CARDIOVASCULAR RISK ASSESSMENT
Heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States. More people die of heart disease each year than all forms of cancer...combined! Diabetes is on the rise, fat is the enemy and Americans are more concerned with their cholesterol than ever before. We take statins, exercise like mad, buy fat-free everything, eat more vegetables, lose weight and still, our arteries are clogged. Seems like we just can't win.
Heart disease is multifactorial. A poor diet, smoking, nutrient deficiencies, high homocysteine levels, poor blood sugar control, inflammation and being overweight and physically inactive all increase the risk of suffering from a cardiac event at some point in time. You needn't have all these risk factors for cardiac issues to develop though. The progression of heart disease starts in our teenage years, not later in life, so being proactive at a younger age makes a major impact when steps are taken to lower the risk.
Unfortunately, these risk factors are typically looked at in isolation and are not usually addressed together. Low-fat/low-cholesterol diets, exercise and statins are prescribed in an effort to prevent heart disease from getting worse. Sadly, these interventions often fail because they do not address the root cause of the problem. We all know someone who had a heart attack and didn't fit the typical profile.
For years, cholesterol and saturated fat have been unfairly implicated in the battle against heart disease, but it turns out cholesterol and saturated fat have very little effect on your cardiovascular system. Oxidation, which changes the size of our lipid particles, is the bigger culprit. Cholesterol that has been oxidized is highly inflammatory and puts severe stress on the entire cardiovascular system. Chronic inflammation is far worse on your heart than either cholesterol or saturated fat. Having low cholesterol isn't a good thing- our bodies NEED it.
In addition, the incidence of diabetes continues to rise. Uncontrolled blood sugars contribute to cardiovascular disease by injuring the lining of the arteries, causing plaque to build up. Enough buildup can cause a blockage, depriving all systems downstream of blood and oxygen. This is a life-threatening situation. Knowing your A1c level (a three month average of your blood sugars) is good to know, even if you do not suspect having diabetes. Symptoms are not always obvious.
Typical lab reports show your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides, but fail to show oxidative stress. Your numbers can be "in range" but if your lipid particles are oxidized, you're a ticking time bomb. On the other hand, if your numbers are "out of range" but your lipids are not oxidized, your risk of heart disease is low.
Statins lower cholesterol, but they cannot "un-oxidize" your lipids and they can INCREASE your risk of diabetes by RAISING your blood sugars, even in individuals without a history of diabetes. Not sure how that helps.
Through my partnership with Spectracell, I am happy to offer a Cardiometabolic Risk Report, which looks at many factors of your cardiovascular health, including your chances of developing heart disease and diabetes. From these results, we will discuss ways you can implement effective interventions to either slowdown, stop or reverse the progression of cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes.
*Individual results will vary.