High Calcium Score

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 wonder how others with this condition feel emotionally?
I am 70 yrs old.

Liked by sgarelick

@bluesdoc

Hight dose K2 had no effect on my CAC score. I'm almost mid-way through a chelation protocol (eventually 40 infusions) and we'll see. Clearly, as I've said before, there does NOT seem to be any sort of linear relationship from low to VERY high CAC scores. Too many have these shockingly high scores with wide open vessels. I suspect this is calcification (without, or with minimal actual atheroma) from endothelial inflammatory disease – possibly stealth infection (ie Bartonella). But, who tf knows??

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Thank you for your prompt reply, Bluesdoc. Comforting to have an answer from someone in the same circumstance as I am, even though it looks like the road to redemption may not exist. I will ask my cardiologist about chelation.

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Thank you, Bluesdoc, for your prompt reply. Seems there is no easy way out of this problem. I will call my cardiologist re chelation. We live in SouthEast Florida. Would you (or anyone else) happen to know of a qualified, ethical expert on chelation in this area?

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@mark430

Hello. New to this group. Asked my cardiologist several times for a stress test and a look at how my arteries are doing. He consistently refused until I had what looked like a cardiac event last year (at 74). Turned out to not be an MI. Had the stress test and the result was good. I again requested a better look into my arteries and he adamantly refused, saying I was doing just fine. Change in cardiologist and she recommended CAC, which showed I am in the high risk group. Life changing in an instant. Cardiac catheterization showed no significant blockage in the lumens of my arteries, so no stent or bypass. I have read almost all posts here, but see little in the way of actual reversal. In looking at the Rotterdam study, it would appear that vitamin K2 was successful in reducing calcium scores within three years, with resulting more supple blood vessels. Am I mistaken? Are there other supplements that have been shown to be helpful? What about chelation? I know that diet and exercise may slow progression, but is there absolutely no way to diminish the level of plaque in arteries? I am so thankful for every day that I am alive and able to live an energetic life at my age, but I feel like my time may be very limited. Not normally anxious or depressed, but I am considering both of those options.

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@mark430 I was told by my doctor that chelation can remove plaque from arteries, and it can also strip essential minerals out of the body, so that would need to be done by someone who knows what they are doing. Chelation is used to detox from metals and you might find a doctor who does something like that who is an environmental medicine doctor. I regularly see one, and he has me take Vitamin D3 with K2 in it and says the K2 prevents deposition of calcium in the arteries that can be caused by too much Vitamin D. Vitamin D levels should be monitored because too much can be detrimental. Environmental medicine looks to prevent problems by correcting body chemistry. There are supplements designed for heart patients that detox and I take one as recommended by my doctor that supports methylation and healthy homocysteine levels, part of the body detox pathway that may not work as well in patients with increased risks of heart disease. Diabetes is linked to heart disease too, and diet and reducing extra sugar and carbs can help prevent diabetes and resulting heart disease.

Here is an excerp about Heart Disease and Methylaytion from this link https://www.nbwellness.com/contents/topics/biomedical/methylation-health-disease

Importance of the Methylation Cycle in Heart Disease

"Numerous mutations can occur within the cycle that lead to impaired conversion from the molecule homocysteine to methionine. The resultant increased levels of homocysteine have been demonstrated to be a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, breakdowns within the cycle can also lead to decreased levels of CoQ10, a critical component of energy production on the cellular level. These decreased levels can also result in congestive heart failure and cardiovascular disease. Ironically, the statin drugs often prescribed to lower cholesterol levels have the unfortunate side effect of lowering the body’s levels of CoQ10."

