At some point, everyone wonders about their heart and the possibility of heart disease. Over recent years, it has become increasingly clear that we must see the entire vascular tree as a vast highway system that delivers vital nutrients that all of our organs require for life. The heart does not exist in isolation, though for obvious reasons, it gets an inordinate amount of attention, and when it goes awry, there are often grave consequences.
More subtle is the steady decline of the brain in dementia, the loss of eyesight in retinal degeneration, the loss of kidney function, or the breakdown of our skin in the form of wrinkles and wounds that will not heal. All of these are the result of a common culprit: vascular inflammation. This, in turn, leads to what is known as endothelial dysfunction, or the breakdown of the inner cell lining of all blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction heralds the decline of all organs, amplified by such co-existing conditions as high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure. The end result is heart disease, brain disease, retinal disease, kidney disease, and so on. Thus, the ability to understand and measure vascular inflammation is paramount to countering its effects.
This month, we are reviewing a new diagnostic test that measures the health of the endothelium: EndoPat testing. Knowing the relative health of your endothelium is crucial. Side by side with this “functional” test is the Cleveland Heart Lab Vascular Inflammation test. This is a remarkably helpful test that elucidates the relative inflammation present in the vascular system. I find the combination of the EndoPat (a test of one’s endothelial function) and the Cleveland Heart Lab inflammatory biomarkers (a test of the metabolic health of the endothelium) to be extremely useful in guiding a patient’s lifestyle and medication choices.
Lastly, we are featuring Neo40, a natural supplement that increases nitric oxide levels, which improves endothelial function. This is a significant step in improving the health of all organs, and naturally, the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes are front row in their critical roles. There are other benefits to increasing nitric oxide as well: this is what the modern drugs Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra do to accomplish their task.
For more information, contact:
Dr. James Stevens, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP, ABAARM