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  #106   ^
Old Sat, Nov-11-17, 02:48
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 10,398
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
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Should add that new interview with Ivor Cummins on this thread too, he talks about the CAC for about ten minutes, time stamps to find it here: http://www.thefatemperor.com/blog/2...o-cac-longevity
Comments why the CAC is not promoted by the large coronary centers...because they have more invasive and thus expensive tests to recommend. Luckily in the US in many areas, the imaging centers that offer all types of scans do it for around $100. Though the lovely Irishman mis-understands all our weird state laws...many states do require a doctor's order, and if your doctor hasnít a clue about how to read a CAC score, you may get push back about ordering the test.
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  #107   ^
Old Sat, Nov-11-17, 05:28
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 4,146
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
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For the CAC to be of benefit a person has to know what to do to decrease their risk. Most conventional doctors don't have much or anything to offer that significantly reduces risk. Dietary measures, other than low fat, are hardly ever mentioned. CAC can be a motivator but unless you know what to do about it it is of little value. I keep thinking about how if we all just followed a low carb real food diet we'd all be so much healthier. If getting your CAC score moves you along the road to healthier eating etc then it is worthwhile. If all it does is increase your stress level then it has not served any useful function and perhaps even made things worse. If it induces chronic stress you are in worse shape than when you were blissfully ignorant.

Jean
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  #108   ^
Old Fri, Jan-12-18, 09:15
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 6,846
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/205/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 102%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
Default My doctor declined my request for another CAC Scan

FYI: Since receiving an alarmingly high score (343) on my first ever CT Heart Calcium scan last year I'd contemplated whether it would be worth it to have another one done at the same time this year. While not looking forward to the blast of radiation that comes with the procedure I had to balance that risk with my desire to know if my lifestyle changes and "heart healthy" supplements I'm taking are making a difference. From what I've read, the typical person with a poor heart calcium score will have fairly rapid progression from one year to the next (25-30% increase in calcification). From that Ivor Cummins video and other sources I've learned that slowing progression down to less that 15% each year greatly would greatly improve my changes of avoiding a heart attack. That seems to me something that I might want to know and I can't know unless I have a second scan done to compare my baseline score to.

So I decided that I wanted to do it again at the 1 year mark and contacted my doctor to request the required prescription. I didn't speak with her directly, but her nurse called me this morning to tell me that my doctor had declined my request. The nurse relayed the note from my doctor who indicated that she thought that it was too soon and it likely wouldn't be much different than the last one. So I guess that's that. I will just keep doing what I'm doing and try again later. I may bring the topic up at my annual checkup in March. I'll make the case for why I want to have it done and hopefully she will agree to another scan at the 2 year mark.

Last edited by khrussva : Fri, Jan-12-18 at 10:20.
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  #109   ^
Old Fri, Jan-12-18, 15:30
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 2,381
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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I understand your desire to monitor this closely. Let us know how the conversation goes with your doctor in March.
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  #110   ^
Old Sat, Jan-13-18, 13:26
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is online now
Posts: 9,217
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
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Like someone else said on here, if you do get the scan and they find blockage, what do you do? Is there no cure except for by-pass or stent?
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  #111   ^
Old Sat, Jan-13-18, 13:50
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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Posts: 4,146
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
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Dr Davis (Wheat Belly, Undoctored) believes it is possible to reverse the calcium score. People on his Undoctored Forum have talked about it. If you join the forum (about $19 every quarter) you can ask questions and will probably get a reply from Dr Davis himself. He also has what are called "Virtual Meetups" usually on Wednesday evenings where you can ask him questions directly. I joined out of curiosity and attended some of the meetups. I felt that I was not getting enough out of it to continue paying but still if there were some info that I wanted directly, like about the calcium scan, from DR Davis I would certainly find it worthwhile. Dr Davis believes that a person should only be in ketosis intermittently. He's a little less low carb than I am but still he has a lot of worthwhile information and advice.

Jean
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  #112   ^
Old Sat, Jan-13-18, 13:59
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is online now
Posts: 9,217
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
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I like Davis and I am on the email list but not paying for the full-monte.

I do remember the chapter called Bone Breaker where it talks about getting the calcium into the bones rather into the arteries.
I should go back and read it again.
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  #113   ^
Old Sun, Jan-14-18, 09:36
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khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 6,846
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/205/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 102%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meme#1
Like someone else said on here, if you do get the scan and they find blockage, what do you do? Is there no cure except for by-pass or stent?

I think that the value of this test is to identify a CVD problem before there are any symptoms. If you know that you are well on your way to a heart attack, then maybe you can do something about it. When CVD reaches a point where stents or a bypass are required, then you have more than likely had symptoms. My scan last year sent me to the front of the line for a high risk of a heart attack. But to date I've had no symptoms. My brother, on the other hand, had a heart attack last year. He is morbidly obese, smoked for most of his life (although not anymore), is a T2 diabetic, and doesn't do a very good job managing his BG. After the heart attack he had to have several stents put in and was prescribed several drugs that he must take for life. I want to avoid that if at all possible.

