Book Reviews

Dr. SHEIKH’s, Don’t Let Your Heart ATTACK, is a profound gift of hope and good will for a healthy cardiovascular system!
Reviewed by Peter Zemelka
Peter Zemelka lives in Cape Canaveral, Florida. He is a
family care giver, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, and a retired Aerospace industry contractor.
Recommend Five Stars on Amazon book review section.

In the plethora and din of published columns, ads, and multi-media, there is weariness that some of the worthwhile stuff from the voices of America’s most respected authorities in their fields is not being heard.
Don’t Let Your Heart ATTACK by K.H. SHEIKH, MD, MBA, is a story about what to do with a diagnosis of heart (cardiovascular) disease. In summation, today, a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease is not as catastrophic an event as it once was but is still always serious. Dr. SHEIKH wants us to learn about the many dimensions to cardiovascular disease and to coach us to good heart health.

Dr. SHEIKH (pronounced “shake”)practices in Brevard, Florida, (at Health First, Cape Canaveral Hospital) and offers a unique insight (based on over 30-years as a career practicing Physician, scholarly researcher and medical school professor) specializing in preventing, treating and reversing heart disease. (The good doctor was the attending Physician here for many patients affiliated with Aerospace programs from Kennedy Space Center, and Cape Canaveral AFS, and other local industries as well for years.) In his book, Dr. SHEIKH first introduces the circulatory bodily (lipid, cholesterol and metabolic) functions and explains how those pesky little receptors, excess calcium and inflammation at the molecular level, can cause havoc leading to a silent progression of arterial thrombosis and clots called Coronary Heart Disease. Cardiovascular disease risk factors impact all age groups.

Dr. SHEIKH defines the audience for his book as anyone at risk for developing heart and circulatory problems. But, the information in his book empowers everyone. Isn’t being proactive in ones’ own health care and knowledge part of assuming responsibility for our own actions? There is an American precedence too of not always blaming the doctor for all our ill health or the government when linked to our public health policies.
Dr. SHEIKH acknowledges how heart health research studies have under represented women (and other minorities) in the past. There are many male and female differences in diagnosing the symptoms of heart disease early and how a woman might be misdiagnosed. The danger of course is that by not recognizing those warning signs early, an ignored pain can be fatal.

I noted one heart-disease study with the University of Louisville done in the 1950s. The study involved doing biopsies of noncombat trauma victims that showed a high percentage of narrowed arteries in young adults in their twenties. The study evidenced that bad heart health starts in childhood.
Some alternative approaches to pharmacy prescriptions are reviewed as well (Chapter-12). Dr. SHEIKH interprets how potentially substituting a prescription medication for an over the counter remedy or vice versa can impact health (i.e., increasing potassium (eating a banana) decreases the effects of sodium and reduces blood pressure; red-yeast rice as a possible substitute for statin medications is discussed; and the advantages of getting fish oil as a prescription versus buying the same over the counter. There is a reminder that most over-the counter meds are not produced with the same standard of quality as prescription medication that is regulated by the FDA.) Following Dr. SHEIKH’s advice, here, can save you money on some other alternative medicines otherwise unproven and unendorsed and that make unproven claims (i.e., chelation therapy).

Some sections in Dr. SHEIKH’s book are easier to read than others. Dr. SHEIKH divides his book into three sections: Part-1: The ABCs of Anatomy, Biology and Chemistry of Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis; Part-2: The Clinical Aspects of Atherosclerosis; Part-3: Therapeutic Strategies and Intervention for the Prevention, Treatment and Reversal of Atherosclerosis.
Undoubtedly, Dr. SHEIKH will be updating this book from time to time as the science of heart health is ongoing. I recommend that future editions of this book might expand to having just one Glossary section instead of a Medical Terminology with Acronyms section and a separate General Index section. It is tedious to flip pages in the back of the book when looking up terminology as some sections are rather cryptic and clinical. One glossary section would make for easier cross referencing especially when the reader returns to where he/she left off but doesn’t remember some of that terminology.

Perhaps a solution too is to recommend a pen and paper for taking notes as a prerequisite for reading Don’t Let Your Heart ATTACK. Dr. SHEIKH also invites comments through his website.

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