12 things in your home that Lead to Heart Disease

Natural Approaches to Maintain Open Arteries After Stents or Bypass

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3d rendering balloon angioplasty procedure with stent in vein

For many patients with cardiovascular disease, the placement of a stent or coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) can feel like the finish line. A sigh of relief, a second chance. But the journey doesn’t end on the operation table. The real challenge? Ensuring those stents and bypasses function efficiently for the long haul. 

Understandably, the lifespan of stents and bypasses varies, influenced by factors such as the quality of veins used for the bypass or the vitality of native arteries. While conventional wisdom—and standard protocols—point toward prolonged use of dual antiplatelet therapies (DAPT), the path isn’t so linear for everyone.

Armed with a passion for holistic heart health and the latest evidence, we at Natural Heart Doctor advocate for a more tailored approach, emphasizing a combination of lifestyle, biohacking techniques, and evidence-based supplements. We aim to strike a delicate balance between preventing the stent from clotting and ensuring the body doesn’t reject this life-preserving foreign material. 

As we delve deeper into this intricate dance between natural strategies and conventional medicines, it’s vital to recognize that each heart tells a different story. It’s our responsibility to listen closely and choose the rhythm that ensures its most vibrant beat, and we take that job very seriously. 

The Role of DAPT: Understanding Current Protocols and Their Limitations

Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT)—it’s a term that’s become nearly synonymous with post-operative heart care. At its core, DAPT represents a combined regimen of aspirin and another antiplatelet drug, often Brilinta, Effient, or Plavix. But why?

Initially, the rationale is straightforward. Following a stent procedure, especially for those with stable angina or an abnormal stress test, DAPT is typically prescribed for at least six months. Its mission? To prevent acute stent thrombosis, a potentially fatal complication where the body, interpreting the stent as an invader, forms a clot.

However, delve a bit deeper, and the landscape becomes more nuanced. For stents placed due to an acute myocardial infarction, the DAPT duration extends to twelve months. Interestingly, longer  and smaller diameter stents might necessitate even longer periods of this combined therapy. Here’s where the divergence in medical opinion truly shines through. While most cardiologists might advocate for life-long DAPT, others adopt a more minimalist approach, hoping to wean patients off aspirin within months and the second drug soon after.

There’s no denying that DAPT plays a pivotal role in healing from stents and coronary artery bypass. Yet, like any potent tool in medicine, it comes with its set of concerns. For the patient population—especially those with multiple health challenges or advanced age—the shadow of bleeding risks looms large.

A 2021 study offered fresh insights. It compared 1-month versus 3-month DAPT post-drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation in high-bleeding risk patients. Among 3,652 participants, those on the shorter regimen experienced notably fewer bleeding events, yet with comparable rates of mortality and heart complications.

The bottom line? There isn’t clear guidance based on major studies about how long and which blood-thinning medications to use after heart bypass surgery.

Tailored Treatments are the Key

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when considering how to keep the arteries open after stent placement. For one, it neglects individual patient intricacies, like the stent’s exact location. A stent closer to the heart’s coronary “tree” roots could jeopardize more heart muscle if clotted, while a distal one in a smaller branch might pose lesser risks.

Further complicating matters, individual factors like the type of vein used in the bypass and the state of the original arteries heavily influence the optimal post-surgery treatment. This is why it is vital to have an in-depth discussion between the health provider and patient to review the risks, benefits, and potential alternatives. 

At Natural Heart Doctor, our goal is to minimize your medication duration while ensuring your safety. We strive to transition patients away from aspirin within just a few months, focusing on Brilinta, Effient, or Plavix as primary medications for a limited time frame.

Keeping Your Stent Clear and Bypasses Open: A Proactive Approach to Prolonging Its Lifespan

“How can I prevent my stent  from clogging?” It’s a question that weighs heavily on the minds of those who’ve undergone the procedure. And it’s a pertinent one. Stents and bypasses, much like many medical interventions, have a limited duration of optimal functionality. Think of them akin to perishable goods: while they have an inherent shelf-life, certain measures can help extend their efficacy.

To stretch your stent’s ‘expiry date,’ one must circle back to the beginning. Why are you in this predicament? What cascading events or choices led to the need for a stent? By diagnosing the root cause of the cardiovascular concerns and confronting them head-on, you empower yourself with the best defense against potential complications. Addressing these foundational issues not only safeguards the health of your stent but also fortifies your overall heart health for the long haul.

Taking proactive steps to understand and counteract the factors leading to your heart condition is tantamount to giving your stent the best environment to thrive and serve its purpose effectively. And the best way to get there? Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well. 

