Archive for February, 2016

Is Statin Use Worth the Risk?

Posted on:

If you have high cholesterol, chances are your physician has prescribed or suggested using a statin drug.  Statin use is considered the most powerful medication currently available to help tame high levels of cholesterol.  High cholesterol can lead to heart attack and stroke so reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease is important.

cholesterol imageAre You at Risk for a Heart Attack and Stroke?

There are many risk factors that can be used to assess your overall risk of heart attack and stroke:

  • smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • weight
  • exercise habits
  • age
  • family history
  • current cardiovascular health

Additionally, your physician may require a cholesterol blood test to see if you have elevated blood cholesterol levels.

The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have an assessment test that can predict your chances of having a heart attach in the next 10 years.  If you are at risk, there are several guidelines that focus on who would benefit most from statin therapy.

Four Groups of People Which Would Benefit from Statin Therapy

  1. Those people who have cardiovascular disease.  This includes people who have a) had a heart attack, b) stroke, c) mini-strokes (transient ischemic attacks), d) arm or leg artery disease or e) surgery to open or replace coronary arteries.
  2. Those people who have very high LDL cholesterol.  This includes people who have LDL cholesterol levels of 190 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
  3. Those people who have diabetes AND an LDL cholesterol of 70 mg/dl or higher.
  4. Those people with a 10 year risk of heart attack of 7.5 percent and LDL above 100 mg/dl.

Potential Side Effects of Statin Use

  1. Muscle Issues – If you are older, female or of Asian descent or have liver, kidney or muscle disease, or an under active thyroid, you may be at risk for muscle problems when using a statin.
  2. Increase in blood sugar levels that can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Elevated liver enzymes

It is important to discuss the benefits and risks with your physician.  If you decide to take a statin, your physician may look for ways to reduce future side effect risk, such as recommending blood tests for deficiencies in Vitamin D or Q10 and conducting a physical exam with additional blood testing as needed.

The easiest and most effective guidelines recommend a heart-healthy lifestyle for heart attack and stroke prevention.  It is also helpful to minimize other risk factors such as high blood pressure.  Lastly, add exercise to your healthy lifestyle and you will decrease your risk of all cardio vascular disease.

Take control of your health; test frequently to ensure your cholesterol levels are within normal range and discuss any abnormalities with your physician.

Recommended reading:

Statin Guidelines

American Heart Association – cholesterol


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Diabetes and Eye Health

Posted on:

There is a strong connection between diabetes and your vision health.  If you have pre-diabetes or diabetes it is important to get your blood glucose levels under control.  The American Diabetes Association says that individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of blindness than do those without diabetes and are 40 percent more likely to have glaucoma and 60 percent more likely to have cataracts.  Those statistics are staggering and we must protect the gift of sight.

There are various types of retinal damage caused by diabetes.  This is typically referred to as diabetic retinopathy.  If you have chronic blood glucose levels (high blood sugar) the tiny blood vessels that supply needed blood to your retina in your eye get damaged and are unable to function properly.  Lack of blood supply to the retina can eventually cause vision loss.  Additionally, your body may trigger the development of new blood vessels (to compensate for the damaged blood vessels) which can rupture and leak blood.  These blood vessels can eventually cause retinal detachment or glaucoma.

The longer you have had the diagnosis of diabetes increases your risk of getting retinopathy.  If your blood sugar is not under control, the likelihood of complications increases substantially.

What are the common symptoms?

  1. blurry vision
  2. dark floating spots

See your ophthalmologist every six months if you are diabetic.  Additionally, it is important that you manage your blood sugar levels.  Many diabetics will check their blood sugar levels at home, but be sure to see if you are managing those levels by getting a Hemoglobin A1c test which is a way to find out your average blood sugar levels over time.

Some discount blood lab tests to consider:

Or order our Diabetes test package for a economical way to get all the tests above plus additional screening tests to be sure your organs are not affected by high blood glucose levels.

Take care of you health!

Additional resources:

Basic Diabetes Information from Mayo Clinic

American Diabetes Association

Two websites for you to place your orders:

www.HealthOneLabs.com

www.InquireLabs.com

 

 

 


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube