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Have you or a family member been blindsided by a sudden heart attack or stroke?

We often feel like we’re healthy if we’ve had routine labs checked as part of our annual physical.  What we may not know is there are risk factors that are “under the radar” and can cause serious problems. Fortunately, there are tests to determine if these hidden risk factors are of concern for increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Lipoprotein a (Lp a) is a special type of cholesterol particle that is genetic.  It is not routinely tested.  This accounts for a good percentage of heart attack and stroke risk that goes undetected.  Although statins have been used in high risk people to help with high cholesterol and inflammation, statins do not lower lipoprotein a.

Metabolic screen for prediabetes, including metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance can be important for determining risk. A very high percentage of people have blood sugar problems and don’t know it. Even a normal hemoglobin A1c can underestimate the risk.  Fasting insulin levels and a glucose tolerance test can help.

Hidden Inflammation is a major root cause of many chronic illnesses.  Even if your cholesterol is in the normal range, if you have high inflammation you can still have an event. Testing for hsCrp is helpful, but to look for additional hidden inflammation LpPLA2 and MPO can test for a “body on fire”.  

Get pictures of your arteries. If you don’t know what your arteries look like, then you don’t know your true risk.If you do an ultrasound evaluation of the carotid arteries (CIMT), this will help you know more about your risk.  A stress test only picks up tight blockages and a heart attack can occur even from a 30-40% blockage.

For more information you can contact our office at 517-324-9400 or visit our website . You can also check out these additional resources:

“Beat the Heart Attack Gene”, Drs. Bradley Bale and Any Doneen

“What your doctor may not tell you about heart disease”, Dr. Mark Houston

“Clean”, Dr. Alejandro Junger

“Wheat belly”, Dr. William Davis

“Plant Paradox”, Dr. Steven Gundry

Dr. Alicia Williams is a Board Certified Cardiologist specializing in Integrative Cardiology. For more information visit our website.