Eat Well

  • Back to Basics: Embrace the diets of our forebears. Prioritize organic foods and opt for wholesome options like nose-to-nail organic beef, wild seafood, assorted vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Throw in occasional fruits for a balanced meal.
  • The No-Go List: Steer clear from anything processed. Foods with gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or sugar should be avoided. These are not just fads but are founded on understanding their inflammatory and health-degrading potentials.
  • Fast-Track to Health: While fasting isn’t for everyone, it’s worth considering. Periodic fasting can rejuvenate your system, reduce inflammation, and promote better heart health.

Live Well

  • Get Moving: Embrace activity as soon as you get the green light after stent placement. The goal isn’t to run a marathon but to encourage consistent blood flow and maintain cardiac health. From a brisk walk to gentle yoga, movement is the heart’s best friend.
  • Reduce Toxins: Our modern world is riddled with toxins – from the food we eat to the air we breathe. Take steps to lower toxin exposure, including exposure to mold and heavy metals. Whether choosing cleaner household products or reducing plastics, every bit counts. 
  • Chiropractic Care: This might surprise some, but spinal adjustments and chiropractic care have tremendous benefits for heart health. Proper alignment can ease the nervous system, potentially assisting in regulating blood pressure and promoting overall well-being.
  • Soak Up the Sun: Sunlight isn’t just for plants. Regular exposure to sunlight helps the body synthesize Vitamin D and nitric oxide, crucial for heart health. It’s nature’s way of wrapping you in warmth and wellness, so make it a point to step outside and bask a bit.
  • Prioritize Sleep: Rest is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Sleep is when your body heals and rejuvenates. Ensuring you clock in those vital hours of sleep can significantly influence heart health, keeping stress levels in check and offering the body a much-needed respite.
  • Stay Informed: Armed with knowledge, you’re always one step ahead. Test for markers indicating potential inflammation and heart health risks. The clearer the understanding of your body’s landscape, the more proactive you can be in your wellness journey.

Think Well  

  • Mind Matters: Understand the profound connection between the mind and body. Stress, unresolved emotions, and negative thought patterns can have tangible effects on your physical well-being.
  • Mental Resilience: Cultivate practices like meditation, deep breathing, or journaling to enhance mental clarity and resilience. Such routines can act as a buffer against the daily onslaught of stressors.
  • Find Joy: Our hearts resonate beyond just the physical realm. They absorb emotions, from stress to elation. Thus, nurturing moments of genuine happiness is not just soulful but also beneficial for heart health. Embracing joy aids in the healing journey.

Evidenced-Based Supplements: Nutritional Boost Beyond Food

A body that’s endured significant stress—like undergoing a stent procedure—often requires more than just the nourishment from food. Think of it as a building that’s weathered a storm; while its foundation remains, there’s a need for added reinforcement to ensure longevity and strength.

Enter evidenced-based supplements. They bridge the nutritional gaps that even the most wholesome diets might leave behind, especially in bodies recovering from significant medical interventions. NHD supplements, backed by scientific research, provide that extra layer of support tailored for heart health. Here’s a closer look:

  • Flow: Formulated to promote healthy blood circulation, ensuring every corner of your body gets the oxygen and nutrients it needs.
  • Arterosil: Specifically designed to support the health of the arterial lining, a critical component for maintaining overall cardiovascular wellness.
  • Garlic Force: Harnessing the age-old benefits of garlic, this supplement aids in reducing the risk factors associated with heart diseases and boosts immune health.
  • Heart Beet: As the name suggests, this is tailored to promote a healthy heartbeat, ensuring your heart rhythm stays regular and strong.
  • Vessel Support: A comprehensive blend that champions the health of your blood vessels, ensuring they remain supple and responsive.

While these supplements provide targeted support, it’s essential to remember that individual needs can vary. One of the health providers or health coaches at Natural Heart Doctor can help tailor a regimen that’s just right for you, ensuring you derive the maximum benefit for your heart health journey.

Next Steps 

Having a stent placed isn’t a full stop on your life’s journey; it’s a comma. It’s an opportunity to reflect, recalibrate, and rejuvenate. But don’t be mistaken—this isn’t a free pass to tread old paths. It’s a wake-up call, signaling that it’s time for transformative change.

You have the resilience to bounce back, but it’s crucial to understand that going back to old habits isn’t an option. You must pivot, adopt healthier habits, and prioritize your well-being.

To set you on this new path, we invite you to a complimentary 20-minute consultation with one of our seasoned health coaches. They’ll guide, inspire, and discuss the most constructive next steps tailored just for you. Your 100 year heart awaits, even after a stent.


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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.


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 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.