Archive for the ‘statin use’ Category

Why the circulatory system is so important

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Why the circulatory system is so important

The circulatory system, also known as the cardiovascular system, is responsible for the flow of blood, hormones, and oxygen, which in turn helps maintain homeostasis in your body. It also transports lymph, which is a clear fluid that gets rid of the waste in your body. There are 2 parts to the circulatory system: the systemic circulation, and the pulmonary circulation. The systemic circulation carries blood from the heart to all other parts of the body, and the pulmonary circulation carries blood from the heart to the lungs, then back to the heart. Some of the most common problems of the circulatory system include high blood pressure, aneurysms, heart disease, and varicose veins. A healthy circulatory system requires natural movement of smooth muscle tissue, so it is important you move your body every day by stretching, doing High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or even something as simple as going on a walk. You should also beorder online lab tests

  • consuming a well-balanced diet,
  • maintaining a healthy weight, and
  • speaking to your physician about family history of heart issues.

You should seek medical help if you have problems breathing, chest pains, or feeling dizzy, as this may be related to your heart health.



Can you reverse unhealthy eating habits from the past?

In the past, you may have been indulging in junk food far too often or even tried out a fad diet and may be wondering if there is a way for you to undo the effects these unhealthy habits had on your body, as they may have clogged your arteries. Some studies have found that it is possible to reverse clogged arteries, however, the changes that would have to be made to do so are harder than what many people can handle. Instead of setting this as your goal, which is not a very realistic goal, you should focus your efforts on trying to prevent the progression of clogged arteries which in the long run can prevent heart disease. This is a much more attainable goal and you can do so by changing your lifestyle with simple habits:order online lab tests

  • Eating a well-balanced diet is one of the most important changes you can make. The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, seafood, and has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.
  • You should also check your cholesterol levels, and if they are high you should take action by speaking to your physician and asking what you can do to lower your levels.
  • Maintaining a healthy blood pressure, and weight is also very important to prevent cardiovascular disease.

If you maybe overindulged in junk food in your younger days, or simply want to take precautions to prevent heart disease, you may want to give these lifestyle changes a try.

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Should You be Eating More Fermented Foods?

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Should You be Eating More Fermented Foods?

           Fermented foods have many health benefits and you might want to start incorporating them in your diet. Fermented foods are foods that have been through the fermentation process, which is the process of transforming carbs into alcohol or organic acids by using yeast or bacteria. Not only does this process help to preserve the food, but it also creates strains of probiotics, enzymes, B-vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

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These probiotic-rich foods break the food down to a form that is easier to digest, which is why one of the health benefits of fermented foods is improved digestion. Probiotics are also great for your gut health, which is linked to cognitive function and maintaining the healthy weight. A few other benefits of consuming fermented foods is that it helps you absorb food better, boosts the immune system, and can help treat irritable bowel disease (IBD). A few examples of fermented foods are kombucha, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, probiotic yogurt, and natto. Many of these fermented foods can be made at home, so they are also budget-friendly and can be made to your liking. If you are having problems with your digestion, or just want to boost your overall health Importance of Zinc for your health, you may want to start incorporating some of these fermented foods in your diet.


Can oral hygiene increase inflammation?

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Can oral hygiene increase inflammation?

There are many medical articles, including clinical studies, that show correlations between the mouth and body – poor oral hygiene can cause many health issues within your body.  Poor oral hygiene causes overgrowth of bad bacteria which can lead to gum disease and gum disease creates inflammation, which in turn can lead to heart disease.

Granted, if you have poor oral hygiene you won’t necessarily have heart disease, but a healthy mouth can lower chances of getting other factors that lead to heart disease.

Gum disease has been found to affect up to 75 percent of all adults and is primarily caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, especially the gums.  When there is a significant amount of bacteria, the gums react and red, swell and bleed.  Gum disease is known as gingivitis and if left untreated can provide serious tissue and/or bone damage.

