One would think that health statistics would be more favorable given the amount of blood tests doctors use to monitor your health status. Yet according to the National Cholesterol Education Program’s ATP III report 50% of individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease are not identified. In addition the same report indicated that 50% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol. Where’s the disconnect?
A traditional lipid panel test will tell you total cholesterol LDL HDL and triglycerides. While a useful starting point this may not be enough. A number of recent solutions are providing doctors with a more comprehensive picture of your cardiovascular health than traditional tests. For example the LPP+ test gives a reading of the lipoprotein subtypes which include the atherogenic particles VLDL RLP buoyant LDL and dense LDL. In addition it gives c-reactive protein insulin and homocysteine levels. The VAP test from Quest is another test that takes a deeper look at your lipid profile.
With these additional parameters doctors can better diagnose your condition in addition to determining the best course of treatment. They also provide others (nutritionists!) with information to personalize your dietary practices to best influence your lipid make-up. Many of you know how much time we spend looking at test results in monitoring your nutritional progress and overall health objectives. Knowing the specifics of particle size and inflammatory markers in your blood we can tailor the best dietary and nutritional supplement support program as either your first line approach or as an efficacious adjunct to your medical therapy.
Please note that Geri cannot order tests; you must request them from your doctor. However we can help you navigate the maze of terminology explain and monitor the results based on your nutritional and health goals.
Thanks to Debra Wolf a UB Grad student working with me this year for her much appreciated assistance helping to prepare this article.