Cardiovasular Disease & Diabetes: What is the connection?

The primary health concerns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were infections diseases.  A shift in adverse health came about after the fortification and enrichment of foods.  Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke became the prevailing ailments.  These diseases continue to rise, some at alarming rates.  Let’s take a quick look between two prevalent diseases today: Heart Disease and Diabetes. I am going to especially look at the incidents in Nacogdoches County in the State of Texas.  [PDF of this post here]
Some quick stats:

nacogdoches-statistics-cvd-and-diabetes

Is this a sign of malfunction in the bodies of the population?

Maintaining a healthy status requires a homeostasis of the bodily systems. Having healthy levels of glucose in our blood is vital for proper balance. When we eat, signals are sent in our body to aid in the metabolizing of the food we just ate.  Insulin is secreted as a result of some of those signals.  It is the “key” which allows glucose to enter the cells.  Without proper signaling of insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells.  This results in glucose going to other parts of the body.  For our body to function properly it is important to keep glucose levels stable.

When our glucose levels are outside a healthy range it attaches to proteins resulting in diabetes-1724617_1920Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).  Excessive AGEs leads to plaque forming in the blood vessels.  One consequence is an impairment of the endothelium which lines the blood vessels.  It is hindered in releasing nitric oxide into the blood stream.  With this compromised cardiovascular system, the body has a difficult time repairing daily wear and tear.  Thus an increase in inflammation.  Heart disease often ensues.

In fact…. Studies have shown an increased incidence of heart disease in the presence of diabetes! 

With a high prevalence of heart disease and diabetes there is a need to understand the role of a proper functioning body. In regards to diabetes and cardiovascular disease the role of glucose balance is of marked importance.  Maintaining proper levels eliminates an exacerbating risk factor for both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  A body which is in homeostasis is free of disease contrasted with a body where malfunction is present, disease emanates.

What can you do today to ensure a proper functioning body?

Begin practicing the 5 Pillars to Healthy Function!!!

Eat Quality Foods

Get Adequate Sleep

Be Active

Promote Healthy Digestion

Embrace Peace & a Spiritual Connection (Eliminate Stress)

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Related Research:

A.G.E. Foundation. What are AGEs http://agefoundation.com/age/
CDC Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke TablesGeographic Area 2010-2012.
Davis, C., and E. Saltos. (May 1999) “Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed Over Time,” America’s Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 750, USDA, ERS. Chapter 2.
Texas Department of State Health Services. (2012). 2012 Texas Heart Disease and Stroke
Fact Sheets, (2013). Diabetes Prevalence Among Adults BRFSS data Tables
Yamagishi, S-i., Nakamura, N., and Matsui, T. (2016) Glycation and cardiovascular disease in diabetes: A perspective on the concept of metabolic memory. J Diabetes, doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12475.

9 Tests for Cardiovascular Risk Assessment

If you are reading this chances are you are looking for something more than the standard tests for diagnosing heart disease.  My guess would be you have a desire to get to the underlying causes and factors of your state of health.  I would further venture to say you are also looking at ways to prevent adverse health. I am going to quickly touch on Cardiovascular Assessment in this post.
Heart disease is at the top of the list of health issues in the United States and a growing concern for younger adults. There are several tests available that will dig deeper into the function inside your body and provide us with warnings adverse health is on its way.  These tests are indicators of potential malfunction and impending consequences of the disruption of proper balance.  To get a better look at what is going on ask your healthcare provider for the following tests:

  • Total Cholesterolbody-116585_1280
  • LDL Cholesterol
  • HDL Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • LDL Density Patterns
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Homocysteine
  • Lp (a)
  • Fibrinogen

Some of these you are probably already familiar with such as the Cholesterol and Triglycerides.  You may be wondering – Why the other tests?  What makes them significant?
C-reactive protein is a protein which indicates inflammation in the body.  This test is a strong risk predictor of future heart attack and/or stroke. It is important to note past or current infections can increase the levels of this protein.
Homocysteine is an amino acid which can injure the lining of blood vessels, thus triggering deposits and atherosclerosis. One study found that men with high homocysteine had 3 times greater risk of heart attack!
Lipoproteins are lipids and proteins that are transported through your bloodstream in ‘packages’. One of these is Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] Lipoprotein(a) is a marker for predicting the severity of future heart disease. This is often strongly influenced by heredity.
Fibrinogen is an important agent in the process of the formation of blood clots.  Again, elevated levels are linked to heart disease and/or stroke.
Each of these areas are affected by our diets and lifestyles.  Making changes in our habits can greatly affect the damage from elevated ‘warning lights’.  Be sure to ask your provider for ways to return a healthy homeostasis in your body!
A few quick tips are:

  • Eat Real foods, avoid packaged and processed foods
  • Get plenty of water daily!
  • Get plenty of rest and relaxation daily!
  • Exercise – the best exercise is the one you will do 🙂 Start low and go slow

As always, comments, questions welcomed and I hope this has been beneficial to you or a loved one!
 
[Relevant Research:
Cantin B, Despres JP, Lamarche B, Moorjani S, Lupien PJ, Bogaty P, Bergeron J, Dagenais GR. Association of fibrinogen and lipoprotein(a) as a coronary heart disease risk factor in men (The Quebec Cardiovascular Study). Am J Cardiol. 2002 Mar 15;89(6):662-6.
Lamarche B, St-Pierre AC, Ruel IL, Cantin B, Dagenais GR, Despres JP. A prospective, population-based study of low density lipoprotein particle size as a risk factor for ischemic heart disease in men. Can J Cardiol. 2001 Aug;17(8):859-65.
Blake GJ, Ridker PM. Novel clinical markers of vascular wall inflammation. Circ Res. 2001 Oct 26;89(9):763-71.
Clarke R, Lewington S, Donald A, Johnston C, Refsum H, Stratton I, Jacques P, Breteler MM, Holman R. Underestimation of the importance of homocysteine as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in epidemiological studies. J Cardiovasc Risk. 2001 Dec;8(6):363-9.
Matsumoto Y, Daida H, Watanabe Y, Sunayama S, Mokuno H, Yokoi H, Yamaguchi H. High level of lipoprotein(a) is a strong predictor for progression of coronary artery disease. J Atheroscler Thromb. 1998;5(2):47-53.
von Eckardstein A, Schulte H, Cullen P, Assmann G. Lipoprotein(a) further increases the risk of coronary events in men with high global cardiovascular risk. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Feb;37(2):434-9.
Austin MA. Plasma triglyceride as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Can J Cardiol. 1998 May;14 Suppl B:14B-17B.