Maintaining a healthy heart is one of the primary steps towards leading a perfectly healthy and happy life. However, an increased level of homocysteine in the blood can cost one his or her cardiac health quality. Read this article to gather weapons against this demon named high homocysteine which flows like a poison in our body.
What is Homocysteine?
Homocysteine is an amino acid which flows in our blood and regulates in the body during any metabolic activities. This is used by the human body to make protein. A normal homocysteine level maintains the various other levels in the human body while an imbalance of the homocysteine level creates a ruckus inside both children and the adults as it begins to act like the toxins which only serve the purpose of harming the body and our overall health. Imbalanced homocysteine can be the cause of various health issues. It is not dangerous till the time it is balanced. Homocysteine levels are naturally maintained in human beings through specific vitamins and the production of several enzymes.
How is Homocysteine evaluated?
A pathology-based homocysteine test monitors the amount of homocysteine present in the blood. Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, and folic acids are the substances which prove useful in breaking down homocysteine in order to circulate the supply of the elements which the body requires. This blood test proves helpful in checking if there is a deficiency of Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 or folic acid. It is used to check if a person has homocystinuria. An eight to twelve hour fast before the test is advised before the examination to ensure a proper and accurate report.
- The Test results
A high homocysteine level indicates a lack of vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, and folic acid; high risk of heart disease and it can also be a sign of homocystinuria. A person’s age, gender, general habits and use of Vitamin B supplements can be the factors which have resulted in an abnormal homocysteine value.
Homocystinuria: What is it?
It is a rare and genetic disease which hampers the breakdown of protein in the human body. It can come up as the root cause of various ailments which might prove life-threatening for both adults and children.
What are the Symptoms of high homocysteine levels in human beings?
The signs of a high level of homocysteine in humans may vary depending upon the varied lack of certain types of enzymes and nutrients. Symptoms of elevated homocysteine value in humans, both adults, and children, include-
- In children, abnormal muscle and bone development can be a sign of high homocysteine levels. A curved spine and stuck out chest and rib cage are some of the visible signs of an elevated homocysteine level in children.
- A high homocysteine level which is caused due to poor nutrition can show symptoms such as anemia, body aches, and stiffness delayed hormonal imbalances physical development and particular birth related issues as well.
- In the case of adults, poor nutrition can be the cause of high homocysteine levels particularly in pregnant women, alcoholics and drug addicts, those who have liver or kidney diseases, diabetes or hormonal imbalances, etc. Those who are habitual of using laxatives and diuretics regularly are also prone to high homocysteine levels, the cause of which is lack of proper nutrition.
- In adults, hypertension, fluctuating cholesterol, headache, and migraine can be the signs of high homocysteine values.
- Some of the other indicators of high homocysteine values can be osteoporosis which is the thining of bones, visibility issues, presence of blood clots, narrowing or hardening of the blood vessels which is a heart disease named Atherosclerosis.
Causes of High Homocysteine Levels
Few causes of high homocysteine levels may include individual genetic variations due to which the mediator molecules lose their efficiency and begin to malfunction. This malfunctioning slows down the multiplication of homocysteine.
- Low levels of thyroid hormones can be a cause of high homocysteine levels.
- Renal diseases, psoriasis and continuous and prolonged use of medicines can also be the cause of elevated homocysteine levels.
- Another reason could be a genetic carryover of this issue.
The Dangers that high Homocysteine levels carry along
The high degree of homocysteine in the blood can lead to the thinning of arteries in human beings. It can also cause unnecessary blood clots which magnifies the risk of blood vessel blockages. A high homocysteine level can also lead to a thrombus which is a term for a condition in which there is a clot formed in the blood vessel. The thrombus can get stuck in the lungs, the brain which can lead to a stroke and the heart which can lead to heart disease. People who have very high levels of homocysteine can fall prey to heart diseases easily.
The Atrocities of high homocysteine levels over our cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease are a common cause of elevated homocysteine levels. This has a link with low values of Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, and folic acid. A high homocysteine level leads to the deterioration in the condition of arteries present in the human body as they begin to harden and gradually start narrowing as well. This increase the chances of the formation of unwanted blood clots. This can hamper the rate at which blood pumps from and to the heart. This hindrance in the flow of blood throughout the body will cause the pulse rate to fluctuate. Hence, there is a chance of a heart disease knocking at the person’s door for destroying his life. According to studies conducted over a period of time, around 15% of heart disease have been the result of high homocysteine levels in human beings.
The ECG Monitoring Device at your Rescue
An electrocardiogram Monitor records the activities of the heart in a state of rest, providing the heart rate and sync. It also shows if there is any enlargement in the heart which can be the cause of hypertension or evidence of previous heart disease.
In the case of high homocysteine values, an ECG monitor can be of use to keep a check on the person’s heart rate, blood pressure and to monitor the various other symptoms of a heart disease which is an essential cause of high homocysteine values. A heart ECG monitoring report can help control and be prepared for the person’s treatment in the hour of need through the values which it shows.
A long term Holter monitor can also be helpful as it continuously captures the electrical signals until the time the person is carrying it with himself. The use of heart ECG monitoring report and the long term Holter monitor can act as weapons against heart diseases for people who have to deal with this high value regularly.
What can we do to prevent or control high homocysteine values?
One of the best ways of ensuring a healthy heart and body is a maintained homocysteine level in our blood. Here is a list of foods which one should and should not eat in order to maintain this balance-
Foods which one can eat are:
- Include organic and unprocessed foods which are rich in fiber and antioxidants.
- Make sure that you consume enough of Vitamin C along with a fair proportion of leafy green vegetables and fresh fruits.
- In your diet, always try to include vegetable and fruit juices
- Eat berries which are rich in Vitamin E.
- Include healthy fats, probiotic foods, and zinc rich foods.
Make sure that you avoid processed foods, sugary foods, alcohol, caffeine, trans fat, and processed foods which have preservatives. To protect one’s heart, it is necessary to stay away from smoking and to befriend physical activities such as dance, yoga, running, etc. Protect your heart, protect yourself!
Sathya Kumar is the Founder & CEO of Cardiac Rhythm .Cardiac Rhythm’s biosensor is an unobtrusive, easy to use the device for the patient’s long-term Holter monitoring, cardiac ECG monitoring and real-time mobile cardiac telemetry monitoring. The innovative, portable biosensor remotely monitors the health of patients and provides physicians with deeper clinical-grade data insights.