Heart Disease Assessment
Current Status and Risks
Cardiovascular health testing is multifaceted in order to identify all risk factors for heart disease. When testing for heart disease risk factors, it is important to assess the following five major risk factors:
- Cholesterol (Lipids)
- Heavy Metals
- Arterial Hardening/Elasticity
- Insulin resistance and Diabetes
Comprehensive Cholesterol Analysis
A full cardiovascular lipid profile consists of an assessment of various independent heart disease risk factors including total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, oxidized LDL, VLDL, and LPa. Recent studies have shown that oxidized LDL is highly inflammatory and induces clot formation more readily than LDL. Oxidized LDL is not typically run on a conventional lipid profile. By looking at lipid markers and their various ratios, clinic naturopathic doctors can assess these independent risk factors and appropriately treat them.
Cardiovascular System Inflammation
Measuring and monitoring key inflammatory markers is essential. Clinic naturopathic doctors will test CRP and homocysteine levels in the blood. These two tests indicate the level of general inflammation in the cardiovascular system. Inflammation can be caused by many different factors such as heavy metals and high blood glucose levels. This test is useful to determine if the cardiovascular system is inflamed.
Heavy Metals Affect Heart Disease
Heavy metal testing is becoming more and more common as many people have been exposed to heavy metals throughout their lifetimes. High lead levels in the body have been shown to affect and disrupt the cardiovascular system. Heavy metals lead to an increase in reactive oxygen species which leads to inflammation, clot formation and a decrease in nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an important vasodilator in our cardiovascular system, it helps keep blood vessels open. With a decrease in vasodilation, an increase in inflammation and clot formation the potential for a cardiovascular event increases.
Arterial Elasticity — How Hard are the Arteries?
The Nardella Clinic offers MaxPulse testing, an in-clinic assessment that detects stress and arterial hardening. This is done through a non-invasive arterial finger monitor which determines arterial health and overall stress levels through the heart rate. Blood vessel elasticity can be affected by oxidative stress and inflammation in the cardiovascular system. This test will show what level of blood vessel elasticity a patient has and in combination with the blood markers mentioned above, the naturopathic doctors at the Nardella Clinic can fully assess and treat your heart disease risk.
Blood Glucose Levels Affect Heart Disease
Insulin resistance is an emerging underlying risk factor of cardiovascular disease. New research has shown that insulin resistance may be the cause of elevated cholesterol. Elevated insulin develops from years of chronically elevated blood glucose levels. Diabetes is also an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Elevated blood glucose levels lead to more viscous blood and is highly inflammatory which increases the risk of clot formation and a cardiovascular event.
Heart Disease Assessments are Interrelated
It is important to consider all risk factors for a full cardiovascular health assessment. Naturopathic doctors find the root cause of disease/disruptions in the body and correct those imbalances in order to lower the risk for developing heart disease. The naturopathic doctors at the Nardella clinic are detailed in their assessments of heart disease. Consider booking an appointment with one of our naturopathic doctors to have a full comprehensive cardiovascular workup completed.