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Dr. Cheryl McFarland-Bryant

Better Health

Do you have hypertension, hardening of the arteries, arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis? Can it affect your metabolic age?

It was once stated that “you are as old as your arteries.” If you’d like to know your status, lab testing can differentiate between these conditions.

There are supplements and herbs which can help to unclog arteries and speed the blood flow. This decreases the body’s need to squeeze the arteries to increase blood flow, thus creating a natural ease.

In the case of hardening of the arteries and veins, veins and arterioles, the nervous system signals blood vessels to squeeze tighter to get sufficient flow thru hardened vessels to vital organs and to the extremities. That is because it is like sending water through clogged pipes.

The problem is that this increased pressure harms small vessels in the eyes, kidneys and brain, often causing blindness, kidney failure and strokes. This stress of wear and tear prematurely damages these tissues and shortens the life span of tissue, thus creating the metabolic changes that can handicap and age us.

Functional integrative medicine (FIM) offers natural support, utilizing medical laboratory results and customized nutrition plans that use nutraceutical supplements. FIM includes dietary suggestions to address an individual’s healthy weight goal and matches herbal remedies for metabolism and emotional support.

Lab testing for metabolism and genetic profiles are used to create a customized nutrition plan working towards correcting vitamin deficiencies. This approach blends the ancient Eastern ayurvedic herbal medicine with modern Western medicine. This can be done remotely via telemedicine video visits.

Research and lab testing have given us a greater advantage for determining the most beneficial supplementation available for maintaining proper metabolism and for decreasing the inflammation that causes the plaques to form in the arteries — the cause of plaque formation is not the cholesterol level, that plaque is a band-aid that the body applies to an injury caused by chemical insult such as excess blood sugar, smoking and chemicals which is worsened by or trigged by inflammation and stress

There are B vitamins such as niacin, supplements such as alpha lipoic acid, L-Selenomethionine, Molybdenum and N-acetyl cysteine that naturally lower the bad cholesterol — including LDL and some low molecular-weight HDL particle — which most MDs do not test for. Most physicians prescribe statins such as Brulenta and Lisinopril.

Incidentally, the latter is an ACE inhibitor — suspected of being associated with poor outcomes regarding patient long-term use and COVID-19. Angiotensin-converting enzyme-ACE inhibitors may increase susceptibility to SARS CoV-2. A co-relation was noticed early on between COVID-19 patients on hypertensive medications, especially ACE2 inhibitors.

ACE 2 receptors are like keyholes or doorknobs through which the CoV-2 enter the body and go from the nose to the lungs and gut quickly; they have a lot of these receptors.

Combined with lifestyle changes and life coaching, the plaques can be reabsorbed and the causes of the inflammation resulting in plaques and hardening will decrease. Many supplements decrease inflammation. It is important to learn the dosing for them.

A review of a person’s dietary and other habits are needed to determine the proper dosages. Some genetic defects in SNPs cause deficiencies in absorption of B vitamins such as B12, while the poor use of certain minerals may increase the likelihood of sensitivity to them. SNPs are DNA genetic mutations (variations) which may increase susceptibility to disease.

Having genetic testing takes customized nutrition to the next level. An anemic person may take vitamin B12 to no avail if they cannot absorb it due to a genetic defect because of missing an enzyme. Knowledge of this can allow the doctor of integrative functional medicine to prescribe natural solutions, such as recommending methylated cyanocobalamin. Being aware of this genetic deficiency can help one to prevent tingling, numbness and weakness that may result.

Dr. Cheryl McFarland-Bryant has been practicing in Citrus County for more than 25 years. She is licensed as a doctor of chiropractic and medical laboratory scientist. She has studied functional integrative medicine for many years. Contact her at 352-795-8911 or visit 6166 W. Gulf-to-Lake Highway, Crystal River, or