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How to Prevent Another Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) Attack

Introduction: The coronary arteries play a crucial role in supplying oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. However, sometimes, a condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) can occur, causing a sudden disruption of blood flow within the arteries. SCAD is not common, but more and more cases are occurring. In fact, it is the #1 cause of heart attacks in pregnant women, and responsible for a large percentage of premenopausal heart attacks. 

In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and NATURAL solutions to prevent 1st SCAD or recurrent SCAD. 

Understanding SCAD: Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a condition where a tear or separation occurs within the layers of the coronary artery wall. This tear can create a false lumen, leading to a reduced blood flow or even a complete blockage of the artery. 

Risk Factors and Triggers:  Mainstream medicine has identified certain risk factors and triggers have been associated with this SCAD. These include:

Hormonal Changes: Hormonal factors, such as pregnancy and the postpartum period, have been linked to an increased risk of SCAD.

Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD): FMD is a rare condition characterized by abnormal development of the arterial walls. SCAD is often associated with FMD.

Connective Tissue Disorders: Certain connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, may increase the risk of SCAD.

Extreme Physical Stress: Intense physical exertion, such as weightlifting or extreme exercise, has been identified as a trigger for SCAD in some cases.

I think the REAL causes are violations of the Natural Heart Doctor method: Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well. More on this in my prevention information. 

Symptoms and Diagnosis: The symptoms of SCAD are the same as any other type of heart attack, making it crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort, often described as a sharp or tearing sensation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue

Treatment and Recovery: The treatment approach for SCAD depends on the severity of the condition and the affected arteries. In less severe cases where the dissection is not obstructing blood flow, conservative management may be sufficient. This typically involves close monitoring, medication to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of blood clots, and lifestyle changes to reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

In more severe cases where the blood flow is significantly compromised, more aggressive treatment may be necessary. This can include:

  • Angioplasty and Stenting: In this procedure, a tiny balloon is inserted into the artery to widen the narrowed area, and a stent is placed to help keep the artery open.
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG): CABG may be recommended if multiple arteries are affected or if angioplasty is not feasible. It involves using a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body to bypass the blocked or narrowed artery.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antiplatelet drugs and beta-blockers, may be prescribed to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of further complications.

Preventing Another SCAD Attack

The goal is to make you a different person than the one who had the SCAD event in the first place. I believe, if you are a healthier version of yourself, you can prevent another attack. Let me explain our plan to prevent another SCAD. (For more details on our method, see other areas of the NHD website). 

  1. Eat Well- eat the right foods and avoid the wrong foods. Seafood, grass fed animal products, all organic and gluten free. Avoid artificial ingredients, GMO, and pesticides. Keep alcohol intake low. 
  2. Live Well- sleep, sunshine, movement, avoid chemicals and toxins (MOLD!), holistic oral health and chiropractic care.
  3. Think Well- self-acceptance/gratitude, purpose, spirituality, connectedness, and security. 

Look at the above. Where did you go wrong at the time of the SCAD event? Usually, there were problems in all 3 areas. 

4.  Test, Don’t Guess- we suggest starting with our Level 2 testing to uncover abnormalities that ultimately can be fixed. Also, the #8 swiffer test of your home is a must to make sure you are not living in water-damage with mold and bacterial exposure.                                                       

5.  Evidence-based Supplements- There are MANY options for supplements that can help. Too many to list here. Sorry. I suggest basing your supplements plan on the results of the Level 2 testing. I can tell you that deficiencies of magnesium, potassium, omega-3, copper etc. can lead to SCAD. But how do you know if it’s mag, potassium, zinc, chromium etc? Need to test. Amino acids like lysine and proline are critical to healthy blood vessels. Are you deficient in one? The other? Neither? Both?                                                                                        

6.  Biohacking Strategies- Sauna, red light, Vie Light, Truvaga, IV nutrition, cold laser, Flowpress and so much more. 

Conclusion: After a SCAD attack, the goal is NOT to have another one. You can do this by becoming a healthier version of you. 

We want to help you. We are the best at what we do. Let’s talk soon. 

Grab a free coaching call or schedule a 2nd opinion call with one of our doctors by clicking HERE

In order to live well, one must eat well.

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About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

Dr. Keith Smigiel

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.

Chiropractic

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.

Acupuncture

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.

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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 health@naturalheartdoctor.com. 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.