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Naturopathy Treatment Options for Atherosclerosis

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Naturopathy Treatment Options for Atherosclerosis

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This article will help you understand better ways of living with all the natural therapies such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, diet therapy, and yoga therapy for the silent killer "Atherosclerosis."

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At December 14, 2020
Reviewed AtAugust 2, 2023

Introduction:

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fats and cholesterol (plaque) in the artery walls, which can restrict blood flow. This plaque can get detached and result in a blood clot, blocking the blood flow to the heart. This article will focus on natural treatment options for atherosclerosis. Nature cure, otherwise called natural cure, is defined as a self-healing system in harmony with the constructive principles of nature on physical, mental, spiritual, and moral planes of being.

What Is Diet Therapy?

General Guidelines:

  • Consume a plant-based and low carbohydrate diet, which reduces the risk of chronic painful conditions.
  • The patient should include alkaline food consisting mainly of fruits and vegetables. Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants and minerals has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Fasting, which helps to decrease the potent inflammatory mediator.
  • The patient should eat a variety of foods, which are low in fats, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Trans fat should be avoided. The intake of bakery products should be limited.
  • Vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids like safflower and sunflower oil should be included. Solid fats should be avoided. Olive oil rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can be included.
  • Small quantities of almonds and walnuts can be consumed to bring down cholesterol levels. High amounts of nuts and seed oils increase the calories and fat content in the diet.
  • Avoid high amounts of saturated fatty acids. Consume less saturated fats and cholesterol and more PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Low carbohydrate and normal protein, minerals, and vitamins, and high fiber with increased antioxidants are suggested.

Energy:

Consuming 1000 to 1200 calories is suitable for patients with atherosclerosis. The total calories should be restricted to reduce weight.

What Is the Role of Unsaturated Fatty Acids?

Fats should not make more than 20 % of the total calories and should be in the form of unsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid. Omega-6 fatty acids are linoleic acids and arachidonic acids.

Nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, fatty fish, corn oil, safflower oil, etc., are good sources. The importance of unsaturated fatty acids include:

  1. They promote the esterification of cholesterol and convert it into easily utilizable forms.
  2. They are precursors of prostacyclins, thromboxane, and leukotrienes, which prevent thrombus or clot formation.
  3. They decrease the stickiness of platelets and prevent their aggregation, decreasing the tendency of blood platelet clots, and raise the endothelial-derived relaxing factors.
  4. Prevent the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the blood.

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids - Oleic Acids and Erucic Acid

Olive oil, canola oil, almond oil, and groundnut oil are good sources of these fatty acids. They are:

  • Thrombolytic and anti-inflammatory.
  • Decrease oxidative susceptibility of LDL (low-density lipoprotein).

Carbohydrate - Complex carbohydrates should be included in the diet.

Proteins - Animal proteins are not suggested for an atherosclerotic patient.

Niacin (Vitamin B3) - Niacin increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) while lowering the levels of low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, and lipoprotein. Combining niacin with statins or bile acids sequestrants is safe and effective for improving lipid levels and decreasing heart risk.

Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid - Reduce the levels of homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid, is linked to the development of heart diseases.

Vitamin C - This vitamin regulates cholesterol metabolism and maintains the structure of blood vessels. The antioxidant effects of this vitamin might prevent tissue damage.

Vitamin E - Maintains the integrity of the cell membrane, preventing the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Reduces platelet aggregation and thrombus formation.

Vitamin A - Carotenoids and beta-carotenes are potent antioxidants.

Minerals - Restrict the sodium level in the diet. Potassium helps to maintain cell fluid and plays a role in muscle contractions. Magnesium relaxes the muscles, promoting blood flow to the heart and keeps the heart rhythm steady.

Soya Proteins - Reduces the plasma cholesterol concentration due to the presence of isoflavones, genistein, and daidzein compounds.

Garlic - Allicin and Ajoene found in garlic have anti-thrombotic properties.

Fenugreek - Reduces the cholesterol storage in the liver due to the presence of diosgenin and tigogenin.

Yogurt and Milk - Contain catalytic enzymes, which limits the rate of cholesterol biosynthesis. Casein and calcium have hypocholesterolemic properties.

High Fiber - Reduces cholesterol and enhances the excretion of fecal steroids.

All these minerals, vitamins, etc., can be obtained by including fruits (guava, pineapples, orange, pears, kiwi, banana), green leafy vegetables, nuts, and fish in your diet.

What Is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy for atherosclerosis improves blood flow to the organs by neuromuscular action. The practice of Pranayama stimulates and changes the lumen size of the arterioles, which helps to regulate the circulation. Asana and Pranayama, by their segmental spinal nerve actions, can voluntarily alter regional blood flow and blood pressure. The arteriolar resistance is extremely important to the regulation of blood flow in the body as a whole and also in different regions of the body. Specifically, standing and seated poses stimulate neuromuscular action. Twisting and backward bending pose massage the internal organs. Restorative pose and Pranayama induce pneumatic function in the body, improving the respiratory and circulatory pressure in the body.

