Volume 3 Issue 2

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Just as firefighters have various ways to tell if a hidden blaze is raging inside the walls of a building – such as feeling heat, smelling smoke, or seeing the lights go out if the wiring is burning – we use a combination of lab tests to check for arterial wall inflammation. ese inexpensive tests (most of which are covered by insurance plans) can all be done in the same medical visit and are available clinically through leading laboratories, such as Cleveland HeartLab. Each of them can help save your life by alerting your healthcare provider if there is a tiny spark – or mighty flame – in your arteries that could ignite a heart attack or stroke. is panel of tests should be repeated at least once a year even if the results are normal, since changes in your lifestyle (such as increased stress, less exercise, lack of sleep, a poor diet, or weight gain, particularly in the belly) or in your health (such as dental infection, developing an inflammatory disorder like rheumatoid arthritis, or the other red flags that can trigger a flare- up of inflammation. If you're at increased risk for cardiovascular events, your healthcare provider may recommend having your inflammatory markers checked more frequently. If you have abnormal results on any of the following six tests, it's extremely important to identify and treat the root cause of the inflammation. Ask your healthcare provider if the conditions that are sparking the fire in your arteries are being adequately addressed by your current treatment, since a rise in inflammatory biomarkers suggests that you may need different therapies or additions to your current prevention plan. Also alert your dental care provider to your inflammation problem, since periodontal disease may be causing or contributing to the rise in your biomarkers. ere are saliva tests your dentist can use to evaluate your oral health more rigorously and suggest the best treatments for periodontal disease – as well as what you can do to prevent this dangerous disorder, which can double or even triple your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Typically, the first line of defense to extinguish fire in the arteries is lifestyle changes to combat the abnormalities that usually trigger inflammation, such as getting more exercise if you've slipped into a sedentary lifestyle, losing weight to combat insulin resistance and the toxic effects of belly fat, quitting smoking, managing stress, improving your oral health with optimal dental care, and eating a diet that's rich in antioxidants (found in many health foods, particularly fruits and vegetables) and fish (which has also been shown in studies to reduce inflammation in general and hs-CRP in particular). F2 Isoprostanes What the Test Checks for: e test measures F2 Isoprostanes, a biomarker of oxidative stress, an imbalance between formation of free radicals and protective antioxidant defenses. Increased oxidation puts you at risk for accelerated aging, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. One study found that people with the highest level of F2 isoprostanes were nine times more likely to have blockages in their coronary arteries than those with the lowest level. Essentially, the goal The Fire Panel: Simple Tests to Check for Inflammation Page 24 | Abby's Magazine -

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