Heart attacks happen to many people with no warning—which is why heart disease is called a ‘silent killer.” But it shouldn’t be that way. There are many tools and tests that can give insights into heart health if we put them to good use.

One example was just highlighted in a review of 52 studies that were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. It’s called abdominal aortic calcification (AAC).

Researchers found that people who have AAC have a 2-4 times higher risk of a future cardiovascular event (like a heart attack).

That’s pretty huge.

It’s because calcium can build up in the aorta before it builds up in the arteries of the heart. It’s an early red flag and a sign that you need to make some changes or take some preventive measures, like…

➔ Quitting smoking
➔ Getting more exercise/movement
➔ Eating better
➔ Taking appropriate supplements

There are also other (little-used) ways to get clues about your risk for heart disease. Imaging of the abdominal aorta is not the only way.

There are also several advanced lab tests—like homocysteine, C-reactive protein, and sub-classes of the cholesterol markers you have checked at your annual physical.

Here’s the bottom line. The more information you have about your body, the more power you have to make changes that will keep you healthy. Many tools that are available to us are not used as part of routine care.

I believe that prevention is the best medicine. I also believe that the best way to practice preventive medicine is to use all of the screening and diagnostic tools at our disposal.

One of those tools is lab testing you can do at home.  I recommend ZRT Labs and their Cardiometabolic Panel to find out more about your heart health.  If you are interested in purchasing this test to do at home, email me at amy@functionalfamilynutrition.com.

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