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  • Writer's pictureEric Goulder, MD, FACC

Chronic Inflammation Contributes to Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, and More

What is chronic inflammation?

Chronic Inflammation is continued inflammation that never completely resolves itself. The temporary inflammatory process of the body is one that is necessary for healing. When we are sick or injured, the response of inflammation triggers the healing process, helping us to fight off germs and regain our good health. This process is called acute inflammation.

Chronic inflammation, however, is long-term inflammation that lasts for extended periods of time. The duration can be months and even years.

How do we develop chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation can be set off by various root causes within the body. You may be familiar with the relationship between chronic inflammation and heart disease, but did you know it works both ways? Firstly, sustained, low-level inflammation agitates your blood vessels and could promote the growth of plaques and trigger blood clots. These are all major components to heart attack and stroke. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery to the heart. When a blood clot blocks an artery to the brain, the outcome is a stroke. Secondly, the buildup of plaques in your arteries can ignite an inflammatory response.

Who should consider a preventative approach to chronic inflammation?

You! With cardiovascular disease being the #1 killer in the United States, and up to 50% of heart attacks and strokes being triggered by pathogenic oral bacteria, taking preventative healthcare measures is a clear choice. If advanced health testing has the potential power to prevent up to half of the heart attacks and strokes that take place in this country, why isn’t this practice more common? When someone has a heart attack, 50% of the time it is the very first symptom of heart disease that they have had—we can, and must, do more to change that fact.

Inflammation testing

Monitoring your inflammatory status may allow you to catch the beginning, and even treat advanced stages of inflammation, in an effort to reduce your cardiovascular risk. Inflammation can be easily measured with advanced testing that assesses your unique inflammatory state and cardiovascular risk. The Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio offers advanced inflammation testing in Columbus, Ohio, which provides additional insight into cardiovascular risk beyond standard cholesterol testing alone. This inflammation testing consists of simple blood and urine biomarkers that identify inflammatory risk across a risk spectrum. This information allows for targeted, personalized treatment to reduce your cardiovascular disease risk.

Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Test (CIMT)

Over 75% of heart attacks are caused by a blockage that is not detectable by a standard stress test or a heart catheterization. A CIMT will provide information for three major attributes: the thickness of the lining of the carotid arteries, the presence of plaque buildup, and the arterial age of the arteries. This efficient, 20-minute ultrasound of your neck can provide peace of mind, allowing you to know your disease status. This test is:

  • Non-invasive

  • Affordable (only $250!)

  • Radiation free

  • Painless and easy

  • Approved by The American Heart Association over 20 years ago as safe, reliable, and repeatable

Saliva Testing

Periodontal disease cannot be effectively and thoroughly treated without identifying the root cause, and knowing which strains of pathogenic bacteria that are in your mouth. This is why medical-dental collaboration is so important to whole body health. There are root causes of cardiovascular disease that cannot be controlled without the help of a dentist. We have ever-increasing scientific data showing that high-risk oral bacteria can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, cancer, and other inflammatory diseases. Through objective testing, we can evaluate and develop a personalized treatment plan. This simple 30 second, non-invasive saliva test could save your life!

At The Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio, we provide advanced testing, right here in Columbus, Ohio, that is not traditionally offered by current standard of care medical practices. Please contact us to learn more and schedule an appointment today.


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