What Is Heart Disease
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease is the leading health problem in the western world claiming more than 1 million lives annually. An estimated 50 million Americans are afflicted with heart and blood vessel disease although many are a symptomatic.
Heart disease is the inadequacy of the heart and blood vessels due to the blood vessels narrowing. As the heart pumps, it fails to maintain the minimal amount of blood circulation throughout the body. The result is that congestion and edema develop in the tissues. If there is lack of oxygen there may be chest pain called Angina.
Heart Disease Is also Known As: myocardial insufficiency, congestive heart failure, cardiac insufficiency, forward heart failure, right ventricular failure, left ventricular failure, backward, heart failure, cardiovascular disease
The General Clinical Symptoms include shortness of breath (must sit leaning forward to catch breath), enlarged tender liver, engorged neck veins, pulmonary rales in various combinations, radiating squeezing pain, pain aggravated with any exertion or stress, palpitations, sweating. ankle edema, pitting edema and cough with fluid or sputum that is pink in color.
Chinese Medicine Symptoms of Heart Disease vertical or tangential crease on earlobes, Horozontal crease across the bridge of the nose, deep narrow central crack on the tongue extending to the tip.
Distinguish Heart Disease from similar patterns of:
Gastro-intestinal pain, Lung Diseases, Vascular pain, Pain of costal or spinal origin, Myofacial pain, Shingles
Prevention of Heart Disease
Avoid Eating – high fat, high cholesterol foods, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, butter, red meat, fried foods, soft drinks, spicy foods, white flour
Eat More fibre, raw foods, fish, turkey, chicken, garlic, onions, lecithin, raw nuts (not peanuts, olive oil (generally a well balanced diet)
People who are sedentary will be more likely to have heart disease when compared to people who are active in their daily lives.
Obesity is a major factor in heart disease
Avoid stress, lean stress-management techniques
Western Medicine Treatment ofHeart Disease Of Heart Disease
In order to receive proper and beneficial treatment for heart disease the diagnosis must be correct. The following are the most popular techniques used by doctors to determine the condition of a persons heart and arteries.
The muscles of the heart work by small shocks which cross the muscle causing the muscle to contract. These small shocks are monitored by a non-invasive painless procedure. A set of sensory pads are placed on strategic areas of the chest and a readout of the hearts beating pattern will be appear on a monitor or printout.
Stress Electrocardiogram Stress EKG
Same test as above but the subject will be put under physical stress. The patient will be made to run or ride a bike at a pace set by his or her doctor. Any abnormalities which did not show up for the non-stress electrocardiogram should show up during this test.
This is a method to diagnose the condition of individuals arteries. A slender tube (catheter) will be inserted into an artery in the grown or armpit and weaved up towards the arteries that feed the heart. The catheter will release dye in the artery which will be tested and the dye will mix with the blood. The doctor will watch on a near by monitor as the blood/dye mixture passes through the arteries and arterioles looking for blockages and other abnormalities.
Western Medicine Treatments Of Heart Disease
Heart disease and its related illnesss have been around since the beginning of the human race. Over the years people have attempted many different treatments to cure it.
This is an open heart surgery that is done directly upon the heart. This bypass procedure stops the lungs and heart and puts the patients blood through a machine which oxygenates the blood as well as pumps it through their body. A surgeon will take a vein from the patients leg or mammary artery and splice the new vein or artery between the blocked coronary artery and the aorta. Mortality rates from a coronary bypass vary widely from hospital to hospital (2% – 20%). Recovery from a coronary bypass is generally slow while simple things like sitting up, standing and walking can take a very long time to accomplish.
A catheter is inserted in an artery either in the grown or the armpit and weaved up to the affected artery of the heart. Once there a balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated in the blocked area, this pushes the plaque to the sides of the artery and widens the passage. The catheter is then removed. A successful operation is one that leaves the arteries with 50% blockage. Post angioplasty operations the primary concern is arteriole collapse which occurs 33% of the time.
The stent is a piece of wire coiled in the shape of a spring and inserted into a clogged artery where angioplasty has already been performed. It is supposed to keep the artery from collapsing.
