Advanced diagnostic testing gives us a more comprehensive look than ever before.
One of our tools is the comprehensive test menu of biomarkers provided by a specialty lab. Beyond cholesterol measurements, we also utilize nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology to measure lipoprotein particle concentrations, as well as immunoassays to measure apolipoproteins.
Lipoprotein particles like LDL, HDL and Lipoprotein (a) are protein enwrapped vehicles which transport lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. It is not so much the cholesterol content of these particles (measured in traditional lipid panels [e.g., LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol]) that most accurately increases the risk of atherosclerosis but rather the lipoprotein particle concentration [LDL-P, HDL-P]. Atherosclerosis or plaque results when certain lipoproteins invade the artery, become oxidized and generate an inflammatory process. It is particle number rather than particle cholesterol content that drives this process.
Also included is a panel of biomarkers that target the early detection of insulin resistance, prediabetes and pancreatic beta cell strain/dysfunction (cells in the pancreas in charge of insulin production). Awareness of these sensitive tests helps us not only to reverse prediabetes but also to better manage diabetes. It allows us to identify those patients on a path to diabetes and to change their course.