13 sneaky things hurting your heart

Orthodox medical experts estimate that 30 percent of fatal heart attacks are avoidable with healthy lifestyle changes. They go on to claim that two-thirds of patients who have already suffered a heart attack don’t make the necessary lifestyle shift to prevent another one. 1

But I’m convinced that this 30 percent figure far underestimates the control we have over our health. I believe 90 percent of heart attacks may be avoidable, but only about 10 percent of us know how to do this.

That’s due in large part to these 13 sneaky factors that could be setting you up for heart disease without a single clue…

13 sneaky causes of heart disease

1. Thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormone imbalances. We know that low testosterone levels correspond with increased heart attack risk. 2 3 European endocrinologists have known for years that low thyroid function is a major contributor to heart disease. 4 The Adrenal gland is where your sex steroid hormones are produced (e.g. testosterone) as well as your stress hormone, cortisol. When you drive down your cortisol production by chronic uncontrolled stress, your heart disease risk goes up and you age much quicker. Find info on testing hormone levels here.

2. Digestive enzyme deficiency and low stomach acid contribute to constipation and an unhealthy intestinal microbiome. Here is how to boost them.

10 sneaky causes of heart disease [infographic]3. Constipation and an unhealthy intestinal microbiome promote leaky gut syndrome: leaking unwanted proteins make it past your intestinal mucosal wall into your blood stream. Examples are America’s hybridized wheat products 5 and cow milk protein (dairy) which can be antigenic (cause an inflammatory immune reaction) in your bloodstream.

4. Poor dental hygiene: A study of 11,869 people (mean age 50) who were followed for an average of 8.1 years for oral hygiene health and was reported in a 2010 British Medical Journal 6 showing that cardiovascular events or death doubled in those who never/rarely brushed their teeth.  Keep your mouth healthy to avoid this threat.

5. Hormones (xenoestrogens) and antibiotics (xenobiotics) that are routinely used for animal livestock growth and profitability. These ‘foreign’ molecules are also found in plastics, spermicides, detergents, and many personal care products which all can induce immune hypersensitivity and resulting inflammation in your heart vessels. Find info on testing hormone levels here.

6. Other prescription medications such as the cholesterol-lowering drugs Lipitor® and similar statins are known to deplete your critical energy-producing enzyme Coenzyme Q10. So do gemfibrozil (Lopid®), adriamycin (a chemotherapy drug), and certain beta blockers. 7 Antibiotics promote yeast, resistant bacteria, and possibly even microscopic parasite overgrowth adding to inflammation.

7. Excessive electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from lap-top computers, cell phones, televisions, microwave ovens, and hair dryers have been reported to be disruptive to cells like electrochemical activity. 8  Likewise, radiation exposure is known to oxidize LDL cholesterol which makes arterial plaque. 9 Avoid exposure, at least in your own home, by limiting devices that omit these potential dangers.

8. Heavy metal exposure (i.e. mercury and antimony) is toxic to the heart muscle. 10 Have you heard of EDTA? It was developed to help military personnel who had been exposed to heavy metals. Surprisingly it was found to help chelate build-up of arterial plaque.

9. Pesticide and insecticide exposure: Chemical food dyes, preservatives, pesticides, and herbicides trigger autoimmune hypersensitivity resulting in inflammation. 11 The 12 foods that are most susceptible to pesticide residues that I recommend you buy organic are (a.k.a. the “dirty dozen”): apples, celery, cherries, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.

10. Pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome (now nearly 25% of American adults): abdominal obesity with high blood triglyceride level, glucose intolerance, hypertension. Pre-diabetes and elevated insulin levels can be reversed without using prescription medications. 12

11. Insulin over-production: Being overweight or obese raises blood volume, increases insulin production (which is inflammatory, a part of metabolic syndrome), and increases inflammatory chemicals known to promote heart disease, called cytokines. 13 Read my 22 weight loss tips and how insulin fuels disease.

12. Sleep deprivation or poor quality sleep 14 Read my tips on better sleeping if this is a problem for you.

13. Poor sex life: sexual activity has a favorable effect on long term health. Here are some reasons why

To feeling healing from within,

Michael Cutler, M.D.
Easy Health Options

[1] http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/heart-attack/prognosis.html (The New York Times, Nov 16, 2007;  reviewed by Harvey Simon, M.D., Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital)
[2] Nettleship JE, Jones RD, Channer KS, Jones TH. Testosterone and coronary artery disease. Front Horm Res. 2009;37:91-107. Found online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19011291
[3] Morris PD, Channer KS. Testosterone and cardiovascular disease in men. Asian J Androl. 2012 May;14(3):428-35. Found online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22522504
[4] http://easyhealthoptions.com/thyroid-disease-part-iii/
[5] Cutler M. Gluten Unveiled. Published online Aug 12, 2013 at: http://easyhealthoptions.com/alternative-medicine/gluten-unveiled/
[6] de Oliveira C, Watt R, Hamer M. Toothbrushing, inflammation, and risk of cardiovascular disease: results from Scottish Health Survey. BMJ. 2010 May 27;340:c2451.
[7] Sarter B Coenzyme Q10 and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review. J Cardiov Nursing 16(4):9-20, July 2002.
[8] Hyland GJ. Physics and biology of mobile telephony. Lancet. 2000 Nov 25;356(9244):1833-6.
[9] Per Stephen Sinatra, M.D. the preventive Cardiologist presentation at the The Fourth World Conference on Nutritional Medicine, May 2004, Nikko Hotel, San Francisco, CA.
[10] Frustaci A, Magnavita N, Chimenti C, et al. Marked elevation of myocardial trace elements in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy compared with secondary cardiac dysfunction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 May;33(6):1578-83.
[11] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076021/
[12] Cutler M. Managing Diabetes so it can be Cured. Published online Nov 19, 2012 at: http://easyhealthoptions.com/alternative-medicine/managing-diabetes-so-it-can-be-cured/ and http://easyhealthoptions.com/alternative-medicine/managing-diabetes-and-aiming-for-a-cure-part-ii/
[13] Neil M Johannsen, Elisa L. Priest, et al. Association of White Blood Cell Subfraction Concentration with Fitness and Fatness. BJSM Published Online First: 17 October 2008. Found online at: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2008/10/17/bjsm.2008.050682.abstract
[14] Alanna Morris, Dorothy Coverson, et al. Sleep Quality and Duration are associated with Higher Levels of Inflammatory Biomarkers: the META-Health Study. Circulation, 23 November 2010; 122: Abstract: A17806. Found online at: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/122/21_MeetingAbstracts/A17806
Dr. Michael Cutler

By Dr. Michael Cutler

Dr. Michael Cutler is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine and is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder of the original Easy Health Options™ newsletter — an advisory on natural healing therapies and nutrients. His current practice is San Diego Integrative Medicine, near San Diego, California.