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How Integrative Medicine Cares for Your Heart 

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Hands holding a heart, symbolizing love and compassion.

Most of us know or have heard that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with one person dying every 33 seconds. However, what may not be as widely known is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that approximately 80 percent of premature heart attacks and strokes can be prevented. With a recent U.S. population study estimating a significant increase in cardiovascular disease between 2025 and 2060, especially among younger generations, it’s paramount that each of us consider what we can do to lower our risk of cardiovascular disease. 

What is Cardiovascular Disease? 

Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions that impact the heart, how it functions, and the blood vessels. Known as the ‘silent killer,’ many people are often unaware that they are at high risk because the leading factor of cardiovascular disease is hypertension – high blood pressure – which is not usually routinely measured or monitored. This can lead to stroke, kidney failure, or heart diseases, such as: 

  • Angina 
  • Aortic disease 
  • Arrhythmia 
  • Atherosclerosis 
  • Cardiomyopathy 
  • Coronary artery disease 
  • Heart attack 
  • Heart failure 

There are other risks to cardiovascular disease like diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, as well as family history and genetics. When it comes to taking care of our heart health, we often hear some variation of “Exercise and eat well, living a healthy lifestyle.” But what does that mean – and what does that look like for you?  

Protect your heart: Learn how to prevent cardiovascular disease and improve your heart health.

Good Heart Health is Unique to YOU 

Integrative medicine aims first to obtain a deep understanding of your personal and family health history, as well as the physical, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental impacts on your health, and then maintain or restore your health and well-being going forward. This same methodology can be applied to caring for your cardiovascular health, combining lifestyle changes and behavioral health with conventional cardiology treatments to create a personalized plan focused on heart disease prevention – or, in some cases, healing after a cardiac event. 

Integrative medicine teams look at the root cause of a disease to lower your risk or prevent symptoms from occurring. This can include an in-depth look at your family history, genetics, health status, and your daily lifestyle, such as work-life balance, eating habits, exercise, sleep patterns, stressors, and more. When all of these factors come together, it paints a unique picture of you that your integrative medicine team can use to create a customized, specific treatment plan with achievable goals and measurable results. Treatment options could include: 

  • Acupuncture 
  • Advanced lab testing 
  • Biofeedback (electronic monitoring) 
  • Cardiac Imaging 
  • Cardio rehab 
  • Herbal or natural supplements 
  • Meditation 
  • Mind-Body therapies 
  • Nutrition counseling 
  • Personal exercise training program 
  • Stress management 
  • Therapeutic massage 
  • Tai Chi 
  • Yoga 
Heart with cross emblem signifies the importance of reducing heart disease risk.

Most Important Factor: It’s Never Too Late for Heart Care 

A global study of coronary artery disease that followed more than 15,000 people for nearly four years was conducted not too long ago. The results of that study found that walking just ten minutes a day positively impacted those with the disease, increasing their chances of survival by 30 percent. 

The moral of that story is it is never too late to take charge of your health and work with your healthcare team on a plan to feel better and prevent future diseases. And the benefit of seeking the guidance of an integrative medical professional is that you will receive effective tools that address your specific needs. For instance, if your goal is to lower your risk of heart disease through a healthy diet, a nutritional specialist can recommend practical substitutions for meals you enjoy and workarounds for any food allergies. Plus, if you have an exercise plan, you can also receive recommendations on portions and a plan on what to eat and when. 

If you are looking for a holistic, integrative approach to improving your quality of life, look no further than Family Integrative Medicine. Our medical team of experts are leaders in person-centered care that address the root cause of your symptoms to optimize the body’s natural healing abilities. 

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