Thursday, October 16, 2014

Berkeley Advanced Lipid Profile and Genetic Testing

Strokes, Heart Attacks and Diabetes are preventable! Treating these diseases is very expensive! Preventing them is not! Although statin medications (Crestor, Lipitor, Pravachol, etc.) lower total cholesterol and other numbers on a standard lipid panel, they really haven't done a whole lot to prevent heart attacks. Up to 70% of people who take a statin still have a heart attack anyway! So perhaps more is going on than just an elevated cholesterol or an elevated LDL (bad cholesterol) or a low HDL (good cholesterol). We know that insulin resistance (which leads to diabetes), inflammation and the size and number of various lipid particles in your blood are an excellent predictor of stroke and heart attack. And we take things a step further by looking at your genetics. Although you can't change your genetics (you know the old phrase...."you can't choose your parents"), genetic testing will tell you if you have inherited, increased risk for heart attack and stroke so that you can double (or triple) your efforts to make necessary changes on your advanced lipid testing with diet, exercise, stress reduction and/or medication.


To further clarify.......LDL (low density lipoprotein) is considered the "bad" cholesterol. HDL (high density lipoprotein) is considered the "good cholesterol". However, there are several different sizes of LDL particles.  The three big LDL particles aren't that bad, but the 4 small, dense LDL particles increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes. There are 5 sizes of HDL particles. (see the picture below on the left). The bigger the particle, the better it is. That is because smaller particles are able to get into the artery walls and stimulate inflammation which in turn causes a plaque to form. Eventually that plaque will rupture and a blood clot will develop blocking the artery. This is called a heart attack or depending on the location, a stroke. (see picture below on the right)

And there are at least a dozen other markers that are predictors of this inflammation such as hsCRP and PLAC-2, plaque formation, and insulin resistance which leads to subsequent heart attacks and strokes.  Dr. Trussell reviews the complete Berkeley panel with you including your genetics. She makes recommendations about diet, exercise and medications. She will ask you to return anywhere from one to 3 times per year to see how the changes you implement have affected your lab work and she will make further recommendations. The same diet is not right for everyone, just like the same medication is not right for everyone. It depends on YOUR genetics and YOUR advanced lipid testing.

Do you ever leave the doctor's office and find you can't remember a thing the doctor said? Berkeley knows that and offers free of charge a clinical nurse educator who again goes over all your lab with you AND talks to you about your diet, and changes you can make based on what YOU like to eat. Working with Dr. Trussell, she can make further suggestions about ways to become more active, reduce stress, and she will review your medication with you so that you understand its purpose. In addition you have access to the free online Living 4myheart program which is full of more information and personal testimonies.

Call today to set up your appointment to prevent a heart attack or stroke! Live life to its fullest!

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