More often than not, when people suffer a heart attack or stroke, the last thing they are thinking about is their gut health. Dr. Bruce West, founder of the Health Alert/Immune Systems Inc., expounds on this connection, segments of his full article found below.
“With serious disease, whether it be physical, immune, or emotional, first I fix the gut.”
John Parks Trowbridge, MD
But my arteries are clear…how could I get a heart attack!? You may not know it but tens of thousands of people suffer devastating heart attacks and strokes, but their arteries are no more blocked than the next person’s. And millions suffer these same disasters and have normal to low cholesterol. For these folks, and perhaps for you, it can boil down to the health of your gut. Or more important…the health of the microbes in your gut.
Microbes and Bacteria?
Although heart attacks and strokes are artery problems, the microscopic bacteria in your gut play a surprising role in whether you suffer these disasters or not. Your intestinal flora (microbes or bacteria) help determine if you will suffer a heart attack or stroke caused by tiny fragments of breakaway plaque in your arteries. And most everyone over age 60 has some, often tiny, amounts of plaque in their arteries. Whether a speck of this breaks off and clogs an artery causing a heart attack or stroke depends in part on the flora in your gut.
Different people have different mixes of bacteria that make up the flora in their gut. Most people have abnormal mixes of bacteria thanks to our diet, prescription drugs, and antibiotics in particular (more on this later). This is critical because healthy gut microbes and bacteria (your gut flora) produce vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. These protect the linings of your blood vessels and stabilize any plaque that may be there.
Your Gut Can Cause Heart Attacks and Strokes Even with Normal Cholesterol and No Plaque
The friendly flora or bacteria in your gut is absolutely critical to your good health, and to the health of your blood vessels and heart. Nothing in your body escapes the influence of your gut flora. In healthy folks, these microscopic denizens in the gut are working 24/7 producing vitamins, hormones, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and more to keep you healthy. In those with gut damage, just the opposite can occur.
When researchers did examinations of the feces of healthy people vs. sick people, the flora was remarkably different. The sick folks harbored bacteria that made them sick and produced inflammatory compounds. The healthy folks harbored bacteria that produced antioxidants and lots of anti-inflammatory compounds – making them healthy. One highly informed cardiologist involved in the research called it a “tour de force of bioinformatics.” I could not agree more.
What’s the Lesson?
The lesson here is simple: Nurture your gut flora. Or, as Dr. John Trowbridge says, first, heal your gut.
You must keep prescription drugs to a minimum. Even those that may not directly harm your gut flora may harm your liver – which is intrinsically involved in gut health. If you have gallbladder problems, don’t jump instantly to a surgical removal of your gallbladder. Instead work with your doctor and use your Encyclopedia of Pragmatic and Holistic Medicine to learn how to treat your gallbladder naturally. Despite what you have been told, your liver, gallbladder, and the bile that is stored in your gallbladder are all critical to a healthy bowel and gut flora.
Perhaps most critical, you must keep antibiotic use to a treatment of last resort. Throwing around antibiotics like candy has probably indirectly produced tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes – not to mention all the other problems caused by these drugs. These are not the treatment of choice for colds, flu, sinus, bronchitis, ear infections, and more.
So well put! To sum it up here is the checklist to prevent heart attacks and strokes with gut therapy:
For the best results come see Elke at The Spring, Center for Natural Medicine. There are various whole food supplements she may utilize to get your gut back to health.