The Link Between Your Gut And Heart Health
The bacteria that live in your digestive system can have wide-ranging effects on your body and can impact cardiovascular health.
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Cardiovascular disease affecting the heart and blood vessels is the leading cause of mortality worldwide and in the United States, where it accounts for about 1 in 4 deaths, according to the;Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many factors can increase the risk of developing heart disease, including being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, and smoking. But there’s an important factor you may not be aware of: gut health.
In recent years, theres been an increase in public awareness of the gut microbiome, the collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in your digestive system, and the role it plays in digestive health. By improving the;health of your gut microbiome, you may be able to reduce bloating and gas and improve the regularity of bowel movements.
A growing body of research suggests that the wrong balance of gut bacteria can cause harm beyond your gut, playing a role in conditions as different as;arthritis,;obesity, and;depression. It also appears to affect your blood vessels. In fact, chemicals or processes related to gut bacteria have been tied to a higher risk of heart failure,;atherosclerosis;, and major cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke, notes a review of studies published in March 2020 in the journal;Microbiome.
Can Probiotics And Prebiotics Lower Blood Pressure
Eating food that contains probioticsconsumable live bacteriahas been linked to healthier blood pressure in previous studies.
Yogurt is the clearest example of a probiotic, says Pluznick. People might not be as aware of;prebiotics.
Prebiotics are things that you eat that contain the precursors bacteria need to make the special chemicals that are then absorbed by our bodies, potentially lowering blood pressure.
Fiber can be a prebiotic for a lot of bacteria, so when you eat fiber, the bacteria break it down to make those chemicals, says Pluznick. You can find prebiotics in fiber-containing foods such as garlic, onions, asparagus, whole wheat pasta and sweet potatoes.
How Chiropractic Can Help You
In my conversation with Dr. Gallagher I explored common conditions where chiropractic could be of particular benefit or a missing treatment link. Following are some of the major points we covered, starting with several non-cardiac cardiovascular issues. The message here is that if a cardiac evaluation for symptoms turns out negative it makes sense to consider a spinal evaluation.
- Hypertension. Such an evaluation of the atlas vertebrae located at the top of the spinal column in the neck may detect a misalignment contributing to high blood pressure. When the atlas is out of proper alignment you can get altered blood flow to the brain and increased sympathetic stimulation in the nervous system that can drive up blood pressure. Dr. Gallaghers experience is that blood pressure in many of his hypertensive patients was markedly lowered, and their need for medication reduced or eliminated, after cervical manipulation. I agree with him that this modality is almost totally overlooked in the treatment of high blood pressure.
The upper part of her thoracic spine was misaligned, Dr. Gallagher said.; I adjusted her five or six times and the problem was gone. You dont see this in the medical literature but I have treated many similar cases.
- Tinnitus and hearing loss. It pays to have a chiropractic evaluation for hearing issues, Dr. Gallagher told me. Upper cervical or skull misalignments are commonly involved.
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Future Hopes For Heart Health
Pluznick foresees a future in which heart-healthy measures may well involve considerations of gut health and also include optimal guidelines for both the administration of antibiotics, which can adversely affect gut bacteria, and the ingestion of probiotics. But we arent there yet.
Were some way from being able to tell you exactly which yogurt to eat to try to promote lower blood pressure, but I think that being able to provide that sort of information is the long-term hopegather all of the puzzle pieces, and put them together, Pluznick says.
When To Call 911
A few cues for you to call 911 and seek medical help right away are if your heart palpitations last a few minutes or longer, if your symptoms are new or get worse, or if they happen alongside other symptoms such as:
- Pain, pressure, or tightness in your chest
- Aching in your neck, jaw, upper back or arm
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Symptoms that donât get better with breathing exercises
You should also call 911 right away if someone youâre with complains of heart palpitations along with chest pains, dizziness, unusual sweating, or lightheadedness, or if they faint, feel lightheaded, or lose consciousness.
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Probiotics And The Gut
Research tells us that the gut and brain share a very close connection. Through multiple lines of communication, your central nervous system talks to your endocrine and digestive systems.
Inflammation in the intestines is known to cause digestive and immune system symptoms and also inflammation in the brain. This may look like brain fog, irritability, and yes, anxiety. Changes in the gut microbiota can produce many different types of symptoms, including mental health symptoms like anxiety and depression, and loss of cognitive function. [2
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
Another type of anxiety is panic disorders. Symptoms include:
- Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heart rate
- Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking
- Feelings of impending doom
- Feelings of being out of control
Other types of anxiety include phobias and social anxiety.
