vitamins and minerals

Is Chronic Inflammation the Cause of Heart Disease?

Here’s ongoing research confirming that the real cause of heart attacks and strokes is chronic inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s first defense against infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to serious illness and even death. It is a warning that something is seriously out of balance with your health.

Chronic low-grade inflammation anywhere in the body is a fundamental cause of cardiovascular disease. Inflammation leads to weakening and rupture of arterial plaques, which in turn causes heart attacks and strokes. This may be the reason why the incidence of heart disease is not decreasing, it is actually increasing.

Doctors focus on cholesterol, which is important, but inflammation in the body is just as important, if not more so, and it doesn’t get the attention it should. If you have one inflammatory condition, your chances of developing another increase dramatically. For example, researchers have found that if you are a woman with rheumatoid arthritis, your risk of having a heart attack increases by 100%. More than half of people who have heart attacks and strokes have normal cholesterol levels. However, surgeons find that they have inflammation.

There is a test you can have done at your doctor’s office to find out if you have chronic inflammation. Ask your doctor for a C-reactive protein (CRP) test. C-reactive protein is a strong indicator of disease potential. Research shows that chronic inflammation increases the level of C-reactive protein CRP in the blood. As such, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC jointly recommend using inflammatory markers such as CRP to assess the risk of heart disease and stroke. High levels of C-reactive protein can also alert you to the potential for many other diseases, not just cardiovascular disease.

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