I would also encourage you to look for ways to reduce anxiety, because that can cause heart events without blockages in the arteries. Our negative emotions have a big impact of the heart, and you can work on resilience and take that out of the mix. Diet and exercise are important too. I am the daughter of a heart patient who at age 50 talked himself into having a heart attack because that is what he believed. He did have blockages and had bypass surgery a few years later. I worried about if I had inherited a tendency for heart disease, and when I was under a lot of stress, I had some chest discomfort and high blood pressure because of the stress. I had a cardiologist test me in my 50's, and I had no blockages anywhere, and the doctor said that was unusual. It was because I was in my 20's when my dad had his heart attack, and at that point in time, we all changed our diets and cut out fat. My dad had diabetes, and he never got past his anger over things in his life he could not control and I saw what it did to him. I made different choices and have learned forgiveness, and patience, and how to build resilience. Doing that will better your health. I recommend reading 2 books by Dr. Sood, a Mayo doctor with a mind body practice. I have them and they are excellent. Myofascial release may help relieve tense areas of the body which helps circulation.

https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

https://www.resilientoption.com/

https://marketplace.mayoclinic.com/shop/healthy-lifestyle/book/mayo-clinic-resilient-living-combo_752700

https://resilience.mayoclinic.org/

https://www.aaemonline.org/find.php

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Jennifer, thank you VERY much for the kindness of your reply. I may now be looking for a doctor to do chelation and will check to see if there are any environmental medicine specialists. I do have some anxiety related to this recent diagnosis, and have had some trouble sleeping this past few nights. I am confident that I will be able to overcome this problem in fairly short order, however. My normal state is not depressed, not anxious and expect that I will soon return to that. Your comments were very thoughtful and helpful to me. One way I am addressing my anxiety is through learning more about my condition and sharing my concerns with others on this board. Thank you again.

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@mark430

Jennifer, thank you VERY much for the kindness of your reply. I may now be looking for a doctor to do chelation and will check to see if there are any environmental medicine specialists. I do have some anxiety related to this recent diagnosis, and have had some trouble sleeping this past few nights. I am confident that I will be able to overcome this problem in fairly short order, however. My normal state is not depressed, not anxious and expect that I will soon return to that. Your comments were very thoughtful and helpful to me. One way I am addressing my anxiety is through learning more about my condition and sharing my concerns with others on this board. Thank you again.

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Mark–Thanks for sharing your concerns over your high CAC score. I, too, have a high CAC from a CT scan done six months ago. I am 70 and have no symptoms of heart disease or any known risk factors for heart disease. . My initial high anxiety has diminished due to time and knowledge about this condition. I had a follow-up normal exercise stress test with echocardiogram.

What I am doing is (1) taking a moderate dose statin (40 mg Lipitor) to lower LDL (currently 48) (2) changing my diet to decrease saturated fat and added sugar intake and increase fiber. (3) continue with at least 150 minutes of weekly aerobic exercise and (4) use stress-reduction techniques. and (5) taking a daily baby aspirin I am not doing chelation therapy, because I personally think the possible benefits are outweighed by the risks.

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Thank you, tim1028, for your reply. I am doing all five of your recommendations. The daily baby aspirin is chewable, so less likely to damage digestive tract. I swim 1,250 yards at a fairly brisk pace 4-5 times per week and usually do something like walk at least once or twice additional. Hopefully, the vitamin K2 will slow or maybe reverse calcification. I feel a strong need to get rid of as much calcium as possible, so am looking into chelation. The propaganda that I have read so far indicates, while there is some risk, it is fairly minimal. Do you (or anyone else) have information to the contrary? Thank you in advance for your help.

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@mark430

Thank you, tim1028, for your reply. I am doing all five of your recommendations. The daily baby aspirin is chewable, so less likely to damage digestive tract. I swim 1,250 yards at a fairly brisk pace 4-5 times per week and usually do something like walk at least once or twice additional. Hopefully, the vitamin K2 will slow or maybe reverse calcification. I feel a strong need to get rid of as much calcium as possible, so am looking into chelation. The propaganda that I have read so far indicates, while there is some risk, it is fairly minimal. Do you (or anyone else) have information to the contrary? Thank you in advance for your help.

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The only study of chelation that I know of, the TACT study, shows equivocal results. It seems to me to be a flip of the coin choice of therapy. It is also expensive, and insurance does not cover it. I should add that I did have an ultrasound done of my carotid, abdominal and ankle arteries, all of which were clear. Thousands of people have this therapy, but my personal choice is to not have it.