The Best Game Changing Treatment For Ibs Is Eliminating Gluten
Hands down, the best treatment for IBS is eliminating gluten from your diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, and its responsible for the destruction of the gut lining in patients with celiac disease. Gluten is also found in other grains, such as spelt, rye, barley, and maltplus it can be hidden in foods like oats if theyre processed in the same plant as wheat.
Gluten is the prime culprit in leaky gut syndrome and IBS. In a normal, healthy intestine cells are bonded together with Velcro-like connections. But gluten disrupts those tight bonds, allowing food and bacteria to leak out into your bloodstreamactivating the immune system, and setting the stage for IBS, autoimmune disease, and other inflammatory conditions to develop.
Some people can digest and break down gluten better than others. For someone with celiac disease, for example, gluten literally acts as a poison and must be avoided. For others, gluten is unknowingly contributing to health ills. And for some people, gluten literally has no effect.
Clinically, I have found that about 80 percent of my patients feel much better on a gluten-free diet. They have less fatigue, headaches, rashes, and joint pain and better cognitive function. Plus, taking gluten out of the diet can help tremendously with gas pain, bloating, and abdominal pain. If youre unsure if youre gluten sensitive, I recommend eliminating gluten-containing grains for at least three weeks and see if you notice changes in your body.
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Recognizing A Heart Attack
The initial symptoms of a heart attack could start as a mild discomfort progressing to significant pain. Heart attack symptoms usually last 30 minutes or more and cannot be relieved by oral medications or rest.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Discomfort that radiates to your jaw, back, throat or arm
- Indigestion, fullness or the feeling of choking
- Heaviness, pressure, discomfort or pain in your arm, chest or underneath your breastbone
- Nausea, sweating, dizziness or vomiting
- Irregular or rapid heartbeats
- Shortness of breath, anxiety, extreme weakness
If you believe you are experiencing a heart attack, call 911 immediately. You can lessen the damage done to your heart by receiving treatment promptly. A heart attack can lead to heart failure.
Some people who suffer a heart attack do not have any symptoms. This type of heart attack is referred to as silent myocardial infarction . A silent myocardial infarction occurs more frequently in people who have diabetes.
What To Do If Foods Cause You Heart Palpitations
First off, take note if you feel any additional symptoms, because those could signal that youre experiencing more than simple palpitations. Seek emergency medical help if at any point you also have:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or discomfort in the upper back, arms, neck, or jaw
- Feeling of impending doom
If its the first time youve ever noticed heart palpitations, make a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Its likely nothing is wrong, but its always best to err on the side of caution and make sure that the food-related episode isnt the first sign of a bigger issue.
Next, start a log and record times when the palpitations recur. Note what you ate or drank and what sort of emotional state you were in. If specific foods or beverages tend to cause recurrences, take that as a sign you should reduce or eliminate those foods from your diet. Your body and your heart couldnt be telling you any more clearly that those substances are doing you harm.
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Your Guts Role In Health And Disease
Your microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms that live in and on your body mostly bacteria but also fungi and other organisms. Its estimated that an average person has about 38 trillion bacteria in their microbiome, with most of these creatures living in the digestive tract, or gut.
Many of these bacteria are considered beneficial, aiding in the normal functions of your digestive system and helping defend your body against more harmful organisms.
Other bacteria in your microbiome, however, can not only disrupt your digestive health but negatively affect many other areas of your body, too. Theres significant evidence that the gut microbiome is involved in human health in virtually all diseases, says Raphael Kellman, MD, a physician of integrative and functional medicine and founder of the Kellman Wellness Center in New York City. Cardiovascular diseases, which are associated with high morbidity and mortality across the world, are no exception.
While theres still a lot to learn about how exactly the gut microbiome affects different disease risks, its clear that broadly speaking, an unhealthy gut causes negative health effects through inflammation your immune systems reaction to an injury or foreign substance.
When inflammation affects blood vessels, the vessels lose their elasticity, Kellman explains. The cells of the vessels dont function well, and that sets the stage for the development of plaque and atherosclerosis.
Biochemical Parameter And Tumor Necrosis Factor
The supernatants of heart tissue were used for biochemical analyses. The total protein content in the heart tissue homogenate was determined using the Bradfords method. MDA content and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were measured as described previously. The colorimetric ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay was used to measure the total antioxidant capacity. The levels of TNF- were measured by an ELISA method using a Rat TNF- ELISA Kit .
