The cardiovascular system, also known as the circulatory system is made up of the heart, blood, and the blood vessels which help to transport vital nutrients (as well as oxygen) throughout the body as well as remove metabolic waste. They also help to protect the body and regulate body temperature.
- The Heart
The heart is the power house of the cardiovascular system. It is a hollow muscular organ which beats over 100,000 times a day to pump blood around the body’s 60,000 miles of blood vessels.
- The Blood
Blood is made up of about 45% solids (cells) and 55% fluids (plasma). The plasma is largely water, containing proteins, nutrients, hormones, antibodies, and dissolved waste products.
- Blood Vessels
Blood vessels are the body’s highways that allow blood to flow quickly and efficiently from the heart to every region of the body and back again. There are three major types of blood vessels: arteries, capillaries and veins.
This cardiovascular system has three main functions:
- Transport of nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to cells throughout the body and removal of metabolic wastes (carbon dioxide, nitrogenous wastes).
- Protect the body through white blood cells, antibodies, and vital proteins that circulate in the blood and defend the body against foreign micro-organisms and contaminants. Clotting mechanisms are also present that protect the body from blood loss after injuries.
- Regulates body temperature, fluid pH, and water content of cells.
The cardiovascular system, as essential as it is, may also be under attack if not well taken care of. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are diseases that affect the heart and blood; they are also the leading cause of death worldwide.
Examples of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) include the following:
- Ischemic heart disease also known as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the most common. It can be Angina Pectoris which occurs when blood there isn’t enough blood pumped to a particular part of the heart or Myocardial infarction (MI) commonly known as heart attack caused by a decrease or stoppage of blood flow to a particular part of the heart. The common symptoms are chest pain and muscle discomfort around the shoulder, neck and arm region.
- Ischemic stroke (the most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, usually from a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is shut off, brain cells will die. The result will be the inability to carry out some of the previous functions as before like walking or talking. A hemorrhagic strokeoccurs when a blood vessel within the brain bursts. The most likely cause is uncontrolled hypertension.
- Heart failure doesn’t mean that the heart stops beating. Heart failure, sometimes called congestive heart failure, means the heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should. The heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen isn’t being met. Heart failure can get worse if it’s not treated. If your loved one has heart failure, it’s very important to follow the doctor’s orders. Learn more about heart failure.
- Arrhythmia is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. There are various types of arrhythmias. The heart can beat too slowly, too fast or irregularly. Bradycardia is when the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute. Tachycardia is when the heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute. An arrhythmia can affect how well the heart works. The heart may not be able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Learn more about arrhythmia.
- Heart valve problems: When heart valves don’t open enough to allow the blood to flow through as it should, it’s called stenosis. When the heart valves don’t close properly and allow blood to leak through, it’s called regurgitation. When the valve leaflets bulge or prolapse back into the upper chamber, it’s a condition called mitral valve prolapse. When this happens, they may not close properly. This allows blood to flow backward through them. Discover more about the roles your heart valves play in healthy circulation. Learn more about heart valve disease.
The fundamental underlying problem is that there is damage or compromise to the walls of the blood vessels, be it from chronic hypertension, or trauma. This damage may lead to, depending on the site of damage, strokes, kidney diseases (ultimately, requiring) etc dialysis), heart failure.
Other associated CVDs include:
- High cholesterol
- Heart Disease (intermittent sharp pain in left side of chest and left shoulder)
- Erection problems
- Recovery from surgery
- Atrial Fibrillation
It has been proven that 90% of CVDs are preventable. Preventive measures include the following:
- Healthy Diets
- Healthy oils and nuts
- Lifestyle adjustments such as avoidance of tobacco smoke and alcohol
Mainstream Medical Approach to CVDs:
The main approach to CVDs across the world includes the use of medications to control blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride and sugar levels.
If these more conservative methods fail, more invasive approaches may be indicated, including the insertion of cardiac stents, pacemakers, by-pass surgery, and ultimately, heart transplantation, most of which are simply unavailable (or inaccessible) in to most of the people in our environment.
Specialists: Cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, endocrinologists, urologists,
The following are limitations we have seen with the conventional medical approach:
- Blood pressure medications only target the reduction of blood pressure. They DO NOT address the damage that has already been done to the blood vessels and tissues of the body.
- Popular Drugs for reducing cholesterol deplete the body of nutrients vital to other functions (e.g. coQ10 which is important for brain and heart health)
- Drugs and surgery do not remove plaques from the arteries, thus setting up the stage for recurrence of the disease.
- Many times, multiple drugs must be deployed which can further compromise the patient’s already compromised health
- Drugs and surgery do not address/repair damage to arteries from stroke or trauma
- Drugs do not repair damage to the diseased heart
- Atrial fibrillation – there are currently no known drugs that can stop atrial fibrillation. Besides, drugs do not repair damage to the heart’s electrical system.
The Brain and Body Foundation Approach to Cardiovascular Disorders
At the Foundation, we employ nutraceuticals to accomplish the following:
- Repair damage to blood vessels to brain tissue and to heart muscles
- Enhance healing of the lining of the blood vessels
- Remove plaques
- Help in blood pressure regulation
- Improve blood flow
- Enhance formation of new blood vessels