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  #46   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 06:41
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 2,983
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/122/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 112%
Location: Vermont
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khrussva
I will do as Janet suggested and do all the reading up I can on this subject between now and my March doctor visit. My preliminary argument is that if these statin drugs work so well then why is CVD still such a disaster. I have come to believe that diet is the root cause and the most likely cure for many health issues including CVD. I don't know that the score can actually go down. It seems that if something is calcified, then it is going to stay that way. But if I can fix this through diet and not have the condition get worse over the next few years I want the credit to go to the diet - not to some pharmaceutical that I'm taking. I don't want to be stupid, but in as much as I've read there has been way too much faith placed in the effectiveness of statin drugs. Changing an LDL number is one thing. Reducing the risk of a heart attack is another. And the side effects of statins are something that I'd prefer not to deal with if not warranted.


I agree with you Ken. I made the decision a long time ago to never take a statin drug again after Lipitor caused me disabling joint pain. I also believe that the best things we can do for ourselves is to eat a low carb real food diet. I stick by this decision and don't even have my cholesterol checked because whatever the score I won't do anything different than what I am doing now. I tend not to like to be to dogmatic when it comes to other people although I am very dogmatic when it comes to myself. I figure that whatever damage I did to myself by my years of bad eating, known or unknown, is just what I have to live with. Right now all I can do is live the most healthy life I can in the here and now.

Jean
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  #47   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 08:07
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 9,317
 
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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My understanding is nothing will lower the CAC score, as you said Ken, its calcified, so the calcium deposits are not going anywhere.

Just playing the devil's advocate here, some doctors will now claim that the lowering of LDL cholesterol from statins is not the reason it prevents CVD, but from some unspecified lowering of inflammation. It works, but not for the reason originally thought. And with muscle and joint pain a common problem, they may be more willing to change brands, lower dose, etc until the side effects are eliminated or reduced. But as you have read in this forum, statins also increase the risk of diabetes...and that certainly isn't something you want now after all the good you have done through weight loss and diet changes.

Quote:
Note that the fixes for cardiovascular disease primarily involve lowering hyperinsulinemia (mainly via a well-formulated LCHF diet), adequate Magnesium, optimum Omega3:Omega6 ratio, adequate sun exposure/vitamin D and many others. The movie here mainly mentioned meds, a very small part of the risk-reversal story
(Comment under the film)
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  #48   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 08:16
SabreCat50 SabreCat50 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 129
 
Plan: modified Atkins
Stats: 220/178/170 Male 6 ft 1 in
BF:
Progress: 84%
Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
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I have started taking vitamin K2 and plan to increase my dosage over time. K1 deals with clotting, but K2 transports calcium from the blood stream to the bones & teeth and away from the arteries. There is a little evidence that it can remove plaque.

I'll try a new CAS in a year to see if there is any change.
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  #49   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 08:24
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,613
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/210/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 100%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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I found this...

How to Reverse Heart Disease with the Coronary Calcium Score

There are lots of "what to do" strategies in this article. I find it interesting that I am already doing a lot of them with my dietary changes. I also liked the sound of this..

Quote:
Remember, reduction in calcium score on follow up calcium scan is the goal.

So apparently it is possible to actually improve your score.

One (of many) things I learned from this article is that it may be wise for be to give up caffeine. It does raise my blood pressure quite a bit and according to this article that is not a good thing with calcified arteries.
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  #50   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 08:54
Liz53's Avatar
Liz53 Liz53 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 6,116
 
Plan: Mostly Fung/IDM
Stats: 165/138.4/135 Female 63
BF:???/better/???
Progress: 89%
Location: Washington state
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khrussva
I found this...

[URL=http://jeffreydachmd.com/how-to-reverse-heart-disease-with-the-coronary-calcium-score/]How to Reverse Heart Disease with the Coronary Calcium Score[/URL

So apparently it is possible to actually improve your score.

.


My understanding is that age is a factor when assigning a score. The amount of calcium deposits is being compared with others of your age or age group. So, yes, if you can reduce the rate of calcium deposit below the average rate for your group, you can lower your score (without reducing amount of current calcium deposits).

It's too bad you can't know how much calcium was laid down before LC and since. Bottom line: chances are you are doing exactly what you should be doing to keep from growing your risk.
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  #51   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 11:35
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,613
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/210/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 100%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreCat50
I have started taking vitamin K2 and plan to increase my dosage over time. K1 deals with clotting, but K2 transports calcium from the blood stream to the bones & teeth and away from the arteries. There is a little evidence that it can remove plaque.

I'll try a new CAS in a year to see if there is any change.

