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What is cardiometabolic disease?

What is cardiometabolic disease?

We will try to keep this short, because each aspect of cardiometabolic physiology could be a few pages to accurately discuss.

For the sake of simplicity, cardiometabolic refers to the system including the heart, vasculature, liver, pancreas and the overarching regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism within this system.

Different companies providing cardiometabolic testing or nutritional supplementation may or may not include the liver in their cardiometabolic perspective.

we find that including the liver function and health are a crucial aspect to be included in cardiometabolic health. Because the liver is the primary regulator of cholesterol (lipid) metabolism, its contribution to cardiometabolic health and disease is crucial.

LIVER 

Other than regulating lipid metabolism, the liver is also important in glycemic (blood sugar) regulation. Additionally, from a disease standpoint, many significant systems (heart, respiratory, detoxification) are at risk when liver function or health is compromised. The primary issue that affects the liver is a buildup of excess fat within the liver tissue, usually as a result of diet, excess sugar and carbohydrate intake, inadequate exercise, or other lifestyle factors.

CARDIOVASCULAR

While the heart is the part of the cardiovascular system that most people think of first, the actual vessels or vascalature actually represent the most critical component as applied to CardioMetabolic health. This has to do with the way the vessels are affected by excess cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation, blood sugar and oxidative stress, not to mention hypertension.

METABOLISM

The metabolic component of cardiometabolic health is for the most part centered around blood sugar regulation. The primary metabolic disease, diabetes, involves the loss of control of proper regulation of blood sugar as it relates to insulin sensitivity. Diabetes, prediabetes, and insulin resistance all fall under the umbrella of cardiometabolic disease.

Putting it All Together

The key aspect of cardiometabolic disease has to do with the way the systems affect one another from a pathology perspective. The liver, when burdened with excess fat in Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD, MAFLD) can increase the health burden on the heart and metabolic system, increasing risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The kidneys are also impacted, and Chronic Kidney Disease is a major comorbidity of the cardiometabolic triad.

The most critical aspect of cardiometabolic disease lies in what precipitates or initiates it. Research lays the blame for cardiometabolic disease squarely at the feet of excess visceral fat. Visceral fat sets the stage for insulin resistance and inflammation and oxidative stress. These are the key factors that increase the risk of Fatty Liver, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes.

In short, any and all efforts to reduce excess visceral fat and build its counterpart, lean muscle mass, will generally steer our physiology away from cardiometabolic disease and dysfunction.