Inflammatory Disorders Raise Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, and Diabetes

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

Chronic inflammatory disorders, such as auto-immune conditions and psoriasis, raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This conclusion was reached after British medical statisticians used a national primary care database – the largest in the world – to compare a group of more than 155,000 individuals with inflammatory disorders to another group of more than 373,000 individuals without the disorders. The findings were published in 2014, in the medical journal Circulation.

The breakdown was as follows: individuals with autoimmune conditions had a 32 percent higher risk; severe psoriasis and vasculitis (inflamed blood vessels), 29 percent each; and ulcerative colitis, 26 percent. Overall, patients with inflammation-related diseases had a 20 percent higher risk; and those with the highest levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a common blood test indicator of inflammation in the body, had a 52 percent higher risk.

This study presents strong evidence that the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes is increased if someone has a chronic inflammatory disorder. The severity of that disorder, as identified by the highest level of CRP, increases the risk even more.

 My Viewpoint: Many conventional doctors tend to compartmentalize the body and just focus on the part or system related to their discipline, but they are missing the bigger picture. The body is a systemic continuum of intelligence, blood, and hormones, and as this important study shows us, of inflammation as well. I learned early in my cardiology career that if someone has arterial disease in one part of the body, he or she likely has it elsewhere. Inflammation doesn’t hang out in just one place. It is dangerous whenever it becomes chronic and is regarded as a common cause or component of most of the leading diseases of our time.

 What This Means to You: Chronic inflammation is bad for the whole body. If you have any chronic inflammatory disorder, speak to your doctor about the link to cardiovascular risk and strategize on a game plan to reduce the inflammation.

 Recommendation: Drugs, such as steroids and other powerful compounds, are often prescribed to reduce inflammation. However, there are many other avenues you can try so as to avoid taking big caliber drugs with potential for significant side effects. I strongly urge you to stay away from pro-inflammatory diets high in sugar, soda, hydrogenated fat, and processed meat. Shift to an anti-inflammatory diet reinforced with antioxidant supplements like CoQ10, resveratrol, curcumin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also jump on the Earthing bandwagon.

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