Heart Disease

Heart disease is well-treated using naturopathic medicine.

The terms “heart disease”, “cardiovascular disease” and “coronary heart disease” are often used interchangeably to describe a variety of health concerns affecting the heart and blood vessels.

Common illnesses that are described as heart disease include narrowing of blood vessels resulting in high blood pressure (hypertension), and heart rhythm irregularities (heart arrhythmias).

Untreated, hypertension can result in heart attack, stroke, aneurysm and peripheral artery disease among other serious complications.

Causes of narrowing of blood vessels and resulting high blood pressure is are caused by dietary factors, being overweight and smoking.

Heart rhythm irregularities may be congenital (i.e., you were born with them), or may be caused by high blood pressure, as well as diabetes mellitus; stress and use of caffeine, alcohol, botanical (herbal) medicines or recreational or prescription drugs.

Seek professional healthcare if you experience any symptoms of heart disease.

Seek emergency medical care if your heart disease symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting

Symptoms of Heart Disease

Possible symptoms of narrowing of blood vessels include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in arms or legs
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

Possible symptoms of heart arrhythmias include:

  • Fluttering sensation in your chest
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting

Treatment of Heart Disease at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of heart disease treatment are reduction of risk factors of serious heart disease complications (e.g., excess weight, smoking, “bad” cholesterol levels), reduction of heart disease symptoms and prevention of serious heart disease complications.

Conventional treatment for heart disease may include a variety of medications, including diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or beta blockers, blood thinning medications or cholesterol-lowering medications. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.

For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your heart disease symptoms.

Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:

  • Identifying specific treatment goals
  • Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
  • Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
  • Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating heart disease may be to:

Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:

To learn more about our approach to heart disease, please visit our page on Medical Weight Loss and FirstLine® Therapy.

Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

References

Heart disease [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease/DS01120.

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