Out of all states, North Dakota ranks number 44 in terms of heart disease fatalities. While this is a sobering statistic, there’s so much we can do to lower annual cardiac events. But given the steady increase in heart disease incidents, it’s clear that conventional care isn’t providing the solution we need.
If you are at risk for heart disease, then you need to look into functional medicine. At Twin Oaks Health, we’re offering a paradigm shift, placing emphasis on identifying the root causes of heart disease and empowering patients to make lifestyle changes that promote long-term heart health. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition or you’re simply looking to prevent future complications, functional medicine can help.
Plus, as a patient, you’ll work with Dr. Sauer, a doctor who takes the time to listen to your concerns and guide you on the path toward health.
By adopting functional medicine principles, you can take charge of your well-being and reduce the risk of heart disease complications.
The goal of functional medicine is to address the root cause of heart disease, and this means reversing contributing factors. Through education, Twin Oaks Health can give you a clear roadmap to success. We will want to begin by acknowledging actions that lead to heart disease.
A sedentary lifestyle significantly contributes to the development of heart disease. Regular exercise plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. When individuals fail to engage in physical activity, they are more likely to experience weight gain, which increases the strain on the heart.
Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with higher blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. High blood pressure forces the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, leading to increased strain on the cardiovascular system.
Processed foods often lack essential nutrients and are high in unhealthy additives, such as trans fats and refined sugars. These additives can increase inflammation in the body, damage blood vessels, and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque accumulates in the arteries. Excessive sodium intake can raise blood pressure, further straining the heart. Unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol levels, which promotes the formation of plaque in the arteries.
Tobacco smoke contains numerous harmful chemicals that damage blood vessels and contribute to the development of heart disease. When individuals smoke, these chemicals are inhaled into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, where they cause inflammation and oxidative stress. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the inner lining of blood vessels, making them more prone to plaque buildup.
Quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Chronic stress has a significant impact on heart health and is often seen in people with heart disease. When individuals experience chronic stress, the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can raise blood pressure, increase heart rate, and constrict blood vessels.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease due to the impact of uncontrolled blood sugar on blood vessels and the heart. High blood sugar levels can damage the lining of blood vessels, promoting inflammation and atherosclerosis. It can also impair the function of the heart muscle, leading to heart failure.
Effective management of diabetes through lifestyle changes, medication, and close monitoring of blood sugar levels is essential for reducing the risk of heart disease in individuals with diabetes.
Not all risk factors for heart disease are based on lifestyle factors. Genetics play a critical role, too. Certain inherited conditions, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, can predispose individuals to heart disease. Familial hypercholesterolemia is characterized by high levels of LDL cholesterol due to a genetic mutation.
Our functional medicine practice in Fargo takes into account an individual’s genetic background and tailors interventions accordingly, focusing on lifestyle modifications, targeted nutritional approaches, and personalized treatment plans to address the specific needs of each individual.
To make sure you keep your heart disease under control, you need to work with a doctor who works with you.
At Twin Oaks, you are our priority. You have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Sauer for long appointments, and you can ask as many questions as you need. Once we develop a personalized plan to address your heart health, we will follow up with you to make sure things are progressing well.
Here are some lifestyle changes we might recommend for your condition. Have questions about heart health wellness plans? Contact our clinic in Fargo, North Dakota.
Adopt a heart-healthy diet that includes:
a. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Aim for a colorful variety, as they are rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients.
b. Whole grains: Opt for whole grain products like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and quinoa, which provide fiber and other nutrients.
c. Lean proteins: Choose lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, legumes, and tofu, while limiting red meat and processed meats.
d. Healthy fats: Include sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, while minimizing saturated and trans fats.
e. Reduced sodium intake: Limit consumption of processed and packaged foods that are high in sodium, as excessive sodium intake can raise blood pressure.
Engage in regular exercise to improve cardiovascular fitness and overall heart health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Choose activities you enjoy, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Incorporating strength training exercises two or more days a week can also help strengthen the heart and muscles.
If you are a smoker, quitting is crucial for heart health. Seek support from healthcare professionals, join smoking cessation programs, or explore nicotine replacement therapies to increase your chances of success. Quitting smoking can lead to immediate benefits for your cardiovascular system and significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on the heart. Explore stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, mindfulness, or engaging in hobbies and activities that promote relaxation. Regular physical activity can also help reduce stress levels.
Maintain a healthy weight through a combination of balanced eating and regular physical activity. Excess weight, especially around the waistline, can increase the risk of heart disease. Consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to develop a personalized weight management plan if needed.
Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and overall cardiovascular health. These routine assessments can help detect and manage any potential risk factors for heart disease.
Excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to high blood pressure, weight gain, and increased triglyceride levels. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Women should limit their intake to one drink per day, while men should limit it to two drinks per day.
Functional medicine embraces a holistic perspective to health that acknowledges the interconnectedness of the body’s systems. Rather than focusing solely on the heart, this approach recognizes the impact of various factors, such as nutrition, gut health, inflammation, and hormonal balance, on heart health.
By addressing these underlying factors, functional medicine supports the body’s natural healing processes, promoting overall well-being and minimizing the risk of future heart disease complications. If you’re not happy with your current heart disease care in Fargo, come visit Twin Oaks.
One of the significant advantages of functional medicine in managing heart disease is its potential to reduce the need for invasive surgeries and long-term medications. By identifying and addressing the root causes of heart disease, functional medicine can help individuals make lifestyle changes that may mitigate the need for surgical interventions, such as bypass surgery or stent placement. Moreover, by optimizing nutrition, managing stress, and improving overall health, functional medicine aims to reduce the reliance on long-term medications, minimizing potential side effects.
To learn more about how functional medicine can enhance heart disease care and support your journey toward better heart health, we invite you to watch Dr. Sauer’s upcoming webinar. Dr. Sauer is a trusted functional medicine practitioner who is offering hope to patients across the country through telehealth and in-person visits.
Additionally, if you’re interested in exploring functional medicine for heart disease management, you can schedule a discovery call to discuss your specific needs and goals. Appointments are available both online and in-person at the Fargo clinic, providing convenient options for individuals seeking comprehensive heart disease care.
Embrace the opportunity to take charge of your heart health and discover the transformative potential of functional medicine today.