Cardiac Disease Causes

By Warren L. Selkow, Patient

Was that a pain in the chest you just suddenly felt? Did the subject of this piece suddenly give you a jolt? Are you afraid of what you might learn? Do you think the doctors are not giving you all the information you need? Don’t I ask a lot of questions? Maybe I should just get on with it and explain how you got to this point of needing to know the right stuff. You have just entered the “No Baloney Zone”. No, I mean just that. If you are diagnosed with heart disease you can have no baloney. Bananas, yes. Baloney, no. Broccoli, yes. Baloney, no. You get the idea. Also, donuts are also off the menu. (It is a dirty job and a tough thing to accept, but someone has to do it.)

Before we go any further it is necessary to spell out the differences between cardiac disease and coronary disease. Here it is: there is no difference. It is only a matter of nomenclature and what your doctor wants to call it. In my opinion it is just how the public is kept confused. You know, the folks like you and me.

Heart Disease Causes

The big-brained medical researchers have been able to identify ten root causes of heart, coronary or cardiac disease (here is that naming thing problem again). The conclusions were drawn after years and years of medical observations, testing and statistical analysis. As far as medical science is concerned the reasons are now obvious.

In the book The Simplified Handbook for Living With Heart Disease and Other Chronic Diseases a far amount of time is spent explaining the importance of testing, measuring and analyzing results. It is from the proven methodology discussed in that book the medical conclusions were drawn. It is interesting to note that of the eight causes of heart disease, only two are unavoidable. Every other cause is self-inflicted. Wait a minute; I have to have a couple of taco chips before continuing. Where is the salsa?

Unavoidable causes of heart disease, cardiac disease or coronary disease
(take your pick as to the name you want to call it)

  1. In women the first unavoidable cause of heart disease is menopause. During child bearing years, a women’s’ body produces more HDL than after the onset of menopause. As women age, just like men, they become more prone to have greatly increased levels of LDL and thusly experience the same rate of heart disease. In more exacting language: women suffer the same rate of heart disease as men!

  2. Genetics is the other unavoidable cause. Somewhere along the way the CAGT protein string in the DNA gets a slight mutation. Some of the implications of a heart DNA mutation are faulty valves, missing chambers (you might call this a half-hearted attempt. Sorry, it is not really funny but I can never miss the chance at a pun.), and a heart preprogrammed to last only forty years. The researchers have not yet found the exact gene that determines the survivability of the heart but they will no doubt discover it. This is probably news most people will not want.

Avoidable causes of cardiac disease, coronary disease or heart disease

  1. High blood pressure is becoming more and more prevalent in the ever-quickening pace of daily life. Just one of the exacerbating factors is the amount of salt in the daily diet. This factor can be severely mitigated just by making a conscientious effort to reduce the amount of salt you eat. Maybe I shouldn’t have had those taco chips. See the doctor for other remedies. Oh, and lose weight. For every pound of excess flab you acquire, your body must produce one mile of veins.

    Besides stress, the other major contributing factor to high blood pressure is sodium, most notably found in good old table salt and as an ingredient in preservers to prolong shelf life. Wonder why salt is so deleterious to your good health? After about the age of forty your kidneys have trouble filtering salt out of your blood. The result is your blood gets more dense and heavier. Your heart has to work harder to move all the sludge. Your blood pressure goes up. The Simplified Handbook for Living With Heart Disease and Other Chronic Diseases spells out the complete physiological ramifications of sodium.

  2. The fastest way to cardiac disease of course is a diet heavy in Low Density Lipids (LDLs). Also called “bad fat”, LDLs cause a major amount of trouble that contribute to the need for open-heart surgery. To prevent serious heart trouble greatly reduce the amount of fried fatty foods and trans-fat in your diet. I really should not have had those taco chips.
    1. If you don’t know exactly just what the most prevalent form of these fats consider the following as bad news:
      1. Chicken fat
      2. Pork fat
      3. Beef fat
      4. Lard
    2. All of these fats are transfat. The only thing worse for you than a trans fat is a saturated trans fat. As your exercise rate diminishes over the years, the concentration of trans fat into vein blocks increases. Was that a chest twinge I just felt?
    3. The medical name for fats in the blood is cholesterol. Of course you know that word. Just like you know that a cholesterol count over 200 is not good, a count over 300 is very bad and a count over 400 means your blood has the same thickness as mud. If you got your foot stuck in it, it would suck your shoe off your foot.
  3. At the other end of the spectrum is the High Density Lipid (HDLs). Not having enough of this lipid also causes heart disease. HDLs are a wonder and eating an adequate amount of foods rich in HDLs, like Salmon, has beneficial effect. Maybe I should have had a couple of sardines, another food rich in HDLs. Walnuts would have been a better choice than the taco chips.
    1. Want to know some of the great fats? Consider these:
      1. Omega 3 (not Omega 6 or Omega 9) that is most abundant in fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines.
      2. Nut oils like walnut, flax seed, peanut and many others. Really hard nuts like almonds and Brazil nuts seem to be richest in the omega 3 oils.
  4. When was the last time you exercised? Do you exercise on a regular basis and are you diligent about it? Lack of exercise and physical activity is a major contributor to high blood pressure. Those that do not exercise become de-conditioned and as the de-conditioning increases, the incidence of high blood pressure increases right along with it. In one of the features on this site Dr. Edward Kowaleski writes about the need for exercise.
  5. Sixty-five percent of all those suffering from diabetes will die from either heart attack or stroke, which are really the same thing only they strike two different organs. Either a heart attack or a brain attack will kill just as dead. Three leading causes of death are heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
  6. Good times or bad, stress exacts a heavy toll. The problem is world wide at least that is what the National Institute of Health reports. Stress is making us become fatter, nastier and more and more unfit. It is for this reason we asked both a psychologist and an analyst to write material for this site.
  7. The inadequate, in terms of required nutrients, diet is the leading cause of obesity. It would be one problem if we only ate too much. However, not only do we eat too much but we eat too much of the very worst foods possible. The diets are rich in LDL laden foods strongly laced with sodium and sugar.
  8. Rounding out this Top Ten List is SMOKING. Smoking only ten cigarettes a day delivers the same strain and benefit (you do understand I am using the work “benefit” facetiously, don’t you?) to the heart as being obese and fifty pounds overweight. You can think of it as being obese without any of the pleasure of a good meal. But you will smell bad. Another benefit, I guess.

There you have it. Hours of research condensed to under a thousand words. To learn more about the causes and what you can do about it, read The Simplified Handbook for Living With Heart Disease and Other Chronic Diseases.

The Simplified Handbook for
Living with Heart Disease
and Other Chronic Diseases

This comprehensive, doctor reviewed and approved book explains heart disease from a patientís perspective. Without complicated medical mumbo-jumbo, this blunt and hilarious book is a total lifesaver.