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Relationship To Gi System
A population of microbes that assist the hosts biochemical metabolic and immunological balance necessary for health maintenance is termed normal microbiota . Both composition and function characterize the biodiversity of microbiota . The gastrointestinal microbiota includes bacteria, archaea, protozoa, fungi, and different viruses, with anaerobic bacteria and the predominant source . The numbers range from 10 to 100 trillion microorganisms in the GI tract, which, based on an individuals genetic age and diet, vary from individual to individual . From the time an individual is born until his/her death, there will be more than 500 different species of microorganism that are contained in the human body . An individuals microbial diversity changes throughout his/her life span and depends on a persons health-related interaction between gut microbiota and hosts overall health . There are even geographic variations that have been found in relation to the type of Lactobacillus , varying from the western and eastern hemispheres. The factors that can influence a persons microbiota are genetics, age, diet, and antibiotic use .
Probiotics Could Also Lower Triglycerides
Probiotics may also help reduce blood triglycerides, which are types of blood fat that can contribute to heart disease when their levels are too high.
A study of 92 people who had high blood triglycerides found that taking two probiotics, Lactobacillus curvatus and Lactobacillus plantarum, for 12 weeks significantly reduced blood triglycerides .
However, larger studies that combine the results of many other studies have found that probiotics may not affect triglyceride levels.
Two of these large meta-analyses, one combining 13 studies and the other combining 27 studies, found no significant beneficial effect of probiotics on blood triglycerides .
Overall, more human studies are needed before drawing conclusions on whether or not probiotics can help reduce blood triglycerides.
Summary Although some individual studies show a beneficial effect, it is still unclear if certain probiotics can help reduce blood triglycerides.
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Foods That Cause Heart Palpitations
By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
Often when I write about the best and worst foods for the heart, I talk in the context of heart-healing foods that are good to eat, as well as foods that should be avoided because they fan the flames of inflammation. Those discussions focus on how the things we eat and drink every day affect heart health over the long haul.
Today, though, I want to shift gears and focus on foods that can have more immediate and noticeable impacts on the heartstarting with foods that can cause heart palpitations. In this article Ill explore:
Anxiety May Start In The Gut
Its no secret that people with gut health problems often feel anxious or depressed. But which comes first, the mental health challenge or the gut symptoms?
- A 2016 study of 1,900 people found that two-thirds of them experienced irritable bowel syndrome before mental health symptoms, implying that for many people, the gut disturbance was the source of their anxiety.
Another way to think about this connection is by considering the role of a leaky gut. Gut inflammation can make the gut lining permeable, which allows bacterial toxins to enter the bloodstream. These toxins have been shown to contribute to anxiety and depression symptoms. [9
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Heal Your Heart Through Your Gut: Understanding The Gut
The old saying may be true, maybe the way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach. Studies show that gut health and heart health are intricately linked and the key to a healthy heart might lay within your gut.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. So, it’s no surprise that nearly everyone knows someone who’s been affected. The effects of heart disease are devastating and can take families by surprise.
To fight this, we’ve been taught since a young age to eat healthy and exercise for a strong and healthy heart. Cereal boxes are plastered with “heart healthy” seals of approval and promises of decreasing your cholesterol. Schools even waged campaigns to teach children just how important it is to take care of their heart.
Even with country-wide education and significant advances in modern medicine, the last decade has shown an increase in the number of people affected by heart disease with rates continue to climb.
It makes you wonder: Is eating ‘healthy’and exercising really enough to prevent heart disease?
The evidence seems to indicate that there’s a piece missing from this puzzle, and growing research is pointing to the gut microbiome. The gut-heart connection is so substantial that soon cardiologists will likely be sending their patients to see a gastroenterologist and vice versa.
So, how does the gut potentially contribute to heart disease?
Lets take a closer look.
When Bacteria Migrate: The SIBO & Heart Disease Link
Whats Too Much Too Little Or Maybe Its The Wrong Strain How Do You Get It Right
You know the saying, If a little does a little bit of good then a lot must do a whole lot of good; But when it comes to probiotics, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Weve talked before about the microbiome, the ginormous collection of microbes that live in your gut.
Some of those bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes maintain a thriving ecosystem of sorts that assists your body in many of its functions. And they also provide a powerful immune system to protect you from infections, cancer, and viruses from the common cold to HIV.
There are at any given moment -10 microbes to every single cell in the human body. So were vastly outnumbered from the start.
But thankfully, the majority of those microbes help us function and protect us from invaders. The rest of them are always on the attack and being destroyed or eaten by the good bacteria.
Until something happens that jars that system out of balance. For example:
An infection treated by antibiotics, where the good bacteria are wiped out along with the bad.
Stomach upset that results in vomiting or diarrhea, where massive evacuation of the intestine leaves behind a weakened balance of beneficial and destructive microbes.
An injury that drives you to take a heavy load of ibuprofen, and your stomach lining becomes irritated, causing pain and bleeding.
In each of these examples, ingesting probiotics can help to restore balance in your gut, and relieve symptoms.
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