Laser Tipped Catheter
Burns away the fatty deposits and smoothes out the sides of the blocked artery. There is less chance of the artery collapsing as in angioplasty procedures but the floating pieces of plaque moving in the blood to a new area and causes blockages there (possibly causing a stroke if in the brain)
General Medical Terms Relating ToHeart Disease
Aneurysm spot in a blood vessel where the wall becomes thin and bulges out. If this area ruptures, the circulation is disrupted.
Angina Pectoris pain or heavy sensation in the chest due to insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart tissue
Arrhythmia is also a heart disorder representing itself as an irregular heart beat due to a malfunction in the electrical system cells in the heart.
Cardiac Arrest heart stops beating, blood supply to the brain is cut off and person loses consciousness
Cardiomegaly (cardiac hypertrophy) enlargement of the heart making it unable to function effectively.
Carditis inflammation of the heart muscle due to infection or other inflammatory disease.
Congestive Heart Failure fluid accumulation in the lungs and general edema in the ankles and feet due to heart failure.
Endocarditis inflammation of membrane which surrounds the heart muscle due to a bacterial infection. Endocarditis can cause permanent damage.
Heart Attack Myocardial Infarction areas of local tissue death or decay within the heart due to blood supply to that area being cut off.
Heart Failure disorder due to the damaged heart being unable to pump effectively, therefore depriving the bodies tissues of oxygen and nutrients.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is often a precursor to heart problems. Hypertension is an extremely common form of cardiovascular disease usually resulting from a decrease in the elasticity or interior diameter of arteries.
Chinese Medicine Treatment ofHeart Disease Xiong Bi
Chinese Medicine (TCM) Diagnosis of Heart Disease
In Chinese medicine, chest pain and heart failure have many different causes. The basic cause of chest pain is obstruction of the circulation of Qi and blood. Chest pain may be caused by either deficiency or excess patterns. Deficient patterns include weak circulation of blood with pooling of blood causing stickiness or increased viscosity of the blood (yin deficiency) which causes stagnation of both Qi and blood. Excess patterns include pathogenic substances which block the circulation of Qi and blood. Generally heart failure is a complex disorder which combines both excess patterns with underlying deficiency patterns (root and branch).
Chinese Medicine Symptoms of Possible Heart Disease
vertical or tangential crease on earlobes, Horizontal crease across the bridge of the nose, deep narrow central crack on the tongue extending to the tip. The Left side of the heart connects with the Liver and/or the heart while the right side of the heart belongs to Lungs.
- Kidney Yang, Heart Yang, and Lung Yang deficiency are the most prominent patters which may result in water retention and/or Blood Stasis.
- Kidney and Heart control whole body Yang
- Right foot edema – Yang Qi disorders
- Left foot edema – Yin disorders
Chinese Medicine Heart Pain Patterns
Heart Yang Deficiency
Yang deficiency is the root of many chest pain patterns that involve the heart, especially those which are due to deficiency cold and phlegm obstruction. With yang deficiency there is accumulation of cold, the heart is weakened therefore circulation is impaired and fluids are failed to be transformed accumulating into phlegm and dampness.
Clinical symptoms of yang deficiency are chest pain as if heart is being squeezed and crushed, cold limbs, aversion to cold and other yang deficiency symptoms.
Similarly to yang deficiency, heart Qi deficiency will manifest similar symptoms with less cold and milder pain. Heart Qi deficiency has a weakened heart and poor circulation therefore Qi and blood stagnation and fluids are not transformed properly giving rise to phlegm and dampness.
Clinical symptoms of Qi deficiency are mild pain in chest, stuffiness in chest, shortness of breath, all symptoms aggravated by physical activity, palpitations and flutters.
Heart Qi and Blood Deficiency
General overwork and excessive worry or mental activity, irregular dietary habits, excessive consumption of cold, raw foods or prolonged illness can weaken the spleen Qi and there fore its blood production giving rise to Qi and blood deficiency and heart disease. When Qi is weakened it is unable to circulate properly in the body giving rise to stagnation of either Qi or blood or both and phlegm accumulation due to the weakened spleen function.
