Check out your heart health now
Most everyone thinks (or worries) about his or her heart health from time to time. My “first love” in medicine was the heart. I’ve been an Acupuncturist for 11 years and a Cardiovascular Intensive Care RN for 20+ years. So matters of the heart, your heart, are near and dear to me.
How’s your ticker? How do you know it’s in good shape? Here are two valuable pieces of lab work you can go have drawn today to check out your heart health.
Over the last two decades managed care has developed a system of whittling down lab work such that yearly physicals include little if any, and serious health issues go undetected. The reality is that regular monitoring of lab work and life style changes subsequent to those results, go a long way in heading off the possibility of future heart or cardiovascular problems.
Draw these two tests at least once per year.
Do make it practice to keep your own file with copies of your lab works. When your health care practitioners have the ability to view your lab results over spans of time, it is invaluable.
Homocysteine (abbreviated tHcy or HCY)
Homocysteine is an amino acid which if elevated is associated with:
•Higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
•Higher risk for developing blood clots.
•Increased risk for pregnancy complications, miscarriage & fetal growth problems.
•Reduced brain health and functioning in the elderly.
What helps reduce Homocysteine levels?
Supplementing with B Vitamins including:
Folic acid, Vitamin B6 (pyridoxines) and Vitamin B12 (cobalamins).
Dietary sources of Vitamin B12 are animal based:
fish, mussels, clams, lamb, and beef.
Dietary sources of Vitamin B6 as well as the other B Vitamins are:
kombucha, whole, grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh, beans, nutritional and brewer’s yeasts, and molasses.
High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (abbreviated hs-CRP)
High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP) measures inflammation in your body.
If you’ve been fighting off an infection or significant illness, or are recovering from a surgery or trauma, I would expect your hs-CRP to naturally be elevated. This is a temporary elevation. After healing, your hs-CRP is typically no longer detectable in your bloodstream.
High levels of hs-CRP indicate inflammation and can be associated with more silent cardiovascular developments. It is widely accepted that tendency toward developing heart attacks and cardiovascular disease is associated with generalized inflammation in the blood vessels.
Sometimes managed care sources are reluctant or refuse to draw lab markers key to thoroughly monitoring your health. However these days many reduced fee labs exist and provide options for consumers to have blood works drawn at greatly reduced rates. As an Acupuncturist and RN in the State of California, I routinely order lab work for my patients.
I also do not mark up any lab test fees.
Adding a Homocysteine level to a blood work panel is $39.
Adding a High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein is a mere $19.
Take care of your heart by reducing stress hormone levels with things like acupuncture, reasonable and consistent exercise, quality and adequate sleep, and have some labs drawn each year to see exactly how your ticker is doing.