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Old 03-24-2016, 02:48 PM   #41
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I paid for this test two years ago, and all I remember is that I was in something like the 40th percentile risk factor. My PCP is also a cardiologist (lucky me) who recommended statins as a preventative measure against heart attack in the future (he meant 20 years into the future).

I thought it over and declined the statins. Fast forward to this year where through diet I have reduced my bad cholesterol by 10% and improved my good cholesterol by almost a third. My PCP this year said given my diet and exercise habits and my new results I didn't need statins. This goes to show you how things can change.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:20 PM   #42
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Thank you for all the good input. Even though my cardiologist appointment is a month away, dietary changes started today and exercise tomorrow. Exercise is always a challenge because of my arthritis and neck/back issues, but I'll find a way.


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Old 03-24-2016, 05:02 PM   #43
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Thank you for all the good input. Even though my cardiologist appointment is a month away, dietary changes started today and exercise tomorrow. Exercise is always a challenge because of my arthritis and neck/back issues, but I'll find a way.


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Find a gym with a pool that has water aerobics.... my 96 YO mom goes three times a week to exercise, but is hard pressed to walk a long distance...

It has helped out her arthritis... she said she can feel it if she does not do the exercises...
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:43 PM   #44
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For those that had a CT Scan done. Did you have it done because of other symptoms that gave you concern or was it a preventive measure like getting a colonoscopy at 50?
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:56 PM   #45
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No doubt you have consulted physical therapists about this?

I have read of ways in which weight control, strength training, and even therapeutic massage can help deteriorating joints do their job better. It is partly about taking the strain (weight) off them, and partly about strengthening the muscles/tendons that support them and cause them to move.

Still, each of us is individual, and needs individual advice from experts to avoid injury. Good luck!

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Exercise is always a challenge because of my arthritis and neck/back issues, but I'll find a way.


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Old 03-24-2016, 06:55 PM   #46
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For those that had a CT Scan done. Did you have it done because of other symptoms that gave you concern or was it a preventive measure like getting a colonoscopy at 50?
I was approaching 50 and was, quite frankly, sick and tired listening to the constant fear harassment of the whole cholesterol spew from doctors. With other diseases and conditions my doctors had racked up a pretty poor track record of diagnosing and convincing me they gave a hoot about my health or future.

My father had had heart attacks and strokes starting in his 40's but he was basically killing himself: 5 packs a day. Alcoholic. High stress life. High BP diagnosed in his 30's but never treated. I had exactly NONE of those risk factors and to this day still have LOW-end BP. 105-62 range. But of course my risk was the same as his according to the medical industry because we were related. Nothing else mattered to them. Of course they could only take money for cholesterol so that's what they treated.

So, I did my own research and got something at least resembling MEDICAL DATA instead of dishonest statistical surrogate data so that I couldn't be bullshat in the future.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:28 AM   #47
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I have been wanting an updated scan but have been holding off due to the radiation. As I recall 10 yrs ago they said it was the amount in TWO chest x-rays. Not exactly enough to turn me into the Incredible Hulk but my rule is: Less radiation is better than more radiation. Have the radiation levels they used dropped? I was surprised that some people mentioned they have had several in just a few years.
Just another comment on relative risk:

A typical modern chest X-Ray exposes you to roughly 10 millirem of radiation.

A flight from NY to LA exposes you to 2-5 millirem (less atmosphere shielding you from cosmic radiation).

Living in a brick house can expose you to an additional 7 millirem every year (from naturally occurring radioactive elements found in clay).

For perspective, the feds estimate that the average American absorbs 620 milligram each year.

Sure, less if better - all things being equal - but avoiding doctor recommended scans and x-rays isn't going to make much of a difference to your lifetime radiation expose.


This has some more comparisons

Patient Safety - Radiation Dose in X-Ray and CT Exams
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:58 AM   #48
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No doubt you have consulted physical therapists about this?

I have read of ways in which weight control, strength training, and even therapeutic massage can help deteriorating joints do their job better. It is partly about taking the strain (weight) off them, and partly about strengthening the muscles/tendons that support them and cause them to move.

Still, each of us is individual, and needs individual advice from experts to avoid injury. Good luck!

Yes, I've had quite a bit of physical therapy over the past ten years as new areas of my body flare up. It helps a lot and allows me to significantly reduce the meds I've been prescribed. But there are still times strenuous aerobic exercises are difficult, but I manage to do more than sit in a chair all day,


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Old 03-25-2016, 10:08 AM   #49
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For those that had a CT Scan done. Did you have it done because of other symptoms that gave you concern or was it a preventive measure like getting a colonoscopy at 50?

I don't have any heart or stroke related symptoms, but my father had two strokes by the time he was my age and eventually died at age 72 from congestive heart failure. I had an ultrasound of my carotid artery from a group called Lifeline, along with some other tests that showed a mild buildup of plaque. I decided to get the calcium scan to see what was going on inside my heart.


