Gridlock in the heart

Cardiovascular disease is a growing concern. When educational classes are given, it focuses on the “Big 3” — obesity, exercise, and eating fat and salt-free diet. However, heart disease is much more than that. It can be likened to a very busy freeway, fast or slow traffic, hectic, gridlock.

When driving on a freeway, everything is great when everyone does what they are supposed to do: Drive according to the law, at the right speed, and attentively. Not much different than the heart and circulatory system. If our heart beats according to nature’s law and blood flows at the right speed, the right pressure and without obstacles, and is attentive to the need for healthy checks and balances, all is OK.

But at times we have too much traffic and things slow down. Blood can become sluggish when there is too much material in it — excess cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose primarily. Pretty soon, pressure is increased to try to push it through. But why is there an increase in these things, and what if some of the “traffic” in the blood is actually the repair crew?

Cholesterol is the healing serum of the body. If there are potholes in the freeway (damage to the vessel walls), it is the job of cholesterol to come clean it up. If you can imagine a road with a just a little bit of damage, and only 1 or 2 vehicles needing to clean it up, versus significant damage, requiring lots of equipment to repair the damage, you can begin to see the trouble building up.

While the process may be necessary, the question is “what is causing the potholes in the first place?” Stopping the body from making excess cholesterol that is causing sluggish circulation may be like putting a band-aid on the injury/covering up the big machinery on the freeway so we can’t see them at work. It makes more sense to find out what is causing the damage in the first place, handling that issue, then the cholesterol is no longer needed. Makes more sense to me.

We can expand that thought into a stroke or heart attack — an accident on our freeway. The right circumstances were present — lack of attention or recklessness for example. Then “wham!” the accident happens. First, we have to render first aid and get the person out of crisis. Then what? If the person causing the accident goes back to doing the same thing that resulted in the trauma in the first place, well, can we expect a different result?

As in traffic, there are many variables that interfere with a smooth flowing arterial system. If you have cardiovascular disease in any form, it may be worth your while to hire a private investigator — a health detective, to discover what went amiss. Only then will you truly create healthy flow. Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, Redefining High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol & Cardiovascular Health,” Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: (208) 765-1994.


Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Dr. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Dr. Carling’s website at to learn more about Dr. Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Dr. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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