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The ND from whom I'm getting chelation was one of the investigators in the TACT study. It was better than equivocal, but their target was a bit different that this. NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THIS. If we're trying to decalcify our coronaries in the absence of significant atheroma load, then we're a different cohort than those in the TACT study. And even if we could achieve some degree of decalcification of our coronaries, how does that translate into survival? NO ONE KNOWS. In my case, I just feel driven to do something instead of nothing (to decalcify). When I drop dead, if I have a moment to reflect, I want to know that I gave it my best shot (given no real data – only reasoning from basic principles). Life – whaddya gonna do??

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@bluesdoc

The ND from whom I'm getting chelation was one of the investigators in the TACT study. It was better than equivocal, but their target was a bit different that this. NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THIS. If we're trying to decalcify our coronaries in the absence of significant atheroma load, then we're a different cohort than those in the TACT study. And even if we could achieve some degree of decalcification of our coronaries, how does that translate into survival? NO ONE KNOWS. In my case, I just feel driven to do something instead of nothing (to decalcify). When I drop dead, if I have a moment to reflect, I want to know that I gave it my best shot (given no real data – only reasoning from basic principles). Life – whaddya gonna do??

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Thank you, Tim and Bluesdoc. Very difficult choice. I do feel the way Bluesdoc does. Bluesdoc, you are part way through your course of chelation. When you complete it, do you plan to go for another CAC score? If so, would you be willing to share the results with me? I would await your findings. I realize it would be an n of 1, but it would be helpful to me to know how you fared with chelation.

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Yes Mark, I plan on a repeat CAC score somewhere close to half way through and I will share here. If there's no change or worse, I'll probably stop, at $155 a pop.

Liked by mark430

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I'm grateful for the last couple of days an old friend spent time here Shirley is a great baker ❤️ I have zucchini bread and peach jam she made Um that pumpkin roll was good 👌

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@mark430

Jennifer, thank you VERY much for the kindness of your reply. I may now be looking for a doctor to do chelation and will check to see if there are any environmental medicine specialists. I do have some anxiety related to this recent diagnosis, and have had some trouble sleeping this past few nights. I am confident that I will be able to overcome this problem in fairly short order, however. My normal state is not depressed, not anxious and expect that I will soon return to that. Your comments were very thoughtful and helpful to me. One way I am addressing my anxiety is through learning more about my condition and sharing my concerns with others on this board. Thank you again.

Jump to this post

@mark430 You are welcome. Knowledge is power and can help you overcome anxiety, but it can also make you worry thinking that you must have what you are reading about online. There are times you just have to do your best and trust your gut. I learned about overcoming anxiety because I was very fearful and needed spine surgery. On my surgery day, I was completely calm and interested in what was happening around me when I was wheeled into the operating room. I have a background in biology that helps me understand medical literature that I read and I have a great physical therapist who helps release all those physically tense areas in my body. When you are anxious, you start bracing and tense muscles. that can trigger muscle spasms. I've had them in my chest and it can feel like a heart attack, but it wasn't one. I've had ribs that twist because of a muscle spasm. I have learned from my physical therapist how to release the muscles and fascia. I did go to the cardiologist for testing, and went to the emergency room too over this. You don't really want a cardiologist to find a problem, and it's great news when you get an all clear from them about your heart. As for plaque deposits in blood vessels, that starts because of inflammation that is inside the wall of the vessel first, and later plaque is deposited there. Eating a diet to reduce body wide inflammation is good prevention for a lot of diseases. You can also have elevated blood calcium levels if there is a problem with the parathyroid glands. My mom had that, and had surgery to remove one of the parathyroids that caused the trouble, and her calcium levels returned to normal.

I would encourage you to ask yourself questions about the source of your anxiety. I've done that and learned a lot about myself. Finding the source of the anxiety is finding the event or events from your past or your childhood where you formed ideas about how to cope with fear. I was still thinking like a 6 year old and it just didn't serve me well as an adult. I came to understand the fear and accept it, and comfort that vulnerable part of me. To do this and overcome fear is totally life changing. You might ask yourself why you think chelation is necessary to prevent heart disease or if you believe that there is calcification in your arteries and why. There are lots of other lifestyle choices and diet that go a long way in preventing heart disease. I started by writing down a list a fearful events from my life and why I felt the way I did. that showed me a pattern that was common to all of them. I had a lot of anxiety that came from an accident I had where I broke my front teeth as a kid. That in turned caused many dental interventions that were difficult for me, and restorations that failed and had to be redone. So now, I've had some anxiety because in spite of being a good dental patient to try to fix my mistakes I made as a kid, I might loose one of the teeth anyway. Sometimes you try your best, and it doesn't work. I realized I had to forgive myself for my mistake all those years ago and I found some unconscious beliefs connected to that old trauma that was causing anxiety and it made sense, so I could let it go. I think I'll be fine now, and I'll find out in a few days what my future holds. Here is my Mayo story:
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/

