/Cardiovascular Health

Women’s Heart Health

By: Dr. Keara Taylor, ND Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among older post- menopausal women.  As women, the risk of cardiovascular disease is 2-3 times higher after menopause (1).  Statically, men are at a higher risk, however, as women age, their level of risk approaches that of men, and the lifetime risk for women may actually be higher because we live longer (2).  The risk of cardiovascular disease in women should not be underestimated, and because there appears to be a link between hormones and cardiovascular disease – we see rates increase significantly after menopause – we can and should be proactive in managing that risk, especially as we age. The average age of menopause in women is approximately 51, and is often accompanied by the immediate symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. However, longer-term issues can also arise, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment. The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) looked at the correlation between a menopausal woman’s experience of vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes with cardiovascular risk factors.  It found that vascular aging, endothelial dysfunction and large artery stiffening seemed to increase in women during the menopausal transition and that women with hot flushes had higher rates of subclinical cardiovascular disease (1). As women enter menopause, treating symptoms with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) may be a good option, and should be discussed with a health care practitioner. While the use of BHRT in menopause is beyond the scope of this article, here are some dietary and lifestyle practices that you can implement right now that have been shown in the literature to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events: […]

Nutrition Advice That Will Never Change

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Are you considering a new diet for 2018? You may want to reconsider. A lot of diets restrict nutrients, which are essential for bodily function or increase nutrients that are unhealthy in high amounts over long periods of time. Health is found in balance, not restriction (although balance can sometimes feel like restriction!) The perfect place to start is with the macronutrients: Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates. Learning how to balance macronutrients will get you on the path to feeling better in 2018! […]

Healthy Heart Superfoods

  ‘Prevention is definitely the best medicine when it comes to heart health’.  By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Healthy hearts are predicted by: Normal blood pressure (~120/80mmHG), Balanced lipid profile (Low Total Cholesterol, Low LDL, High HDL, Cholesterol Ratio) Body mass index between ~18 and 24. Cardio-vascular problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity are caused by a perfect storm of poor nutrition, high inflammation and poor immune function. Much of this can be avoided or even remedied with diet and lifestyle. Balanced consumption of carbohydrates, protein and fat feeds a hungry heart, fights inflammation and balances the immune system. Specific vitamins and minerals are required daily for the heart to function and most of these can be found in food. But what do these ‘heart friendly’ foods actually do to protect our hearts? Whether you are in wellness mode or struggling with cardiovascular issues, understanding how your foods work will help you to make the right choices. […]

By |2019-04-08T19:51:40-04:00February 4th, 2016|Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition|0 Comments

The Secret to Heart Medicine from Ancient Tradition

with Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND   Heart disease is one of the western world’s most prevalent diseases. The Heart and Stroke Foundation rates it as the number one cause of death in Canada. If you look on the Heart and Stroke Website you will see listed the following preventative strategies for heart disease: Maintain a healthy weight Consult a dietician for help with creating a balanced diet, monitoring fat intake, increasing complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables, reducing alcohol consumption Quit smoking or maintain a smoke-free environment Remain Physically Active Decrease stress All great suggestions that we give out as naturopathic doctors every day…  lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle! But, our patients protest,  ‘it is so hard to change!’ WHY? One of the BIG reason we have difficulty maintaining lifestyle is stress. Our bad habits make us feel really, really good – for a really short period of time. Yet, many of our global authorities on heart health have a hard time directly connecting emotions with heart health – or at least they have a hard time talking about it. Yet in ancient times, this connection was well understood.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) one of the biggest blocks to mental and spiritual wholeness is that between the heart (feeling) and the mind (thought). Somewhere along the way, our western minds came  to believe that feelings and thoughts are separate. While in eastern medicine, the relationship is so important that a block or separation between heart and mind is considered a precursor to disease. In TCM the ‘Heart-Mind’ is the residence of memory, thinking, consciousness, mental activity, emotions, sleep and is said to be the home of the spirit or, ‘the Shen’. A divided Heart-Mind [...]