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What Is Integrative Cardiology?

  • Category: Articles by Clinicians
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Hammad Khan, MD, FACC Cardiologist, Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare
What Is Integrative Cardiology?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease remains the number-one cause of death for Americans, leading to nearly 700,000 deaths annually. As such, cardiologists are often exploring ways to combine preventative care, medication, and lifestyle changes to maximize the health of our patients. One way your cardiologist can provide more comprehensive heart care is through an approach called “integrative cardiology.”

Integrative cardiology is a fascinating mix of conventional allopathic western medicine and traditional eastern holistic practices in cardiovascular care. This approach considers each patient’s unique lifestyle and tailors a personalized care plan to best suit their needs. It does not replace but rather complements the modern diagnostics, medicines, and procedures used to treat heart disease, helping to address the underlying factors that contribute to increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

The core principle of integrative cardiology is the commitment to treating patients as whole individuals. This multipronged approach considers not only the classic contributors to heart disease we all know—high blood pressure and cholesterol—but takes into account factors such as stress, anxiety, and poor sleep, which may also negatively affect heart health. For example, in addition to prescribing statins, an integrative cardiologist might recommend healthy activities such as acupuncture, yoga, meditation, or even talk therapy—all of which can be helpful in mitigating cardiovascular risk. Integrative cardiology emphasizes the mind-body connection to improve overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Not surprisingly, integrative cardiology also emphasizes healthy lifestyle changes. Integrative cardiologists work with patients to create individualized care plans to achieve optimal health, including heart-healthy nutrition plans, exercise regimens, and smoking cessation if needed. A healthy, realistic diet is encouraged for anyone with increased cardiovascular risk, including moderate portions of foods that reduce inflammation in the body and are accessible and affordable for the patient.

The vast majority of premature heart attacks and strokes could be prevented with appropriate lifestyle changes. This is where an integrative approach to cardiology is truly important. If you or a loved one needs a referral to integrative cardiology care, we recommend asking your primary care physician to connect you with an integrative cardiologist. In addition to knowing how to treat your cardiovascular concerns, they may just have the knowledge and guidance to prevent them from happening in the first place.

The Casa Colina Cardiology Clinic provides high-quality medical care for your heart, circulation, and cardiovascular needs. Our comprehensive services can help reduce the chances of heart disease or slow its progression. For more information, call 909/596-7733, ext. 3800.