What is Integrative Cardiology?
Integrative cardiology compared to traditional cardiology treats “the whole person with heart, not just the heart”. An integrative cardiologist’s perspective does not just address putting out the fire (such as a heart attack) but how the fire started in order to prevent it from happening again.
A client is evaluated in a holistic manner to identify the root(s) of an individual’s heart issues and then provides that individual with tools to live a healthier better balanced life. The recommendations made not only result in improved cardiovascular well being but an overall sense of wellness. Our Integrative Cardiologists at Pacific Pearl La Jolla Dr. Mimi Guarneri and Dr. Elizabeth Kaback treat the whole person not just the symptom or the disease.
They take into account all the factors that influence an individual’s health including a person’s genetics, environment, psychosocial stressors, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.
Integrative Cardiology vs Conventional Cardiology
Integrative Cardiology differentiates itself from conventional cardiology and the practice of conventional internal medicine through methods of treatment and general approach to health problems. In conventional medicine the root cause of disease is often not directly addressed. This creates an environment for chronic disease to take hold, persist and even worsen.
In the conventional health model medications tend to mask the most immediate sign of disease or as Dr. Guarneri would say, “for every ill there is a pill”. The Integrative Cardiologist addresses how a person got to where they are, not just that they find themselves in the context of a health issue.
They take into account how a person lives their life, their individual genetics and psychological approach in general. An integrative practitioner takes more time with their patients and meets them where they are at in terms of their needs and individual health goals.
Thorough history taking and getting to know their patient as well as advanced testing allows the integrative doctor to take a broader look at a persons overall health. Comprehensive recommendations are then made to assist that individual to live joyfully, actively, and productively as they go forward in their life.
A correct diagnosis is the first step in the healing process. In integrative cardiology there are many modalities to use to get to the root of a problem. These might include:
- Ultrasound of the Abdominal Aorta to assess for aortic aneurysm
- Carotid ultrasound & Intimal medial thickness to assess cholesterol plaque burden
- Coronary calcium Scoring for further cardiovascular risk stratification
- Ankle Brachial Indices to asses for peripheral arterial disease
- Echocardiogram as a structural assessment of the heart
- Genetic Evaluation assessing the predisposition for cardiovascular disease
- Advanced Cholesterol Testing
- Chronic/Acute inflammation assessment
- Functional Testing such as nutrient and microbiome evaluation
- Hormone Testing and Food Sensitivity testing
Is Integrative Cardiology Right For You?
If the Conventional Model of Cardiovascular health care isn’t working for you, then an Integrative approach may be something to try. You and your integrative Cardiologist will partner to identify the root cause of your issues. A comprehensive work up and resultant care plan will be created to guide you back to a space of healing and wellness.