Clinical symptoms of Qi and blood deficiency are mild pain in chest, stuffiness in chest, shortness of breath, all symptoms aggravated by physical activity, palpitations and flutters (same as heart Qi deficiency) with paleness of face, tongue and eye lids as well as difficulty falling asleep.
Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency
Kidney yin will become damaged through overwork, late nights, inadequate sleep, excess sexual behaviour, drug use, pregnancy, febrile illness and in general aging. Heart yin will be damaged through emotional trauma, shock, ongoing anxiety and excessive worry. When the kidney yin is weak it is unable to support the heart yin and they become unbalanced and blood circulation begins to stagnate due to increased blood viscosity. The deficiency yin heat then congeals fluids into phlegm creating both blood and phlegm stagnation.
Clinical symptoms of kidney and heart yin deficiency are burning pains with palpitations, dizziness, red/dry tongue with no coat, 5 heat sensation, insomnia and possible eye disorders.
Heart Blood Stagnation
Blood stagnation causing heart disease is usually the end result of other prolonged illnesss effecting the upper jiao area. Generally, any pathology excess or deficient if chronic may lead to blood stagnation.
Clinical symptoms of blood stagnation are palpitations, oppression in the chest, periodic chest pain, purplish discoloration of the lips and nails with a dark purple tongue and a rough thready or intermittent pulse.
Phlegm Fluid Stagnation
Phlegm is a frequently implicated pathogen in chest pain and heart failure mainly due to a poor diet or liver qi stagnation overacting on the spleen.
Clinical symptoms of phlegm are watery sputum, rattling sputum in chest, stuffiness in chest, distention of chest worse on overcast or rainy days, greasy tongue coat.
Liver Qi Stagnation
General emotional imbalances can cause the movement of Qi in different organs to not circulate effectively leading to Qi and possibly blood stagnation. The liver meridian traverses the chest and is most notably effected by stress, anger and any other emotional upsets. These upsets can cause the liver to cause disharmony not only with itself but also with the heart and lungs.
Clinical symptoms of Liver Qi stagnation are mild recurrent fullness/stuffiness or tightness of the chest that is not localized to one particular area. The patient will sigh frequently, appear uptight, anxious or depressed and possibly experience dizziness and hyperventilation. The pulse will be wiry and the tongue may not have any significant characteristics.
Acupuncture Treatment For Heart Disease:
- Heart Yang Deficiency Bl 15, Bl 14, Bl 23, Ren 6, Ren 4, Ht 7, PC 6, Ren 9, St 36, Sp 6
- Heart Qi Deficiency Sp 6, Ht 7, Pc 6, Lu 7, Ren 17, Bl 15, Bl 20, St 36, An Mian (insomnia)
- Heart Qi and Blood Deficiency Bl 15, Sp 6, Sp3, Bl 20, Bl 14, St 36
- Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency Bl 15, Bl 14, Bl 23, Kid 3, Ht 7, Ht 5, Pc 6, Ren 17, Yin Tang, Lu 7
- Heart Blood Stagnation Due To Cold Bl 15, Bl 14, Ren 17, Ren 15, Du 14, St 36, Pc 4, Pc 6
- Blood Stagnation Bl 15, Bl 14, Bl 17, Bl 13, Hua Tuo Jia Ji, Ren 17, Pc 4, Pc 6, Du 132, Du 10, Sp 10
- Phlegm Fluid Stagnation St 40, Ren 17, Pc 6, Pc 5, Pc 4, Bl 13, Bl 15, Bl 14, Lu 7 (Sp 3-tubidity) (Pc 8 / Lu 6 / Liv 2 Phlegm Heat)
- Liver Qi stagnation – Liv 14, Liv 3, PC 6, PC 5, BL 18, Ren 17, Lu 7, Yin Tang
Moxa ST 36, and other yang meridians to release water retention. Treat Patient everyday 20-30 min each time 3 times per day.
