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CT angiogram scores
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ufatbasted posted:
Greetings all

I've been reading here quite a bit and have posted a couple times.

I'm curious if anyone has had a CT angiogram and has lowered their calcium score on a follow up test.

I had the above test 2 years ago with a calcium score of 327
which caused me to change my diet. I was told at the time the plaque in my arteries did not obstruct blood flow and most of it was calcified meaning it had been there for a long time.

After following a very strict way of eating the past two years I had a follow up test yesterday and expected my score to either remain the same or maybe even drop. The calcium score from my test yesterday was 380. The Dr who read the scan informed me the both scores are basically identical as the scoring/scan can be off 10-20% and not to get hung up on the number. Needless to say
I'm hung up on the number

My bloods are pretty good
Total Choeesterol 119
HDL 57
LDL 49
Triglycerides 64
LDL/HDL ratio 0.86


So I'm curios if any of you have had follow up CT angiograms that resulted a lower calcium score

Thanks!
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twinb63 responded:
I haven't had any CT tests. So you had two CT angiograms with the dye injected, not CT CAC heart scans? I don't know about the 10-20% variability, but if you've been eating 'strictly' and the score went up I agree with you, I'd be concerned. I assume you've followed the low fat plan of Fuhrman et. al. Why didn't your score drop 10-20%? Two years is a long time.

What are your ideas about why this happened? Joe.
 
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jc3737 responded:
We have been discussing calcium scans and Dr William Davis on the diet debate board.Dr Davis has a site called "Track Your Plaque" and claims to be able to reduce calcium scores.Here is the link to the diet debate board discussion.

http://exchanges.webmd.com/diet-debate
 
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ufatbasted replied to twinb63's response:
Hey Joe

Yes I did have two CT angiograms with dye. First was 2 years ago. 2nd on Monday. I am following Ornish/Fuhrman/Mcdougal kind of plan 95 % vegan, no dairy, no oil, no meat, no processed foods. My only cheats are steamed salmon once or twice a month and a small handful of a raw almonds daily. When away on vacation once a year I may venture off the plan a bit for the week but not with meat , dairy or fried foods.

So I assume my numbers did not drop due to the cheats above.
Like I said the Dr who read the scan said he would consider this the same amount as the first scan.

All I can do is try to improve and keep moving on!
I'm looking to see if anyone has had the same test and lowered their numbers. To date know one has said they have.

Take care
 
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ufatbasted replied to jc3737's response:
Thanks I will check it out
 
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Mrcommonsense responded:
Hi,the best diet for you to be on is NOT one with Pasta or any heavy carbs,I found even the so called "good carbs" were making me fat.(dont eat them)
Here is what I found.Eat lots of veggies and fruit.drink almond milk and eat lots of fish.(yes I know they say no meat)but that's bull crap.the vogel "bart"test revealed that salmon had very little effect on the arteries.so do a low carb sensible diet like what I'm doing,lots of fish,salad,veggies,fruit.DRINK LOTS OF WATER,I found that water was the key and actually helps lower your resting heart rate,drink two 16 flu oz water upon waking and constant drink water through the day.walk at least 2 miles a day and you don't need weights!.I only eat salmon or fish,no other meats.the calcium score may never drop or may take years to resolve but as long as your not adding to it you should be fine.dont think that losing weight will clear the calcium,it wont.
 
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ufatbasted replied to Mrcommonsense's response:
Mrcommonsense


Thanks for the advice. My diet is pretty good and I get a good cardio workout 4-5X a week and I walk more than two miles daily on top of that. Climb stairs every day too.
My motto is never ride if you can walk.


Like I stated my Dr's have indicated the test can vary and that my score is considered no change which I have accepted.


No one one any board has come forth with the fact that they have actually lowered their calcium score which is leading me to believe it is not possible


Best
UFat
 
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engineerguy replied to ufatbasted's response:
Hi UFB,

(Always love your name)

I suspect the calcium score will lower very slowly, over decades. You are doing all the right things.

