Many people who have family members or distance relation who has suffered stroke before can testify that stroke is a serious medical condition that often leads to death or permanent disability. If one is lucky to escape death, it is a very expensive disease to manage as it has no cure. Stroke is a disease of any age, gender and race, though is known to happen to people in their mid-age but the modern lifestyle and stress has made younger people susceptible to the risk factors of having it
Stroke also known as Carotid artery disease occurs when the major arteries in your neck become narrowed or blocked by plaque formation. These arteries, called the carotid arteries, supply your brain with blood. Your carotid arteries extend from your aorta in your chest to the brain inside your skull. Plaque formation starts with damage to the endothelium caused by high blood pressure, smoking, or high cholesterol. The plaque is made up of cholesterol, calcium, and fibrous tissue. As more plaque builds up, your arteries narrow and stiffen. This process is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. When enough plaque builds up to reduce or disturb blood flow through your carotid arteries
When bad cholesterol, or LDL, crosses the damaged endothelium, the cholesterol enters the wall of the artery. That causes your white blood cells to stream in to digest the LDL. Over years, the accumulating mess of cholesterol and cells becomes a plaque in the wall of the artery. Ruptured plaques in the brain’s arteries cause strokes with the potential for permanent brain damage. Temporary blockages in an artery can also cause transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), which are warning signs of stroke; however, there is no brain injury.
Our advance Ultrasound procedure is a painless and non-invasive advancement in medical imaging technology. It helps us to determine build up of Plaque (Atherosclerosis) which can lead to an increased risk for stroke, as well as indicating a likelihood of heart disease. Though you may not have any symptoms of carotid artery disease, early detection of this would enable you take actions towards treating the presence of such plaque
It is applied on the neck to takes the picture of both the left and right carotid arteries, which supply blood to your head and brain with a view to detect any plaque buildup in the carotid arteries. This technology complements the traditional blood pressure and cholesterol measurement as a way of detecting stroke and heart attack. Early detection of plaque buildup in the carotid arteries can allow you to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risks with the aim of reducing the risk of having stroke.
Heart Attack/Cardiovascular Heath Check
Heart attack typically occurs when a plaque within a coronary artery ruptures and clots. This leads to the sudden interruption of the blood supply to the heart muscle. To determine your risk of having it, doctors typically review your “risk factors such as your age, gender, total cholesterol, HDL and LDL levels (“good” and “bad” cholesterol), smoking history, blood pressure, and family history .This information is then compared to a database to estimate your 10-year risk for developing coronary artery disease (CAD).
No doubt that Cholesterol is an important risk factor, but it does not tell the whole story, knowing your cholesterol and blood pressure is simply not enough to determine your risk. Indeed, you may have hidden plaque without knowing and be at higher risk than your risk factor profile indicates. Too often, people with “normal” cholesterol still have a significant cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke). In a study of 136,905 patients with heart disease, (M Naghavi, ed. Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis. Humana Press 2010. ISBN 978-1603271783), 77% had normal cholesterol levels and would have been misclassified as low to moderate risk of heart attack. Because cholesterol measurement alone can be misleading, physicians now suggest testing to look for direct evidence of plaque buildup and thickening of the wall artery by performing a carotid ultrasound scan.
Leading medical associations agree that performing carotid ultrasound imaging to scan for plaque and measure CIMT helps to determine your risk of heart attack or stroke. Organizations like American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) recommends regular check up to detect any presence of plaque. Plaque formation is a silent process and may occur in large and medium-sized arteries anywhere in the body. Therefore, finding evidence of plaque formation in carotid artery increases the likelihood of having plaque in your coronary artery which is the major cause of heart attack.
Our Ultrasound imaging procedures scan through your carotid artery to look for evidence of plaque buildup, it also measure the Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT) your arteries lining. This procedures will usually give you two numbers: the thickness of your carotid lining (normal is less than 1.06 mm) and your “arterial age,” an estimate of how that thickness compares to that of healthy person of your age. If your arteries are more than 8 years “older” then your risk of having Heart Attack . At this time your doctor can tailor treatment to reduce your risk using a combination of diet and exercise plan, stress reduction, and, if necessary, drugs to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar and your intima-media thickness
Body Mass Index (BMI)
You need to keep your shape fit; you also need to maintain a healthy weight as most chronic diseases become aggravated with overweight and obesity. We check your BMI to estimate if your weight is within a health weight bracket, by so doing we are able to classify your weight into Normal, Overweight, under weight or Obese or Extreme Obesity. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk of some diseases, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes.
Blood Pressure – Systolic/Diastolic:
We measure your blood pressure to determine your numbers as compared to normal reading of 120/80 (Systolic/Diastolic) .Many people do not experience symptoms of high blood pressure. That is why it is often referred to as a Silent Killer. It’s important to check your Blood pressure and discuss it with your physician. Your blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into the arteries (blood vessels), which carry the blood throughout the body. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, and to the development of heart failure.
DIABETES SCREENING (BLOOD GLUCOSE TEST)
We measure your blood sugar through a finger prick procedure using an FDA approved device to determine your risk of having diabetes. The process is painless, simple but accurate. Our device is lab-accurate, and they are used in most of the major hospitals and laboratories in United States. Our results come out in less than 5 minutes. The blood test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose comes from carbohydrate foods which provide energy used by the body. Insulin is a hormone in your body which helps to convert the Glucose to energy that is used by your body cells. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and released into the blood when the amount of glucose in the blood rises. Normally, your blood glucose levels increase slightly after you eat. This increase causes your pancreas to release insulin so that your blood glucose levels do not get too high. Blood glucose levels that remain high over time can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels.
CHOLESTROL SCREENING (HDL/LDL/ TRIGLYCERIDES)
Just like your sugar level, your total lipid panel is a measure of the fat in your blood. It comprises of your Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL and Triglycerides. US National Cholesterol Education Program (NCED) recommends its measurement every 4-6months. We these measure the components through our finger prick procedures using an FDA approved device to determine your risk of having stroke and heart related diseases. The process is painless, simple and accurate. Contrary to popular belief, you need Cholesterol in your body because it helps your body build new cells, insulate nerves, and produce hormones. Normally, the liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs. But cholesterol also enters your body from dietary sources, such as animal-based foods like milk, eggs, and meat. High intake of trans-fats, saturated fats, and simple sugars may increase your cholesterol levels as well. As good as it sounds; too much of cholesterol in your body is not good as it is a major risk factor for much heart disease. There two major forms of cholesterol that enters your blood stream, the Low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol). The LDLs have little protein and high levels of cholesterol and HDL has a lot of protein and very little cholesterol. LDL is the main source of artery-clogging plaque. HDL actually works to clear cholesterol from the blood. Triglycerides are another fat in our bloodstream. Recent Research shows that high levels of triglycerides are also linked to heart