Cardiometabolic health looks at the health of your cardiovascular system as well as your metabolic system. It’s a relatively new term entering the public consciousness around the human body. And there’s a good reason for it.
Collectively, the diseases that affect these systems are the leading causes of preventable deaths worldwide, so it’s a good thing these systems are getting the attention they need.
Why Cardiometabolic Health ?
Most healthcare professionals are already paying attention to your cardiovascular system, and your metabolic system as well. So why the need for a cardiometabolic health approach?
It has to do with the fact that the conditions that affect both of these systems generally have the same risk factors. In particular, risk factors include:
- Age – the older you are, the greater your risk
- Gender – men are at greater risk of developing a cardiometabolic disorder, but women are at greater risk of dying from it
- Ethnicity – those of Hispanic and African descent are at greater risk
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Excess alcohol intake
- Lack of exercise/inactivity
Looking at this list, you’ll notice there are factors you can control, and factors you can’t. If you’re part of the population that does have a greater risk for developing a cardiometabolic disorder, you can take measures to minimize the factors you can control. Naturopathic medicine can help.
Naturopathic Solutions For Atherosclerosis
Your arteries work hard for you, carrying blood from your heart to the rest of your body. A thin layer of cells on the inside of them, called your endothelium, helps them keep blood flowing smoothly through them.
Your endothelium is susceptible to damage. This damage is often triggered by inflammation. Conditions of high inflammation, or habits that increase inflammation, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, smoking, and poor dietary choices, can and often does damage your endothelium, which leads to plaque formation.
As the plaque grows, it creates bumps on the walls of your artery, restricting blood flow. If it gets big enough, it can cause a blockage. This is the leading cause of strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular diseases.
However, while you may not feel the symptoms of atherosclerosis until well into middle age, the seeds for this condition are sown far earlier. In fact, a 2010 study looked at thousands of otherwise healthy heart donors found some pretty astounding statistics on atherosclerosis. Of those age groups, the following showed signs of atherosclerosis:
- 17% of those in their teens
- 37% of those in their 20’s
- 60% of those in their 30’s
- 71% of those in their 40’s
- 85% of those 50+
So it’s never too early to be thinking about atherosclerosis.
The good news? Of the risk factors listed above, the ones you can control are to blame for more than 90% of heart attacks.
Through lifestyle and nutritional counselling, acupuncture, botanical medicine, and other naturopathic approaches, you can significantly reduce your risk of your atherosclerosis getting any worse, and in some cases even reverse its progress.
Naturopathic Solutions For Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome isn’t just one condition – rather, it’s an umbrella term that refers to a collection of conditions that generally occur together.
These conditions include:
- Being overweight/obese (especially around the waist)
- High cholesterol
- High triglyceride levels
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
To be clear – you can have one or more of the above conditions and not have metabolic syndrome. However, it does increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, as well as for heart disease.
Why Is Metabolic Syndrome Important ?
Metabolic syndrome is becoming disturbingly common – according to the group Metabolic Syndrome Canada, one in five Canadians is affected by this disorder. Above age 65, that number increases to two in five.
But more important than its frequency is its impact. If you have metabolic syndrome, you’re at much higher risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, as well as type 2 diabetes.
Another thing you may notice is the fact that all the conditions listed above can be addressed through lifestyle changes.
Contact Annex Naturopathic to book an appointment. We can help you assess your risk of metabolic syndrome, and offer natural solutions to address the conditions that caused your metabolic syndrome.
When To Seek Emergency Care
To be clear – if you’re experiencing the following symptoms, seek emergency help immediately:
- Chest pain or tightness
- A cold sweat
- Fainting spell
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
These are signs you may be experiencing a heart attack or stroke. Naturopathic medicine can help you recover, and can help you reduce your risk of future episodes occurring, but naturopathic medicine is not a substitute for emergency medical care.
A Naturopathic Approach To Cardiometabolic Health
When you visit us at Annex Naturopathic, you’ll find we take a “whole body” approach to your cardiometabolic health.
During your first appointment, your naturopathic doctor will take the time to get an in-depth understanding of your health history. This is to help them understand what risk factors may apply to you, from a physical, mental, emotional, and lifestyle perspective. From there, you’ll get a comprehensive treatment and lifestyle plan designed to address the issues you’re facing.
To create this treatment plan, your naturopathic doctor may draw upon a wide range of different modalities, including:
- Clinical nutrition and lifestyle coaching
- Nutrient supplementation
- Botanical medicine
- Laboratory analysis
Whatever it is that’s causing your cardiometabolic disorders, your naturopathic doctor will work to uncover it, and provide you with a treatment plan designed to address those issues.
The goal is to reverse your cardiometabolic issues, so you can continue to enjoy a happy, healthy lifestyle.
If you’re dealing with a cardiometabolic disorder, or you think you may be, there is hope.
Contact Annex Naturopathic today to book a consultation, and let’s get you feeling great.