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@jenniferhunter

@mark430 You are welcome. Knowledge is power and can help you overcome anxiety, but it can also make you worry thinking that you must have what you are reading about online. There are times you just have to do your best and trust your gut. I learned about overcoming anxiety because I was very fearful and needed spine surgery. On my surgery day, I was completely calm and interested in what was happening around me when I was wheeled into the operating room. I have a background in biology that helps me understand medical literature that I read and I have a great physical therapist who helps release all those physically tense areas in my body. When you are anxious, you start bracing and tense muscles. that can trigger muscle spasms. I've had them in my chest and it can feel like a heart attack, but it wasn't one. I've had ribs that twist because of a muscle spasm. I have learned from my physical therapist how to release the muscles and fascia. I did go to the cardiologist for testing, and went to the emergency room too over this. You don't really want a cardiologist to find a problem, and it's great news when you get an all clear from them about your heart. As for plaque deposits in blood vessels, that starts because of inflammation that is inside the wall of the vessel first, and later plaque is deposited there. Eating a diet to reduce body wide inflammation is good prevention for a lot of diseases. You can also have elevated blood calcium levels if there is a problem with the parathyroid glands. My mom had that, and had surgery to remove one of the parathyroids that caused the trouble, and her calcium levels returned to normal.

I would encourage you to ask yourself questions about the source of your anxiety. I've done that and learned a lot about myself. Finding the source of the anxiety is finding the event or events from your past or your childhood where you formed ideas about how to cope with fear. I was still thinking like a 6 year old and it just didn't serve me well as an adult. I came to understand the fear and accept it, and comfort that vulnerable part of me. To do this and overcome fear is totally life changing. You might ask yourself why you think chelation is necessary to prevent heart disease or if you believe that there is calcification in your arteries and why. There are lots of other lifestyle choices and diet that go a long way in preventing heart disease. I started by writing down a list a fearful events from my life and why I felt the way I did. that showed me a pattern that was common to all of them. I had a lot of anxiety that came from an accident I had where I broke my front teeth as a kid. That in turned caused many dental interventions that were difficult for me, and restorations that failed and had to be redone. So now, I've had some anxiety because in spite of being a good dental patient to try to fix my mistakes I made as a kid, I might loose one of the teeth anyway. Sometimes you try your best, and it doesn't work. I realized I had to forgive myself for my mistake all those years ago and I found some unconscious beliefs connected to that old trauma that was causing anxiety and it made sense, so I could let it go. I think I'll be fine now, and I'll find out in a few days what my future holds. Here is my Mayo story:
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/

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Jennifer, thank you for your thoughtful, sensitive, insightful posting.

Liked by Jennifer Hunter

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@bluesdoc

Yes Mark, I plan on a repeat CAC score somewhere close to half way through and I will share here. If there's no change or worse, I'll probably stop, at $155 a pop.

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Bluesdoc, I am rooting for you to improve and hoping that I will be able to do the same. Will anxiously await your results before making the final decision on initiating chelation. One thought: Given that calcification is expected to increase significantly year over year, could no or little increase be seen as a positive result of chelation?

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@mark430

Bluesdoc, I am rooting for you to improve and hoping that I will be able to do the same. Will anxiously await your results before making the final decision on initiating chelation. One thought: Given that calcification is expected to increase significantly year over year, could no or little increase be seen as a positive result of chelation?

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Rooting for you as well. I’d say if it stays the same, it’s still a win. My understanding is that numbers can increase as much as 40% per year. In my case at 58 with a score of 400, after 10 years could be over 10,000.

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