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Amyloidosis and Your Heart

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In the world of cardiology, some players—like heart attacks and atrial fibrillation—steal the limelight, leading our discussions and concerns. Yet, lurking in the shadows of these dangerous disorders is a condition equally potent in its threat. A condition seldom on the tips of our tongues but with consequences just as dangerous. Enter: Amyloidosis, otherwise known as “stiff heart syndrome.”

What is Amyloidosis?

Picture the body’s protein-making machinery occasionally going awry. Instead of constructing vital proteins, this system produces misfolded proteins known as “amyloids.” Once these proteins lose their three-dimensional (3D) shape, they become twisted clumps. These unwanted proteins often accumulate in organs such as the liver, kidneys, and nerves. But sometimes, they stake their claim right in the heart.

To give perspective: While the prevalence of cardiac amyloidosis is not as glaring as other heart conditions, recent research reveals an underdiagnosed trend. It’s not a condition limited to medical textbooks—it’s real, present, and demands our cognizance.

Conventional medicine continues its attempts to decode amyloidosis. While the narrative often veers towards genetics and aging, the underpinning factor is an aberration in protein production. In many instances, this anomaly can be traced to chronic inflammation, especially in the liver, the arch-nemesis of heart health.

How Does Amyloidosis Affect the Heart?

The heart sometimes becomes the unwilling depot for amyloids. When amyloids deposit in heart tissues, it gives birth to a condition called cardiac amyloidosis.

In cardiac amyloidosis, the heart muscle thickens due to amyloid buildup. This thickening impedes the heart’s rhythmic cadence, leading to conditions like heart block or irregular heart rhythms. Symptoms might vary from fatigue and shortness of breath to more concerning signs like syncope or chest pain.

In severe scenarios, the amassed amyloids can weaken the heart, paving the way for heart failure. It’s a dire situation where the heart struggles to circulate blood efficiently, leading to symptoms like leg swelling and breathlessness.

Like its counterpart, sarcoidosis, cardiac amyloidosis can be deceptively silent, often making its presence felt only in advanced stages. Experts suggest cardiac amyloidosis should be considered for anyone over 65 with heart failure.

Conventional Treatment of Cardiac Amyloidosis

Traversing the realm of cardiac amyloidosis with traditional medicine can involve:


Chemotherapy drugs and proteasome inhibitors top the list of medications that curb amyloid production. Many patients are prescribed diuretics to combat fluid retention, supplemented occasionally with beta-blockers. Prednisone also joins the mix, acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Yet, for all their immediate benefits, these treatments skirt around the condition’s core, offering mere respite rather than resolution. And as the clock ticks, potential side effects loom larger on the horizon.

Surgical Procedures

In extreme cases, heart transplantation becomes a consideration. However, with its host of challenges, transplantation is neither universally available nor a guaranteed cure.

Implantable Devices

To manage heart rhythm abnormalities, devices like pacemakers are often suggested. In more severe cases, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (AICD) are placed in the body. However, while they might restore rhythm, they don’t eliminate amyloid deposits or counteract inflammation.

These treatments may help to manage symptoms and potentially life-threatening situations. Unfortunately, they don’t tackle the root of the issue. Moreover, they introduce their own set of challenges and risks.

The Triad of Heart Wellness: Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well

Amidst the cacophony of health advice, three pillars resonate with clarity: Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well. Let’s break them down.

  • Eat Well: This isn’t merely about consuming food, but getting nourishment. Embrace an organic diet brimming with grass-fed meats, pasture-raised poultry, wild-caught fish, an array of nuts and seeds, wholesome vegetables, and the sporadic indulgence of fruits.

    But eating well is as much about what to avoid as it is about what to embrace: sidestep processed foods, seed oils, sugars, gluten, and grains. Dodge the minefield of additives, chemicals, and pesticides that mar many modern menus.
  • Live Well: Beyond nutrition, our bodies yearn for holistic wellness. That means prioritizing quality sleep, soaking in ample sunshine, invigorating oneself through regular exercise, and seeking chiropractic care for alignment. Your environment plays a role as much as your actions.
  • Think Well: The heart’s health is intertwined with the mind’s. Ward off stress, cultivate relationships that spark joy and fulfillment, and make room in your calendar for passions that ignite your soul. It’s not merely about mental wellness but achieving a balance that nurtures the heart.

In this holistic journey, don’t overlook the insights from meticulous blood testing. Detailed blood tests to measure inflammation markers and protein anomalies become indispensable. These markers sketch a clear image, spotlighting the areas demanding immediate redressal. Armed with this knowledge, one can make informed decisions about supplementation.

Supplementation, when calibrated correctly, can bolster the healing trajectory. It’s not about adopting a scattergun approach but harnessing supplements underpinned by scientific rigor. From turmeric’s anti-inflammatory prowess to antioxidants’ cellular defense, each supplement is recommended with precision.

Next Steps

Amyloidosis might appear daunting, but it’s not insurmountable.

Whether confronting a diagnosis, supporting a loved one, or trying to decipher ambiguous symptoms, remember that you’re not alone.

Venture deeper by reserving a free 20-minute consultation with one of our seasoned health coaches. It’s not merely a conversation—it’s your best chance at achieving your 100 year heart.


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About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

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Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.


Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.


Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.