Herbal Treatment For Heart Disease
- Heart Yang Deficiency Li Zhong Wan or Zhen Wu Tang
- Heart Qi Deficiency Bao Yuan Tang or Yang Xin Tang
- Heart Qi and Blood Deficiency Gui Pi Tang
- Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency – Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan or Huang Lian E Jiao Tang or Ren Shen Yang Ying Tang or Zhi Gan Cao Tang or Yi Guan Jian
- Heart Blood Stagnation Due to Cold Dang Gui Si Ni Tang or Wu Tou Chi Shi Zhi Wan
- Blood Stagnation – Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang
- Phlegm Fluid Stagnation Gua Luo Xie Bai Ban Xia Tang, Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang (drains fluids) Wen Dan Tang (Turbid Phlegm), Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang (Phlegm Fire)
- Liver Qi stagnation Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang
***Three main herbs for Qi (should be added to the above)
- Huang Qi (mostly acting in Jueyin, promote water and blood circulation, needs to combine with Dang Gui to create Fire)
- Ren Shen (mostly acting in Lung, promote blood circulation, needs to combine with Fu Zi to create Fire)
- Dang Shen (mostly acting in Earth)
***Three main herbs for the Yang
- Fu Zi (whole body)
- Gan Jiang (mid Jiao)
- Rou Gui (Heart and Kidney communicate)
Alternative MedicineTreatment Of Heart Disease
Nutrients for Heart Disease
- Coenzyme Q10 increases oxygenation of heart tissue, has been shown to prevent recurrences.
- Bio-Cardiozyme strengthen heart muscle
- Calcium and Magnesium important in proper functioning of heart (chelated form)
HerbsFor Heart Disase
Citrin (Garcinia cambogia)
Inhibits synthesis of fatty acids in liver, helps prevent accumulation of fats in the circulatory system.
One of the most effective stimulants for both the digestive and circulatory systems. Cayenne regulates blood pressure, strengthens the pulse, feeds the heart, lowers cholesterol, thins the blood, and cleanses the circulatory system. Cayenne helps cell structure in the arteries aiding the rebuilding process of damaged arteries due to heart disease.
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Garlic has been used longer for more purposes in more places than any other plant. (cultivated in the middle east over 5,000 years ago and found in the Egyptian tomb of King Tutankhamen). In the circulatory system, Garlic loers cholesterol, low density lipoproteins, blood lipids and blood pressure and also raises high density lipoproteins.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) (Gan Jiang)
The volatile oils in ginger stimulate both the circulatory and respiratory systems. Ginger lowers cholesterol levels, deter blood clots and purifies the blood.
The volatile oils in Gotu Kola have a diuretic and blood purify8ing property which helps lower serum and cholesterol levels because they contain beta-sitoerol.
Hawthorn Berries (Crataegus oxycantha) (Shan Zha)
Hawthorn regulates high and low blood pressure, arrhythmic heartbeat, irregular pulse and prevents the hardening of the arteries. It can also treat arteriosclerosis and cools inflammation in heart muscle in inflammatory conditions. If used regularly Hawthorn can strengthen the heart muscles and nerves of the heart.
Lecithin (Natural Occurring Fat)
Lecithin breaks down fat and cholesterol enabling the body to use what it needs and discarding the rest. It therefore cleanses the circulatory system of cholesterol deposits while providing essential nutrients for proper brain and nervous system function.
Onion (Allium cepa)
Throughout recorded history onion has been used as a heart tonic, blood purifier, antiseptic, digestive aid, sedative and aphrodisiac. An onion a day will boost their high density lipoprotein levels which will help remove cholesterol and low density lipoproteins. Onions also contain adenosine. Adenosine has been proven to lower blood pressure by inhibiting platelets to stick together and form clots. Onions will also aid the body in dissolving already formed clots by stimulating the bodies fibrinolytic system.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Hundreds of experiments have been done on Valerian in Germany and Russia for its effectivemeness in the treatment of nervous, circulatory, digestive and sleep disorders. Studies have shown Valerian to reduce hypertension, slow the heart rate and increase the power of each beat. Valerian is great natural treatment for palpitations and nervousness.
General Herbs which may benefit in Heart Diseases
- black cohosh
- butchers broom
- dandelion (pu gong ying)
- ginseng (ren shen)
Herbs To AVOID In Heart Disease
- Ephedra (Ma Huang)
- Licorice (Gan Cao)
They may cause a rise in blood pressure.