The American Heart Association has conducted studies showing the relationship between gum disease and heart disease.  There is a direct causal relationship with a strong association, meaning there’s an increased risk of heart attack.Order online lab tests

Additional research is being conducted, however, the biggest factor seems to be inflammation because this is the way bacteria enters the bloodstream.  Many people test their blood for inflammation :

The Cardiac C-Reactive Protein Test (hs) is a tool for assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

CRP is a protein that is found in the blood when certain inflammatory processes are happening. It is now known that arteriosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries are a process of inflammation that correlates with C-reactive protein, and it is believed to be a good way to predict heart disease. The test can help estimate your chances of developing cardiovascular disease and your risk of having a sudden heart attack. This blood test was redesigned from the traditional C-Reactive Protein test to be sensitive enough to detect chronic low-level inflammation. Test results are independent of cholesterol, family history, and other traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The test can be done along with traditional tests, such as cholesterol, to determine your risk. Recent illness or tissue injury, and chronic inflammation from arthritis can increase CRP levels and falsely influence the risk rating for heart disease from this test.

Research has also shown that significant numbers of premature and low-weight births are accompanied by unhealthy gums.   Hormonal changes during pregnancy can exacerbate sensitive gums and can aggravate symptoms.

There is a stronger connection with diabetes and gum disease: poorly managed diabetes jeopardizes the immune system, causing the body to work harder to fight any infections.  Inflammation can be increased thereby creating an environment for developing gum disease.  Increased levels of inflammation are related to a reduction in insulin sensitivity and higher blood sugar.

Stress is also known to compromise the immune system and increases the risk of developing infection.  It appears that cortisol, which is released when stressed, weakens the immune system and leaves strained

bodies with a higher likelihood of getting an infection.  Finally, when you are stressed out, you are less likely to take care of yourself, including getting enough sleep.



Why it is important to check your Hemoglobin A1C levels if you are a diabetic:

If you are diabetic, you know that it is crucial to maintain and test your blood sugar levels daily. However, you may not have known that it is also very important to check your hemoglobin levels as well. Hemoglobin is a red protein that transports oxygen in the vertebrates. One of the types of hemoglobin is called hemoglobin A (HbA), and hemoglobin A1c is a subtype of HbA. Molecules of glucose (sugar) in the blood bind to hemoglobin A1c and stay bound to it for months. Therefore, the higher amount of blood glucose means a higher amount of hemoglobin A1c, and by measuring its value, you can get your average blood sugar level during the past 8 to 12 weeks. The hemoglobin A1c test is commonly used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes because it measures average blood glucose levels over a period of two to three months. After being diagnosed, the A1c test is then used to measure how well you are managing your lab tests This test can also go by other names such as glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c, and HbA1c, but no matter what you call it, the results will show a high A1c level, then your blood sugar is not well-control ed. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, if you are not managing your blood sugar, then there will be a higher risk of diabetes-related complications including kidney failure, vision problems, and leg or foot numbness. Conversely, the lower your A1c level, the lower your risk for diabetic complications. The A1c test is referred to as the “gold standard” for evaluating the risk of damage to tissues caused by high blood sugar levels. This is why it is one of the most useful tools to determine how effectively your diet and your diabetes medication are regulating your blood sugar. In turn, it can also help your doctor determine whether your medication needs to be adjusted. If you are diabetic and would like to have better insight into your blood sugar levels, get a hemoglobin A1c test. Please discuss your test results with your physician.  If you have diabetes, be mindful of your blood sugar levels because it can reduce your risk for long-term health problems, like eye, heart, and kidney problems, and even stroke.



Should you buy generic or brand name drugs?

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The use of prescription medicine has increased over the years.  Likewise, the use of generic drugs has increased versus their brand name counterparts.  In fact, about 8 in 10 prescriptions filled in the US are for generic drugs.  Many people question the safety of generic drugs, but the FDA has concluded that generics provide the same quality and performance as brand-name drugs:

  • Generics must have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand-name drug
  • Generic manufacturers have to prove that the drug is the bioequivalent as the brand-name drug
  • Generic manufacturers must pass the same quality standards as the brand-name drug manufacturer.order online lab tests

Many people don’t know that a lot of the generic drugs are made in the same manufacturing plant as the brand-name drug! Millions of dollars are saved annually when patients switch from brand name to generic drugs Generic vs. Brand Name Drugs. The FDA estimates that generics saved patients $158 billion dollars in just one year.  Paying significantly lower prices for a generic doesn’t mean you are sacrificing quality or effectiveness of the drug.  When a brand-name drug becomes generic, they do not need to repeat the costly clinical trials.  They also usually do not pay for expensive advertising, marketing, and direct promotion to physician offices and hospitals.  Finally, there is usually more than one manufacturer that is producing the generic drug which means the competition further decreases the drug price. Discuss the use of generic drugs versus brand-name drugs with your physician to see if generics are a cost-saving option for you.


