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Ways to lower your risk of heart Disease, besides just diet and exercise.

In our 20's we're invincible but when we turn 40, we start to feel more vulnerable, things are "changing", and we start saying things like "because I'm old." At what age do you start really thinking about your heart health? Is it when your cholesterol is finally elevated and your doctor says it's time for your Statin or when your blood pressure is finally making you dizzy and giving you headaches?

Did you know as a Naturopathic Doctor, I'm thinking of someone's cardiovascular system even as early as 10 years old! That's right! I've seen kids' cholesterol and inflammatory markers elevated due to childhood obesity. So when "should" you be thinking about your heart health? When is it time to "start" really taking notice of your lifestyle and it's impacts on your health?

IT's TODAY! It's NOW! The key to lowering your risks to anything is to be PROACTIVE. Of course, even if you have cardiovascular disease now and are on an impressive list of medications, you can still do something to prevent the progression or worsening of your condition.

This blog is to get you thinking outside the box, beyond the expected recommendation that you kind of already know.

1. Pay attention to the hormonal roller coaster.

Now, I realize the 10 year old doesn't have to think about this but I didn't want to start my list with "eat better" and "exercise." These 2 things are what I would focus on in pediatrics and it's certainly a key to longevity and the prevention of most diseases, BUT, we mustn't forget the close relationship hormones play in heart health.

Estrogen is the main female sex hormone and plays a role in protecting against cardiovascular disease in pre-menopausal women. When Estradiol, the most active form of estrogen, drops it causes LDL's to go up and HDL's to go down. Estradiol then shifts into the more weaker versions of estrogen, estrone (E1) and estriol (E3), AND progesterone also drops. Progesterone dropping in relation to the weaker estrogen will still put a women into what looks like "estrogen" dominance. Estrogen dominance is what causes the weight gain, cravings, mood swings, and metabolic issues. This in turn can cause predispositions that will increase blood pressure, blood sugar, and ultimately the risks of heart disease..