According to the Irish Heart Foundation one person dies every hour from heart disease! My own father died in 1997 from a heart attack. My uncle Tom died in 1993 from a heart attack. My best friend Joe died from an aneurysm in 2007. Heart disease can include angina, cardiac arrest, aneurysm, diabetes mellitus, heart attack, stroke or hypertension – blood pressure and many more related conditions.
Death from heart disease is the most common form of death in Ireland, with over 10,000 deaths annually attributed to heart disease, accounting for 33% of all deaths annually.
Risk factors for heart disease include;
Diabetes – 60% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular causes
Hypertension – can be reduced with exercise, by stop smoking, losing weight and reducing your alcohol and salt intake
High cholesterol –
Gender – Women over 50 are 10 times more likely to die from heart disease than cancer
Obesity – for every 1kg of weight gain, the risk of type 2 diabetes goes up by 5%
Physical activity – is associated with health benefits, increased bone density, reduced risk of osteoporosis, as well as reducing stress levels
Alcohol intake – leads to increases in weight, blood pressure and heart muscle damage.
Statins are the most common drugs prescribed to reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. These drugs tend to be prescribed as a lifestyle drug to prevent a heart attack by reducing cholesterol. But they can be expensive as a combination of drugs including aspirin are prescribed. A cousin of mine who had a heart attack a few years ago told me that the drugs were costing her €1,200 per year. For the same price I would offer you a year’s treatment with herbs, a lifestyle change package, a nutritional plan, 12 treatment consultations and with the desired outcome of coming off the heart drugs, after one year and reducing your on going risk to developing heart disease thus increasing your chances of living a longer life with better quality.
The Journal of Atherosclerosis found that statins were associated with increased risks of developing coronary plaque a key factor in the development of heart disease. Other side effects from use of statins include; muscle weakness and pain, nausea, liver damage, memory loss and type 2 diabetes.
Don’t come off your medications without consulting with your GP. But look around you and you will see most ditches in Ireland covered with Hawthorn Berries! How is it that nature has provided for us in Ireland. Part of the solution to heart disease is found on our ditches, not in our chemists! I would love to know what you think of this article. I will post an article soon on Hawthorn, one of my favourite herbs.
Image: Joe Lucey