by RENATO U. PARAGAS, M.D., The WATERDOK
After Christmas and New Year, people look forward to another very heart-warming, very romantic event in February, the Valentine’s Day. This month is always associated with the heart, the body organ that is always associated to love although our emotions are actually being controlled by the brain. This association is very evident that various sizes of hearts are often posted in various social media and also displayed in many shops and stores during this time of the year.
Medically, heart is a very vital organ that when it does not work efficiently, death is very imminent. Death may be due to heart attack, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy or weakening of the heart muscles and many others.
This month, let’s pay close attention to our dear heart, the anatomical heart.
The heart is a muscular organ weighing approximately 250 to 350 grams in adults. Its size is about that of the left fist. Its function is to pump blood to the various organs of the body. It pumps an average of four to eight liters of blood every minute. When the heart dysfunctions, the various organs cannot receive sufficient nutrients including oxygen and so, health is affected. Symptoms of heart problem, depending on the specific heart condition, include chest pain, tightness, pressure, or discomfort (angina); shortness of breath; dizziness; fainting or near fainting; light headedness; racing or slow heartbeat; pain in the neck, jaw, or throat; swollen ankles, feet and legs, and bluish lips and nailbeds.
When a person suffers from a heart problem, cardiologists prescribe numerous medications such as diuretics, vasodilators, digitalis, cholesterol-lowering drugs, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and antiplatelet agents.
Diuretics cause the body to rid itself of excess sodium and fluids through urination. It decreases the build-up of fluid in the lungs and other bodily parts such as feet, ankles and legs. It is said to help reduce the heart’s workload. Examples are furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide and spironolactone. Side effects are increased urination, extreme thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, low blood pressure, dehydration, ringing or buzzing in the ear, changes in kidney function, skin rash/hives, increased blood sugar levels, gout, constipation, and sensitivity to light.
Vasodilators relax the blood vessel smooth muscles. Nitrates increase the blood and oxygen supply to the heart and also reduce the heart workload thus easing chest pain. Examples are isosorbide mononitrate, isosorbide dinitrate, hydralazine, nitroglycerine and minoxidil. Side effects are low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, and nausea.
Digitalis increases the force of the heart’s contraction and helps treat irregular heartbeats such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure especially when the person is not responding well to other standard medications. Example is Digoxin (Lanoxin). Side effects are diarrhea, loss of appetite, drowsiness, headache, muscle weakness, fatigue, skin rash, blurred vision, and stomach upset.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs used to lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Examples are statin drugs such as atorvastatin, simvastatin, rosuvastatin, Fluvastatin, and lovastatin; cholesterol absorption inhibitor such as ezetimibe; and their combination. Side effects are headache, dizziness, feeling sick, feeling unusually tired or physically weak, constipation or diarrhea, indigestion, farting, muscle pain, sleep problems, and low platelet count.
Calcium channel blockers are also known as calcium antagonists or calcium blockers. They interrupt the movement of calcium into the heart cells and blood vessels. They decrease the pumping strength of the heart and relax blood vessels. They are used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, and abnormal heart rhythm. Examples include amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, nifedipine, nimodipine and verapamil. Side effects are dizziness, headache, constipation, heartburn, nausea, skin rash or flushing, fatigue, and swelling in the lower extremities.
Beta blockers are also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents. They decrease the heart rate and force of contraction. They make the heartbeat slower and with less force. They are used to lower blood pressure, treat chest pains, prevent heart attacks, and treat abnormal heart rhythms. Examples are acebutolol, atenolol, bisoprolol, metoprolol, nadolol, and propranolol. Side effects are fatigue, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath or wheezing, low blood pressure, and slow heartbeat.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors expands the blood vessels and decrease resistance by lowering the levels of angiotensin II, thus allows blood to flow easily and makes the heart work more efficiently. They are used to treat or improve symptoms experienced by those with high blood pressure and heart failure. Examples are benazepril, captopril, enalapril, quinapril, and ramipril. Side effects are dizziness, low blood pressure, changes in kidney function, dry cough, increased potassium levels, and swelling of lips or throat.
