Will a Heart Healthy Lifestyle Cure Heart Disease?

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Submitted by Dr T on June 3, 2013 – 4:07pm

Question: 
I have heart disease. I take statins, exercise every day, and now eat the Dean Ornish diet. My LDL has ranged from 109 to 65 in the last six months on this diet. Yet I have had no improvement in my angina. How long can it take for heart disease reversal to begin working? 

No present treatment can cure Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)! If you have heart disease your present heart-healthy lifestyle will slow down the progression of disease or even control your symptoms but will not reverse the process of atherosclerosis that caused your heart disease. However, you can live a long and symptom free life if you continue like this.

Although some proclaim occasionally the disease process can be reversed, if true, it would take too many years to be of practical use.  So most treatments are to treat the complications. Statins can correct your cholesterol, but for atherosclerosis to disappear (and with it blockages in your arteries), would take many, many years. Stents and bypass surgery can improve the blood flow, but aslo don’t treat the atherosclerosis that causes CAD.

So… the best cure is prevention that includes a proper diet, plenty of exercise, and living a heart-healthy lifestyle w/o smoking etc.

You can calculate your risk here to see where you stand!

Hope this helps,

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