Thanks for the tip, Glenn. I looked into this over my lunch hour. Interesting stuff. From what I saw this needs more study, but K2 seems to show promise with arterial health, reducing calcification or even decalcifying. I'm curious. Is this something recommended by your doctor or did you pick this up on your own?
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  #52   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 12:19
SabreCat50 SabreCat50 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 129
 
Plan: modified Atkins
Stats: 220/178/170 Male 6 ft 1 in
BF:
Progress: 84%
Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khrussva
Thanks for the tip, Glenn. I looked into this over my lunch hour. Interesting stuff. From what I saw this needs more study, but K2 seems to show promise with arterial health, reducing calcification or even decalcifying. I'm curious. Is this something recommended by your doctor or did you pick this up on your own?


YouTube is my goto resource for this. K2 seems to be side-effect free from all reports.
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  #53   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 12:24
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is online now
Posts: 1,781
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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Ken, you're doing everything right in terms of your eating lifestyle. I'd be very interested in the formula Janet referenced and whether that's something that can be applied with accuracy, or if it's simply taking into account all the known CVD markers to develop a risk profile. Either way, I get the sense that without a long history of many CAC scores, known influences, and changes, not everything is known regarding whether it's possible to manage the score. Some recommend periodic follow-up tests to ensure it's not going higher or is doing so at a slow rate, and that seems to be the current thinking in terms of managing one's CAC. However, recently I have read and heard of people attempting to lower their CAC score. This is something I'd like to know more about and wonder if a well tailored LCHF approach can be a true substitute for statins. I'm confident it would be a lot healthier!!!

Having a long period of dairy elimination and then getting your next NMR Lipid Panel will be very interesting. It's going to confirm how much control your diet has over your lipid health. To me, that could translate to a tempering of the perceived risk of your CAC score as well.

As for K2, I take it every day along with magnesium and D3. It is known as having an influence on calcium transport and moving it to where it belongs. Fat soluble, I take it with a meal.
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  #54   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 12:42
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 9,317
 
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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz53
My understanding is that age is a factor when assigning a score. The amount of calcium deposits is being compared with others of your age or age group. So, yes, if you can reduce the rate of calcium deposit below the average rate for your group, you can lower your score (without reducing amount of current calcium deposits).

It's too bad you can't know how much calcium was laid down before LC and since. Bottom line: chances are you are doing exactly what you should be doing to keep from growing your risk.


We agree that the calcium is layed down and cannot be reduced, but the absolute score and percentile were reported separately on mine.

Findings were a score of 14 in the Left Anterior Decending, my risk for a cardiac event is moderate. Followed by "This score is between the 25th and 50th percentile for the patient's age and sex". It went on to point out other nodes and nodules here and there, extra tidbits that were not terribly reassuring either.
Like Ken, I am doing the best diet and lifestyle wise to prevent this score from increasing.

Last edited by JEY100 : Wed, Jan-25-17 at 13:40.
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  #55   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 20:10
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,613
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/210/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 100%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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My doctor received the results today and had the nurse call me for an appointment ASAP. She scheduled 2 time slots for me tomorrow afternoon. Looks like I'm going to have a long conversation tomorrow. My annual is coming up in less than 2 months. I'm thinking that my latest diet tweak will have positive effects on my LDL. Unless I am convinced otherwise, I will push to hold off any prescriptions until I have the opportunity to see those new cholesterol labs. Doing them now would not be wise as I just came off of a longer fast and that would certainly impact the results.
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  #56   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 20:51
DelaneyLC's Avatar
DelaneyLC DelaneyLC is offline
Posts: 1,977
 
Plan: Atkins '72
Stats: 188/143/144 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 102%
Location: NV
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Ken, sorry to hear about the high score after your CAC. I think your doctor is going to talk to you about more than just taking statins. Prepare yourself, he/she will probably want to send you to a cardiologist for more extensive testing.

We are here for you. I gave up caffeine, but not coffee, now I just drink decafe.
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  #57   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 22:08
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is online now
Posts: 7,570
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
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You know, all of that about how the calcium deposits never leave once they're there. Maybe that's what they say because no studies have been done with people on low-carb.
And Ken, you just reached goal months back...when? You may find that you improve over time consistently eating like this into the future. Maybe the body takes time to heal?
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  #58   ^
Old Thu, Jan-26-17, 05:04
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 9,317
 
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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Dang, your study time went from 2 months to 2 days.

I have been Dr. Googling CAC score interpretation, and found that different diagnostic centers and hospitals do have slightly different action plans, but be prepared for referral to a cardiologist, a stress test, and prescribed aspirin, supplements and statins.

