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ALERT for patients on Hormone Replacement Therapy:

Please be aware that as of August 1, 2010, all female patients that elect to have their Hormone Replacement Therapy prescribed through our office will be required to maintain their annual exams (pelvic/pap, breast exam, etc.) and mammograms directly through our office.

Inflammation and Heart Disease
Heart Disease Is Not a Plumbing Problem - It Is an Inflammation Problem

How to Dramatically Reduce Inflammation: A Primary Cause of Disease and Aging

Heart Disease Is Not a Plumbing Problem - It Is an Inflammation Problem

Most cardiologists explain plaque buildup and narrowing of the arteries as a plumbing problem: Fat and cholesterol stick to the walls of the arteries and build up. The arteries then become stiff and narrow.

But this is only partially true. And it does not explain why fat and cholesterol stick to the walls of your arteries in the first place.

You see, your arteries bear only a superficial resemblance to pipes. A closer examination reveals smooth muscle tissue, sandwiched between two "structural" layers. These muscles and connective tissues are vulnerable to inflammation. When inflammation strikes, it occurs within - not on - the arterial walls.

When it is persistent - as a result of nutritional deficiencies or eating foods that are not native to your physiology - the inflammation causes damage.

The cholesterol and fat that stick to your arteries are part of your body's repair mechanism. These "plaques" help to cover up and heal the damage. However, as they build up over the years, blood flow to your tissues becomes restricted. The blood vessels become stiff and blood pressure rises. And when these plaques dislodge, they can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

You can reduce plaque buildup by controlling the inflammation that causes damage in the first place. So how do you do that?

Stop the Raging Fires of Inflammation...

There are two steps you MUST take to reduce inflammation:

? Reduce your omega-6 fatty acids and increase your omega-3s. The omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable and seed oils, processed foods and conventional meats are highly inflammatory. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are anti-inflammatory.

Researchers at the University of San Diego recently showed the anti-inflammatory power of omega-3s in an experiment on two groups of mice. One group was fed a diet rich in omega-3s, while the other group ate a diet low in omega-3s. At the end of the study the mice on the high omega-3 diet showed major reductions in inflammation (not to mention, increased insulin sensitivity), while those on the low omega-3 diet showed increased levels of inflammation.

Unfortunately, most people do not consume nearly enough omega-3s. And on top of that, the modern food processing industry has introduced an abundance of omega-6 fats into our diet. This unnatural imbalance is the primary cause of inflammation for most people.

The solution is to avoid processed foods along with vegetable and seed oils, while increasing your consumption of omega-3s. Excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids are wild salmon, sardines, grass-fed beef and, of course, fish oil.

? Just say "no" to sugar and eat a low-glycemic diet. Spikes of blood sugar and insulin cause a cascade of biochemical and hormonal changes that result in inflammation. A recent study from Harvard showed that women who ate foods with the highest glycemic load had nearly twice the inflammation of those who ate lower glycemic foods. Follow a low glycemic diet by avoiding fruit juices, sugar-sweetened drinks and desserts and carb-rich foods like mashed potatoes, pasta, white rice, bread and cereals.

Follow these two steps, and you will eliminate the primary causes of inflammation. And by doing so, you will dramatically reduce your risk of every disease associated with aging.

And don't assume that inflammation isn't affecting you because you "feel okay." Take measures to curb inflammation. And then have your C-reactive protein levels measured so you can stay on top of the issue.
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Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well; ... and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook.
James H. West