I hate to keep harping on this, but lives are at stake. Heart disease is a serious threat to your health. In 2016, it killed 610,000 Americans: one out of every four deaths in this country. And the sad thing is, all many if not most of these individuals needed was an ounce of prevention, and they could still be enjoying a full, happy life with their families today.
While sensible lifestyles choices (like a heart-healthy diet) are always good to adopt, it’s also very important to get routine heart health screenings to catch any pending heart health issues before irreversible damage has a chance to take place.
What factors should we look at during a heart exam?
Of course, we check your blood pressure, listen to your heart, and review your lifestyle choices. But it’s also very important to monitor your blood.
In the old days, they just looked at your cholesterol levels. But that old-school approach is very limited, and won’t necessarily reveal the whole picture of what is going on with your heart.
Heart disease is an inflammatory condition. Inflammation can be detected in your blood by several markers—and at Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness, we always test for these when we do a heart screening. (Not every doctor does this, so be sure to ask before you schedule an appointment with any doctor.)
3 Inflammatory Factors You Should Have Tested Without Delay to Help Prevent Heart Disease
Here are some markers we check to make sure you don’t have inflammation that could indicate heart disease:
- hs-CRP (highly sensitive C-reactive protein) – Also called CRP, this is an inflammatory marker that indicates blood vessel inflammation. Now it’s true that this inflammation may be due to some other factor than heart disease, which is why some doctors don’t like to use this test. But there is a very (I mean very) simple way to screen out the majority of these cases, which I explain in the video above. I have found this test to be very useful in diagnosing heart disease; not to be judgmental, but if a doctor isn’t willing to figure this out they’re not doing their job.
- Homocysteine – This amino acid has been shown to increase inflammation in your blood cells. Reducing this factor can be as simple as taking a few inexpensive B-vitamins (watch my video to find out which ones.) But you can’t know whether you need to take them without getting tested.
- MPO (myeloperoxidase) – Studies have shown that levels of this enzyme tend to rise prior to having a heart attack or stroke. So checking this marker can really head a potentially life-threatening situation off at the pass.
I can’t stress enough the importance of protecting your heart. Once the damage has been done to your heart and blood vessels, there are things we can do to help, but we can never bring your body back to the way it was before.
Prevention is a much better bet. And it’s so easy! If it’s been more than 6 months since your last exam, schedule a call with our Patient Care Concierge today. Your heart will thank you for it!