Thursday, July 31, 2014

Good news on health and heart tests....

Thursday, 7-31-2014

A.  Introduction

1.  The two most important things to know among many that can be helpful to measure your heart health status – AND all your health status! -- are your level of small particle LDL and your level of chronic or background inflammation.

If both are very low, your chances of heart attack and stroke go way down.  Even if you have other things that might cause them, you get a LOT of protection. 

That’s because small particle LDL and your level of chronic and background inflammation are the two biggest causes of heart disease.  Each one does it. So you want BOTH to be very low.

If your level of small particle LDL and your level of chronic or background inflammation as measured by the HSCRP test are high, you are in serious trouble.

Not only do these things cause heart disease, they cause many cancers and make any cancers you get more likely to metastasize and kill you.  And, high levels of inflammation also CAUSE osteoarthritis and make any you get hurt worse and limit you more.  Not only that, the cut back in blood flow you get if both are high long enough also helps cause Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia!

2.   You have to get the HSCRP test separately.  But there is good news on your level of small particle LDL.

All you need to get a very accurate idea if yours is high or low is to get the basic lipid panel that is relatively inexpensive.

In fact, at this time, if your doctor or medical group have you take the test, there is no charge for it as it is known to help prevent disease.

It measures your total cholesterol.

But of far more importance, it measures your HDL, your LDL, and your triglycerides.

And, research at Harvard found that the ratio of HDL to triglycerides is a very close indicator of your level of small particle LDL.

a) That said, what do you want to see and NOT see when you look at your lipid panel and HSCRP test? 

For HSCRP, 1.0 or lower is desirable and less than .5 is very desirable. Over 2.0 is high and undesirable and 3.0 or higher is very dangerous.

b) You want your HDL to be high and your triglycerides to be low; AND you want to have a higher number for your HDL than for your triglycerides. That’s because that ratio shows how much small particle LDL you have. 

The ideal combination is to have LDL below 100 and far more HDL than your triglyceride level.  That’s because that means you have a very low level of small particle LDL.

When I was younger and eating a more ordinary diet and not taking many supplements to protect my heart even though I was exercising well, my HDL was about 50 and my triglycerides were about 150.  So at three times as high a triglyceride number my heart disease indicator was average but NOT desirable at all! 

The biggest problem was my high triglycerides from eating too many sugars and refined grain foods and not knowing to avoid hydrogenated oils or how to do it.  Because I was running every week on most days and not smoking or drinking soft drinks, it wasn’t worse!

Now I’ve slashed that stuff out of my diet and take niacin and a sterol supplement and more and still exercise, my HDL divided by my triglycerides are almost 3.0.  Last time, I got 2.7 and I once got to 3.0 (100/37 now and 105/35 then.)

What happens if, as Zorba the Greek said in the movie, you have “the full catastrophe”? 

(You will if you eat all kinds of foods with hydrogenated oils and sugars and refined grains, drink soft drinks either regular or diet, and do no exercise.) 

You’ll get fat if you keep doing it.

And your readings will be something like triglycerides 330 and HDL of 30 -- where the bad side is ahead by 11 to one!

You can fix the causes or you can be very sick once this damages you enough; and you will live fewer decades of healthy life and have MUCH higher health care costs!

2.  The two pieces of good news are that you can now get your small particle LDL level tested directly.

If you’ve taken action and your HDL is a good bit higher than your triglycerides or you are at risk because it’s still the reverse, you might want to test the level of your small particle LDL directly.

If so, you likely would be pleased to do it for less than the several hundred dollars it used to cause!

Here’sere’s the first piece of good news!:


The direct test by itself now costs less than $150! 

It’s called the Vertical Auto Profile (VAP) test.

“This test will analyze your LDL cholesterol and determine if it is made up of predominantly the small, dangerous particles or larger, more benign particles.

It will also tell you how much Lp(a) is circulating in your blood. In addition, the VAP test breaks out your HDL cholesterol subtypes, letting you know if you have more of the HDL2 subtype, which is most beneficial.”

Here’s the second piece of good news.

You can now get this test and others at reasonable cost BY YOURSELF without having to have your doctor order them or see them.

That can be desirable for either of two reasons:

a)  If you think it likely your test will be bad news, you might not want to have your doctor order it or see the results before you have a chance to improve the numbers on your own.

Today doctors often prescribe drugs that do little to change the causes or make fatal events less likely but DO have side effects that harm your quality of life or worse cause actual harm or other diseases.  Worse, if such test results once go into your medical records it might cause your rates to rise when your insurance company learns of it.

So if the news is bad and you do take action which improves the numbers BEFORE you get tests your doctor and insurance company see, you can now spare yourself that hassle!

b) If you want the direct information and ask your doctor for this test, you either will be denied access or have to pay extra because the insurance company sees it as a test you don’t need and not allowing it or paying for it will save them money.

In that case, paying for the test yourself without that hassle and likely paying less and getting the test right away and not having to pay for a doctor visit too can be desirable.

I’ve had that happen to me for some diagnostic tests.

It seems there ARE several companies now that DO tests directly from requests by the consumer without the doctor first entering into it or getting the results.

I’ve long hoped one day that would be possible and the company would have enough locations that I and the people I know would be able to do this.

Now that DOES exist; and the company I found like that offers many tests depending on what you want and can afford.

They also have locations throughout the United States.

For example, they have one near me in Palo Alto here in California.

Their web address is:  http://www.healthcheckusa.com

And, the company is apparently LabCorp.

Here’s the info on their Palo Alto location for example:

LabCorp Palo Alto
853 Middlefield Rd Ste 6
Palo Alto, CA 94301  650-324-2496

And, the link to the VAP tests is:

http://www.healthcheckusa.com/lab-tests/cholesterol.aspx?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=cholesterol&gclid=CMro8ZOvyr8CFUiGfgodBxUA2A

These companies now give you a shot at managing your own life that were not available before.


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1 Comments:

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5:16 PM  

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