The Hidden Heart
Doctors almost never test for this little-known risk factor. How to tell if you have it…
and what to do if you do.
BY ROBERT J. ROWEN, MD
I’m sure you’ve known someone who died of a heart attack suddenly and without warning. One day they seemed the picture of health. The next day they were gone, leaving behind bereaved spouses and children.
Sadly, this is quite common. In fact, of the half million Americans who die of a heart attack every year, almost half of them have none of the classic warning signs.
That’s right. Half the people who die of heart disease have no high blood pressure… no high cholesterol…
no previous heart problems.
That means that you can go to the doctor and get great scores on all the traditional tests and still drop dead the
Yet despite all the evidence that these tests are unreliable, doctors continue to rely on them. They check your cholesterol and triglycerides. They look at your blood pressure and weight and whether you smoke. If they’re really thorough, they may even check your homocysteine and C-reactive protein levels.
But there’s one important thing they’re not testing you for. And the latest research shows that this one thing is the most important risk factor of all!
Why? Because all the other factors, like blood pressure, LDL, and fibrinogen, are merely symptoms of this one factor!
So what is this risk factor? It’s…
That’s right, viscosity. The thickness of your blood. I know it sounds unbelievable that your heart-attack risk could be reduced to something so simple, but please let me explain.
To understand blood viscosity, consider the difference in thickness between water and ketchup. If you turn a bottle of water over, it just flows out. But if you turn ketchup over, it hardly moves. To get it to move, you have to put pressure on it by squeezing the bottle.
Well, blood works in much the same way. To get it to move, you need to put pressure on it. Pressure that’s provided by the contractions of your heart and blood vessels.
Now here’s the danger: When any fluid gets too thick and the pressure gets too high, it can damage the sides of the pipe it flows in. And in the case of blood, the pipes getting damaged are your arteries.
Most artery damage occurs at branching of the blood vessels. If this damage were merely due to some lab value, like cholesterol or homocysteine, you’d expect it to be fairly constant throughout the blood vessels. But it’s not. Why? Because this damage is caused by the pressure and friction of thick blood flowing through these branched areas.
What happens is that the thick blood creates friction, which erodes the inner lining of the artery. To protect itself from this erosion, the artery patches itself up with plaque. But this narrows the artery… which increases the pressure… which leads to more injury… and so on. It’s a vicious cycle.
Now let’s look at some of the other risk factors known to contribute to heart disease. You’ll find that all seven are related to blood viscosity…
1) Cholesterol: High LDL cholesterol increases blood viscosity, while high HDL thins the blood.
2) Smoking: Thickens the blood by increasing fibrinogen and inflammation.
3) Diabetes: Makes red blood cells stiffer. And red-cell stiffness makes blood thicker.
4) Blood pressure: As I mentioned, when blood is thicker, you need more pressure to move it. More pressure results in more friction and more injury to the arteries.
5) Obesity: Increases blood viscosity and fibrinogen. It’s a known fact that when you lose weight, your viscosity and fibrinogen drop.
6) Gender: Pre-menopausal women have a much lower rate of heart disease than men. Why? Because menstruation thins the blood. After menopause, when menstruation ceases, the risk for men and women is equal.
7) Blood count and age: Young red blood cells fresh out of the bone marrow are soft and flexible. But as cells age, they incur damage, which does to red blood cells what it does to your joints: it makes them stiffer.
Eventually, the oldest, stiffest red blood cells are taken out and recycled in your spleen. But until then, they are very stiff and have trouble going through the capillaries. So a higher pressure is needed to drive them through.
Women are protected from this during menstruation. Why? Because every month they lose blood, leading the bone marrow to churn out lots of young, flexible cells to replace what is lost. Result: blood that flows smoothly.
But at menopause, this all stops. So older, stiffer blood cells circulate through the blood vessels. And heart-attack risk skyrockets!
By the way, the conventional wisdom is that postmenopausal women’s risk is due to the fact that they accumulate too much iron in the blood. The problem with this theory is that it can take years for iron to accumulate. In contrast, red blood stiffness takes just a few months.
Yes, blood viscosity is the single most important factor for heart health. But until recently, it’s been very difficult to measure
There are tests for blood viscosity but I lack the technical expertise to explain them, see the sources for more information.
Of course if you mention blood viscosity to your conventional MD he'll instantly write a prescription for you for wayfarin- a nice rat poison,[why not just nibble on a bit of mouse chow kibble? D-Con!] it's the blood thinner of choice for most members of the AMA. You could also take aspirin every day also, but for those, like me, who are violently allergic to it that's not an option.
