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Posts Tagged ‘stroke’

Carotid Artery Ultrasound Can Save Your Life

Posted by ZumbaContraCosta on August 29, 2018

Should you be tested for a blocked carotid artery (the artery located in the neck which supplies blood flow to the neck and brain)?

YES, if you want to discover your chances of having a stroke. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal on August 27th, clots cause about 700,000 deaths annually in the U.S., and are the primary preventable cause of disability, according to the American Stroke Association.

You might expect that you would have some symptom of artery blockage as a warning before suffering a major stroke. But, no, 80% of patients have no symptoms.

The Society for Vascular Surgery recommends that people over 65 be screened if they suffer from coronary disease, or high blood pressure or have a history of smoking. Remember: three key indicators of heart disease, which is still the number one killer in the U.S., are age, gender, and family history.

What causes a stroke? Fatty plaque accumulates in most people’s arteries and can form clots that break off and clog and interfere with blood flow.  How do you identify symptoms, if you think you have any?  Common mini-stroke symptoms include slurred speech, temporary vision loss, a one-sided facial droop and arm or leg weakness or numbness.

Does high cholesterol cause strokes? Doctors in America, especially within HMO’s whose charter it is to keep it simple and keep it cheap, are quick to prescribe drugs for high cholesterol. Firstly, what is high cholesterol? Nowadays, it’s not as simple as identifying the HDL (good) and LDL (bad). Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at University of California, San Francisco, and Director of the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program at UCSF, explains that LDL now has a bad (raised by sugar and refined carbs) and good (raised by fat) component, and that while there is no blood test for the good LDL, you can determine this result by comparing your Triglycerides to your HDL.  A result of “2” or lower indicates a good result.  A fuller explanation can be found in Dr. Lustig’s book, Fat Chance.  HMO’s refuse to acknowledge this test.

Carotid Artery Ultrasound  A simple ultrasound, which is quick and painless, will tell you the health of your carotid artery. It’s a simple waving of a wand over your neck. You can actually see the red and blue flow of blood through your arteries and veins in your neck on the screen.

So, knowing the health of your arteries can and will save your life, or at least prevent a stroke. So why not ask for one, especially if you are over 65?

Janice Litvin is available for keynotes as well as workplace wellness talks and is an ambassador for the American Heart Association, as well as a certified Zumba Fitness instructor and Weight Watcher leader.  She can be reached at http://www.JaniceLitvin.com.

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