Can new tests regarding Cardiovascular Disease help prevent deaths from CVD?
It is a fact that 50% of all heart attack victims do not show abnormalities relating to traditional blood markers of CVD. Cholesterol markers can be within laboratory reference ranges and other markers can be normal. Yet, 50% of your patients are walking heart attacks waiting to happen. CVD claims as many lives as the next eight leading causes of death combined, including cancer, accidents and AIDS. Women, contrary to popular belief, are no exception.
The failure of standard testing markers has had many experts advocating new assessment techniques to stem the tide of this number one killer of Americans by touting new cardiovascular markers - helping to better assess CVD risk.
Motivating the Patient
Most patients know that various lifestyle habits are detrimental to their health. Yet they continue to engage in those habits regardless. It has been said that to "know" and yet not to "do" is really not to "know". We believe that the key to REALLY anchroing the "knowing" is for that patient to:
1. Be totally educated about the underlying risk factors.
2. Connect these risks factors with some understanding, at an emptional level, of how their choices are affecting their true physiology - incluiding their inborn dispositions.
3. Develop awareness and action to the fact that good lifestyle habits can be even more helpful than the bad ones are detrimental.
The key to changing behavioral choices is really to be a teacher to your patient and a motivator toward more funtional and fulfilling lifestyle choices.
New CVD Risk Markers
A big part of this teaching and mentoring process is to use various factual pieces of information as motivational reinforcement, or what we term "leverage". One of the best ways to do this has been with the use of laboratory assessments. But, what happens when the standard laboratory assessments fall short of providing a complete picture and, thus, result in a loss of necessary leverage?
In addition to traditional markers for cholesterol and triglycerides, new important markers are now being monitored by health care practitioners, including Apo A and Apo B ratios, fibrinogen, C-Reactive Protein, antioxidant status profiles and various glycemic and hormone profiles.
Many studies today advance the theory that High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) are a beneficial type of cholesterol and Low Density Lipoproteins are the destructive type of cholesterol. New studies are further delineating protein components of these lipoproteins into Apo A-1 found in HDL and Apo B found in LDL. One study on 225 patients with evidence of coronary artery disease concluded that the association between coronary artery disease and blood compounds was found in the Apo B/Apo A -1 ratios. Risk factors wer attributed to hereditary factors.
Screening for Apo B/Apo A-1 ratios, along with many other significant but relatively new markers, may be well indicated in screening for and preventing many premature deaths form CVD in individuals who appear to be at normal risk from traditional screening methods.
One of the most important new markeres is the CRP number, because it identifies inflammation in the body. Inflammation is being considered the culprit in many diseases including CVD. Rather than treating the inflammation or suppressing the inflammation, it seems to be prudent to eliminate the cuase of the agent responsible for the inflammation. Inflammatory agents can come from pathogens including viruses and bacteria, food proteins, metabolic imbalances and excess acidity or alkalinity within different body tissues.
The CRP marker, when elevated, pints the physician and the patient in the direction of finding the underlying cause of the inflammation. Inflammation can lead to arterial lesion s and liver dysfunction (not necessarily pathology) that can result in abnormal lipid metabolism. So, it becomes apparent that the underlying causes of inflammation may actually be at the source of atherogenesis and CVD.
Modifying Lifestyle Factors is Still the Key
Assessing CVD risk factors is really valuable only to the extent that we, as physicians, can use this information to guide the patient to modify lifestyle factors that will truly affect the underlying CAUSE of the aberrant markers.
We beieve that, eventually, it will be proven that regular exercise, a whole food diet free of refined foods and trans fats, and mental/emotinal health can hold the key to resolving CVD. Homeopathy also provides a powerful adjunctive natural therapy, because of its proven track record in helping to correct mental/emotional issues, immune modulation, biochemical balance and hereditary miasms.
Frank J. King, Jr. is a nationally recognized researcher, author and lecturer on homeopathy. In addition, Dr. King is the founder and director of King Bio, Inc., a registered homeopathic manufacturing company dedicated to completing chiropractic destiny with the marriage of homeopathy. Dr. King offers, complimentary to all Doctors of Chiropractic, his turnkey procedural system for the high volume practice called The Chiropractic Enhancer SystemTM (CES). It is so easy to use that you can successfully apply homepathy in your practice using any company's products in one day. Call King Bio, Inc., Asheville, NC 1-800-543-3245 or email:
Frank A. Charles is a Naturopathic Physician with over 14 years esxperience as a clinician, researcher, writer, health educator and physician consultant. Dr. Charles' background includes experience in functional medicine, BTA, nutrition, herbal and many energetic medicine disciplines. He is currently VP of National Physician Services for King Bio Inc.