This month hearts are everywhere so let’s put a spotlight on the most important heart… Yours! A main part of my mission is to prevent heart disease and diabetes in my family, my patients, and my community. Paying close attention to cholesterol lab tests is one of the ways I achieve that mission. Approximately 2 years ago I was introduced to Boston Heart Labs by my holistic cardiologist and my functional medicine doctor. It has heart in the name so you know it has an emphasis on the cardiac system but that is just the beginning as far as what this lab can evaluate. In most doctor’s offices, you routinely get levels for Total cholesterol, LDLs, HDLs, and triglycerides. That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to identifying the risk of a cardiac event or stroke. This lab also tests for the particle size of cholesterol. Identifying if you have the protective larger particles or the more dangerous smaller particles. It tests for overproduction or over absorption of cholesterol. It also tests for homocysteine and genetic markers. I’ll give you an example.
A Patient Case
A patient came into my office proud of the levels that came back on his most recent lab work with his doctor. His total cholesterol, LDLs, HDLs, and triglycerides were all within normal range. Since he has a family history of heart disease and diabetes and has had high cholesterol in the past we ran the Boston Heart test. It showed that he had two genetic markers that would increase his risk of cardiac event or stroke. The test indicated that supplementing with a specific B vitamin could significantly reduce his risk and that if he needed a statin drug to reduce his cholesterol he would have fewer side effects on one that is water-soluble rather than fat soluble. It also showed a deficiency in Vitamin D which was probably contributing to his gastrointestinal issues and a deficiency in Coenzyme Q10 which could be contributing to his lack of energy. All from a simple test that looks further down the pathway than most tests given.
Boston Heart Labs can also test for thyroid imbalance or autoimmune, inflammatory markers and kidney function. Although Insurance will typically cover most of it, there is an out of pocket cost which runs under $160.00. Medicare and Medicaid patients need to work with a functional medicine doctor to have this test run.
If I had only one test to choose from to evaluate a patient’s risk for heart disease and diabetes (even thyroid or autoimmune), this would be the one.
I encourage you to share your labs with me.
Let me help you interpret them.
I can tell you what you want to pay attention to.
Allow me to help you create a plan to get you to your health goals and I can help you run the missing tests that will give you the information you need to achieve optimal health.
Do your heart (and health) some good and schedule a Boston Heart Lab test today.