By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
September 23, 2016
- How do you know if your arteries are clogged?
- Bad backs, creased earlobes and heart attacks
- Time to get serious about taking care of your arteries
The only way you’ll ever know for sure if you have blocked arteries is if you undergo an angiogram. But the only time you’ll ever get one of these tests is if you fail a stress test or suffer a cardiovascular event.
So what if there were other ways to find out how clogged up your blood vessels are?
Over the years, I’ve found there are several advance warning signs that can occur when plaque builds up in your arteries.
For example, how is your back feeling? Is it stiff, tender and achy? Have you been told your discs are degenerating? Do you have a touch of spinal arthritis?
All of these – disc degeneration, arthritis and lower back pain – are associated with arterial plaque and blockages in the lumbar arteries. As blood flow to your spine becomes compromised, your spinal cord can’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to survive.
This may be why so many people with back pain who undergo MRI and CT Scans never get to the root of their problems. After all, you can’t diagnose something if you’re looking in the wrong place, can you?
Bald Heads, Creased Earlobes and Clogged Arteries
An aching back isn’t the only sign that your blood isn’t flowing as freely through your body as it should.
- Most of my male patients with erectile dysfunction automatically jump to the conclusion that they’re short on testosterone. And they’re surprised to learn that this isn’t normally the case. In fact, almost all instances of ED are directly related to circulatory problems. If you’re not getting blood to your groin area, then other areas are also likely compromised. The connection is so strong that, these days, many experts advocate that all men with ED be screened for heart disease.
- If you’re losing hair on the top of your head, this could be another symptom of circulatory problems. This goes for men and women alike. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss is associated with a higher risk of suffering a heart attack than otherwise.
- Do you frequently experience leg pain while you’re walking? If so this could be a sign that arteries in your legs are blocked or narrowed. This is a symptom that often shows up well before a coronary event.
- One of the strangest symptoms of circulatory issues, by far, is the development of a diagonal crease in your earlobe. (Look for a crease that runs diagonally from your ear canal to the lower edge of your earlobe.) I find it odd that there are well over 50 studies on this topic. Still, the majority of them are in agreement… ear lobe creases are associated with plaque buildup, arterial thickening and coronary artery disease.
Time to Get Serious about Taking Care of Your Arteries
Now, if you have any single one of these problems, it might not be cause for concern. But if you have two, three or four… well, I’d say it’s time to get serious about taking care of your arteries before you end up with a heart attack or stroke.
Two of the best things you can do for your arteries and heart are to adopt a healthy Mediterranean style diet and get plenty of physical activity. (Everyone should do these, regardless of their health status!)
But when it comes to arterial health, there are some extra measures you can take.
I like garlic, because it helps keep your blood cells from clumping together. It also helps stop LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, which can reduce plaque build up. Plus, it helps lower blood pressure and reduces arterial stiffness. Take 600 mg. of Kyolic brand aged garlic extract 2 twice daily.
Extended release niacin is another good choice. It helps prevent damage and plaque accumulation in your arteries by reducing the number of small, dense LDL particles that can lodge in the walls of your arteries. Start on a low dose and slowly build up to 1,000 mg. in divided doses over the course of the day. (If you can’t handle the niacin flush, take an 81 mg coated Bayer aspirin just beforehand.) When we say start on a low dose that means 100-125 mgm daily building to 500 mgm twice daily over the course of a few months. ..increasing by 100-125 mgm weekly. And think about the flush as a way to have your skin bathed in oxygen rich blood as the capillaries dilate temporarily.
Last, but not least, is adding a plant-based nitric oxide enhancer to your daily regimen. Nitric oxide (or NO) relaxes your arteries, reduces blood pressure and improves blood flow throughout your body. Look for a plant-based NO enhancer that has beetroot juice as its main ingredient and take it daily.
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