High Coronary Calcium Score: How do others feel emotionally?

Posted by mcphee @mcphee, Dec 14, 2016

I have a calcium score of 1,950 which is extremely high which means I am at a very high risk for a cardiac event,heart attack,stroke or sudden death.

I take a statin and baby aspirin. I have never been sick, have excellent cholesterol, low blood pressure and I am not overweight. I have no other health problems and I have never been sick. But I feel like a walking time bomb which has caused me a lot of stress. I am 70 yrs old.

I wonder how others with this condition feel emotionally?

Welcome @mcphee. Such a good question to ask the community. Several people have used your exact phrase “I feel like a walking time bomb which has caused me a lot of stress” when talking about heart complications. I’m tagging a few members who may be able to share some of their experiences with high calcium levels, heart complications and the stress this causes. Please meet @jrismyname @hopeful33250 @predictable @michellr. I’m sure others will jump in as well.

In the meantime you may be interested in watching this video Q&A with Dr. Brott on stroke prevention.
– Let’s talk stroke prevention with Thomas Brott, M.D. http://mayocl.in/1sS5xvN

MacPhee – what has your doctor suggested to help lower the calcium score?

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I’m on the way out the door @mcphee, so I’ll be brief. Have you had your parathyroid gland examined, especially through lab tests, to see whether your excess calcium might be attributable to that? If not, you should attend to that right away. If you’re like me, you get your calcium from vegetables — like broccoli — and that’s less worrisome, but really high levels of calcium in the blood suggest attention to the parathyroid. Keep us posted!

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Thanks for the quick response as you’re heading out @predictable.

@MacPhee – You may be interested in messages that @jmbjar @upnorthnancy and @gailfaith have written about calcium levels and the parathyroid.

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@mcphee I agree with @predictable I also have high calcium caused by hyperparathyroidism. It can affect many areas of your health. Ask for a blood test to check the parathyroid hormone. Then, if it is high, ask for a scan of the parathyroid. Best wishes and keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

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@hopeful33250

@mcphee I agree with @predictable I also have high calcium caused by hyperparathyroidism. It can affect many areas of your health. Ask for a blood test to check the parathyroid hormone. Then, if it is high, ask for a scan of the parathyroid. Best wishes and keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

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@gailfaith here. Even though my PCP said to ignore my high blood calcium which have been high for years as the surgical risks are so high at my age (80), I still flew out to Mayo in Minnesota this past June. I had read on the internet that you should find a surgeon that does at least 3 a week successfully and each with 15 minutes. I was sure a surgeon out there would that level of expertise. Dr. Melanie Richards told me she as done over 4500 and she only does thyroid and parathyroid surgery and she works only 3 days a week. After the tests mentioned that were in another discussion were completed out there, she only needed to removed one of the four. They can tell during surgery how many they need to remove. Now my blood Ca levels are in the normal range. I will be sending her the results of my current lab tests next week which my local endocrinologist is ordering for me. Needless to say surgery was a success and I was on a plane the next morning headed for home.

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@hopeful33250

@mcphee I agree with @predictable I also have high calcium caused by hyperparathyroidism. It can affect many areas of your health. Ask for a blood test to check the parathyroid hormone. Then, if it is high, ask for a scan of the parathyroid. Best wishes and keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

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Hello @gailfaith, I’m so pleased to hear of your successful surgery. I’m also glad that you mentioned the name of the surgeon. Sounds like you had a great Mayo experience!

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@colleenyoung

Welcome @mcphee. Such a good question to ask the community. Several people have used your exact phrase “I feel like a walking time bomb which has caused me a lot of stress” when talking about heart complications. I’m tagging a few members who may be able to share some of their experiences with high calcium levels, heart complications and the stress this causes. Please meet @jrismyname @hopeful33250 @predictable @michellr. I’m sure others will jump in as well.

In the meantime you may be interested in watching this video Q&A with Dr. Brott on stroke prevention.
– Let’s talk stroke prevention with Thomas Brott, M.D. http://mayocl.in/1sS5xvN

MacPhee – what has your doctor suggested to help lower the calcium score?

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My high calcium score if from the calcium heart scan.(scan of coronary arteries.)
I take a baby aspirin and Crestor 40 mg.
Dr wants me to do a lot of aerobic exercise and limit red meats to twice a month.

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@colleenyoung

Thanks for the quick response as you’re heading out @predictable.

@MacPhee – You may be interested in messages that @jmbjar @upnorthnancy and @gailfaith have written about calcium levels and the parathyroid.

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Thank you for your post,see above reply.

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@hopeful33250

@mcphee I agree with @predictable I also have high calcium caused by hyperparathyroidism. It can affect many areas of your health. Ask for a blood test to check the parathyroid hormone. Then, if it is high, ask for a scan of the parathyroid. Best wishes and keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

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Thank you for your post.See above reply.

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@hopeful33250

@mcphee I agree with @predictable I also have high calcium caused by hyperparathyroidism. It can affect many areas of your health. Ask for a blood test to check the parathyroid hormone. Then, if it is high, ask for a scan of the parathyroid. Best wishes and keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

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Thank you for your post.
Please see my above reply.

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I am 45 with a very high calcium score (a brother that had a heart attack at 45 and ended up needing a heart transplant and a cousin that just had a heart attack at 48, I am in the same boat- i have been taking lipitor for 8 years and they doubled it and added zetia, but i want more answers. I had a stress test and echo and it was normal. I feel like everyone is just waiting for something to happen.
For the rest of the group, this test measures buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart not free floating calcium in your blood. It is used as a way to predict an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke. An elevated score shows a risk for a major event such as heart attack.or stroke within the next 5-10 years

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@mcristodero Welcome to Mayo Connect – we are pleased that you have joined this online patient support community. I am sorry to hear of the build up of plaque in the arteries of your heart. I can certainly understand your concern given your family history as well as your age of only 45. If I were in this situation I would probably want to consult with a large medical center, even if it meant a longer drive than your current doctors. Have you considered a second opinion? Teresa

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