Dr. Madalyn Otto, ND
The start of a new year is a great time to take charge of your health and meet health goals. It’s a popular time to jump-start a new diet or exercise regime. But why not first know what you’re fighting for??
Heart disease is the leading cause of death of adults in America. All too often, the first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack. To combat this, doctors having been using a “standard lipid panel” for many years to look for increased risk for arterial disease. But the truth is, these lipid panels are not enough. Nearly 50% of people who have a heart attack have normal lipids at the time of it, which means that “good and bad cholesterol” is not the only risk factor that we should be looking at. Fortunately, we can do better to evaluate your risk. Heart disease is a preventable condition, and in many cases, it’s also reversible!
Using a more comprehensive blood test, we learn infinitely more than what a standard lipid panel tells us. The biggest threat to your life is when plaque forms in a blood vessel, dislodges and stops blood flow in a critical location causing a heart attack or stroke. If vascular inflammation can be normalized, wouldn’t you like to know if it is present and how to reverse it? We can identify signs of inflammation and plaque development within the artery wall, and ensure your body is reducing it with treatment. We also learn about genetic factors that may be contributing to your risk. Most people are not routinely screened for clotting disorders that predispose their bodies to form clots. The solution can be quite simple if you know the problem. Have you been told that you have a lot of “bad” cholesterol and not a lot of “good”? This is an over-simplified explanation of an over-simplified test. There is a bigger story occurring in your circulatory system. The systematic movement of cholesterol in the body is mapped out by particles in your system that respond to your body’s signals. Where is this cholesterol coming from? Are you over-producing cholesterol in response to a signal? Are you over-absorbing it from your diet? By looking closely, we can understand not only where it’s coming from, but how effectively your body is dealing with this dynamic molecule.
What’s the treatment? Conventionally, statins are the medication-of-choice as well as the standard of care to decrease cholesterol levels. But statins don’t affect all of these elements discussed. What about inflammation and genetic mutations? What about the quality of the blood vessel wall? Natural therapies and lifestyle optimization can and do normalize these markers. If we know what the problems in the system are, we know how to best treat it, and we can track our progress. Once I have identified your level of risk, I provide you with the tools to treat and reverse the problem.
Heart disease is no longer a mystery nor a lifetime sentence. Schedule an appointment to find out where you stand, and learn how to reverse the process naturally.