A Focus on Heart Health


Dr. Michael Gravett has a private naturopathic medical practice in Indianapolis.  He is currently the director of cardiovascular services for IU Health statewide.

Taking Control of Your Cardiovascular Risk Factors

by Michael W. Gravett, ND, BCIM
Natural Family Medicine, LLC

Cardiovascular disease is responsible for over 600,000 deaths every year in the United States, or about 1 in every 4 deaths.  Cardiovascular disease includes high blood pressure, stroke, rheumatic heart disease and coronary artery disease (CAD), which is responsible for the majority of cardiovascular fatalities.

CAD is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world and, alarmingly, of the nearly 385,000 deaths in the US, roughly half had no previous symptoms.

So, what exactly is CAD?  Generally speaking, CAD is the buildup of fatty material and other substances, commonly called plaque, in the arteries of your heart. This buildup results in a narrowing of the artery which causes less blood flow to your heart. This process can take decades to develop and therefore, often goes unnoticed until a heart attack occurs.

What can you do to prevent coronary artery disease?  A great place to start is to understand the risk factors for CAD and commit to living a healthier lifestyle in an effort to reduce risk wherever possible.

Risk Factors to Evaluate
• Family history • Physical inactivity • Overweight/Obesity
• Age • Tobacco exposure • Diabetes  & Metabolic syndrome
• Gender • High blood pressure • Perinatal factors
• Nutrition/Diet • Blood lipids • Inflammatory markers

How can Naturopathic Medicine help with lowering the risk factors for CAD?  A naturopathic doctor can help you to identify which risk factors apply to you personally and will develop an approach for decreasing those risk factors specific to your individual needs.  While it is unfortunate that you cannot change your genetic disposition, age and family history, there are risk factors that you can reduce.  A naturopathic doctor will develop a tailored natural medicine plan including diet, nutrition, nutraceuticals, exercise, and additional therapies to reduce high blood pressure, decrease lipids in your blood, manage weight, address diabetes related issues as well as metabolic syndrome and decrease inflammatory responses of the body.  These therapies may be used alone, or in combination with any current pharmaceutical regimen to safely lower your risk of coronary artery disease.


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This Week: Meet Indiana’s Naturopathic Doctors!


Across the country, states are holding events to increase awareness about naturopathic medicine.   Keep an eye on our blog this week, as we showcase some naturopathic practices in Indiana.

To find a naturopathic doctor (ND) in your area, click “Find a Doctor” on this site.

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A Quiet Health Care Revolution

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Naturopathic Physicians: Natural Medicine. Real Solutions. It’s just becoming audible now, but the stirrings are significant. A grassroots transformation in health is underway.  It’s driven, largely, by these stark facts: nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese…tens of millions … Continue reading

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Eating Fish Helps Kids do Better in School, Study Says

Want to help your kids improve their performance at school? Serve them a dinner of grilled tuna or salmon teriyaki, suggests a new study out of Oxford University.

After taking blood samples from nearly 500 children between the ages of seven and nine, scientists found that levels of omega-3 fatty acids “significantly predicted” their ability to concentrate, and learn.

Read more: at the Daily News

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National Naturopathic Medicine Week—October 7–13!

The US Senate has passed Senate Resolution. 221, making October 7–13 officially Naturopathic Medicine Week! SR 221 recognizes the value of naturopathic medicine in providing “safe, effective, and affordable health care” and encourages Americans to learn about the role of naturopathic physicians in preventing and treating chronic and debilitating conditions.

According to Jud Richland, the American Association of Naturopathic Physician’s CEO, “Passage of this resolution is an historic achievement for naturopathic medicine. The Congress has now officially recognized the important role naturopathic medicine plays in effectively addressing the nation’s health care needs as well as in addressing the increasingly severe shortage of primary care physicians.”


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FDA defines the term “Gluten-Free”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule that defines what characteristics a food has to have to bear a label that proclaims it “gluten- free.” As one of the criteria for using the claim “gluten-free,” FDA is setting a gluten limit of less than 20 ppm (parts per million) in food and beverages that carry this label. Read more on the FDA Consumer Website

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Naturopathic Physicians in the News

Naturopathic physicians are spreading awareness of NATURAL MEDICINE and sharing their health solutions all over the country! Check out news spots featuring Naturopathic Doctors here.

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10 Reasons Naturopathic Medicine Lowers Health Care Costs

1. Offers more treatment options
Naturopathic physicians provide consumers with a broader range of safe, cost effective care.

2. Offers less expensive treatment
Naturopathic treatments are inherently less expensive than those conventional and many naturopathic treatments incur no cost whatsoever.

3. Reduces need for expensive surgical procedures
Naturopathic physicians often suggest non-surgical options to patients, while referring for surgery when it is indicated.

4. Decreases prescription drug costs
Naturopathic physicians typically prescribe much less expensive botanical or nutritional supplements to effectively care for medical problems.

5. Decreases prescription drug costs
About two percent of drug prescriptions result in hospital admission. Adverse drug reactions may add as much as $5 billion annually to health care costs and are considered the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. 100,000 people died in 2003 of adverse reactions from correctly prescribed pharmaceuticals.

6. Reduces the incidence of iatrogenic (doctor-induced) illnesses
As many as one-third of patients admitted to hospitals contract another illness while there, resulting in longer stays. Fatal pharmaceutical adverse reactions combined with iatrogenic fatalities are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.

7. Lowers malpractice rates, resulting in reduced patient costs
Malpractice insurance rates are much lower for naturopathic physicians than they are for conventional doctors. Patients of naturopathic physicians do not have to absorb high malpractice costs.

8. Addresses the cause of illness thus eliminating expensive ongoing care
By addressing and treating the cause of disease, the need for repeated, expensive and often ineffective symptomatic treatment is eliminated. Naturopathic physicians use state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, thorough history and complete physical examination to diagnose underlying causes of disease.

9. Offers true disease prevention
Naturopathic physicians emphasize health-building practices, reducing the high future cost of preventable degenerative diseases.

10. Reduces insurance costs
Naturopathic medical billing is far lower per patient than conventional medical billing.

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Great-Grandmother’s Cigarette Habit Could Be the Cause of Child’s Asthma

With some 300 million people around the world living with asthma, a study by Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) researchers that was released ahead-of- print found for the first time that maternal smoking can cause the third generation of offspring to suffer from the chronic lung disease

Read more at Science Daily

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Oily Fish Once Or Twice A Week Could Reduce Breast Cancer Risk: Study

Eating a portion of tuna, salmon, sardines or other oily fish once or twice a week reduces the risk of breast cancer, according to a review published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Thursday.

Researchers based in China looked at 26 previously published studies covering more than 800,000 volunteers in the United States, Europe and Asia whose health was monitored and who gave details about their eating habits.

Oily fish is rich in so-called n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or n-3 PUFAs, which are involved in the immune system, blood-vessel activity and chemical messaging in the brain.

The group of n-3 PUFAs has four members, known by their initials of EPA, DPA and DHA, which are mainly found in oily fish, and ALA, which is chiefly found in nuts, seeds and leafy vegetables. The analysis showed that women with a high intake of n-3 PUFAs had a 14% reduction in risk of breast cancer compared with those who had a low intake.

Read more here: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/oily-fish-week-reduce-breast-cancer-risk-study-article-1.1385096?localLinksEnabled=false

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