Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death globally, responsible for over 17 million deaths each year. While conventional medicine focuses solely on managing the symptoms of cardiovascular disease, functional medicine takes a holistic approach to healthcare that aims to identify and address the root cause of health problems. This approach is particularly important for cardiovascular health, as many factors can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, including diet, lifestyle, genetics, and environment. Furthermore, cardiovascular disease can manifest in a variety of ways, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inflammation – all of which can contribute to the development of more serious conditions like heart attacks and stroke. Keep reading to learn the top 5 ways our functional medicine approach at Michigan Health and Wellness can improve cardiovascular health and help prevent serious conditions.
1. Functional medicine seeks to address the root cause of cardiovascular disease
Functional medicine utilizes a range of comprehensive tests to evaluate cardiovascular health and identify the root cause or possible risk factors of disease, including blood tests, medical history questionnaires, imaging studies, and functional testing. These tests can help identify underlying health issues that may contribute to cardiovascular disease and guide personalized treatment plans. Some tests you may come across as a patient at Michigan Health and Wellness include:
- The Max Pulse Cardio Diagnostic Test: A three-minute photoelectric clip placed and the fingertip that can help us understand the overall health of a patient’s cardiovascular system
- The Calcium Cardiac Scoring Test: A non-invasive CT Scan that detects calcium deposits in the coronary arteries
- Thermometry: A functional test of the body’s organs and system that uses infrared readings to identify areas of inflammation
2. Functional medicine treatments decrease inflammation, which may be linked to the onset of cardiovascular disease
According to the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, inflammation can “promote the growth of plaques, loosen plaque in the arteries, and trigger blood clots – the primary cause of heart attacks and strokes.” As part of your personalized functional medicine program at Michigan Health and Wellness, we’ll recommend a variety of treatments that specifically work to reduce inflammation in the body and thus reduce cardiovascular health risks. For example, hyperbaric oxygen chamber, a safe and controlled therapy that provides supplemental oxygen to patients, allows oxygen to reach damaged tissues that may formerly have been deprived by disease. This process restores blood vessels that may have previously lost functioning, stimulating new vessels to grow and reducing swelling and inflammation.
3. Functional medicine works on multiple levels to enhance the immune system, which plays a critical role in cardiovascular health
The immune system plays an important role in cardiovascular health, as it helps to protect the body against infections and inflammation. However, an overactive immune system can also contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Chronic inflammation, which is often caused by an immune system response, can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of plaque buildup, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems. Additionally, autoimmune disorders, which occur when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. At Michigan Health and Wellness, your functional medicine treatment includes a variety of therapies to help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including:
- Detoxification therapies, such as ozone therapy, that unburden the immune system from toxins that may prevent normal functioning
- Personalized nutritional support, including medical grade supplementation, geared toward improving cardiovascular health
- Guidance through adjusting lifestyle factors that may be contributing to or worsening cardiovascular health
By taking a proactive approach and working with a functional medicine practitioner, it is possible to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Reach out to our team to find out how we can help you improve cardiovascular health today.