Perhaps I am in too much of a hurry to have a second scan done. My doctor seems to think so. But I am a data guy - both in my chosen career and with my WOE. Progression (or lack of) is the key. But it can only be measured with two (or more) data points. I believe that I am doing the right things to keep progression of my CVD at a rate that greatly reduces my risk. But I also know that how I eat is not in keeping with dietary advice of the American Heart Association or your typical cardiologist for that matter. So you'd have to say that I am a rebel with a cause. I think that I have found a better way to go. But I want to KNOW if my lifestyle changes are working. I have been waiting all year to find out. I thought that one year was enough time elapsed for a meaningful information. Now I may have to wait another year.

Last edited by khrussva : Sun, Jan-14-18 at 10:07.
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  #114   ^
Old Sun, Jan-14-18, 12:26
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 2,381
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khrussva
I think that I have found a better way to go. But I want to KNOW if my lifestyle changes are working. I have been waiting all year to find out. I thought that one year was enough time elapsed for a meaningful information. Now I may have to wait another year.

Given the score of you first CAC, the need to confirm that you're doing the right things with your WOE is understandable and important. If the next test shows little progression, that confirms that your approach is helping. I believe we would all benefit by knowing that. Until then, given your overall health improvements over the recent past, I believe you can be confident that you're likely doing everything you can to continue to improve your health.

There is recent research that shows individuals have achieved lower follow-up CAC scores:
https://utsouthwestern.influuent.ut...epeatability-im

I'm curious about the recommended time period of the getting a follow-up CACS test, and I'm sure it's out there. All the best, my friend.
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  #115   ^
Old Thu, Feb-15-18, 03:25
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 10,398
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
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As Jean mentioned above, contrary to most cardiologists, Dr Davis believes a CAC score can be lowered. He says he has done it without medications. Even if you are not part of his Undoctored forum, he eventually sends out in his regular newsletter the transcripts on some topics.

Here he lists the six strategies to help reduce a CAC.

https://blog.undoctored.com/reduce-heart-scan-score/

Last edited by JEY100 : Thu, Feb-15-18 at 03:31.
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  #116   ^
Old Thu, Feb-15-18, 05:55
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is online now
Posts: 9,217
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
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Janet, Thanks for posting.
This is most interesting!
"Vitamin D: 25-OH vitamin D 60-70- ng/mL
Next is vitamin D. When I added in vitamin D about 10 so years ago, it was the first time I watched heart scan scores plummet ó dramatic reductions. Before I added vitamin D, we were lucky to get a 0% year-over-year (lack of increase in a heart scan score) or slowed it down maybe 9% per year increase, or maybe a very modest, maybe 3% reduction, from one year to the next. When I added vitamin D, thatís what we started seeing 24% reduction, 36% reduction, 48% reduction, 72 ó incredible amounts of regression, of reduction in the heart scan score. So Vitamin D is crucial."
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  #117   ^
Old Thu, Feb-15-18, 09:04
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 10,398
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
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That is one piece of advice I have nailed. The advice for cancer survivors is to keep Vit D in the 50-80 ng/mL range, so check that.
But the one I dont do at all is Fish Oil, after recent concerns over the usefulness of Fish Oil in supplement form. Totally confused about fish oil advice, so I gave up.
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  #118   ^
Old Thu, Feb-15-18, 09:13
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is online now
Posts: 9,217
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
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My thought on fish oil is that there could be a great verience in quality depending on where it was made, possible containments and from what source or type of fish, since they say the large fish carry a greater quantity of Mercury because they're at the top of the food chain. I'll just eat sardines and anchovies every so often which are both supposed to be less contaminated.
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  #119   ^
Old Thu, Feb-15-18, 10:12
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 6,846
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/205/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 102%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
Default

I do most things on that list and I have for some time. I wish that I'd had the CAC score done earlier in my journey. The thought scares me, but it is possible that my score of 343 last year might even be an improvement over what it would have been a year or two before. I am hoping for a reduction in my score with my current lifestyle changes. The wait is killing me.

I've never done the fish oil supplements. I eat sardines, mackerel, and wild caught canned salmon regularly. I'm hoping that is sufficient.

In 2015 I was supplementing with kelp for the iodine. My TSH score was fine - no apparent thyroid issue. So I stopped with the kelp supplements.

Fermented foods are part of my WOE, but other than pickles such foods are not a regular part of my diet. I'll think about adding more. I wonder if this recommendation has anything to do with vitamin K2 and not just 'gut health?' I do supplement with K2 and some better sources of K2 are fermented foods.

I'm surprised that exercise was not on the list. All of the doctors promote more exercise for improving cardiovascular health.

Thanks for the link, Janet. It was a good read. I guess that all I can do is to keep on doing my thing until I have that next CAC done.
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  #120   ^
Old Tue, Apr-24-18, 03:13
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 10,398
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
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Amy Berger has written a new article about the CAC on HeadsUpHealth. Before she launches into a clear explanation of the basics of a CAC, she reviews why high Cholesterol numbers are not useful markers for heart disease, why statins may have made the CVD situation worse, the fact higher cholesterol is better for most over 60, etc. A short but thorough article, good to share if want the reasons why a CAC is better than lipid panels.
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