Being healthy is what matters the most. A good health comes with a bundle of goodies: energy, good looks, great mood. Quite some reasons to boost and support it. One important step in taking care of your health is going for regular tests. Doing so will help you prevent diseases and treat the ones that are already there from their very beginning. What we focus on today is the tests you need to take in order to check for silent symptoms of heart disease.
There are voices saying that simple tests like EKG or a cholesterol panel might not be enough to check for silent symptoms of heart disease. That’s why it is recommended to go for several tests in order to see how your heart health is doing.
Carotid Intimal Medial Thickness (CIMT)
Among the tests to take in order to see if there are any early or silent symptoms of heart disease, there’s the CIMT test which will help the doctor see inside the major carotid artery in your neck. The test involves an ultrasound machine which will show the thickness of the two linings inside your artery (the media and the intima). If the two walls are thick, it means there’s an early atherosclerosis. You will need to get some other tests or change your lifestyle. Your doctor will decide what the next step to take is. Then if your CIMT shows a normal thickness of your artery walls, it means that the risk for you to get blockages in other parts of your body is low.
Great about this method of detecting early signs of heart disease is that it doesn’t use radiation. The downside is there are many hospitals and health centers that have the machine but not the necessary software to measure the thickness.
Homocysteine blood test
This one particular test is very simple yet important in seeing if there is a risk of vascular damage. High levels of homocysteine in adults are associated with a high vascular damage risk. If the result of such a test is under 10 micromoles per liter, it means you’re in the normal range. If it is above 10, you might need a light treatment to correct it. Usually, B complex vitamins are used to lower the high level of homocysteine.
Vitamin D blood test
As simple as it may sound, the vitamin D level in your body speaks about your heart health. We get vitamin D from sunlight and certain foods like mushrooms. The cold season and spending a lot of time indoors away from sunlight will decrease one’s vitamin D level. Low levels of it are usually associated with arterial damage, poor brain health, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure among others. If your vitamin D blood test result indicates over 30 ng/ml, it means you are in the normal range. It is best if you keep your vitamin D level somewhere between 50 and 80 ng/ml.
Uric acid levels and GGT
Again, just like in the case of the vitamin D blood test, these two simple steps will help you know about your heart health. How do they relate with heart diseases? Well, the uric acid is produced from the energy used by cells. A high level of uric acid is linked to cardiovascular damage. The GGT will help the doctor know more about the way your metabolism and liver cell membranes function. Normal levels of uric acid are 4 to 8 mg/dl and normal levels of GGT will fall below 50 IU/L . If your blood test results indicate something else, your doctor will decide the steps to be further taken.
Ferritin blood test
It’s a simple blood test yet it will help you know more about your heart health. This protein known as ferritin is directly linked to iron. If your ferritin level is high, this means your iron level is high. In cases of iron overload, the cells in the arteries will get oxidized and this can lead to heart disease and can also make your blood more prone to clotting. If your ferritin blood tests indicate high levels, make sure you follow the steps recommended by your doctor. Avoiding foods and vitamins rich in iron is one such thing to do if you have high levels of it.
Insulin, Alc and fasting blood sugar
Just like in the case of the other blood tests we’ve mentioned, with blood sugar tests, it’s as easy as 1,2,3 to see how your heart health is doing. High fasting blood sugar levels (over 85 mg/dl) increase the risk of blood vessel injuries. Then there is the insulin level which talks about the health of your arteries. If the insulin level is high, your arteries are at risk.
High- sensitivity C-reactive protein test
Now, besides the usual tests and methods used to check heart health, there’s also the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein test. This will help you know whether your arteries are inflamed or not. Normal levels of hs-CRP talk about the contrary and there might be something in your diet or lifestyle that affects your heart health. You should identify the factors that trigger this and correct them.
These are simple yet important tests to tell you more about heart diseases. Make sure you run them whenever it’s needed and build a healthy lifestyle. Include sports activities in your daily schedule or at least try to be active for at least 30 minutes a day. Go for healthy foods and see your nutrition expert for a custom-made food plan. Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, and skipping sleep. A healthy lifestyle is the first step in preventing diseases. So, lifestyle revised!