I've recently partnered with the modern Cardiology Practice HEARTBEAT HEALTH to initiate a collaborative care model of working with patients. Heartbeat works from a model of PREVENTATIVE care, aiming to address signs and possible determinants of future cardiac issues so that major cardiac events don't need to happen. They work from a very individualized model of care, both with traditional methods of medical assessment and patient education and more creative and in vivo modes of introducing information to those interested in understanding how the heart functions. Because stress can be significant in affecting heart functioning, my background as a psychologist will be used to provide stress management techniques for patients seeking treatment at HEARTBEAT.

Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and bulimia) are associated with the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Much of this mortality and morbidity stem from cardiovascular complications such as arrhythmia related to a prolonged QTc interval and/or electrolyte disorders, hypotension, and bradycardia. Structurally, the heart in patients with eating disorders is atrophic, which may relate to longstanding hypovolemia. These patients have low cardiac output and demonstrate increased peripheral vascular resistance despite the presence of hypotension. The treatment of eating disorders is incremental caloric feeding, which can have its own intrinsic cardiovascular risk (refeeding syndrome) manifested by arrhythmia, tachycardia, congestive heart failure, and sudden cardiac death.

Additionally, there is a significant incidence of heart-related problems (i.e,. high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke) in Multiple Sclerosis. Having a resource such as Heartbeat Health can be invaluable in offering preventative treatments so these serious medical sequelae do not arise.

I invite you to go to their website, take a look around at the myriad of services offered. If you have questions, you can email or call them to speak to a physician personally about your cardiac interests and concerns.