should be eaten.  Foods high in soluble fibers includes oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries, and apple pulp.  Foods high in insoluble fibers include whole-wheat breads, wheat cereals, wheat bran, cabbage, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower, and apple skin.  Replace low-fiber foods (white bread, white rice, candy and chips) with fiber-rich foods (whole-grain bread, brown rice, fruits and vegetables).  Eat more raw vegetables and fresh fruits.  Eat high-fiber foods at every meal.
9) Drinking Water - Drink six to eight 8-oz glasses of water a day to ensure fiber in the diet is properly digested and fat loss is optimized.
10) Exercising Daily - A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day will help you maintain optimal weight, keep off weight you lose, and improve physical and cardiovascular fitness.
11) Not Smoking - Cigarette smokers are 2 to 3 times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than non-smokers.
12) Consuming Alcohol in Moderation - Drinking too much alcohol can raise triglyceride levels in your blood and also lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, and increase calorie intake (which can lead to obesity and diabetes).  Excessive drinking can also cause stroke, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac death.
The American Heart Association recommends the following for optimal cardiovascular health:
  • Total Cholesterol less than 200
  • LDL ("Bad") Cholesterol less than 160 for people who are at low risk for heart disease
  • LDL ("Bad") Cholesterol less than 130 for people who are at intermediate risk for heart disease
  • LDL ("Bad") Cholesterol less than 100 for people who are at high risk for heart disease
  • LDL ("Bad") Cholesterol less than 70 for people who are at very high risk for heart disease
  • HDL ("Good") Cholesterol 50 or higher for women
  • HDL ("Good") Cholesterol 40 or higher for men
  • Triglycerides less than 150
  • Blood Pressure less than 120 / 80
  • Fasting Glucose less than 100
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 25
  • Waist Circumference less than 35 inches for women
  • Waist Circumference less than 40 inches for men
  • Exercise minimum of 30 minutes most days, if not all days of the week
  • Eat at least 5 daily servings of fruit and vegetables, 6 daily servings of grain products, 2 weekly servings of oily fish, 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day, less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day
  • Limit intake of saturated fat and trans fat to less than 10 percent of total calories
  • Choose fats and oils with 2 grams or less saturated fat per tablespoon
  • Limit salt intake to less than 6 grams per day (slightly less than one teaspoon)
  • Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men
  • Balance the number of calories you eat with the number you use each day
  • Eliminate all tobacco products and exposure to secondhand smoke

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