Dr. Schmitz Speaks To Chamber Members

Dr. James Schmitz, with Schmitz Family Practice and Rural Health in Charleston, spoke to Charleston Chamber members about cardiovascular health during their April noon meeting, talking about new methods in cholesterol testing and analysis.

"We still do the traditional cholesterol, HDL, (good cholesterol) and LDL, (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride testing, but now also offer advanced lipid profiling. The advanced lipid profiling allows us to be able to look at other factors that contribute to the cardiovascular disease process," Dr. Schmitz said.

"In the past, lowering cholesterol was a main component of controlling cardiovascular disease, but we now know that controlling the inflammation of the arteries helps to control the start of the disease process. Inflammation of the arteries leads to injury of the inner lining of the artery, which attracts the bad cholesterol to start the plaque/blockage process," he added.

"Some of the causes of inflammation in the arteries are poor blood pressure control, poor cholesterol control and uncontrolled diabetes," Dr. Schmitz said. "Advanced lipid profiling gives us a bigger picture of what is going on by giving us more pieces of the puzzle."

"Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease include age, genetics, diet, tobacco use, lack of exercise and other health problems," he added.

"Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation in the arteries. Research now shows that getting your heart rate up and keeping it up for 30-40 minutes on a daily basis is important," Dr. Schmitz said. Before beginning an aggressive exercise program talk to your primary care doctor, he added.

For more information about advanced lipid testing, contact Schmitz Family Practice and Rural Health at (479) 965-7702.