This doctor spelled out his action plan, but he looks like Vincent Price and the article is not dated, so it may apply only to vampires. Even under 100, with your cholesterol, statins would be prescribed.
http://www.dmg.net/eng/about_corona...iumscoring.html

Duke uses "Incorporating Novel Risk Factors" in addition to their standard Risk Evaluation. I assumed the standard was the Framingham Risk Score (uses total and HDL for cholesterol) but did not ask my GP that. They could have also used one of the new formulas for cholesterol. http://news.heart.org/doctor-discus...erol-treatment/ or http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=475733

So not knowing which baseline risk tool was used, I was sent:

Four Novel Risk Factors: Criteria for revising the Risk Assessment UPWARD.

CAC Score: Greater than 300 Agatston units or 75th percentile for Age, Gender and Ethnicity

Family History of premature CVD: First degree relative with CVD

HS C-Reactive protein : Greater than 2 mg/L

Ankle-brachial Index: Less than 0.9

You dont need all the "novel risk factors", but if the doctor ordered one of them, that is how she would handle the result. As you can see, with 300+ you would have a fast call back from Duke too (Top 5 hospital for Cardiology in the US by US News&Report). Which may not account for anything, but by the practice standards in locations I found, managing your risk would include statins. You can choose to do whatever you want about any meds or further tests, but your doctor for insurance or medical group reasons, will follow her practice's standards of care.

Last edited by JEY100 : Thu, Jan-26-17 at 09:14.
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  #59   ^
Old Thu, Jan-26-17, 05:22
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thud123 thud123 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,008
 
Plan: ~25NC/IF
Stats: 342.2/197.3/000 Male 72 inches
BF:
Progress: 42%
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Ken, you meeting should be interesting. Remaining calm is in your nature so keep on doing that Also, I've been doing some reading and the stress test is highly recommended after a highish score, my thought is that with all your conditioning walking your results will be in the top percentile on the other side of the curve.

I wish you well friend!
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  #60   ^
Old Thu, Jan-26-17, 18:48
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,613
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/210/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 100%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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A brief recap of the visit with my PCP:

My BP was through the roof. White coat syndrome was more than evedent today. I hadn't heard it wrong from the lab technician. My score was 343 which puts me in the 90th percentile for my age and gender. I'd be in the 50th percentile if I were 74 years old. Not good news. We discussed the results. I was prescribed a statin and she recommended daily low dose aspirin and COQ10. She said that only 5% of patients have side effects from statins and that she'd be happy to work with me on the dose should that be the case for me. She is referring me to a cardiologist and wants me to have a stress test done. They were going to do a resting EKG but couldn't get the equipment working. That is pretty much the nuts and bolts of the visit.

There was some back and forth discussion. I told her of my current 'no dairy' tweak and desire to wait on the statin until I see what this does for my LDL. She said that there is no LDL number I could have that would override the recommendation of a statin. So, she did not recommend waiting. We discussed my exercise, including the cardio I've been doing on the elliptical and my plans to run in the Richmond 10K in April. Surprisingly, she had no problems with it provided I was not showing any CVD symptoms and was prepared to stop at the first sign of trouble. She views my fitness and daily exercise regimen as a positive. I told her that I had been ending my elliptical workouts with a few 30 second sprints - getting my heart rate up to 170 or above. She said that is what they will do in the stress test and it sounds like I will do fine.

When talking about the CT Heart Calcium Scan results, I would have found it quite interesting if it were not a discussion of my personal results. My score is very high, BUT - given the distribution of the calcium and the fact that it was everywhere - a larger number would be expected. She said that most results show a large amount of calcium formation around one or two arteries (referring to one of them as the Widow Maker). I don't have a massive buildup in any one area. It is more like a coat of paint on all arteries and not a major clog on one or two. So when they added up all the scores for each artery, my number was high. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. It seems like it might be better than the classic situation where a bypass is done. I don't know. I'll have to ask the cardiologist. My doctor told me that for my type of plaque formation they are now thinking it has more of an association with hyperinsulinemia than with LDL cholesterol. For me that makes sense. I'm sure that high insulin levels have been behind my weight problems all along - way before the diabetes diagnoses. Dang. Only 25 years too late.

She did not say much about diet recommendations so I asked. I said I was looking to do more of a lower carb paleo-ish diet -- whole foods, high fiber, more fruits & veggies, olive oil, fish, less added fat, leaner meats, etc. She finally showed her true colors... She said that she recommends the Mediterranean diet (even though her husband eats paleo). I don't think she wanted to tell me to change what I've been doing that worked for me - so she had kept mum on the subject. That is just my guess. Perhaps she knows something that I don't. Perhaps I'll be directed to change what I eat by the cardiologist. I am willing to work with it within the context of what I now know I can do. But if they want to go Ornish on me, well - then I will be going rogue.

So that is the scoop. I'd like to keep the details and discussions here - away from my journal. I won't completely avoid the subject there, but I don't want to squelch the inspiration that one may have received by reading my journal only to end it with a thud (No offense, Thud).

Last edited by khrussva : Thu, Jan-26-17 at 18:53.
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