Why You Should Wear Sunscreen Year Round

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With summer officially gone, the beginning of fall means cooler temperatures, and often times people think you do not have to wear sunscreen any other time than in the summer. In reality, you should be wearing sunscreen Vitamin D Testing. Is it Necessary? every day, regardless of the temperature outside or if it is even sunny. Sunscreen is the one skincare that works upon application and helps prevent wrinkles and even skin cancer. Studies show that only about 30% of American women and 14% of American men wear sunscreen, which is incredibly low numbers. Many cases of cancer could have been prevented by simply applying sunscreen before going lab testing services

The following are some tips you should follow to make sure your skin is protected year-round:

  1. A very common misconception is that just because it is cloudy outside, you don’t need to wear sunscreen. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, so don’t believe that cloud cover will save you from damaging sun rays. Apply sunscreen.
  2. Wear sunscreen under your makeup. There are foundations and powders that contain SPF (sun protection factor), but you would need about 10 times the normal amount of foundation/powder to get the right protection from the sun. You should opt for a moisturizer with broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15 and apply foundation over it.

Don’t spend too much time under the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm because the sun’s rays are most intense and more likely to damage your skin during these times.


How Stress Can Affect Your Brain

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When under a lot of stress How Stress can Affect your Health, you may be very forgetful and disorganized, but have you ever wondered if there are any long-term effects of stress on your brain? When under stress the amygdala, which is responsible for your survival instincts, is most active which means that the parts of your brain responsible for memory and higher order tasks are not as active. When under chronic stress, the parts of your brain responsible for your survival instincts becomes stronger, while other parts of your brain responsible for things like handling higher-order tasks becomes weaker. Essentially, chronic stress rewires your brain affecting your memory and ability to handle higher order tasks. There are many things you can try to reduce your stress.

The following is a list of things you could do to manage your stress:

Stress can effect your brain

  • Become more organized. Try creating to-do lists for your workload, so that you don’t procrastinate and become overwhelmed.
  • Create a routine for yourself. If the stress you experience is not predictable, try to focus on keeping control over the things that are predictable in your life
  • Change the way you view stress. A certain amount of stress can actually be useful for growth, so instead of striving to eliminate stress from your life altogether, aim to find healthier reactions to stress
  • Get enough sleep How to get better sleep. Stress can cause sleep deprivation, which actually makes stress worse. It is important to establish healthy sleeping habits.


If you are considering or already are a vegan or vegetarian, one of your main concerns may be how you will get enough protein in your diet. Protein is one of the three macronutrients your body requires, so it is important you are getting enough of it. The protein intake varies from person to person, but according to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), a good way to see roughly how much you should be getting by using your weight is 0.36 grams per pound. Although this approach will tell you the amount of protein you should be getting in order to prevent deficiency, you may want to consider speaking to a nutritionist as there are many factors that can affect the right amount for you. As a vegetarian or vegan, you shouldn’t feel like you are struggling with getting good sources of protein in your diet. The following are different options of high protein foods you can incorporate into your diet:protein vegetarians and vegans

  1. Edamame/Tempeh/Tofu: all 3 of these come from soybeans which is a complete source of protein, and has other nutrients such as calcium, and iron. There are about 10 to 19 grams of protein per 100 grams of either one of these.
  2. Nutritional Yeast: This is the deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. This will give a cheesy flavor to your recipes AND it is dairy free which is great if you are a vegan. Not only is it a good source of protein, but also has copper, vitamin B12 Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency may be Causing your Fatigue, magnesium, and zinc. There are 14 grams of protein per 28 grams of nutritional yeast.
  3. Spirulina: A superfood made of blue-green algae.  It has riboflavin, essential fatty acids, and potassium. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There are about 8 grams of complete protein in 2 tablespoons of spirulina.
  4. Quinoa: A good source of phosphorus, complex carbs, iron, magnesium, and fiber. It has about 9 grams of protein per cooked cup of quinoa.
  5. Chia Seeds: These can be incorporated into your cooking in so many different ways such as baking, smoothies, and even chia seed puddings. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, selenium, antioxidants. Chia seeds have 6 grams of protein per 35 grams.


Is Statin Use Worth the Risk?

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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