Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases
Metabolism refers to the body’s organic and chemical processes used to sustain life, particularly by converting food to energy. Metabolic disorders are then defined as abnormal reactions and imbalances that affect this natural process. Age, genetics, pre-existing medical conditions and environmental factors, as well as a diseased or malfunctioning liver or pancreas often causes these metabolic disorders.
Similarly, metabolic disorders can take a toll on the body’s other organs, specifically the heart. Studies have shown that metabolism plays a significant role in increasing one’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Metabolic diseases are a class of illnesses that impede the body’s natural biochemical processes. When this happens, there is typically a chemical imbalance that affects how the body’s organs function. There are various types of metabolic conditions such as:
- Diabetes – Characterized by high glucose or sugar levels, diabetes stems from the body’s inability to produce or effectively use insulin. This means that the sugar stays in the blood rather than becoming digested and absorbed by the body. Diabetes increases the risks of heart disease and stroke, as well as damages nerves and other organs.
- Dyslipidemia – This condition refers to a high amount of lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood. Lipids are essential to supply energy to the cells. However, at abnormally high levels, lipids can result in coronary artery and peripheral artery diseases.
- Metabolic Syndrome – This is a collective term that covers all high-risk factors and symptoms that can lead to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. This includes obesity, high blood pressure, high insulin levels and high cholesterol.
In Singapore, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain a leading cause of death, according to the Ministry of Health. CVD is an umbrella term referring to diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels. These include:
- Congenital Heart Disease – This is a defect or structural problem of the heart that is present at birth. Commonly affecting the heart wall, valves and blood vessels, congenital heart diseases affect the flow of blood to the heart and other organs.
- Coronary Artery Disease – This develops when the heart’s major arteries, which supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood, become constricted or damaged due to a buildup of fat and cholesterol (atherosclerosis). Unmanaged, coronary artery disease leads to chest pain (angina), heart attack or heart failure.
- Heart Muscle Disease (Cardiomyopathy) – This is a progressive disease affecting the myocardium (heart muscle), causing it to become enlarged, thickened or rigid, and making it difficult for the heart to pump blood. It can cause heart attack, heart failure or arrythmia.
- Heart Infection – This refers to viral infections or bacteria that have spread to the heart and other organs via the bloodstream. Endocarditis is a type of heart infection that affects the heart’s lining that is life-threatening if left untreated.
- Vascular Disease – This is a group of illnesses in the blood vessels that affect their function of delivering blood, oxygen and nutrients to other parts of the body such as the brain (cerebrovascular) and limbs (peripheral artery).
Digestive Centre offers a range of screening and diagnostic tests, as well as medical and surgical treatments to manage conditions concerning nutrition and metabolism. Our services include body composition analysis, metabolic rate testing, diet analysis, nutrition therapy and much more. Call 6737-5388 to schedule a consultation with our doctors today.