Cardiovascular Risk Reduction cardiovascular care integrative medicine Washington DC

  • Non-Invasive 
  • Patient Centered
  • Considers Additional Risk Factors

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a group of diseases of the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular) most often caused by a narrowing inside the lining of blood vessels due to deposits of plaque or fatty substances on the artery wall. Cardiovascular Disease is still the leading cause of disability and death in the United States and can include arteriosclerosis, coronary artery diseases (CAD), congestive heart failure, heart valve disease, hypertension, endocarditis, angina, and myocardial infarction, most commonly known as a heart attack.

Coronary artery disease is the build up of plaque in the arteries which causes a decrease in blood supply (ischemia) to the heart. This condition can lead to serious problems such as angina (chest pain) or myocardial infarction (heart attack). Coronary artery disease is the most common form of cardiovascular disease, afflicting over 7 million people.

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 50% of the people who die from heart disease experience no previous symptoms. The # 1 symptom of a heart attack is sudden death. Symptoms of disease may be different and more subtle in women and therefore easier to ignore. More women die of heart disease than of all cancers combined.

Integrative, Holistic Approach to Cardiovascular Disease and Risk Factors

The NIHA physicians place great emphasis on educating the patient on prevention and treatment options for cardiovascular disease by integrating both conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), so the patient can make educated choices that best reflect their needs as an individual.Modification of key risk factors is an integral part of the program.

The Cardiovascular Disease program includes: state-of-the-art cardiovascular screening and assessment of risk factors,  patient education on nutrition and detoxification,  and an individualized integrative treatment plan including, but not limited to, chelation therapy*, supplementation, and other beneficial treatments based on the patient's risk factors and needs. NIHA also works in collaboration with the patient’s primary care physician and/or cardiologist to keep them informed of the patient’s progress and to refer the patient for additional medical tests and assessments.


Cardiovascular Disease Modifiable Risk Factors

Results of the INTERHEART study suggest that these modifiable risk factors account for more than 90% of the risk for acute Myocardial Infarctions (heart attack).

In descending order, these are:

1. Dyslipidemia
2. Smoking
3. Psychosocial stressors
4. Diabetes Mellitus
5. Hypertension
6. Obesity
7. Alcohol consumption
8. Physical Inactivity
9. Diet low in fruits and vegetables

Cardiovascular Risk Reduction addresses these underlying issues. We place patients on a treatment plan that is comprehensive, patient friendly and easily adoptable.
We are adopting Metabolic Cardiology treatment protocols for optimizing non-invasive Cardiology Treatment with the goal of minimizing the need for cardiac surgery and  invasive cardiac procedures


Comprehensive integrative treatment options offering safe, effective, non-invasive therapies to address the issue and the whole person through education, nutrition, detoxification and lifestyle changes.

The Integrative medical approach complements all the traditional tests and uses other assessment tools to gain information in order to plan the best treatments based on the individual’s needs.
Early detection is important with non-invasive tests to detect heart disease.

1.The comprehensive program identifies and treats traditional risk factors and looks at other risk factors that may play a role in preventing, treating, and reversing atherosclerosis such as:

Inflammation, infection, vasodilatation, homocysteine, hormones, lipids, platelet aggregation, antioxidants, stress, insulin resistance, toxicity, deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, dysautonomia

2. Testing of additional integrative risk factors considered by an integrative physician, and therefore more amenable to treatment and often modifiable:

  • Elevated Homocystien
  • Elevated Lipoprotein a (Lp[a])
  • Hormone excesses (estrogen) & Hormone deficiencies (cortisol, testosterone)
  • Elevated C-Reactive Protein
  • Elevated Fibrinogen
  • Depressed Apolipoprotein A-1 (HDL)
  • Elevated Apolipoprotein B (LDL)
  • B Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Mineral deficiencies & Mineral excesses (Iron, copper)
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity (Mercury, lead etc.)
  • Hyperinsulinemia (insulin resistance)
  • Antioxidant deficiency (vitamin C, E)
  • Amino Acid deficiency
  • Essential Fatty Acid deficiency
  • Metastatic Calcium

Comprehensive integrative treatment options offering safe, effective, non-invasive therapies to address the issue and the whole person through education, nutrition, detoxification and lifestyle changes.



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 Dr. Gastwirt's use of Biofeedback for Hypertension

*Chelation Therapy While chelation therapy is well-established for heavy metal toxicity and has been used for over 40 years to reduce the vascular plaque that may cause cardiovascular disease, its effectiveness is still under study by the National Intstitutes of Health. While a number of physicians provide chelation and its safety is well-known, the role of heavy metal toxicity in cardiovascular disease is not widely accepted and the medical community does not accept that chelaton has a role to play in cardiovascular treatment.



Chelation Therapy

I.V. Therapies




Suggested Reading:
-Bypassing Bypass Surgery, Elmer M. Cranton, M.D.
-Forty-Something Forever, A Consumer’s Guide to Chelation Therapy and other HEART SAVERS, Harold and Arline Brecher
-The Cardiovascular Cure, John P. Cooke, M.D., Ph.D. and Judith Zimmer
-Questions from the Heart,  Terry Chappell, M.D.