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Blood Health & Microcirculation

The blood that travels through your circulatory system equates to your well-being, vitality and ultimately your longevity. Yet without sufficient passageways for the blood to traverse all the blood in the world can’t save one from diminished vim, vigor and vibrant vitality.

Cardiovascular Disease Facts and Indicators
Cardiovascular disease is the undisputed number one killer in North America each year. Alarmingly, very few people have a clear understanding of what they can do to help prevent this.

Recent estimates indicate that nearly seventy million people in the USA and Canada (over 20%) will experience one or more forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) this year. These CVDs include hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, and coronary heart disease.

• Over fifty million people have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Blood pressure rises when the viscosity of blood becomes thicker and puts pressure on your heart and cardiovascular system. It is similar to flushing your arteries with syrup instead of water.
• Over eight million will suffer from Coronary heart disease, or heart attack. A heart attack can be caused by many different factors. Basically, the heart is not allowed proper blood flow or oxygen.
• Angina pectoris, or chest pain, affects over seven million people. The pain in the chest indicates a life threatening condition, because it’s due to a blockage in the blood vessels of the heart.
• Another major CVD is cerebral vascular accident, or stroke, and over five million will get this. This occurs when a blood clot or other restriction blocks blood flow to the brain.

The statistics alone show how necessary it is to maintain optimal blood circulation for cardiovascular health. This year alone, 40% of all the deaths will be caused by CVD’s, and 170,000 of these deaths occurred in people under age 65. Coronary heart disease will cause the most deaths in people suffering from CVD, taking the lives of an estimated 600,000. And over 250,000 people die each year from sudden myocardial infarction, without ever being hospitalized.

The American Heart Association (AHA) identifies tobacco smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity/overweight, and diabetes as preventable risk factors for heart disease. Other negative risk factors identified by the AHA as contributory to heart disease include stress levels and response, sex hormones, birth control pills and excessive alcohol intake.

Cholesterol
Though the standard lipid panel provides information about plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, a patient scoring within the normal range, should take little comfort since ‘being average’ in this case means a greater than 50% likelihood of dying of heart disease.

Although cholesterol is no longer considered such a significant culprit in CVD as much as it was in the past, a large amount of emphasis is still directed at reduction of cholesterol blood levels. Cholesterol levels undergo considerable variation among individuals, with day-to-day values fluctuating by as much as 15%, while an 8% difference can be identified within the same day. Even positional change can decrease cholesterol values by 15%.

Markers of Inflammation: C-Reactive Protein & Fibrinogen
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a newly recognized indicator of CVD risk. CRP is a nonspecific acute-phase reactant protein whose concentration in serum becomes increased in response to inflammation. In seemingly healthy individuals, elevated CRP indicates an increased risk of atherosclerotic disease and reflects a chronic inflammatory process of the cardiovascular system. In other words, if you have high levels of CRP, your body responds defensively and can produce clots in your blood veins and arteries. It is interrelated with risk factors such as age, obesity, tobacco use, blood pressure, and dyslipidemia.

Fibrinogen is a protective protein found in the blood. When you receive a wound it helps by forming the blood clot. When there are high amounts of fibrinogen in the blood it can cause undue clotting. Fibrinogen is independently, consistently, and vigorously associated with risk of cardiovascular disease, based on multiple prospective epidemiological studies and clinical observations.

Homocysteine
Elevated plasma levels of the amino acid homocysteine are affected by genetic, physiologic, and nutritional factors. Increased homocysteine levels can prevent proper blood function. They are considered an independent predictor for atherosclerosis and blood clotting, and are correlated with significant risk of coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular occlusive disease, cerebral vascular occlusive disease, and retinal vascular disease.41 There is an association between homocysteinemia and CVD. With an increase in plasma homocysteine the likelihood of cardiovascular disease increases as well.

Let’s take a few moments to appreciate the miracle of blood and the circulatory system.

• One billion red blood cells (RBCs) can be found in 2-3 drops of blood.
• Red blood cells live 120 days in the circulatory system
• Red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to the body’s organs and tissue.
• Blood fights infections and helps heal wounds.
• Granulocytes a type of white blood cell (WBC) travel along blood vessel walls in search of bacteria to combat.
• 20 percent of oxygen at rest carried by RBCs is used by the brain
• Blood flow through the brain is 750 ml/minute
• A lack of iron will cause your RBCs to become small
• A lack of B12 or Folic Acid will cause your RBCs to become large
• Neither small or large red blood cells are as efficient as normal RBCs

As amazing as these facts are about red blood cells, the reality is if they can’t get to the desired destination they can’t do their job. Thus good circulation and microcirculation is a must. There are 5 basic tests everyone should have done as a base line at age 30 or earlier if they have a family history of heart disease. Cholesterol testing can indicate a risk factor that can exponentially diminish your cardiac health. For a clearer picture of your cardiac health taking all of these tests can determine one’s homocysteine, C-reactive protein, and fibrinogen levels.

• Total Cholesterol, HDL (good), LDL (bad), VLDL (very bad) all being measured
• Homocysteine (Independent risk factor for heart disease)
• Apolipoprotein A
• C-Reactive Protein
• Triglycerides

Healthy eating, a solid stress management plan, and the addition of soy and antioxidant protection can be the difference between early onset CVD’s or a healthy life unto your later years.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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