Bluesdoc–How was your repeat CAC score?
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Pscpetpro–Yes, in my reading about CAD, the small unstable plaque is more dangerous that calcified plaque. I'm surprised that with a severe blockage you didn't get a stent. My plaque is located in the LAD and circumflex coronary arteries. A 1560 CAC score is a lot of plaque to pack into two arteries.
Limogreg–The cardiologist visit will help to answer many of your questions about your status and recommended treatment. The best things you can do are to lower your modifiable risk factors like diet, exercise, etc. and take a medication to lower your LDL cholesterol if needed. My experience was that I saw a cardiologist after getting a CAC score of 1560 about six months ago. The cardiologist did a stress/echo test, which I passed, indicating that I do not have any blockages > 70%. I already exercise according to American Heart Association guidelines for heart health, but changed my diet to meet the AHA guidelines. The cardiologist put me on a moderate dose statin. Take care and keep us posted about your progress.
I've developed statin intolerance over the 6 months I've been taking daily 40 mg atorvastatin. I'd like to hear from those of you who also have statin intolerance about what your next steps were. Did you lower the dose of the same statin? Switch to another statin? Stop statins altogether? Other approaches?
In my case, I developed muscle weakness, energy loss, shortness of breath and noticeable brain fog. I've stopped the statin until I am able to discuss the issue with my PCP. I started to feel better after the statin had washed out of my system. Risk factors that indicate that I should be on a statin are low HDL and a high coronary artery calcium score.
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.
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.
Tue, Mar 19 3:37pm · Blood Donation, whole blood, Platelets, Red Cells, Plasma in Heart & Blood Health
Ginger–No one should feel guilty because they are ineligible to donate. I've been able to donate blood these many years, but there are many things that prevent donors from giving, things that affect the donated blood and things that protect the donor. I worked at a Blood Bank for several years and know that they are under constant pressure to get enough blood. Community donors who donate regularly are the backbone of the blood supply. I worked during 9/11 when the lines to donate blood stretched around the block. Regrettably, only a small fraction of the first-time donors who showed up to donate in a crisis ever came back to donate again for the day-to-day community needs.