Heart Health

What Is Heart Disease?

Heart disease encompasses any issue that affects the heart’s structure or function. While it may be commonly thought of as a single condition, it is actually a collection of various disorders with different underlying causes. A common type of heart disease in the U.S. is coronary artery disease (CAD), which restricts blood flow to the heart. Other types include heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias), structural heart disease (congenital valve disorders), heart failure, and vascular disease.

The Progression of Heart Disease

  • High blood pressure: High blood pressure occurs when the pressure of your blood is consistently too high. As a result, the heart works harder than it should, leading to thickening and damage of the heart muscle. Over time, high blood pressure can damage the walls of the arteries leading to arrhythmias, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Atherosclerosis: An array of risk factors, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, leads to plaque deposits that constrain blood flow.
  • Angina: Some people may experience chest pain during exertion due to the narrowing of their arteries.
  • Heart attack: A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is significantly reduced or obstructed. This is often caused by the accumulation of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the coronary arteries, forming plaques. The buildup of these plaques is referred to as atherosclerosis. Sometimes, a plaque may rupture and create a blood clot, obstructing blood flow. This lack of blood flow can harm or destroy part of the heart muscle.
  • Valve disease: Valvular heart disease occurs when the heart valves do not function properly, leading to issues with blood flow through the heart.
  • Heart failure: Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump blood effectively, leading to shortness of breath and extremity swelling due to fluid buildup in the body.

“Optimizing heart health requires an integrated approach that addresses hormone balancing, metabolic nutrition, blood pressure control, lifestyle changes, and sleep.”

-Dr. Shapiro

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signs and symptoms of heart disease

Common Signs & Symptoms of Heart Disease

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

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Heart Health

What Puts Me at Risk for Heart Disease?

  • Obesity
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Unhealthy diet and lifestyle
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Age (over 45 in men, over 55 in women)
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress

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How Can Dr. Shapiro Prevent or Reverse My Risk for Heart Disease?

Dr. Shapiro takes a proactive, functional medicine approach to identify all possible risk factors and to screen for early signs of heart disease.

As part of your initial consultation, you can expect specific fasting blood work, EKG heart rhythm analysis, and a detailed medical history and physical exam. 

This allows Dr. Shapiro to create a personalized treatment program designed to effectively prevent or reverse your risk for heart disease.

This program may include:

  • Prescribed medications
  • Personalized supplement programs
  • Nutrition and lifestyle recommendations
  • monthly check-ins with a patient coordinator
  • Referral to our network of cardiologists

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Heart Health

Request a Consultation With Dr. Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro takes a result-driven approach to optimize your heart health. Contact us at TribecaMed today to request a virtual or in-office consultation with Dr. Shapiro.

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