Facts you should be aware of:
- Coronary angiograms fail to show the collateral circulation; furthermore the procedure creates spasms in the coronary arteries through the injection of heavy dye under high pressure. Thus, coronary angiograms are notoriously inaccurate at assessing the amount of stenosis or narrowing in the vessels as well as the true blood flow in the heart.
- To this day, most of the bypasses, stents, and angioplasties are performed on minimally symptomatic patients who show a greater than 90 percent blockage in one or more coronary artery. These arteries are almost always fully collateralized; it is not the surgery that restores blood flow, because the body has already done its own bypass.
- If tests found a major coronary artery 90 percent blocked, with only 10 percent flow “squeezing through the bottleneck,” how could you possibly still be alive if you did not have collateral blood vessels? And are we really to believe that the decisive thing that will cause the eventual heart attack is when the stenosis goes from 93 percent to 98 percent? This is an insignificant difference, and the premise that this small increase will cause a heart attack is completely nonsensical. Yet this is what most of the procedures are meant to accomplish, to unblock the stenosis, which as the video on heartattacknew.com shows, does not actually improve blood flow.
Heart Rate Variability
The real revolution in the prevention and treatment of heart disease will come with increased understanding of the role played by the autonomic nervous system in the genesis of ischemia and its measurement through the tool of heart rate variability (HRV). We have two distinct nervous systems: the first, the central nervous system (CNS), controls conscious functions such as muscle and nerve function; the second nervous system, the autonomic (or unconscious) nervous system (ANS), controls the function of our internal organs.
The autonomic nervous system is divided into two branches, which in a healthy person are always in a balanced yet ready state. The sympathetic or “fight-or-flight” system is centered in our adrenal medulla; it uses the chemical adrenaline as its chemical transmission device and tells our bodies there is danger afoot; time to activate and run. The particular nerve of the parasympathetic chain that supplies the heart with nervous activity is called the Vagus nerve; it slows and relaxes the heart, whereas the sympathetic branches accelerate and constrict the heart. It is believed that an imbalance in these two branches is responsible for the vast majority of heart disease.
Using the techniques of heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring, which gives a real time accurate depiction of autonomic nervous system status, researchers have shown in multiple studies that patients with ischemic heart disease have on average a reduction of parasympathetic activity of over one-third. Furthermore about 80 percent of ischemic events are preceded by a significant, often drastic, reduction in parasympathetic activity. By contrast, those with normal parasympathetic activity, who experience an abrupt increase in sympathetic activity (such as physical activity or an emotional shock), never suffer from ischemia.
*Mark your calendar: Elevation Health Heart Smart Nutrition Blockbuster Workshop Event. Register at ehheartsmart.eventbrite.com. At the workshop, you’ll learn the top heart attack and heart disease prevention strategies.