Part 4 of the Series: Aging and the "Pauses of Life"
Cardiopause - a decline in pumping power, valves and blood flow
Vasculopause - a decline in blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body
Let’s look at the connection between your heart and your brain’s own age accelerators. Basically, when the brain breaks, the heart breaks. Now you have a broken heart and a broken brain. A lack of the following neurotransmitters can put you at risk for cardiopause:
Dopamine: A lack of this neurotransmitter may lead to obesity, which accelerates all forms of heart disease because it causes your blood vessels to become clogged with fat. Addictions (food, alcohol, smoking, cocaine, etc.) can all accelerate heart disease.
Acetylcholine: A lack of this can cause your brain and mind to deteriorate and heart disease can accelerate as a result.
GABA: A GABA deficiency typically begins as a loss of calm and a simultaneous increase in blood pressure. Anxiety and stress are well-known causes of heart disease.
Serotonin: A lack of this brain chemical may lead to depression, which often disrupts sleep patterns. Too little or too much sleep might increase your risk of developing heart disease. What’s more, coronary artery disease is often associated with depression.
When Vasculopause Strikes – vasculopause usually begins around age 50. It is the second limb of heart disease and is equally as important to detect and reverse as cardiopause. It refers to changes in your blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. The vascular system carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart through blood vessels, arteries, and tiny capillaries into the tissues, and back to the heart through your veins.
These are likely scenarios of vasculopause:
Unfortunately, high blood pressure is painless, symptomless, and often unexpected. It affects the middle-aged and elderly who are obese or heavy drinkers. It also affects women who are currently taking oral contraceptives or using recreational drugs.
Pain and emotional distress are certainly age accelerators leading to high blood pressure, and GABA deficiencies leading to pain and anxiety contribute to high blood pressure. If you can boost your GABA, you’ll watch your blood pressure drop.
Cardiopause and Vasculopause can be Reversed:
I have witnessed long-term improvement in patients - in some cases almost full reversals that last for years. These results are possible because we look at heart failure as a systemic issue. In other words, we treat the whole person, not just the pumping condition of the heart (although that’s obviously a key element of our program). This treatment includes making healthy lifestyle changes as well as introducing nutrients and supplements, bio-identical hormones, and medications if necessary that are designed to improve the heart’s and vascular system’s functions and prevent future problems without negative side effects.
My Rainbow Diet is a good place to start as a nutritional approach to controlling high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s an eating plan that is based on incorporating the seven major colors of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – into the foods you eat. Fruits and vegetables of all colors are packed with disease-fighting nutrients.
We at PATH Medical can teach you how to use these nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as the addition of lean protein (especially fish), fiber-rich whole grains, legumes, healthy fats and oils, and lots of spices and herbs, to help you achieve your optimal weight, and to improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, and your overall cardiovascular health.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.