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THE HEALTHY CHANNEL: John Appleton

Your Heart getting a second opinion

I have been writing articles on topics related to our health for a number of years and now in Channel I will be keeping you up to date with ways in which we might improve our health by becoming more aware of the many options that are available to us.

Heart disease is the number one killer of New Zealanders responsible for 40% of all deaths. Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from coronary heart disease (16 deaths a day) and seven of these are women. New research shows 74 per cent of New Zealand women are unaware heart disease is by far their leading cause of death.

Given these very sobering statistics, prevention should be paramount because for the most part heart disease is preventable. While it’s widely acknowledged that diet has a significant role to play in the development and prevention of heart disease, the treatment of symptoms (with drugs) has been the main focus with dietary advice generally taking a ‘back seat’.
One of the main reasons for this is that doctors have very limited time with their patients and the prescription pad provides a solution to this problem. Another reason is that during their training in medical school nutrition is not a significant focus and thus many doctors are just beginning to appreciate the importance of nutritional interventions.
The situation when it comes to heart disease can become a very complex issue for doctors because they can find themselves dealing with a range of symptoms of the disease. There’s high blood pressure – angina – irregular heart-beats – peripheral artery disease and heart failure to name a few. Patients can often find themselves on a whole raft of medications and the side effects can have a significant impact on quality of life. Cholesterol lowering drugs can cause debilitating muscle aches in the legs and inhibit the body’s ability to make Coenzyme Q10 which is essential for providing the energy that the heart needs to pump 100,000 times every day.
One of the major problems for our health system is that because of the focus on dealing with symptoms of disease, more and more we are seeing a general progression from chronic care to acute care and this is what really ramps up the costs.
It’s easy to understand why so many New Zealanders are becoming concerned as they age and why they seek options that might help them avoid progression of disease or perhaps reverse the trend. It’s becoming more common for people to obtain a second opinion in order to find out if they are on the most appropriate medication/s or indeed to discuss alternatives such as lifestyle changes.
Both of my parents died prematurely from heart disease and thus I have been doing my best to avoid going down this track. Some years ago I asked Auckland, Cardiologist Dr Gerald Lewis MB ChB, FRACP, FRCP (UK), MD (Otago) to check me out. Dr Lewis is a member of ‘The Australasian Integrative Medicine Association’ (AIMA www.aima.net.au) and he has wide experience in hospital medicine and specialist practice. He has been included in Who’s Who in Medicine & Who’s Who in the World for his work in high blood pressure research.
Dr Lewis has extensive experience in many complementary fields of medicine including nutritional medicine, intravenous vitamin C, chelation therapy, EECP, calcium scanning of the heart and metabolic cardiology where nutrients are used to support the normal functioning of the heart. He has also written several bestselling books on heart disease, cancer and nutritional supplements and he is often found making informative presentations to his colleagues and the public at conventions and public meetings.
When it comes to heart disease we need to know that there are totally safe side effect free nutritional options and we need to know that there are doctors who understand the use of nutrients such as Magnesium – Coenzyme Q10 – high potency Omega 3 – Vitamin C – D-Ribose and L-Carnitine.
Dr Lewis is available for anyone who would like a second opinion or a comprehensive review of their cardiovascular health. He has a clinic in Newmarket. You can visit his very informative website www.drgerald.co.nz.
Email him at geraldlewis@zoho.com or phone to make an appointment
Ph: 09-302-2691.

Contact: John Appleton - Email: john@johnappleton.co.nz, Phone: 489 9362,
visit: www.johnappleton.co.nz

by John Appleton

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