Help! Is There a Cure for My Heart Disease?

Q: I just found out I am suffering from high cholesterol symptoms. The doctor said I’m at high risk from heart attack if I don’t do something to lower cholesterol. He said I might need a stent or bypass surgery. I’m scheduled for an angiogram tomorrow. I feel like I’m in shock. I have a history of heart disease in my family, but I’m too young for this to be happening. Of course, I’ll do what the doctor tells me. I’ve filled my prescription for a statin drug to lower cholesterol. But if I have a stent or bypass surgery, will these improve my chances?

A: Bypass surgery and stents are most helpful in lengthening life in severely ill heart patients. For moderate or mild heart disease, these procedures are not shown to statistically improve life span. Certain nutritional supplements and medications can also lower cholesterol and improve life span. Yet medications for the treatment of high cholesterol symptoms often have certain unpleasant side effects. In addition, they don’t address the root causes of high cholesterol and other risk factors of heart disease.

Q: What else can I do? Is there a cure for heart disease?

A: The word “cure” is not in most heart specialists’ vocabulary. However, there is good news about high cholesterol treatment and treating the causes of heart disease.

There are two new books, written by respected doctors, that describe cutting-edge research and incredible breakthroughs that demonstrate how to prevent and reverse heart disease by reducing high cholesterol symptoms naturally, using techniques that the patient controls, such as diet, exercise, stress management, and nutritional supplements.

One is called “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. His approach is a plant-based diet that has no dairy, meat, oil, refined flour, or excess sugar. He is conducting a 22-year study of 17 patients who initially had severe heart disease. Incredibly, since beginning this diet, compliant patients in the study have had no heart attacks or other heart disease symptoms and all are still living.

Dr. Esselstyn’s book describes his study and techniques to lower cholesterol and reverse plaque build-up, with photographs showing plaque reversal. The book includes heart-healthy recipes and meals designed to lower cholesterol. Dr. Esselstyn and his wife follow this diet as well. Though retired from practice of medicine, he recently said, in a speech on the 50-year anniversary of his winning an Olympic gold medal in rowing, that cardiologists who have just found out they have heart disease themselves contact him for help.

The second groundbreaking book is called, “Reverse Heart Disease Now: Stop Deadly Cardiovascular Plaque Before It’s Too Late,” by Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., James C. Roberts, M.D., and Martin Zucker. It discusses the “four pillars of healing,” for the treatment of high cholesterol symptoms and heart disease in general:

Healthy diet
Supplements and medications
Stress management

The book also discusses the simultaneous use of prescription medications and nutritional supplements to lower cholesterol. It is described as a comprehensive book that focuses on both Western and alternative ways to treat high cholesterol symptoms. Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Oprah Winfrey Show’s frequent guest M.D., said that this book is a “guide to stop the rusting of our arteries so we can live longer and better.”

While rightly not called a “cure” for heart disease, natural high cholesterol treatments, such as a healthy diet, addresses the cause of heart disease. Talk to your doctor about these measures.