AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a serious problem in our country.
CVD is basically a disease of the blood vessels and heart. It usually refers to atherosclerosis or narrowing or blockage in the arteries. There are 60,000 miles of arteries in the body. This affects blood flow and oxygen to our bodies’ organs which can lead to damage in tissue and cause dysfunction especially the heart and brain.
CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States. 36% of all deaths caused heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.
80% of CVD can be prevented by:
1) Optimal nutrition
2) Optimal exercise
3) Optimal weight and body fat
4) Mild alcohol intake
5) Not smoking
Since 80% of CVD is preventable, the functional medicine approach is to look at certain lifestyle choices and start there. There are close to 400 known risk factors affect cardiovascular health. However, the top 5 are the most common which are:
1) Hypertension or high blood pressure
2) Dyslipidemia or cholesterol and the components that transport cholesterol and triglycerides
3) Diabetes or sugar metabolic issues
Other risk factors include: kidney disease, nutrient deficiencies, low vitamin D, chronic infections, lack of sleep, stress, toxins, excess refined carbohydrates, thyroid dysfunction, hormonal imbalances.
Most of these risk factors can be measured through testing like blood pressure measurements, weight, BMI , and blood work.
Standard laboratory testing includes a lipid panel and blood chemistry looking at sugar and kidney function.
Since there are many risk factors that can affect our cardiovascular system at CF, they look at additional testing: waist-hip ratios, bioimpedance, advance lipid profiles and more.
For a cardiovascular disease evaluation at CFM, the first thing is to look at the patient’s history, spend time with the patient and develop a partnership with the patient to establish health goals.
The second thing is to assess those risk factors and then develop a plan of treatment centered around lifestyle changes. This would include working with nutritional and fitness and lifestyle coaches. In addition, there may be prescription medication, and supplement support that positively affect cardiovascular disease and improve longevity.
Center for Functional Medicine
4514 Cornell Ste. B, Amarillo, Texas 79109