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Did you know that every U.S. calendar month is dedicated to at least one chronic disease? The purpose, naturally, is to bring awareness to the American public, which increases support and funding for clinical studies and drug research. Yet, in spite of new drugs and media attention, the incidence of chronic disease continues to rise.

This month’s focus is on heart disease. Most of you already know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country; it kills approximately 600,000 people every year which is about one in every four deaths. This is a staggering number, folks. It paints a very clear picture of a deep wound cut into our country from a disease that is largely preventable. According to the American Heart Association, only 20% of heart related deaths are linked to genetic predispositions or defects. That means 80% of heart related deaths are linked to coronary artery disease (CAD), which is lifestyle related and preventable.

How do you address this root cause of heart disease? Healthy, therapeutic lifestyle change is now nationally recognized as the first line of defense in treating the dyslipidemia associated with CAD. Unfortunately, most medical doctors aren’t well equipped or don’t know how to implement “therapeutic lifestyle change” in clinical practice. Why? It’s not taught in medical school and it isn’t part of their clinical training. Continued education and additional professional staff really is the “X Factor” for implementing these kinds of treatment plans. This is what enables a health care provider to actually heal the patient by fixing the problem as opposed to placating the symptom with a pill. Yes, changing your lifestyle takes time and necessitates stepping out of your comfort zone, but isn’t it worth it? Is moderate exercise worth having more time to spend with loved ones? Is choosing steamed veggies and lean protein over a hamburger and fries worth staying out of hospital beds and doctors offices… not to mention avoiding the cost incurred? Yes! Changing your life now is hands down, well worth bypassing the despair and heart ache (literally) caused by heart disease.

Are you ready to keep your heart from breaking? Committing to a clinically prescribed program like FirstLine Therapy, which we offer at our facilities in Forney and Addison, is a great “kick start” for implementing the changes necessary to keep your heart and body strong for a lifetime of good health and vitality.

Be well and stay healthy!

– Ashley Howell, CHC

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