Fortunately there are some natural blood thinners, Like onions and garlic, probably anything in the allium family of herbs and then there are foods containing salicylates-the ingredient in white willow bark that scientists perverted to make the harsh drug-Aspirin.
Herbs and spices high in salicylates include: *Curry powder *Cayenne pepper *Ginger
*Paprika *Thyme *Cinnamon *Dill *Oregano *Turmeric *Licorice *Peppermint.
In Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) many of the above spices are known as "warming spices". I think this is because by thinning the blood they increase a person's blood circulation, which in turn speeds up the metabolism and makes a person feel warmer.
You know as I started this entry I was getting a little concerned about my own blood viscosity, but after seeing the natural blood thinners I just relaxed. I eat all on that list except for Ginger which tends to really increase the appetite, something that, for me needs no help whatsoever!
So, forearmed and prepared we all know now how to prevent the hidden causes of heart attacks, start today let's get healthy!
I am very regular taking my CellPower™ and
~4 essential minerals for diabetics
~SELENIUMhelps immune system,fights infection and aids circulation
~MAGNESIUMhelps to relax you, aids stress and muscle relaxing
~CHROMIUMimproves insulin sensitivity, and helps lower blood sugar.
~ZINC especially to help you heal.
Be sure to check out my new favorite interactive health message group healthwatch
Write to me at Webriter@verizon.net or use the comment or chat features. I do appreciate the feedback even if it’s negative, Christian Biblical stories
Natural herbal remedies
-----THE GARDEN GNOME
~~~Jokes and Inspiration~~~
Three C's to Ponder:
1. The Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The 10 Commandments
C O W S
Does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.
T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N
They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.
T H E 1 0 C O M M A N D M E N T S The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians...It creates a hostile work environment -
THIS WAS NOT INTENDED AS A JOKE BUT IT'S PRETTY FUNNY:
The holidays are here, and there will be lots of comings and goings -- and perhaps a bit too much of staying. Sometimes friends and family are having such a good time at your celebration that they forget to go home. Of course, all good things must come to an end -- and hosts need their sleep. Here's a lighthearted look at handling party stragglers and houseguests who won't leave.
Know How to Say Good-Bye
If guests won't leave after a party, it's perfectly acceptable to suggest politely that it's time to go. Practice these phrases from expert socialites.
Abigail van Buren (Dear Abby): "Oh, dear, just look at the time! I didn't realize it was so late. I'm going to let you nice people go home, so you can retire."
Judith Martin (Miss Manners): "It's been wonderful having you. We really enjoyed it. I'll get you the train schedule. Will you be needing a ride to the station?"
Walter Sickert (British Impressionist painter): "Do come back when you've a little less time to spare."
Outwit the Long-Term Lodger
If you don't want to play host for a few days, tell aspiring guests that it will be impossible for them to stay with you, saying, perhaps, "It's just not a good time for me." If you don't mind having someone stay over, be very clear about how long the person is invited to stay: "Make yourself at home, but only through Friday night -- I'm having the living room painted this weekend." Then make arrangements to have the living room painted. Here are some other ideas you might want to try (but probably shouldn't!).
Avoid buying a sofa bed. Offer your guests the floor.
Put a rock under the guest mattress. Or a typewriter.
Make sure the refrigerator is empty, or full of dairy products and turned off.
Tell them your key is hard to use, then change the locks.
a certain family just happened to stop by at the Jones' every day at dinnertime. Now the Jones were hospitable people but got tired of feeding their neighbors every night so one night Mr. Jones put his plate on the floor for the dog to lick, afterwards he picked it up and handed it to his daughter saying, there you go he got it plenty clean again, no need to wash it, just put it away and let him clean all of them so there are no dishes to wash. As you might imagine, the neighbors found a different family to 'visit' after that.
I was testing the children in my Sunday school class
to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven. I asked them, "If I sold my house and my car,had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church,
Would that get me into Heaven?"
"NO!" the children answered.
"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?" Again, the answer was, "NO!" By now I was starting to smile. Hey, this was fun! "Well, then, if I was kind to animals
and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?"I asked them again.
Again, they all answered, "NO!"
I was just bursting with pride for them. "Well," I continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?" A five-year-old boy shouted out,
"YOU GOTTA BE DEAD."
That's it for today, folks, God bless you all and may your days be filled with good things from God's storehouse.
check out the sources for more information.
(1)from Dr. Rowen's newsletters vis-Dr. Nan Fuchs