When I turned 50 my primary care doctor told me it was time to see the cardiologist. I argued a little but I know he was right. Nothing was wrong however it’s important to establish a baseline.
I am a believer of the baseline evaluation, whether we are talking about the heart, prostate, breast, urological, eyes, ears and skin. Early detection can mean the difference of living longer or shorter.
So here I am sitting with the cardiologist. We do an EKG and stress test which thankfully came out well. He then asked about family history. I explained that my mom, dad and sister all had heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And I felt it had to do with their nutrition and poor lifestyle. He opined, “Well, it’s most likely genetic so let’s run a full blood work panel.
It’s at this time I stuck my chest out proudly and announced with authority (challenging his hypothesis), “Yes, let’s do that” and in my head I am thinking, “Boy, I hope I am right.”
He ordered the typical lipid panel with the goal of evaluating triglycerides (measurement of fat in your blood used for energy and obviously, too much is not good), total cholesterol (fat-like substance found in your blood), HDL’s (high density lipoproteins-the good cholesterol), LDL’s (low density lipoprotein-the bad cholesterol).
One week later I sat in front of the cardiologist and thankfully received a glowing report. So obviously, it’s not in my genes, right doc”? He smiled and told me to come back next year.
Yes, heart disease can be genetic. However, the way my family ate (processed foods, high levels of sodium, lots of nasty carbs, daily dairy (Breyer’s Ice Cream was a staple in my house) combined with a lack of exercise) was a contributing factor to their disease and eventually played a role in their ultimate demise.
I have found that ordering traditional blood work is a good start however, if you do have a lineage that has heart disease, diabetes and hypertension it’s important to look deeper utilizing advanced testing and functional lab work to find the root cause of the dysfunction.
And remember by the time one has symptoms the dysfunction is well on its’ way however you can’t go wrong with getting proper blood work and studies as well as creating a lifestyle change.
The action step for this week is to set up an appointment with a cardiologist who can perform a thorough evaluation to establish a baseline.
Additionally, please call our office for a free telephone consultation so we can discuss lifestyle changes you can easily implement to make your life healthier.
To Your Health & Happiness,
Dr. Michael J. Kaye
Intention + Action = True Change