There are numerous ways to check for healthy endothelial function (also known as veinal and arterial health), but perhaps the most efficient and least invasive option available is the EndoPAT test. The Holistic Healing Heart Center is able to offer EndoPAT testing to our patients who want to receive information about their cardiovascular health. For a long time, healthcare professionals have recognized the status of endothelial dysfunction as the canary in the coal mine of cardiovascular disease, the earliest detectable sign of something to be concerned about. It is not only easily detectable, but reversible, unlike more advanced cardiovascular issues such as high cholesterol.
What is EndoPAT Testing?
EndoPAT testing is an FDA-cleared form of assessing endothelial function. The endothelium is the membrane that forms the inner lining of all blood vessels, and controls how your blood vessels dilate or constrict to affect blood pressure throughout your body. Endothelial cells perform a vital role in ensuring the homeostasis of the body (the equilibrium necessary for regular function), regulating inflammation, oxidative stress, and auto-immune disease.
The test itself is administered in a similar way to how blood pressure is measured. Your arteries’ blood flow is measured before and after a blood pressure cuff has been applied, by placing a finger (usually the index finger) in a small device. The procedure is non-invasive, no blood is drawn, and the procedure typically takes around 15 minutes. The test can identify conditions that may lead to risk factors such as high blood pressure. The EndoPAT test is favored by many health professionals including the team at the Holistic Healing Heart Center because of its non-invasive nature, its reliable, reproducible nature, and ease of use.
Assessing Endothelial Vasodilator Function
- Securing a full profile of the patient’s physical, mental, and emotional history, as well as an understanding of their lifestyle.
- Make sure that you are comfortable in the room where you are going to be tested, so that your body presents neutral results. The area you are tested in ought to be quiet, dimly-lit, and temperature-controlled.
- Remove restrictive clothing that could interfere with blood flow to the arms. Remove watches, rings, and any other jewelry on the hands or fingers.
- Silence all cellphones or paging devices.
- If you have any deformities or injuries on your fingers, notify the healthcare professional administering the test so they can adjust. Make sure your fingernails are clipped short for the test, and that you aren’t wearing acrylics.
- Your index finger is usually the one tested, but so long as it is the same finger on both hands, any will work.
- Make sure that you are at rest and comfortable during the test. A cardiovascular steady state is necessary to produce useful results.
Testing for Cardiovascular Irregularity In Los Angeles with the Holistic Healing Heart Center
There are different areas where vascular inflammation and unstable blood vessels can crop up.
- Inside The Blood Vessel: damage at this level is mainly the result of ‘junk’ circulating in the bloodstream. Unhealthy fats, excessive sugar, toxins (especially heavy metals and alcohol): all of these can cause irritation and inflammation. These in turn can cause vasoconstriction or spasms, which in turn create high blood pressure.
- In The Arterial Wall: ideally, artery walls should be thin, like the elastic skin of a balloon. However, what often happens as humans age and continue in unhealthy habits is that artery walls become calcified and less flexible. This can manifest as similar to the texture and flexibility of a garden hose, or in a more advanced state, like a lead pipe.
- In The Brain: the autonomic nervous system regulates the blood vessels, sending signals for the body to relax and expand, or tighten up and constrict. A balance between the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is necessary for the healthy regulation of our circulatory system. The Holistic Healing Heart Center also offers a Max Pulse evaluation that can aid in the assessment of these systems.
- Stroke: there is significant evidence that endothelial dysfunction can lead to ischemic stroke.
- Hypertension: many vascular beds are damaged as a result of hypertension, but whether endothelial dysfunction causes hypertension more often or the other way round is not well-established.
- Diabetes: while the illness itself can lead to inflammation, it is thought to be more often the diet of type 2 diabetic and pre-diabetic people that leads to endothelial dysfunction.
- Cancer: the stress of endothelial dysfunction can make cancer more likely.
- Kidney Disease: even moderate kidney disease has been noted to cause inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.
Heart disease is a significant health issue for tens of millions of Americans, but it’s not only the heart that the EndoPAT test can protect. Every organ in the human body is endothelium-dependent, and this test can flag up concerns relating to many of them, from erectile dysfunction to kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke. If you are interested in booking an EndoPAT test with the Holistic Healing Heart Center, you can contact us through our website.