Manomaya Kosha:

Relaxation -

  • Deep relaxation technique (DRT).
  • Quick relaxation technique (QRT).
  • Instant relaxation technique (IRT).
  • Mind sound resonance technique (MSRT).

Meditation -

  • CM or cyclic meditation.

Pranamaya Kosha:

  • Breathing exercises.
  • Nadi Suddhi.
  • Suryabhedana Pranayama.
  • Ujjayi.

Bhastrika yoga acts primarily through the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and autonomous nervous system, which in turn brings beneficial effects through a complex cascade of actions in intermediary outcomes of risk factors such as blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels.

What Is Hydrotherapy?

Applications:

  • Neutral spinal spray and spinal bath.
  • Neutral underwater massage.
  • Cold circular jet.
  • Neutral tub bath.
  • Sauna bath.
  • Warm water immersion.
  • Warm foot bath.
  • Cold chest pack.

Benefits:

  1. To influence the autonomic nervous and cardiac functions.
  2. It has a thermoregulatory mechanism in which the blood vessels dilate, increasing circulation. It also delivers oxygen and nutrients to the tissue.
  3. Due to heat, it helps in relieving congestion.
  4. Improves cardiac function due to an increase in early diastolic filling and a decrease in heart rate, resulting in improvement in stroke volume and ejection fraction.
  5. It promotes a good sleep cycle and plays an important role in cardiovascular functions.
  6. Increases the peripheral blood flow and peripheral temperature.

Diet and lifestyle play a major role in atherosclerosis.

Conclusion:

Supplement will not cure atherosclerosis on its own. Any plan to treat the condition will likely include a regular exercise, healthy diet, and also prescription medicines to take along with the supplements. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements as it may interfere with the current medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Can Atherosclerosis Be Treated Without Drugs?

Atherosclerosis is when fatty deposits accumulate in the arteries; it can be treated through lifestyle changes such as:
 - Eating a diet including more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains but being low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated and trans fats.
 - Exercising regularly.
 - Maintaining a healthy weight.
 - Not smoking.
 - Managing stress.
 - Taking supplements like fish oil, vitamin K2, and magnesium can help in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.

2.

What Is the Most Effective Method of Treating Atherosclerosis?

The best treatment for atherosclerosis depends on the severity of the condition and the individual's overall health. In general, adopting a way of life that includes eating wholesome foods, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and controlling stress is the first line of treatment for atherosclerosis. These changes can help in slowing the risk of complications and progression of the disease. If a change in lifestyle is not sufficient to control the disease, medication may be prescribed.

3.

Can Artery Plaque Be Naturally Removed?

Through lifestyle changes and medication, the amount of plaque in the arteries can be reduced. Although, impossible to remove plaque completely once it has formed. By following a healthy lifestyle, controlling risk factors, and regularly following up with a healthcare professional, one can prevent it.

4.

Which Herb Is Best for Aortic Stenosis?

Eastern medicine has traditionally employed the dried roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza, also known as Danshen, to prevent and treat cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis. One should not take any herbal supplements without referring them to the doctor, as they may have side effects.

5.

How Is Atherosclerosis Removed?

Atherosclerosis cannot be dissolved, but its progression can be slowed down, and the risks associated with it can be reduced by:
 - Lifestyle Changes: A healthy diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.
 - Medical Management: Controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol and managing other medical conditions such as diabetes.
 - Medications: Medicines may be prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
 - Surgery: In severe cases, surgery such as angioplasty or bypass surgery may be recommended.
Working with a doctor to create a specialized strategy to treat the condition and stop its progression is important.

6.

Can Atherosclerosis Be Reversed by Vitamin D?

There is limited evidence to suggest that some of the underlying factors that pave the way to the development of atherosclerosis may be improved by vitamin D treatment. The major methods for preventing the development of atherosclerosis continue to be a good diet, regular exercise, and medical control of other risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking.

7.

Is There a Cure for Atherosclerosis?

No, atherosclerosis cannot be fully healed. It is a chronic condition where the buildup of plaque in the arteries gradually worsens over time. However, its progression can be slowed down or reversed to some extent through lifestyle changes, medications, and in some cases, surgery. The main goal behind the treatment is to prevent further damage, reduce symptoms and lower the risk of complications like heart attack or stroke.

8.

Can Atherosclerosis’ Effects Be Reversed?

Yes, the effects of atherosclerosis can be reversed to some extent by lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, exercise, quitting smoking, and managing health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. Medications and surgery may also be used to manage the disease and prevent progression. However, the complete reversal of severe cases is not always possible.
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Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan
Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan

Naturopathy

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