As we grow older, vascular disease becomes one of the most common health conditions in the United States, and cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death.

You may be surprised when your doctor instructs you to start blood pressure medications, wonder if you should be taking a daily aspirin, or have become confused about the “right” way to eat. You may already be aware that heart health is a personal concern and/or have a significant family history. Perhaps you would like a more complete explanation about the reasons that plaque accumulates in the arteries and how to address this using diet, lifestyle, and supplements.

Here at Northampton Integrative Medicine, our health care providers consider your life story, including your medical history, lifestyle, environment, genetics, medications, exposures, and personal stressors when developing a plan of care. As integrative physicians, we work diligently to combine traditional and functional medicine approaches to your unique health concerns. An “anti-inflammatory diet”, exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, social support and stress management are paramount for managing any chronic disease. Based on the medications you may be taking for your health conditions, we can personally tailor a vascular protective treatment plan to meet your needs. Supplements can act like medications. In fact, many medications are derived from natural substances, so if your tolerance is low for medications, you may benefit from nutrients like garlic, fish oil, soy, B vitamins, and bioflavanoids.

Vascular inflammation may be caused by a deficiency of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps dilate blood vessels, increase blood flow and decrease blood pressure. A lack of nitric oxide causes oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress is similar to the consequences of cigarette smoking, and inflammation is a potentially protective influx of blood cells. However, in excess, this influx can be a cause of chronic disease- cardiovascular diseases, allergies, arthritis, osteoporosis and numerous others. Past and ongoing exposure to heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and especially lead are currently under addressed contributors to vascular disease. Lead directly depletes your nitric oxide, that beneficial vessel dilator.

As a certified chelation specialist, I make it a priority to not only address your health conditions, diet, exercise, physical and social environment, and medications, but also factors like heavy metals and unknown allergies that you may not have considered. I will work with you to combat that overdrive of immune system reactivity because when we target inflammation, you will find that many of your medical conditions improve simultaneously. If you are ready to investigate and tackle your health challenges, contact Northampton Integrative Medicine to schedule an appointment.

Denise M. Kearney, MD, MS