Any women with high CAC scores?
I'm new here. Passionate 64-year old Italian-American college journalism professor married to a gastroenterologist who thought I was in great health. Eat pasta, lots of vegetables, fruit, and little meat, never overweight, look young, feel young, but my dad and four of his brothers dropped dead of heart attacks in their 50s. I've always had elevated cholesterol and triglycerides with elevated glucose levels since my 30s, but high HDL. Not one doctor, including my husband, has thought much of it because "I'm a woman" and appear to be the epitome of health. Everything changed 10 weeks ago when I decided I should have some overdue bloodwork. Cholesterol was 280, LDL 170, triglycerides 272, A1C 6.5 and HS-CRP 10. Scared me to death and decided to have the Calcium cat scan, thinking it would be a zero. It came back at 256, with 255 in the LAD. I've had zero symptoms, dance aerobics 45 minutes a day, no shortness of breath. Had the nuclear stress test the week after which came out perfect. WHAT THE HECK? According to the MESA score, I am at the 92 percentile which puts me at high risk for heart attack and stroke, and according the MESA, my arterial age is 79?? Husband got me in to see one of the top researchers of CAC and CAC progression next week at UCLA where he practices but I'm in total disbelief. I don't take statins but may have to (which raises CAC score), taking an aspirin a day, went full strict no refined carbs – goodbye pasta and bread- and lost 15 pounds in 10 weeks which puts me at a weight I was in my 30s. Understand that you can't reverse CAC score but you can stop the progression. That's all I care about right now. Determined and interested in anything you have to say and anything that's worked for you – supplements, diet, vitamins. Have read all your posts (it's my new past time- misery loves company, right?) and have heard of Vitamin C, K, magnesium, fish oil, Co-Q10, niacin, aged garlic). Will post after my appointment next week and share what this doc says (he's written half the studies that come up on CAC, CAD, and CAC progression). As many of you post: I feel like a walking time bomb. Questioning if learning of the CAC score is a blessing or a curse. I went from a very happy person to a total wreck who is relieved to be teaching online for another semester because I don't want to have a heart attack or stroke in front of my students. Sigh.
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Hi, I also am at the 92 percentile and both my parents died of strokes. I go to a nationally renowned lipid clinic and was told to minimize the saturated fats (even more) and was already taking Crestor (2omg) and zetia (10mg) in order to get my LD below 70. Now in 2022 I was told that new evidence is to get it to 55. ( to slow progression). To do this, I am now taking BEMPEDOIC ACID. Does anyone have any updates to their stories, particularly after using bempedoic acid?
Also, I am trying to increase my food intake of plants that offer protein. Pretty hard to get enough protein on a plant based diet, even when I added salmon:)
Does anyone know how bad the "processed" fake chicken nuggets like the "Morning Star brand are for you? Definitely has higher sodium.
Thank you all.
Hello @deena12 I am new to this discussion so introducing here rather than updating. I took a statin for maybe 12 years then began having problems we couldn’t figure out. My LDL shot up and I ended up discontinuing statins. Fast forward 15 years now. My untreated LDL reached 300, MTC calcium score is similar to yours and have been on bi-weekly LDL apheresis that acutely drops my LDL 70% only to shoot back up. Over time it has dropped my chronic LDL some (measured right before my treatments) We are recognizing systemic problems and over the past year have successfully gotten back on 5mg rosuvastatin and 5 mg ezetimibe. My chronic LDL is 150. I tried Bempedoic Acid a few days and had to discontinue it. Have you tried the PCSK9 inhibitors, Repatha or Praluent? Maybe they would drop your LDL more than necessary. They typically drop LDL 50-70% (I think). They did not have good results.
I am eating 7-8% of my calories from fat, trying occasionally to increase but I cannot tolerate it. What do you eat to get your protein? I did add UNJURY protein broth into my routine. It does not have any fat and has 21 grams of protein in a serving. I like the broth to drink in the winter. I use the vanilla flavor and add to a mashed up sweet potato along with some blended up cottage cheese (sounds strange but not bad). I am starting to branch out and try the unflavored in sauces and broths. I make some protein balls to eat at my treatments made of oatmeal, dates (or other dried fruits I have on hand), the powder, maple syrup and cinnamon.
Do you mind sharing more about your lipid clinic?
The fake meats are processed and are not good for you. Stick to a whole food plant based diet and cut out all oils which damage the lining of your arteries. You will get enough protein. Dr Dean Ornish and Dr Caldwell Esselstyn were the first ones to show you can prevent and heart disease by changing to a plant based diet. Medicare also pays for the Dean Ornish program where they will provide food.
Thanks for the tip about the Dr Ornish program being sponsored by Medicare. Great. I researched it just now and it is done via a cardiac rehab program and there is one group Ornish meal per each of your 18 rehab sessions. Is this also your understanding?
I had to go off most sugar and alcohol plus the meds I mentioned to get my LDL down.
I cut the crestor dose in half for two weeks to slowly introduce tolerance. Will do the same with the B. acid.
Increasing the. Crestor dosage would produce a 8 percent average improvement in LDL and only 2 percent for increasing the zetia dosage, so not a lot to gain.
The PSK injections were discussed, but first the doctor wanted for me to try the B. acid.
Hope this info is helpful!
It's done virtually. I have a friend who just took it. Who loved it. I just asked her. It was for 9 weeks. They sent her food for five weeks (all meals and snacks). Program runs twice a week.
It's about lifestyle medicine. Four hour sessions. 1 hour for each – exercise, nutrition, support and stress management. Eight hours a week total
Wow. It sounds great! I will call today. Thank you. I would have never known about this if it wasn’t for you. I can update folks about it, once I complete, if interested.😀❤️
Dr Esselstyn has shown any oils damage your artery lining. He says No Oils.
I have not heard this. Do explain 🙂
I have FH, had scan results similar to yours when I was 52-ish. I did omit most fat from my diet in March and it was a game changer for me. A friend who has a son eating the same way because of a medication he is taking sent me boxes of food once a week to get me started, so encouraging to see options and to help my husband see we can do this together (mostly :)). You can do this! http://www.thefhfoundation.org is an excellent resource if you have not discovered it yet.