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Cardiovascular disease refers to a number of diseases that affect your heart and its blood vessels. These diseases are often associated with atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque builds up in the arteries around your heart. We understand that heart disease is influenced by multiple factors, from the food you eat to the daily routine you follow and the genes you inherited. All these factors and others influence the health of your hearth and the likelihood that you will develop heart disease.
If you’re concerned about your cardiovascular health, a Functional Medicine consultation with one of our expert practitioners will examine how your nutritional status and lifestyle choices, combined with your genetic makeup, may be influencing your cardiovascular system.
Most of us don’t think about our cardiovascular health until something goes wrong—but poor cardiovascular health is a big issue. Take a look at these statistics:
- More than 7 million people in the UK are living with a heart or circulatory disease
- These conditions cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK
- That equates to almost 170,000 deaths each year
- Breaking it down even further, that’s 460 deaths each day…
- …or one death every three minutes
Cardiovascular health matters. The good news? There’s a lot you can do to optimise and protect your heart health.
Symptoms of Heart Disease?
Heart disease occurs when the oxygen supply to your heart is blocked. This blockage is typically caused by the build-up of fatty substances in your arteries.
What makes heart disease so dangerous is that people often don’t realise something is wrong until they reach a health crisis. Symptoms of heart disease include:
- Unusual breathlessness
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain (known as ‘angina’)
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
People with heart problems often have high blood pressure too, but you wouldn’t know your blood pressure without being tested. Sometimes people can have no symptoms at all until they have a heart attack—which is both terrifying and life-threatening.
What Causes Heart Disease?
The sad thing about heart disease statistics is that so many of the fatalities could be prevented by good dietary and lifestyle habits. Some of the risk factors for developing heart disease include:
- Eating a poor diet
- Not getting enough exercise
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Being overweight or obese
- Having other conditions such as diabetes
- Having a family history of cardiovascular disease
Misinformation compounds the problem. For years we were told that eating a diet high in fat and cholesterol could lead to heart disease, but we now know that isn’t necessarily true.
The secret to good cardiovascular health is to eat a genuinely heart-healthy diet and embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle. This will look slightly different for each person.
Here at the London Clinic of Nutrition, we see people who are looking for cardiovascular risk prevention, as well as people who need ongoing cardiovascular support. We take a comprehensive, person-centred approach to heart health. This includes:
Cardiac Rehabilitation and Cardiovascular Fitness
We help you create the right environment for a strong and healthy heart.
Our experienced practitioners have access to state-of-the-art functional testing, which looks at markers such as blood homocysteine levels, insulin resistance and oxidised cholesterol (along with cholesterol particle size). This degree of insight allows us to identify indicators of cardiovascular problems long before any symptoms emerge. We can then take the most direct route to cardiac rehabilitation.
We work to bring blood pressure within the normal range without the use of drugs, and we also advise on strategies to enhance cardiovascular endurance (your ability to exercise without getting tired). For some, this may involve gradually upping activity levels, while for others it may mean reducing stress. Each plan is tailored to the individual and their circumstances.
Eating for a healthy heart isn’t complicated, but you have to know what to do.
Rather than worrying about cholesterol-free egg-white omelettes, we show you how to eat a diet rich in nutrients that are known to support your heart. These include healthy fats, fibre, antioxidants and polyphenols—found in colourful fruits and vegetables, nuts, cold-pressed oils, fish and many other delicious foods.
We investigate specific nutrients and compounds that may need topping up—such as blood-pressure-balancing magnesium—and use professional nutraceuticals to replenish your levels. We also work to support your gut health to ensure you absorb and use these nutrients effectively.
Rather than relying on drugs to manage your risk factors, our approach helps you create an enjoyable diet and lifestyle. This supports not only your heart, but your health as a whole.
Schedule an appointment at our London clinic, or via an online consultation
We offer a range of appointments in-person or online. Of course, with our virtual, online clinic, you’ll receive the same exceptional service from your expert Functional Medicine practitioner as you would seeing us at our London clinic.
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