Angiotensin receptor blockers prevent angiotensin II from having any effect on the heart and blood vessels thus prevents blood pressure from rising. They are used to treat and improve symptoms of high blood pressure and heart failure. Examples are candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, Olmesartan, telmisartan, and valsartan. Side effects are nausea, dizziness, light headedness, low blood pressure, changes in kidney function and increased potassium levels.
Antiplatelet agents keep blood clots from forming by preventing platelets from sticking together. They also help prevent clotting in persons who have had a heart attack, unstable angina, ischemic strokes, transient ischemic attacks and other forms of cardiovascular disease. May help prevent further plaque formation in arteries. Examples are aspirin, clopidogrel, and dipyridamole. Side effects are heavy menstrual bleeding, red or brown colored urine, tar-like stools, gum or nose bleeding, severe headache or stomachache, and unusual bleeding.
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According to Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, the author of the book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water,” hypertension is caused by the state of unintentional chronic dehydration. Because of the failure to drink sufficient volume of water and the prolonged intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages, the body loses water. When this happens, the body goes into the state of unintentional chronic dehydration. In this state, eight percent of water is lost from the blood. This will lead to three mechanisms that cause hypertension.
The first mechanism happens when water is lost from the blood. The blood becomes thicker and so, the heart requires additional force to pump it. The additional force required to pump the blood increases the pressure. For this mechanism, doctors prescribe beta blockers.
The second mechanism happens when less water reaches the kidneys due to the loss of water in the blood. The kidneys are very sensitive to water loss in the body thus, they send messages to the brain of the drastic condition. The brain releases a hormone known as vasopressin that acts on constricting the blood vessels specifically the arteries. The constriction of the arteries causes the elevation of blood pressure.
The third mechanism happens when the kidneys receive less volume of blood due to the chronic dehydration. The blood is between 86 to 90 percent water. Loss of water will decrease blood volume. This triggers the kidneys to activate the renin-angiotensin system. Through series of chemical reactions, renin will activate the conversion of angiotensinogen to angiotensin I and then to angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a more potent vasoconstrictor than vasopressin. This squeezes the arteries and elevates blood pressure.
When the body is dehydrated, a greater degree of constriction or stronger squeeze of the arteries is necessary to push water out of the blood vessels. Water is the vehicle used to transport and distribute the essential nutrients and oxygen to the various body cells. It is the squeeze that elevates blood pressure. Prolonged hypertension adds more heart workload and this enlarges the heart muscles that later weaken to cause heart failure or cause other heart problems such as irregular heartbeat.
For a healthier heart, proper hydration by drinking purified water supplemented with IONIQUE Mineral Drops is very critical. Proper hydration maintains the normal dilution of the blood. Water is the best diluent and an effective blood thinner. Water is safe and without side effects of causing bleeding. Properly diluted blood will not only maintain good circulation but it will also prevent the deposition of cholesterol unto the blood vessel walls. Cholesterol is the body repair substance and it only deposits on injured blood vessel walls just like the asphalt overlaid on damaged roads and highways.
Magnesium is the main ingredient in IONIQUE Mineral Drops. Magnesium plays very vital role in the cardiovascular system. It improves the heart and artery muscles to contract and circulate blood; it improves the circulation due to the relaxation or expansion of arteries, veins, and capillaries; it reduces hypertension due to increased vasodilatation; it reduces the stickiness or clotting tendencies of blood thus, it possesses an anticoagulant or anti-platelet effect; it improves cholesterol levels by improving lipid metabolism – normalizes management of free fatty acids, lowers total cholesterol, increases high density lipoprotein, lowers low density lipoproteins, and lowers triglyceride level.
When magnesium is administered immediately during a heart attack, it dramatically lessens the site of injury; it helps dissolve blood clots; it prevents spasm in the heart muscle and blood vessel wall thus dilates blood vessels; it counteracts action of calcium which increases spasm; it prevents arrhythmia, a common complication of heart attack; and it acts as an antioxidant against free radicals forming at the site of injury. Magnesium is a vital mineral to the heart’s physiologic functions.
This heart’s day, gift yourself and your love ones this very important mineral supplement for health, well-being and longevity.
A merry heart is good like a medicine! Happy heart’s day to all!
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