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Gold RoseYou are What You Eat

And Your Heart Shows It First

We now have technology that allows us to even further refine our analysis by assessing the nutritional status of your heart. It show us any areas where your heart’s nutrient needs aren’t being met by detecting the sound waves from your heart valves.

These signature patterns are remarkably specific and I love how precise we can be in real-time. The test is non-invasive and takes a couple of minutes, and most importantly, the early detection it provides will allow us to prevent small deficiencies from becoming larger problems. (If you’re wondering why bringing this into our office was so important, I’ve shared my story below. Fair warning – it’s a bit long, but there’s not a quick sound bite that covers it).

We’ve incorporated this assessment as part of our new patient exam, and are already seeing impressive “before” and “after” changes. Over the coming months we’d like to make sure all of our therapeutic nutrition and hormone health patients get a baseline reading. Just ask prior to your next visit if you haven’t had yours yet.

If you aren’t under nutritional care with us, this is a very good time to address any nagging health concerns and feel strong and resilient going into the seasons ahead.

Heart Sound Recorder BannerHeart Health: My Story

I have always been athletic – figure skating, travel baseball team, but never ever a runner. Anything beyond 100 m wiped me out. While all the other gazelles flew gracefully past, I tried to catch my breath while my heart pounded in my chest and I became lightheaded.

As an air cadet I was part of a drill team – and sometimes we needed to march in place. Sounds simple enough, but after a few seconds of this too, my heart was racing, my legs were heavy, and I was sweating buckets – trying to be inconspicuous, while inside I felt like passing out. On the first day of baseball camp, in the hot sun, I actually did faint for the first time.

So…eventually I just avoided these things, quitting the drill team, and the track team, and stuck to sports that only needed quick bursts of activity. My teenage mind really didn’t register that there was a problem, or that I should tell someone.

Fast forward to a few years ago, I was still pretty active – hot power yoga, barre, etc…yet climbing the 30 steep stairs in our yard had my calves tingling and my heart feeling like it was about to burst out of my chest. If I RAN up the stairs though – no problem. So, that’s just what I always did, and really didn’t think much about it. Until I was at a conference on cardiovascular health and nutrition that rapidly changed my perspective.

As part of the day, all of the doctors had the opportunity to have their heart valve sounds evaluated…in front of the entire room. When it was my turn, the instructor was impressed. “Textbook normal” he said, about my first 2 valves.

And then, on my 3rd valve, where there should be 2 heart sounds – there was only 1. I saw the instructor’s forehead wrinkle and his brows knit together. Suddenly everything slowed, and alarm bells went off in my head as I thought about my Dad, who was very athletic AND had open-heart surgery at 43 to replace the same valve, and his father who passed far too young from a sudden aneurysm (weakened blood vessels).

The instructor told me to go to the back of the room where there was a whole food supplement company, and ask them for 10 tablets of something, and to let them dissolve in my mouth before swallowing (they were a pretty intense liver-like taste), then to sit in place until he could re-check me at the end of the session – about half an hour (not the fastest half-hour obviously).

This time my walk to the front of the room was slower and frankly a bit worried. Nevertheless the instructor repeated the test of all valves and I was genuinely shocked to see that my second heart sound had re-appeared. It turns out that I was missing a couple of key nutrients (one historically called the “anti-paralysis factor”) that basically allows the heart to get enough oxygen and calcium to contract properly to fully send blood to all body parts under elevated physical activity.

In the presence of those nutrients, the heart will always have first access, which explains the rapid change. I didn’t feel particularly different in the moment (maybe more clear-headed), but asked for a printout of both tests so I could do some research (being super skeptical as usual!), and continued to take that whole food concentrate until I could learn more.

It was 4 of 5 weeks later when I realized that I had been climbing our steep stairs without problem : ) I knew at that point that I would eventually incorporate this assessment in our office. (this also began my switch to whole food supplements and phasing out any synthetics in our practice).

{Side note: Unless we make a concerted effort to change something, we tend to take on the same eating habits and activity level as our immediate family.} It gave me pause to think that I happened to be lucky enough to figure this out – but what if my father and grandfather could have too? Is it possible we all had a similar deficiency?

What I’ve since learned is that there are certain things that make our bodies work harder (disordered eating, dieting, intense physical activity – athletes in particular become depleted much faster of certain fats, minerals, and B vitamin complexes that occur only in certain organ meats for example. Sorry, that’s just biology).

Certain nutrient deficiencies can also be inherited (especially minerals from decades of soil depletion), or can come from chronic excess sugar that burns through minerals like magnesium and calcium (That was me! Too much chocolate over many years, and a decade of near veganism that I wish I could go back and change).

Things like chronic infections, years of moderate alcohol or other refined grains/flour, and of course, prolonged stress can severely deplete nutrients needed by the heart. Given that that’s pretty much all of us, it seems like assessing for these deficiencies early could be preventative.

Now we have a way to assess for these deficiencies that have very clear and unique identifying patterns. To me, the exciting thing is that we can take a baseline scan, and make any necessary nutritional changes, and re-test to actually see your heart getting stronger over time! Obviously this is not EKG or heart ultrasound or anything that’s diagnosing structural defects of the heart or heart conditions (to be clear, that’s not what we do), but giving your heart the nourishment it needs allows it to do its job. The fact that we can track these changes in a non-invasive way is pretty exciting.

Of course, this is all done in the context of our full hands-on evaluation and your health history, but it adds a level of precision that I’m so glad we can now offer.

Just reach out to Kate so we can get you a baseline at one of your upcoming appointments. It’s included in your care with us. If you aren’t a current patient, just call and we are happy to walk you through the initial evaluation or returning patient process.

Thank you for reading, and please share with someone who may benefit from knowing about this.

Heart Sound Recording | Cardea