While discussing cardiovascular health, the topic of prevention and the best predictors of heart health risks has widely been debated among doctors and scientists. Initially, the medical industry highlighted an individual’s cholesterol levels as the main indicator as to whether or not they are at risk of a heart attack, however this theory has been debunked. While it is true that some people may experience a heart attack due to high cholesterol, an individual’s cholesterol level is not an accurate method to measure someone’s potential cardiovascular health risk. Many people with high cholesterol levels claim to have never experienced a heart attack and those who have actually endured one have no history of high cholesterol.¹ Due to this, people have referred to other methods to best predict someone’s potential risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Here are a few prediction methods that have been used to indicate a patient’s cardiovascular risks.
An article written by Dr. Phil Maffetone of the MAF Method, claims that observing certain cholesterol numbers does not provide an accurate prophesy on the health of our heart, but the ratio of blood fat [triglyceride (TG)] to good cholesterol (HDL) is. Maffetone wrote, “Both TG and HDL can influence the balance of cholesterol and the health of arteries within the brain, heart and the whole body.”¹ Furthermore, the divide between these two numbers can significantly indicate the risk of illnesses and diseases that a patient may face. TG represents the number of fats within the blood meanwhile HDL represents an individual’s physical activity and the amount of fats burned by aerobic exercise. The best way to keep yourself updated on your TG/HDL ratio is to complete annual bloodwork which includes a LIPID Panel, CRP HS, Homocysteine, and Lipoprotein (a). Your practitioner will go over your results with you and let you know if you are at risk of heart disease.
Family History/Patient’s DNA
Did someone in your family recently have a heart attack or does a relative have diabetes? Keep an eye on your own health, because you may or may not be next in line. Heart related problems can be passed along from generation to generation within the genes. While it’s not always an accurate way to determine whether or not an individual will develop cardiovascular disease, it is likely that people born in families with heart issues are at a greater risk than someone who does not have it in their genetic makeup. Of course, these risks can be controlled with a healthy lifestyle, regular checkups, and taking the needed precautions.
An individual’s lifestyle choices may be one of the easiest ways to monitor their cardiovascular health and determine if they’re at risk. If someone has a history of smoking, poor diet, or a sedentary life, then it is highly likely that their heart has to work twice as hard as that of an individual who chose to live a healthier life. According to Everyday Health, “a smoker who has high blood pressure and high LDL (bad cholesterol) has 14 times the normal risk of cardiovascular disease.”² People who have poor diets will find that their cholesterol levels will either rise or fall depending on what they consume. The Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that “a diet high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol has been linked to heart disease and related conditions such as atherosclerosis” meanwhile too much sodium can cause “high blood pressure”.³ Living a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to cardiovascular disease. A healthy heart needs to be pumped and the blood in your body needs to be moving through your veins. To make this happen, it is important that people perform some type of physical activity every single day, whether it is walking, running or riding a bike. If you have weight problems, exercise will not only help decrease your risk of heart disease, but will help you lose the extra pounds.
Treatments for Prevention
LifeWorks Wellness Center offers various treatment plans to assist patients with cardiovascular disease or to help prevent heart problems in the future. Some of these treatments include:
- Chelation: an intravenous treatment that combines special amino acids called EDTA with vitamin C, B complex and magnesium. The purpose is to extract all toxins such as metals, lead, arsenic, nickel, etc. from the bloodstream. It is used to reverse the effects of hardening of arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes.
- Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP): Administered with three pairs of external inflatable cuffs that are applied around the upper legs, lower legs and buttocks. The therapy is painless, noninvasive and a safe way to maximize nutrient and oxygen rich blood flow throughout the body.
- Plaquex: This treatment can help prevent cardiovascular diseases because it clears out the plaque deposits which clog the arteries and improves the functions of certain organs such as the kidney or the liver. It can also improve blood flow properties so that it can circulate throughout the body easier.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT): This therapeutic treatment can attack harmful bacteria and promotes growth in new blood vessels. Meanwhile, it can also increase blood flow to injured tissue and the brain.
- Ozone Therapy: Ozone is a chemical that purifies its surrounding environment. Ozone therapy can help prevent heart disease by purifying the blood and lymphatic system.
If you feel that you are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and wish to take the steps to prevent it, please call 727-466-6789 to schedule an appointment.