Nathan Pritikin had cardiac disease in his late 40's. He died about 25 years later, with only a trace of fatty streaks.
So, calcium can be reversed. Dr. Esselstyn and Ornish have documented reversal of atherosclerosis, sometimes quite dramatic. jc reports that Dr. Davis claims to reverse calcium scores. A while ago jc forwarded a great reference from Dr. Davis, suggesting that fish oil supplements (DHA/EPA) and vitamin D, were essential parts of reversal. Have you had a blood test for vitamin D? Everyone should. There is huge variation, person to person, in vitamin D requirements. Ideal blood levels are 35 to 55 ng/ml. I was severely deficient at 16, when I had my first vitamin D test, when I was 60.

Best regards,
Stacy
 
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ufatbasted replied to engineerguy's response:
Thanks for the reply EG

It makes sense it may takes years to reverse what I've spent a lifetime building. I do have my Vitamin D levels checked as well as B12 Levels are D-36.7 B12-538 So I'm OK there.

Best
 
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engineerguy replied to ufatbasted's response:
Hi UFB,

Excellent...

Best regards, EngineerGuy
 
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DoloresTeresa replied to engineerguy's response:
Stop the presses! Does calcium score predict future heart attack? I thought the biggest problem with heart disease was clots breaking off from small plaques. Are these small plaques covered with calcium deposits? Are calcium deposits actually protective in that the plaque might not rupture if covered with calcium?

You could have a test which shows no calcium but that does not mean you are heart attack proof because you could still have plaque filled arteries. Do we know for certain that the higher the calcium score the more likely you are to have a heart attack? If so is it the calcium or the fact that your diet is so poor that it causes blocked arteries which cause calcium to be laid down as a protection?

I do not have the reference but I remember many years ago reading that a study was done that showed that eating lettuce was more protective than omega threes and people who ate the greens had fewer heart incidents than those eating omega threes. (I think this was around the time that everyone was oohing and ahing over the lack of heart attacks among the Inuit.)

Dolores
 
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ufatbasted replied to DoloresTeresa's response:
Hi Dolores,

What my Dr told me was that
a CT angiogram will show exactly what is going on in your arteries and is a much better barometer than a stress test.

I found this which indicates a ct angio gram can help predict coronary events

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1985311,00.html

Not sure how accurate it is
 
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DoloresTeresa replied to ufatbasted's response:
I am laughing to myself, ufat, because when I read it I thought--useless. So we read the same thing and came to different conclusions. It is expensive and dangerous and is used to decide whether or not to give people more or different meds. And how often are you going to pay six hundred dollars and expose yourself to more radiation?

I also refused a stress test a couple of years ago. I figured, if there is any question--start changing your lifestyle. So regardless of what any test might find as far as artery disease is concerned, diet, exercise, meditation and maybe some other things would be the route I would take anyway so why take the calcium scan and end up having your doc insisting on meds you don't want to take anyway? I have diabetes and know I have a greater risk of lots of things than non diabetics so I don't need any test to tell me that.

Or maybe I have the wrong attitude.

Dolores
 
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ufatbasted replied to DoloresTeresa's response:
I understand your take on it DT.

In my case it showed me I had a problem that I was not aware of. I was a walking time bomb. The test made me realize I had to change my lifestyle. The second test was taken as a baseline to see how much if any the problem was progressing.

I credit the test with saving my life!
 
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DoloresTeresa replied to ufatbasted's response:
Ufat, did you do something different after your test? Did you go on a low fat plant based diet or Dr. Davis's higher fat lower carb diet? How did you make the decision?

What concerns me about this calcium scan is that I read that your arteries could be filled with plaque but no calcium could show up on the scans because as yet there just isn't any. My son in law had this test and is very confident he has no artery problems because they found no calcium. If he does have plaque, now is the time to attend to it before calcium shows up on the scan but he feels very safe because of the result of this test.

Dolores


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