Your heart beats about 100,000 times every day. Given that the average US life expectancy is almost 79 years old, your heart will beat approximately 2.9 billion times during your lifetime. With the heart being your life force, it is essential to support your heart’s longevity in everyday life.
In honor of American Heart Health Awareness Month, we have compiled a list of research-backed top tips to promote the health of your heart:
Stay on Top of Your Hormone Health
Hormonal health is slowly gaining the recognition it deserves in health and wellness communities, and for good reason. Hormones are one of the main ways our cells communicate- they are considered messenger signals that deliver information between cells. That is why sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen play a much larger role than just libido and sexual health.
Testosterone, particularly for men, is critical in protecting against cardiovascular disease. This is because testosterone lowers blood pressure by dilating the arteries, including the aorta and coronary arteries of the heart. One study of over 900 men found that both total and bioavailable testosterone were significantly lower in men with coronary artery disease than in those without. The same study demonstrated a prevalence of hypogonadism (failure of testes to produce adequate levels of testosterone) of 24% in men with coronary artery disease, which is approximately three times higher than the expected background rate.
This data is particularly relevant when considering recent findings on testosterone levels in young adult men:
The average 22-year-old today has the same testosterone levels a 67-year-old had in 2000. In the last two decades, testosterone levels have fallen over 50%.
Are women dealing with the same issue?
Although scientists are still learning and solidifying the importance of sex hormones in regards to heart health in women, estrogen is known to affect nearly every bodily tissue. And, there are studies that show estrogen is linked to an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. This is beneficial because cholesterol is needed to build healthy cells but too much can lead to a buildup in the arteries, increasing the chance of cardiac disease.
There is also evidence that estrogen helps “relax” or smooth dilated blood vessels, increasing blood flow and allowing the heart to function with ease. Moreover, estrogen helps combat free radical damage. Free radicals lead to oxidative stress, which not only strains the heart but multiple bodily systems.
Although there is less of an extensive body of research on the importance of estrogen in regards to heart health, experts affirm the positive correlation between women’s age and cardiac disease with estrogen levels because estrogen levels significantly decline once menopause starts to occur, leading to lower levels of HDL cholesterol, higher levels of LDL cholesterol, and a higher risk of heart problems overall.
Learn more about the role of sex hormones and sex health here
How Can I Improve My Hormone Levels for My Heart?
The best thing you can do for your heart, hormones, and overall health is to be proactive and preventative. The only way to know your hormone levels, is to test your hormone levels. As an integrative and functional medicine clinic, Holtorf Medical Group is dedicated to taking a whole-body and in-depth approach to every patient’s health journey. With that comes comprehensive testing because your data doesn’t lie- by analyzing your unique hormone levels our experienced medical providers can tailor your treatment to you.
Once our team reviews your hormone levels and other key biomarkers, you and your provider may decide you are a candidate for Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy utilizes hormones that are structurally identical to hormones that are produced by your body.
Holtorf Medical Group’s bio-identical hormones are derived from plants and are received from a highly trusted compounding pharmacy. This therapy can promote heart health in addition to boosting energy levels, supporting weight loss, decreasing recovery time, improving mood and mental clarity, and so much more.
Interested in BHRT? Call us at: (877) 508-1177
Practice Stress Relief Regularly
Stress-relief, meditation, and self-care can feel like overused words in wellness communities, but is there actual evidence that “relaxing and recharging” helps your health? Yes.
Traditional medicine has failed to acknowledge the mind-body connection throughout majority of history, but now even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) link chronis stress and mental health to a variety of health issues including an increased for heart disease.
The CDC reports that people experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, and even PTSD exhibit an increase in cardiac reactivity (increased heart rate and blood pressure), a decrease in blood flow to the heart, and higher levels of cortisol (which can increase cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure). All of these factors can lead to a buildup of calcium in the arteries, heart disease, and metabolic disease.
Moreover, cortisol, the “stress hormone” has been linked to an increase in cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure. These are common risk factors for heart disease. This stress can also cause changes that promote the buildup of plaque deposits in the arteries.
Looking for practical stress-relieving tips?
Try these two science-backed tricks:
- Utilize Ice Water: In the middle of a stressful episode (even a panic attack), put your face in a bowl of ice water. Cold water immersion increases production of mood-elevating hormones and neurotransmitters (beta-endorphins, noradrenaline and dopamine) that can relieve stress by changing the chemistry in our body and brain. (This is actually a Skill Tip used in Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
- Breathe: Slowing your breathing with deep breaths (to a rate slower than your resting breathing rate, which is around 12 bpm), can balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic activity to promote relaxation. This is because our brain rhythms are closely tied to breath. Experts believe we are more sensitive to the outside world when we are inhaling, versus we are more sensitive to the inside world when exhaling.
Learn more about the importance of stress-relieving tips
Preventative Ozone Therapy
Ozone Therapy is a whole-body healing treatment that is often a core component of an integrative medical plan for those dealing with chronic infections Lyme disease or are immunocompromised.
This is because all pathogens die in the presence of oxygen, making Ozone Therapy a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral.
Ozone Therapy works by introducing ozone into the bloodstream, typically through an IV. Ozone, which consists of three oxygen atoms bound together and is nicknamed a “supercharged” form of oxygen, then encourages bio-rejuvenation. This process is associated with numerous potential benefits including:
- Stimulating the immune system
- Improving detoxification
- Enhancing energy levels
- Reversing signs of aging
- Improving circulation
Ozone improves circulation by enhancing the ability of the blood to flow. It does this by enabling more of the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin to reach your capillaries where the cells can receive more oxygen. Medical research has found that many chronic inflammatory conditions coincide with impaired blood and oxygen circulation. Ozone Therapy is a powerful treatment for improving or preventing such conditions.
Learn more about ozone therapy and heart health here
To book your Ozone Therapy appointment, call us at: (877) 508-1177