Standard cholesterol testing only gives you a piece of the picture, leaving many people with “normal” cholesterol numbers unaware that they are still at risk for a heart attack. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) introduced new risk factors that are responsible for cardiovascular incident and stroke. These risk factors can only be identified with advanced lipoprotein testing.
According to the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, 50% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is carried through the body in little balls called lipoproteins. It is the lipoproteins, not the cholesterol inside them, that leads to clogging your arteries.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women
All patients should take this test, especially those with any of the following:
- Have a family history of, or have been diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes
- Are already taking cholesterol-lowering or diabetic medications
- Have elevated blood pressure
- Have been presented with risk of diabetes or heart disease by physician
- Have been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome: Elevated cholesterol levels, prediabetes, obesity or hypertension
I’ve already had my cholesterol checked. Why should I have the Cardiometabolic test done?
Standard cholesterol testing only gives you a piece of the picture, leaving many people with “normal” cholesterol numbers unaware that they are still at risk for a heart attack.
50% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels according to the National Institutes of Health
THE NATIONAL CHOLESTEROL EDUCATION PROGRAM
The NCEP introduced new risk factors that are responsible for cardiovascular incident and stroke. These risk factors can only be identified with advanced lipoprotein testing. Cholesterol is carried through the body in little balls called lipoproteins. It is the lipoproteins, not the cholesterol inside them, that leads to clogging your arteries.
NCEP NEW RISK FACTORS
- Small, dense LDL: these atherogenic particles are easily oxidized and penetrate the arterial endothelium to form plaque. Lp(a): this small, dense LDL is involved in thrombosis
- RLP (Remnant Lipoprotein): is very atherogenic, has a similar composition and density of plaque, is believed to be a building block of plaque and does not need to be oxidized like other LDL particle
- HDL2b: positively correlates with heart health because it is an indicator of how well excess lipids are removed
WHAT DO LIPOPROTEIN PARTICLES TELL US?
When the vessels are prone to higher pressure with hypertension, tiny micro-tears can occur more readily in inflamed vessels. When inflamed vessels are exposed to elevated blood sugar levels, those sugars coating the red blood cells aggressively rub along the surface of the vessel causing tears.
Research has shown that patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic depression, and many other conditions have higher than normal levels of these mediators circulating throughout their bodies. For many, the “trigger” that causes the mediators to be released can be linked to foods or chemicals in their diet.
The CARDIOMETABOLIC test identifies risk factors for heart disease and stroke beyond cholesterol and lipoprotein size. The LPP particle element of this test provides information on your levels of inflammation in the entire body, c-reactive protein, as well as a marker, homocysteine, specifically in the vessels. Also, this test provides a complete particle count and insulin value to assess blood sugar metabolism and risk for metabolic syndrome. Research has shown that there are different sizes of LDL and HDL particles and some are more dangerous than others. Although we think of the LDL as “bad” cholesterol, the larger buoyant LDL particles float through the vessels without causing harm. It is the small dense LDL particles that are prone to oxidation (damage) leading to plaque formation.
WHAT DOES THE PREDIABETES COMPONENT INCLUDE?
The Prediabetes Biomarkers identify metabolic abnormalities that may progress into diabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where the body cannot efficiently metabolize foods, especially carbohydrates, resulting in impaired glycemic (blood sugar) control which may progress to diabetes when not properly treated or addressed through lifestyle changes.
The following tests have the largest impact on the prediabetes risk score:
- Hemoglobin A1c
- Fasting blood sugar
- Metabolic syndrome traits
Other factors that significantly affect a prediabetic risk but that are not included in this report include weight, blood pressure (hypertension), smoking, inflammation and family history.
- Glucose – snapshot of blood sugar at time of blood draw
- Insulin – correlates to the efficiency with which a person can metabolize carbohydrates; high fasting levels indicate insulin resistance and possible prediabetes
- Hemoglobin A1C – long term (2-3 months) marker of glycemic control; also considered a marker of accelerated aging
- C-peptide – a measure of endogenous insulin production; useful in distinguishing between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- Adiponectin – a hormone that enzymatically controls metabolism; high levels beneficial and indicate efficient cellular energy production
- Metabolic syndrome traits – A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is confirmed if any three of the following six traits exist in a patient:
- High triglycerides
- High glucose
- Low HDL
- High blood pressure
- High waist circumference
- Increased small dense LDL
Get the CARDIOMETABOLIC test kit today to start your road to prevention.
Purchase Cardiometabolic for $350 for an email interpretation by a functional medicine registered dietitian. This will be a quick walk through of your results with highlights and supplement suggestions to implement a plan on your own. This package does not make you an active patient at Balanced Health Healing Center.