Cardiovascular Disease

It’s Not Just About Cholesterol Anymore!

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in this country.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA) an estimated 81 million American adults (more than one in three) have some type of cardiovascular disease, and almost half are women.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) claims that 50% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels!

So why so much talk about cholesterol?  Because the guidelines for cholesterol testing are driven by data generated by drug companies! Drug companies don’t make any money or have any influence if we don’t buy their drugs.  Statins continue to be the treatment of choice for patients with “high cholesterol.”  Conversely, many of us with “normal” cholesterol numbers are unaware that we are still at risk for a heart attack because physicians continue to use a standard cholesterol test that is incomplete.

New risk factors identified with advanced lipoprotein testing

There is good news. The NCEP has introduced new

identifiable risk factors that are responsible for many people at risk for cardiovascular disease.  Cholesterol is carried throughout the body in little containers called lipoproteins.

It is these lipoproteins, not the cholesterol itself that leads to clogged arteries and heart attacks. These risk factors can only be identified with advanced lipoprotein testing.

Research has shown that there are different sizes of LDL and HDL particles and some are much more dangerous than others.  Having a detailed Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ gives your doctor the information needed to make more effective treatment decisions to reduce your risk for heart disease and even a heart attack. Further, this test is useful for discovering previously undiagnosed risk factors and problems.  It can also help you avoid a lifetime of unnecessary and costly lifetime prescriptions.

Of course, a healthy heart begins with healthy choices. You can help reduce the risks of heart disease by following a healthy lifestyle that includes maintaining your weight, getting regular exercise, eating organic when possible, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, not smoking, getting quality sleep, de-stressing, avoiding toxins, and taking in a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

Researchers now believe that fish oil can reduce triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%

According to the AHA, omega-3 fatty acids benefit both your healthy heart and the hearts of those at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of abnormal heartbeats that can lead to sudden death, decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and possibly even lower blood pressure.  Additionally those who already have heart disease may be able to lower their risk of dying from heart disease by eating fish regularly or taking a fish oil supplement.

In a perfect world we would get all we need from the foods we eat, but unfortunately we have concerns now about contaminated fish. When choosing heart-healthy fish varieties look for halibut, salmon and tuna that are wild caught only. Never eat farmed fish which can be full of antibiotics, mercury, pesticides, dyes and other toxins. This is where fish oil supplements can help.

Unfortunately, sometimes the first sign of a heart attack can be death. 

Don’t let that happen to you. Get tested and be prepared. Meanwhile, know the warning signs.

Chest discomfort including tightness, pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain

Discomfort in one or both arms, neck, jaw, back and stomach

Other signs such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, lightheadedness, or cold sweats

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait. Call 911 NOW!

Don’t miss a beat!

Please call Radiance for a consultation with Gail Clayton, our functional medicine provider.

She can order the advanced lipoprotein testing or Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ that identifies these new risk factors to determine your true “heart health.”  This test is recommended for everyone with a heart! Especially if you have a family history of heart disease or diabetes, if you have high blood pressure, if you are overweight, if you are concerned about your cholesterol, if your physician wants to put you on a “statin” drug, if you have high triglycerides, this test was designed for you.