Whenever I speak to a patient about a heart issue, I approach it very gently, because I know what a scary subject heart disease is. We have all known someone who had a “sudden” stroke or heart attack, with terrible consequences. Bur heart disease is fairly preventable, if you know how to take care of your heart. There are a few factors, so I will mention one here and address others in future blogs. This year I have seen more flu, colds and bronchial illness than ever before in many years of practice. My colleagues report similar findings. One explanation may be that we have been affected by the radiation from Japan, and that has weakened our immune systems. Regardless of the source, I am seeing a lot of immune challenges. How does this affect your heart? The lining of the arteries is a protection, but inflammation can disrupt the lining and allow virus’s or bacteria to enter and attack the wall of the artery. This weakens or further inflames the wall and it may cause a breach, or blockage. If the blockage prevents blood from reaching the heart, that is a heart attack. The answer is not to take antibiotics. In fact, overuse of antibiotics may be part of the problem. While antibiotics are sometimes life-saving, if overused, they kill off the healthy gut organisms which protect our intestines from harmful bugs, fungus and bacteria. When there is an overgrowth of unhealthy flora in the intestine, not only is our digestion affected, but the intestine is the gateway to the blood. Once in the blood, pathogens are pirates seeking plunder in the most vulnerable areas and our defenses are compromised. You need a strong army of white blood cells to attack and eliminate the invaders. The lymphocytes and phagocytes actually engulf and destroy harmful organisms found in the blood. But they have to be supported to be able to do their job effectively. There are many things you can do to promote a strong and responsive immune system. Limit sugar and wheat products, which cause inflammation, spike and then crash your blood sugar, and feed the bad bugs. Eat organically and use unscented and natural household products to lower your exposure to chemical toxins. Eat naturally fermented products like sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha, Take immune enhancing supplements such as Echinacea, whole food complex C, and calcium lactate. Apple cider vinegar helps maintain stomach ph and is an old country remedy. Iodine, liquid or as kelp supplements, is good for the immune system and vital for thyroid function, as well as cancer preventive. You can take immune supplements every day, to help your body ward off exposure to pathogens, and to enhance the protection to your heart lining. Congaplex, Immuplex, and Thymex are all good choices. These supplements activate your own immune system. Don’t wait until you are coming down with something or there is a mini-epidemic at your office before getting on immune support. And no heart attack or stroke is sudden. It takes a long time for the body’s defenses to break down. It is just the there were not enough warning signs and there is almost no true prevention in the medical model. You have to be smarter and learn for yourself how to give your heart the love it deserves. From my heart to yours.