Cardiac and Arterial Health
Medical DisclaimerThe advice given is in no way meant to take the place of professional advice. Should you wish to consider any level of treatment you are strongly advised to run this past your GP or health professional. Click here to speak to the team
Screening the heart and arteries
Although the heart has muscles and valves that can go wrong, most screening is concerned with the health of the coronary arteries that provide blood to the heart muscle.
Establishing the health of these and other arteries in the body, ensuring they are not clogging and keeping them flexible reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure, as well as circulatory problems most commonly seen in the lower legs and feet in smokers.
Those with recognised or established heart or arterial problems must be under the care of a doctor and tests are selected based on an individual situation.
More advanced tests look at arteries with x-ray and CT/MRI scanning. Less invasive testing is now available to the general public through Ultrasound scans, including those that measure the speed of blood flow (Doppler scanning). This can be used on arteries in the neck, the main artery from the heart called the aorta and arteries to the lower limb that are frequently clogged up in smokers or those with diseases that influence the arteries, such as diabetes.
Our medical director can arrange these for you.
Conventional blood testing has focused the majority of its attention on cholesterol. Cynics suggest this is because statins make pharmaceutical companies nearly $30 billion a year whilst other drugs that influence perhaps more important factors that damage arteries are not available or too toxic to use.
Functional medicine reflects on many other risk markers such as hs-CRP (inflammation), fibrinogen (part of the clotting mechanism) and homocysteine (a protein that rises and causes damage to arteries when we don’t eat enough green vegetables or get enough vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid). Functional medicine also looks at sugar levels as well as measuring the different types of cholesterol (some are good and some are bad).
We recommend that everybody with established arterial disease reviews a documentary called Statin Nation – http://www.statinnation.net
Recommended Tests from FHS
- The Cardioscope (£150)
This is a non-invasive investigation using a simple blood pressure cuff around the upper arm. The Cardioscope measures arterial stiffness and central blood pressure, potentially predicting early arterial stiffness which may represent disease or stress response. (Click here for further information)
- The Cardio Vascular Health Profile (£340)
This blood test provides information on a range of markers, including one of the most advanced tests to predict the risk of cardiovascular health and vascular disease. The test known as Lp-PLA2 also measures hs-CRP (an inflammation marker), fibrinogen (part of the clotting mechanism), homocysteine (a protein that rises and causes damage to arteries when we don’t eat enough green vegetables and get vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid in enough quantity), sugar levels (the biggest cause of arterial damage) and also measures the different types of the proteins that carry cholesterol (some block arteries – LDLs, and some that are good for us – the HDLs).
- Genomics profiling for cardiovascular health. (£385)
This test looks at variations in your genes that control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood fats (lipid) balance, arterial protective nutrient metabolism, inflammation and oxidative stress (free radical activity).
Genomics testing does not infer inevitable disease, but looks at the genes that can be turned up or on or off by lifestyle and nutritional/diet alterations and provides individual guidelines on how you can protect yourself. Type of sample – saliva .
Tests 2 and 3 can be combined for a reduced price of £575.