Heart Disease Therapy

Home / Solutions / Heart Disease Therapy

The number one way to combat high cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke is prevention. At any age, you can make lifestyle changes that will help lower your cholesterol.

Cholesterol levels drop when the you choose to adopt one of our many dietary strategies to optimize your health.  LDL declines with our methods up to 37%, proving significant benefits can be reaped from nonpharmacologic measures.

Lifestyle Changes Associated With Heart Disease Therapy

Here are lifestyle changes you can make to help lower or prevent high cholesterol:

  • Low sodium diet with a heavy focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Moderate the amount of animal fats and good fats.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Start an exercise routine every day for 30 minutes of moderate exercise or five times a week for 25 minutes of vigorous exercise.
  • Moderate your alcohol intake.
  • Maintain a healthy weight for your body type.
  • Moderate stress.

Having a healthy diet alone can go a long way in reducing cholesterol levels. It is not just about eliminating foods but adding things to your diet that can help your body. Here are three things to add to your diet to reduce cholesterol:

  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: Not only will these foods help with cholesterol but with the reduction of blood pressure. Some examples of foods that have a beneficial amount of omega-3 fatty acids are mackerel, herring, salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
  • Increase your intake of soluble fiber: soluble fiber aids in reducing the absorption of cholesterol in your blood. Some examples of foods with soluble fiber are Brussels sprouts, pears, apples, kidney beans, and oatmeal.
  • Incorporate whey protein: It is speculated that whey protein, found in dairy, is the culprit for many of the health benefits of dairy. When given as a supplement, studies have shown it lowers LDL and total cholesterol. Like omega-3 fatty acids, it can also reduce blood pressure.

Solutions for Heart Disease Therapy

Even though you have incorporated all these lifestyle changes, it may not be enough to significantly lower your cholesterol. Your doctor may also recommend a single or combination of medications to assist the lifestyle changes. What your physician decides for you is determined by your overall health, age, risk factors, and drug side effects.

Although using medication for our patients is not the first course of action, our goal as longevity physicians is to use medication when needed. The longevity physicians of MDLifespan will collaborate with you, your internist, and your cardiologist to provide you the best of both the traditional and longevity world. Often overlooked is the fact that using science backed and proven supplements alongside traditional medications like statins improves effectiveness, minimizes side effects, and treats nutrient deficiencies caused by the medication itself.

Here are a few commonly used medications to treat high cholesterol:

  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors: Your small intestine is responsible for absorbing and releasing cholesterol from your diet into your bloodstream. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors limit the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from the foods you eat.
  • Statins: Statins will prevent the formation of cholesterol by blocking a substance the liver needs to produce it, causing the liver to instead remove cholesterol from your bloodstream.
  • Bile-acid binding resins: One of the functions of cholesterol in the liver is to create bile acids for digestion. Bile acid binding resins indirectly lower cholesterol by prompting the liver to use excess cholesterol to create more bile acid.
  • Bempedoic acid: Functions in the same way as statins and is used in combination with a maximum dose of statins to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol.
  • PCSK9 inhibitors: These drugs are injected beneath the skin and help the liver absorb more LDL cholesterol.

Our practice combines supplements with these medications to offset their side effects or utilize Nutrition Therapy to counter a specific nutrient deficiency which a medication causes. For example, bile-acid binding resins are known to deplete the body of vital nutrients like iron and folic acid, to name a few. Both these nutrients can be supplemented with vitamins or by consuming a certain amount of dark leafy greens, among other foods.

What to Expect from Heart Disease Therapy

When you are working with a MDLifespan Longevity provider, our goal is your goal – exploring and advising you of the best possible avenues to treat YOU for heart disease. We will use a combination of comprehensive and in-depth testing, fused with a caring nutritionist and trainer, adding in medications when needed, and supplementing your health with the right vitamins and herbs.
All in all, you will be treated as a person, listened to, and understood, and always a major part of your health care decisions.

Precautions on Heart Disease Therapy

A word of caution to patients who wish to improve their health in a more natural way. Our physicians have decades of experience in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients to help prevent heart disease.
We recommend that no patient, at any time, try using supplements alone without the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable physician.
We respect all patients desire to be treated in the fashion of their own beliefs. Our physicians will present to you every option, along with the risks and the benefits of that option, in order to help you make the best-informed decision.
We strongly believe in the power of prevention, and we have the experience to know that once disease has set in, a team approach, with a knowledgeable cardiologist, lipidologist, and possibly an invasive radiologist, may be both appropriate but wise.

Possible Side Effects of Heart Disease Therapy

The statins have been well studied and used by patients for decades. While a nice tool to have and use, when necessary, the side effects of these medications should not be minimized. Our physicians strive to not use medications unless necessary, preferring to change a patient’s lifestyle, metabolism, hormones, and detoxification pathways instead.

The most common side effect of statins is headache and nausea. The statins can injury the liver causing an increase in liver enzymes, indicative of liver inflammation and injury. Another common side effect associated with statin therapy is muscle aching and stiffness, which increases in severity as the dose is increased. and may make some people intolerant to the drugs. Atorvastatin and simvastatin are more likely to cause these side effects, while rosuvastatin and pravastatin, have less of an effect on the muscles. In general, these side effects are uncommon in the lower dosages, but increase substantially as the dose is increased.

When to See a Doctor for Heart Disease Therapy

Our providers are here to answer any and all of your questions about Heart Disease. Our team is ready for a deep dive into your labs and tests. Our Health Team is ready to get your body working for you.
You should see a doctor regarding your Heart Health at any time you have concerns, risk factors run in your family, or testing shows the potential problem arising in your future.
But in the event that life-threatening symptoms arise, call 911 immediately or seek medical care from your nearest emergency department.