Heart Disease

Heart Trouble

The heart, a sentinel of the body

The heart may well be called the thermometer of the body. Under normal conditions it is never heard from, but under abnormal conditions it is the first and the most reliable sentinel of the body. It stands eternally on duty and sends its danger signals to the brain with truthful accuracy, whether the trouble be of physical, mental, or emotional origin. A word or a sound sent through the air enters the ear and is analyzed by the brain, but the heart registers accurately its effect upon the physical body. We see a face or an occurrence a block away, and through the optic nerves it is comprehended by the brain, but the heart alone registers or gives back to the brain the effect upon the body.

Necessity for heeding the symptoms of the heart

This little engine, but little bigger than one's fist, pumps about twenty tons of blood every day above its own level in every body of average size, besides sending the life fluids of the blood-serum with lightning speed to the parts of the remotest anatomy, carting away the effete and poisonous matter to the lungs to be burned with oxygen, and carrying new building material from cell to cell for repairs. Should we not, therefore, take good care of, and heed the warnings of so wonderful a piece of automatic mechanism? Should we not study all its symptoms told in a language sympathetic and truthful, and as unerring as the laws that govern the movement of worlds in space?

Some undefined technical terms

The heart gives off various symptoms indicating the different kinds of sins we commit against the natural laws of our organisms. Medical men have named some of these symptoms as follows: Dilation, hypertrophy, atrophy, aneurism, inflammation, valvular derangement, etc., but in none of their reference works are the causes of these so-called dis-eases clearly defined. Fatty degeneration is the only one that is explained, the term meaning that the heart has been deprived of room in which to do its work, owing to surrounding fatty accumulations.

Heart Trouble—the Cause

The blood enters the heart through the superior venae cavae flowing to the right lobe or auricle, then it is pumped by the heart beats to the right ventricle. From here it is forced through the pulmonary artery to the lungs where it is purified and charged with the oxygen we breathe. From the lungs the blood returns through the pulmonary veins to the left auricle of the heart, and then to the left ventricle. Having passed once through the purifying plant and twice through the distributing station, it is now sent out through the large systematic artery and distributed to every capillary cell of the body.

Heart trouble caused by (carbon dioxid) gas

From the accumulation of gas caused by fermenting food the transverse colon becomes very much distended. This interferes with the free flow of blood into and out of the heart, causing at times a very faint heart action from a lack of inflow, and again a very heavy, rapid action when the blood spurts through. This produces dizziness and vertigo, and sometimes where the inflow is greater than the heart can discharge, there is arterial overflow; the heart ceases action, and the victim falls prostrate, and sometimes dies.

(See "Fermentation—The Symptoms," p. 426.)

Heart trouble caused by calcareous substances

Many cases of serious heart trouble are caused by habitual overeating, especially of grain and grain products. The calcareous substances from these products are deposited in the capillary vessels and in the joints, causing rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, lumbago, gout, and other evidences of our lack of knowledge. When the one thus afflicted follows a sedentary occupation, taking but little fresh air and exercise, a hardening or stiffening of the arteries is usually the result.

It is safe to say that if one would eat moderately, omit stimulants and narcotics, take but a limited quantity of starchy foods, a liberal amount of fresh air, deep breathing and exercise, heart trouble would be unknown.

Heart Trouble—the Remedy
Diet for heart trouble

For the treatment of those who are afflicted with heart trouble I would suggest a very limited diet of nuts, fruits, salads, fresh tuber and green vegetables, eggs, and a limited quantity of coarse foods, such as boiled whole wheat, wheat bran, grapes (seeds and all), and all coarse vegetables, with an abundance of mild exercise and fresh air.

Exercise for heart trouble

In cases of heart trouble no greater mistake can be made than to cease exercise, as is often prescribed by well-meaning doctors. This is compromising with the enemy, with absolute certainty of ultimate defeat. Exercise, above all, is the very thing that is most needed.

The patient should begin moderately at first, daily increasing the time and the tensity of the work until a balance is established between the intake and the outflow of blood to the heart.

For foods to be eaten and omitted in cases of heart trouble, see p. 573. Also see menus for Fermentation.