Seven Simple Screens that can save your life
The Simple Seven
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is better to try and avoid problems than try to fix them once they arise. This is the golden rule which I now live and abide by. I think that as one gets older it becomes extremely important to do as much maintenance as humanly possible. It no longer matters if you’re a man or a woman. Diseases today have become less and less gender selective and picky about who they reside with. Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer for both men & women in the United States with an estimated economic cost of approximately $298 billion. I'm sure that everyone is well aware of the regular tests and screenings recommended by the Health Maintenance Guidelines such as Breast Cancer, Pap Smears, Osteoporosis, Colon Cancer, and prostate Cancer Screening. Did you know however, that there are other tests which you can have done to inform you of unforeseen issues? Below is a list of seven simple tests that can help save your life!
1. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood tests
Comprehensive metabolic panel or (CMP) is a blood test which provides doctors with information about your liver, kidneys, body sugar, protein levels, electrolyte and fluid balance. Doctors will normally order a CMP test to help diagnose liver or kidney disease, as well as conditions like diabetes. When you’re taking certain kinds of medications, doctors will also use this test to monitor if there are any issues which need to be addressed. These tests can also be used to find underlying heart issues before symptoms ever show up. More than 50% of all cardiac deaths happen within an hour of onset with no prior warnings, so these tests are invaluable! The tests are normally covered by insurance, are quick, easy and virtually pain free. Blood only needs to be drawn once, and the lab uses the same blood sample to run all the tests. These tests are more accurate, and you will receive better results if you have been fasting for 8 to 12 hours.
2. HS-Omega-3 index test
Have You Checked Your Oil Lately? No blood test predicts your risk for sudden cardiac death better than the HS-Omega-3 Index test! Did you know that the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of sudden cardiac death by up to 90%! This is an easy, painless test which can be done from the comfort of your own home using a drop of blood obtained by a finger stick. Created by a leading cardiologist, the Omega Quant HS-Omega-3 Index is a new laboratory test that measures the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your red blood cells. A simple and easy test kit can be ordered from multiple on-line sites and can run anywhere from $100-$200. All test kits come complete with instructions for collecting and returning your sample. Once your test is completed you will receive your results and a personalized report with specific recommendations regarding your intake of omega-3s. Studies have shown that the lower your Omega-3 index, normally 3.3% or lower, the higher your risk for sudden cardiac death. Increasing your Omega- 3 intake can also help you avoid serious diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular degeneration, and arthritis.
3. Blood magnesium
Magnesium is an important electrolyte needed by the body for proper muscle, and nerve function. There is a strong link between blood magnesium levels in woman and sudden cardiac death. Diuretics, and over the counter drugs such as Prilosec and Pervacid are known to lower magnesium levels. Abnormal levels of magnesium are most frequently seen in diseases that cause impaired or excessive excretion of magnesium by the kidneys and impaired absorption in the intestines. Magnesium tests can help you to get an upper hand on heart issues, Kidney problems, and uncontrolled diabetes and can help in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders.
4. Pulse wave Velocity & digital pulse analysis
The tests are a non-invasive, user-friendly, device which uses a finger probe to observe the changes in pressure, blood flow, velocity and profile throughout the whole pulse wave. The tests can be done right in the doctor’s office to determine the physiologic status of the cardio vascular system. Digital pulse analysis can provide early detection of arterial wall stiffness, and biological age of the arteries in less than three minutes. Digital Pulse Analysis is the next evolution in pulse wave velocity, and is based on the measurement of reflected infrared light. The test basically tells you how fast the blood is moving through the arteries to let you know if you have any hardening. Another very exciting highlight is that these tests are not only being used for cardiovascular screenings, but they are showing strong promise in the areas of early diabetes detection!
5. HRRV (heart Rate Variability)
These tests have been developed and tested for over twenty five years. The last two decades have witnessed the recognition of a significant relationship between the autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular mortality. A fully automatic, non-invasive computer-based system designed for quantitative assessment of the Autonomic Nervous System based on Heart Rate Variability analysis. The tests check your heart variability one heartbeat to the next. Chronic stress lowers your HRV which heightens your chances of sudden cardiac death.
6. Calcium score test
This is another non-invasive, easy to do test which can even be done on your lunch hour! Coronary calcium scans use a Special X-ray test called computed tomography or CT scan to check for the buildup of calcium and plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart. This test is used to check for heart disease in an early stage, and to determine how severe it is. Coronary calcium scans are also called cardiac calcium scoring. A CT scan takes pictures of the heart in thin sections. The pictures are recorded in a computer and can be saved for more study or printed out as photographs. Whether you are at risk or not depends on the location and the amount of the plaque. The tests should be done by men over 45 and woman over 50.
7. Thermography screening
Easy, painless, affordable, and convenient! This safe diagnostic Tool works along the same lines as inferred to detect Hidden Inflammation. Thermography is a method that takes pictures of the heat emitted from the body. No radiation, lead, or side effects. Inflammation is the culprit responsible for many chronic diseases. Many physicians now recognize that inflammation is a precursor to many diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Thermography screening is a great choice for detecting early sings of heart disease and Cancer. When you take into consideration that mammograms can actually INCREASE Your Risk of Breast Cancer, thermography is now becoming the preferred method being used as a great non-invasive mammogram substitute.