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  • Very high cardiac calcium score

    Just received my cac score 2264. Age 53. Weight 252. Cholesterol 180. Normal BP. Asymptomatic. Have a stress test scheduled for March 1st (nuclear) very worried. Have cut back on carbs (no potato, rice etc) and excercising more. Have not met with a cardiologist yet. Do you think they will put me on a statin? Also from watching your videos one says K2 may help the other says taking calcium out of the arteries would be bad. Thoughts on K2?? Thank you. Phil

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum Phil. I know Dr. Brewer will respond. That is a really high score. I would think you need to see a cardiologist. You are starting the right path for sure....eliminate sugar and as much carbs as possible. I would think just walking is good until you see a cardiologist and get the stress test done. I'm glad you found this out so you can take action now.

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    • #3
      I agree with Robin's comments about walking & especially about carbs. I've got many patients with very high calcium scores. I do recommend statins if there is evidence of plaque. And obviously positive calcium scores indicate plaque. I recommend getting K2 from diet. But I'd be very sure to understand your own carb metabolism. Here's why - insulin resistance (prediabetes) is by far the most common and strongest driver of inflammation. And I'd get an inflammation panel. You can learn all about inflammation in the free course.https://mailchi.mp/e7913628b730/prev...mmation-course

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      • #4
        Thank you Dr. Brewer and Robin . Nuclear stress test in 3 days and nervous. No pain when doing 25 min on treadmill each morning. Just a thought , if my cardiologist recommended Lipitor should I ask for Crestor instead?? And would you recommend a high dose regime?? (What mg) I would love to join you for the conference in Orlando but can’t for the March one. Any plans for future conferences after this one? Thank you for your time. Oh yes 1 more thing K2 from diet and not a supplement? Thanks.

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        • #5
          Hopefully the results of my nuclear stress test will not require surgical intervention. Still debating on cancelling patients to come see you in Orlando for your conference. ( I am a Dentist). Is there still some hope for me? Just have anxiety due to my high score. Thanks for your time. Phillip

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          • #6
            I have read about many people with higher scores than you. You are doing the right things. Be patient and try not to worry.

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            • #7
              Thank you Robin.

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              • #8
                HI Phillip,
                I do not have a low score myself albeit borderline between high and extensive. Anyway, I have done a lot of research here and you have come to the right place, (I am brand new myself here).
                Plaque is like rust in a pipe and rusty pipes can still operate for many years of course. There is a book "Calcification" by Mark Meyer where he claims plaque several possible. K2/D3/magnesium/ very clean diet,
                with avoidance of phosphates (i.e. packaged foods) as much as possible and that is biggest contributor toward plaque. Mark says everytime you eat not so good to take a dose of magnesium to counteract plaque buildup, in the form of 100 mg magnesium carbonate (bulksupplements.com) is great. He says people can repeat CT scores after little bit and see score go down.
                I am quite new to all this myself, in last year. Vascular calcification found on abdominal aorta incidentally via CT scan for lower back pain and CT Score revealed high level of plaque for me.

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                • #9
                  I mean "plaque reversal possible" of course.

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                  • #10
                    Philip,
                    I live in Charlotte NC myself and was referred to a Cardiologist in local hospital system who put me on Lipitor 20 mg. Took for a month and brought LDL from 107 to 53.
                    Unfortunately had side effects like crazy and when I called cardiologist his nurse only said we only heard of muscle aches and not tingling in extremities/insomnia/lack of focus etc. that
                    I was experiencing. On my own I read Prevent and Reverse Heart disease by Cladwelll Esselstyn and adopted plant based diet and split pills in half taking 10 mg lipitor daily.
                    3 month later LDL-C was 47. MY stress test was negative also in this time. I was not happy with level of care and dr. not speaking to me here so on my own I went to integrative cardiologist in charlotte
                    and he took me off statin and 3 months later ran complete bloodworm like Dr. Brewer with LDL-P and Lpa, fatty acids, cap, homocysteine. This cardiologist is a vegan himself.
                    My LDL-C came back 97 and LDL-P was borderline. He recently put me on Niacin SR but I had tolerance issues titrating up even from low dosage and was forced to discontinue.
                    This happened just a few days ago. I saw my PCP internist around same time coincidentally who advocates Red rice yeast (but this is technically a statin similar to lovastatin I think).
                    MY cardiologist/lipidologist previously mentioned if niacin SR didn't work out he could put me on a low dosage statin like Crestor QOD (every other day), due to the drugs long half life
                    and this would really minimize any side effects. Of course my thinking is you have to eat very clean from this point forward as well otherwise low dose statin QOD will not be effective.
                    I'd love to hear from Richard or Dr. on QOD dosing of statin who both have fascinating stories on their plaque reversal?

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                    • #11
                      Had my stress test on Friday. I think the treadmill part went well ( got my heart rate to 180 ) they have not let me know yet about the imaging (good sign)??? Will probably call on Monday, Fingers crossed.

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                      • #12
                        Phillip,
                        In sleeping on your situation a bit I am going to interject a final point here. Several years ago I felt winded and short of breath a bit and was sent to a cardiologist
                        who ordered stress test as well as an Echocardiogram. My heart rate got to 172 and I felt a little winded but it was a negative stress test.
                        Keep in mind this was a few years before getting a high calcium score. Anyway, I lost 20 pounds and by the time I had my next stress test 2 years later (and right before finding out my calcium score),
                        I felt better than the prior stress and went longer with a heart rate in the 150's. Point is lose weight and lose as much as you can realistically. I am very very adamant about this point
                        and I promise you not 1 person on this forum will challenge mr on saying you need to be thin. I am 6'5 and was over 300# at one time. You could probably see from my photo I have big hands.
                        I was sitting in the 250's for a long time. Now I am in the 220's and do stair master 5x/week at 30 minutes a session. Losing weight in HUGE!!!!!! My cardiologist said insulin resistance is directly correlated with visceral fat! I am going to recommend you Dr. Joel Fuhrman MD "The end of heart disease". He is not as extreme as Caldwell Esselstyn "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease". Dr. Esslestyn will tell you to avoid nuts and avocado and healthy fats as such and Dr. Fuhrman will tell you to eat. Dr. Fuhrman also has a category that says can still reverse heart disease, "Near Vegan". MY cardiologist told me to read and go by Dr. Fuhrman's book personally.
                        Good luck Phillip and I will pray for you!

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                        • #13
                          My Dr called me this morning and said I passed my stress test and all the imaging showed no narrowing of the coronary arteries. They will call me later to make an appt with a cardiologist to go over why I have such a high score. I am down 15 pounds but need to loose 45 more. Per this forum I will demand to have inflammation labs taken as well as oral glucose test. I am sure a statin is in my future. Seems like all the Dr. on this forum prefer Crestor over Lipitor, does Crestor have better anti inflammatory properties?? Thanks again for all the prayers and good thoughts sent my way. The battle continues!

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                          • #14
                            Phillip,
                            Your Plaque in the arterial walls as they say. Anyway, lipitor has better LDL lowering affects by a bit but crestor has better anti-inflammatory effects.
                            Reducing risk is more about reducing inflammation as you've probably heard many times so in that regard Crestor the preferred choice.
                            Good luck and keep us updates. Also, what is your diet like now?

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                            • #15
                              I have not had bread or potatoes or pasta or sugar (other than in fruits) since I found out my score 3 weeks ago. Oatmeal in morning , Salad with 1/2 avocado and small ground turkey patty for lunch. Salmon and vegetables for dinner only drinking water for liquids occasionally a vitamin water zero. 4 oz of wine every other day. Treadmill 30 min each morning.

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