10 heart health questions to ask your doctor

Thanks to President Lyndon B. Johnson (1964), February is American Heart Month. Americans are encouraged to wear red to show their support and raise awareness for heart disease. Thanks to new technologies, advances in scientific research, better emergency response, and increased public awareness about healthy living, the death rate from heart disease in the US has fallen dramatically since the 1960’s. Unfortunately, despite the falling death rates, the number of people suffering from cardiovascular disease is rising. Risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, and unhealthy diets remain high.

​According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year (1 death every 52 seconds). 1 in every 4 deaths per year are due to heart disease. Every year approximately 735,000 Americans have a heart attack (1 heart attack every 42 seconds). As for costs, the treatment for heart disease accounts for $1 out of every $6 spent on total healthcare in the US.

​With all that data, you might think that blood pressure or cholesterol medications would top the list as the most prescribed medications in the US, however that crown jewel goes to Synthroid (with Crestor a very close second). Despite this, heart disease medications are a multi billion dollar per year business. With all that business, you have to ask yourself, “Why is heart disease still the number 1 cause of death of Americans?” Could it be that these medications are NOT as effective as the pharmaceutical industry would lead us to believe?

The obvious answer is YES! For example, studies prove that statin drugs may help to lower cholesterol numbers, however they DO NOT prevent death from heart attack. In fact, more people suffer heart attacks with normal cholesterol than they do with elevated cholesterol. This should lead you to question whether or not prescription medication is right for you.

To help you figure this out, I have come up with 10 questions you need to ask your doctor before you fill that next prescription.

  1. What is my diagnosis – hopefully your MD already shared this with you.
  2. What do you think caused my condition? – do you think my diet, pollution, or stress had anything to do with it, or is it genetic (experts agree that having a genetic variant does not mean that you will have the disease)?
  3. What treatment do you recommend? – if medications, what are the short term and long term side effects of these drugs and what about life threatening side effects?
  4. Is this treatment curative or palliative? – If curative, when will I be taken off of these medications? If palliative, what is the point of taking these drugs if they are not going to cure me?
  5. If this treatment does not work, can I get a refund?? – this is meant to be funny…sort of.
  6. May I have copies of the Physician Desk Reference Sheets on these drugs? – you may go to www.PDR.net to look up any medication and possible side effects.
  7. What do you recommend I eat while taking this drug? – is it ok for me to have ice cream and pizza? Are there foods that I should avoid?
  8. Will you be ordering genetic testing to make sure the drugs will work for me? – enzymes called CYP450 give insight into how a person’s body will metabolize certain drugs including blood thinners, beta blockers, cholesterol and blood pressure medications.
  9. I would like to take some time to change my lifestyle, how much time do I have to consider your recommendations? – Is it possible that my body will heal itself of this disease?
  10. What other treatment options are available besides what we have discussed? – I heard that Dr. Patrick Ess at Stanly Wellness Center has helped people with my condition, would you support my decision to go there first? (This is probably the most important question…just sayin)

If you or someone you love is suffering with a heart related condition or any other health concern and you are looking for natural solutions to help your body to heal, give Stanly Wellness in Locust a call at 980-355-7600. We specialize in nutrition, neurological correction, hormone regulation and true cellular detox.

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