Heart Health

Are you worried about the health of your heart?  Many people are not, and then are surprised when they are stricken with a heart attack.  Sometimes the first symptom of a problem is… sudden death.  Heart disease is the number one killer and we could all be more proactive in preventing this lethal disease

Cardiovascular health generally pertains to conditions of the heart, brain and blood vessels.  Ultimately, it’s the health of the blood vessels that determines the health of all organs of the body

The mainstream assessment of cardiovascular disease risk looks at the “classic five” risk factors – blood pressure, lipids (cholesterol), blood sugar, weight, and smoking.  Getting these under control and in the optimal range is absolutely essential.

However, half of people who present to the hospital with a heart attack don’t have these risk factors.  Even worse, that first symptom of heart disease may be a fatal heart attack!  Clearly, it’s not enough reassurance to be told that you don’t have the above risk factors.  That’s why it’s important to look for and treat all possible risk factors.

Things that affect are cardiovascular risk, beyond the “classic five”, that can be looked for and treated include:

  • Inflammation – in fact, your CRP is probably one of the biggest determinants of your risk
  • Oxidative damage – a marker called 8-OHDG can give you an indication of the free radical damage (rust) happening inside you
  • Nutritional deficiencies such as Vitamin D, K2, omega 3s, magnesium and potassium
  • Hormonal imbalances – hypothyroidism, low testosterone in men and low estrogen in women
  • Toxic exposures – high cadmium, mercury and lead for example
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • High uric acid
  • High homocysteine
  • Chronic infections such as dental infections and gut dysbiosis
  • Excessive intake of omega 6 and trans fats
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress, anxiety and depression

Every single thing on this list is something that contributes to the root cause of cardiovascular disease and they can be tested for and corrected.  

Other advanced tests that help figure out your risk include looking at the thickness and health of your blood vessels (CIMT and endopath), looking at the calcification of your arteries through cardiac CT as well as blood testing that tells you whether you have an unstable plaque that is at risk of rupturing in the near future (PULS).

Chances are your doctor is not checking for the above markers.  It’s possible they are not even aware that the above list is connected to heart disease.  If that’s the case, I encourage you to work with a doctor who is familiar with this approach.