Pregnant woman

A recent case study showed a 22-year-old man who passed out just going up stairs revealed an undiagnosed condition of Tetralogy of Fallot. This is a condition where the development of the heart muscle is perverted.

This condition is the most common cyanotic heart dis-ease and accounts for 10% of all congenital heart disease. The reason for this newsletter is to equip mothers to-be on how to improve your chances on having the healthiest baby possible. How you prepare yourself for delivering the needed nutrients to have the most trouble-free child.

The defects commonly seen in the baby are a pulmonary stenosis. This is a constriction of the blood supply going to the lungs from the heart. When this happens, the right ventricle works extra hard and the muscle thickens.

Another problem is often a hole between the two ventricles. This causes even more restricted blood flow to the lungs causing a greater cyanotic condition, especially with any kind of increased activity. Lastly, there can be an over-riding aorta, directing more blood away from the lungs as well.

Normally 66% of untreated babies survive the first year of life. 24% survive to the age of 10, and only 4% live past 30 years of age. In the medical quiz on line, all the elements leading up to the young man collapsing led to the correct answer to the quiz of Tetralogy of Fallot.

Treatment involves open heart surgery and is usually done within the first year of life when the condition is identified. The best way to treat this is to not have to treat it in the first place. Prevention is paramount. Defects occurring during the first trimester are usually due to insufficient nutrition or a toxic condition due to chemicals in food or drugs. Often times, pharmaceuticals will have black box warnings regarding potential of fetal damage.

Eighteen to 19 days after conception, the heart begins to form and begins to beat by days 21-23. The heart is the first functional organ to develop and blood is flowing through the fetus by the fourth week. Because of the early development of the heart, nutrition must be present in levels adequate to sup-port growth from conception.

Often times miscarriage occurs within the first trimester. When life can’t continue due to major defects, it can be heartbreaking, yet a blessing in disguise if there are major developmental flaws. When there’s term delivery of a dead baby, that’s the most traumatic, as there were nine months of anticipation ending in disaster.

Considering potential causes of Tetralogy of Fallot, it’s been shown that both alcohol consumption as well as diabetes can contribute to cause. Being over 40 is listed, but what’s often seen here is a bad lifestyle over time, depleting specific nutrition. Thiamin (vitamin B-1) is critical for development and maintenance of muscle. The heart is the first muscle to develop in the fetus. During pregnancy, while muscles are being created and matured, there’s great need for this nutrient. Metabolism of sugar requires

greater levels of thiamin. This is why it’s one of my favorite nutritional supports when dealing with diabetes or hypoglycemia.

When I see a weak functioning heart muscle on my heart sound recorder, thiamin is my first choice to deal with this. Many times this will show up with arrhythmias. When this is the case, making sure the anti-stiffness factor seen in living foods accompanies the thiamin. Straight pharmaceutical thiamin can temporarily stop arrhythmias, but without the whole food complex, will come back.

The production of muscle in the body requires amino acids. Most cases of morning sickness are in the presences of stomach alkalinity. When there isn’t enough acid to tear apart protein to re-lease the amino acids, we have less building materials for making a heart. Amazingly enough, the body will do everything in its power to provide nutrients to the fetus at the expense of the mother’s body. Often times with cases of morning sickness, using a supplement of ortho-phosphoric acid calms the morning sickness, aids in digestion, and also improves calcium uptake and distribution.

Protecting the developing heart is important, but maintaining heart health throughout life is equally important. Besides the muscle component, nerves are involved, meaning minerals are impor-tant. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are critical in maintaining the rhythm of the heart. Vitamin E and vitamin C are important for oxygen transport. B vitamins are important for the energy as well as both the strength of output and calming of an over stimulated heart.

Dr. John Briggs is a 1980 graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and longtime northwest practitioner. His practice involves diagnostic and therapeutic modalities that he says have stood the test of time. He believes that each person exists dynamically as a spirit being, possessing a soul made up of their mind, will, and emotions, living in a body which requires specific care and nutrition.

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