We all know that high cholesterol is not a good thing…but did you know that there are three other big risk factors for heart disease that you should also be checked for?
Recent research shows that there are other equally important blood indicators of potential future cardiovascular issues. Let’s take a look at them.
1. High Triglyceride Levels. Triglycerides is a fancy word for fatty deposits stored in your body. Put simply, they are the result of blood sugar that isn’t used by your cells and muscles. Carbohydrates in your diet are converted to glucose. Excess glucose becomes glycogen in the liver and is stored in muscle tissue. Excess glycogen is processed again in the liver and becomes triglycerides.
Triglycerides are stored as fat in various places, which we are all aware of. But some of these triglycerides remain in your blood stream, thickening it and giving it a sludgy consistency. This increases the possibility of clotting and blockage which could lead to a heart attack or stroke. In fact, if you have high cholesterol AND high triglycerides, your chances of developing heart disease increase exponentially.
2. High Homocysteine Levels. Unlike triglycerides which are influenced by what you eat, homocysteine levels are influenced by what you don’t eat. Homocysteine is an abnormal protein that is formed when a certain amino acid known as methionine is metabolized. It accounts for approximately 10% of coronary deaths.
In most people, this protein is efficiently cleared out of the arteries, so it doesn’t pose a health risk. However, for some the body is not able to effectively remove homocysteine from their system. Elevated homocysteine levels are caused by a lack of nutrients in the diet, especially the B vitamin group. Without these nutrients the body can’t produce the enzymes necessary to remove the protein from the bloodstream. A buildup of homocysteine can cause significant artery damage.
3. High CRP Levels. CRP, or C-Reactive Protein, is an indication of inflammation in the blood. Research shows that this inflammation is an accurate predictor of future heart problems, and the potential for strokes.
Increased levels of CRP could be caused by an existing or developing health condition or an infection of some kind. If left undetected it could cause serious problems down the road.
Next time you get a blood test, ask if your triglyceride, homocysteine and CRP levels will be checked along with your cholesterol. Even if your cholesterol levels are ideal, you may have high levels of one or more of these other important heart disease risk indicators. It’s important to find out sooner than later so you can do something about it.
This article is exclusively written by Healthy Heart Guide for Bizymoms.com
“Healthy Heart Guide was created to educate people about the leading cause of death in men and women, cardiovascular disease. We are always researching the latest developments in heart care to learn about how we can improve our heart health, and lower our risks of getting heart disease.” - Healthy Heart Guide
For more information and resources please visit the Healthy Heart Guide website.