Nutrition and Cardiovascular Disease
Basic Tenets of Integrative Medicine
THE FIVE PILLARS OF HEALTH DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS-TERRY CHAPPELL, M.D.
Do you want to achieve optimal functioning? Do you want to avoid chronic degenerative diseases?
Do you want to live a long, high quality life?
Do you want to retain a sharp mind for your entire life? Integrative Medicine offers you opportunities to achieve these goals that go far beyond what you might hear from your busy conventional physician.
You can benefit greatly from taking a self-inventory of the Five Pillars of Health.
1.Spiritual/Emotional did you know that people with a strong religious faith live on the average 7 years longer than those who do not? That is a factor equivalent to smoking two packs a day! If you have any tendency for depression or anxiety, you should do something about it, preferably something without side effects. An integrative physician might measure your neurotransmitters and provide you with supplements like 5-hydroxytryptophan to build up those that might be low.
Or you could try an Alpha-stim unit that you clip on to your ears for 20 minutes a day that can serve as a great mood-elevator. It¹s on the Internet. There are many relaxation techniques that can be extremely helpful to avoid the damage that excessive stress can cause in your life.
2. Structural/Function this is your bones and muscles and how they move and support the body. Do not ignore the pains and stiffness that appear from time to time. These might be signs of big trouble down the line. Supplements like glucosamine and MSM can be very helpful. Prolotherapy injections can strengthen weak ligaments and unstable joints.
There are new traction machines that can rehydrate and repair discs without surgery. Be sure you take magnesium along with your calcium to prevent osteoporosis. But the most important choice you can make is to do a variety of exercises on a daily basis.
3.Cardiovascular/Brain function Conventional medicine is so committed to surgery and drugs that many other measures that are safer, cheaper and for some people more effective are not utilized. First, it is important to exercise both your body and your brain. If your cholesterol is high and/or you have a bad family history for heart attacks or strokes, try red yeast extract before you buy the statin drugs that have become so popular for cardiologists.
According to at least one study, the results are similar without the risk of side effects such as liver damage, muscle inflammation, and nerve impairment. The NIH is conducting a large study to determine the effectiveness of EDTA chelation therapy in reducing cardiac events in people who have had a previous heart attack. Many oral nutritional supplements can help heart and brain function.
4.Immunity/Glandular function. If these crucial systems do not function very well in the body, you might have frequent infections, chronic fatigue, allergies, fibromyalgia or you might develop cancer or autoimmune diseases. Your longevity and sense of well being will be affected. Integrative physicians do a lot of testing in this area that is often not done by more conventional docs.
Subtle changes in thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormone function treated with natural substances can make a huge difference. Many herbal and nutrient treatments can enhance normal immune function to prevent or treat the devastating consequences of an inadequate immune system.
5.Fuel/Waste It is very important to breath well and have a steady flow of good nutrients from your food to give your cells what they need to function very well as they are capable. Beyond having an excellent diet and drinking plenty of water, you also have to have a very efficient digestive system. Do not fail to pay attention to excessive gas and bloating and other digestive symptoms.
Much can be done to improve these soft symptoms and help your body achieve and maintain good health. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are a good place to start. We also live in a toxic world. Our bodies are challenged to eliminate waste products through our lungs, skin, liver and kidneys. Those waste products and toxicities can greatly enhance the development of chronic degenerative diseases. Integrative medicine offers many ways to detect and eliminate toxicities.
A simple measure is to enhance liver function with milk thistle. Conventional medicine recognizes the dangers of toxicity but does little to search for it or to treat it. Integrative Medicine employs the best of Conventional Medicine but adds many other factors that can greatly improve the quality of your life and embraces true prevention, rather than being limited mostly to early detection, which is the primary focus of most docs today. Integrative Medicine seeks to be the medicine of tomorrow.