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Old 03-25-2016, 11:35 AM   #50
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Just another comment on relative risk:

A typical modern chest X-Ray exposes you to roughly 10 millirem of radiation.

A flight from NY to LA exposes you to 2-5 millirem (less atmosphere shielding you from cosmic radiation).

Living in a brick house can expose you to an additional 7 millirem every year (from naturally occurring radioactive elements found in clay).

For perspective, the feds estimate that the average American absorbs 620 milligram each year.

Sure, less if better - all things being equal - but avoiding doctor recommended scans and x-rays isn't going to make much of a difference to your lifetime radiation expose.


This has some more comparisons

Patient Safety - Radiation Dose in X-Ray and CT Exams

Thanks good info. And BTW I am not avoiding dr recommended scans etc All my scans including eh nuclear stress tests were recommended by ME because the doctor didn't have any information.
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:48 AM   #51
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For those that had a CT Scan done. Did you have it done because of other symptoms that gave you concern or was it a preventive measure like getting a colonoscopy at 50?

I had mine done because of a few risk factors... got a score of zero...


I paid the whole cost as my deductible was (well, still is) high...
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:58 AM   #52
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I got a zero too on the hard stuff. Then a couple years later I got a CIMT and scored the lowest on the soft stuff. My cholesterol numbers are 'bad', have been 'bad', and will continue to be 'bad' until the medical establishment can change the definition of 'bad'. It's not the cholesterol that's the problem, it's inflammation. No inflammation, no build-up.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:09 PM   #53
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I got a zero too on the hard stuff. Then a couple years later I got a CIMT and scored the lowest on the soft stuff. My cholesterol numbers are 'bad', have been 'bad', and will continue to be 'bad' until the medical establishment can change the definition of 'bad'. It's not the cholesterol that's the problem, it's inflammation. No inflammation, no build-up.

Do you exercise? What do you eat?


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Old 03-25-2016, 12:09 PM   #54
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I had mine done because of a few risk factors... got a score of zero...


I paid the whole cost as my deductible was (well, still is) high...
Do you exercise? What do you eat?



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Old 03-25-2016, 12:37 PM   #55
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I'm what you might call a "statin-denier".
I'm genetically predisposed to having higher cholesterol ("hyperlipidemia"?) It's not sky-high, but generally "above normal".
My doctor(s) have consistently recommended statins, stating my risk factors; I've always declined. I've read up on the subject and the actual theme seems to be that controlling cholesterol levels have nothing to do with preventing heart disease, because cholesterol in and of itself does not cause heart disease! It's inflammation of the arteries and the resulting plaques that break loose/clog/burst! Lowering cholesterol has no preventative effect; i.e, it's not just the simple concept of "cholesterol clogs the plumbing". One of the best books out there is Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories; Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet". Check it out.

Anyhoo, a few years ago I had an "episode". I drank some really hot coffee, which, in hindsight caused symptoms of cold sweats, a drop in bp, and chest pain (There's a word for that type of reaction, but it escapes me at the moment...). Since I was a relatively healthy 50 year-old with no other symptoms, the ER I went to decided to do a CT scan. The result was a calcification score of ZERO. Hmmm, and I have high cholesterol...
My current doc was not aware of my CT scan and also recommended statins.

So I will not take statins, and just to show the doc I can have better lipid numbers, I'm eating more veggies, organic meats, and staying away from refined carbs. Looking forward to my blood tests later in the year.

The thing about statins: lots of reported scary side effects like permanent muscular problems and dimentia. My father took statins (life-long smoker and drinker) and he did get a little wacky in his later years...

Plus, and this is the real kicker, Google this: "How much will statins prolong a normal lifespan." Hint: not enough to bother with them.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:27 PM   #56
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The thing about statins: lots of reported scary side effects
Story of my life, ha ha ha It's a good thing I have good medical insurance or I;d have died broke years ago from a statin induced death
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:58 PM   #57
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Do you exercise? What do you eat?



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A long time ago did, but had stopped for many years....

Just started to exercise again about 5 months ago... way out of shape and can feel the pain two days after exercise...

Eating better since getting married, but I would not say a 'great' diet... just good... but still eat Reese's and York's much more than I should.... have cut way back on fired food and have slowed down on breads.... not stopped, but slowed down...

But, any way you measure I have too much weight.... just at the edge of overweight and obese...
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:12 PM   #58
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A long time ago did, but had stopped for many years....

Just started to exercise again about 5 months ago... way out of shape and can feel the pain two days after exercise...

Eating better since getting married, but I would not say a 'great' diet... just good... but still eat Reese's and York's much more than I should.... have cut way back on fired food and have slowed down on breads.... not stopped, but slowed down...

But, any way you measure I have too much weight.... just at the edge of overweight and obese...

Thank you Texas Proud. You must have some great genes to have the zero score while not exercising and eating the way you do.


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Old 03-25-2016, 09:57 PM   #59
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For those that had a CT Scan done. Did you have it done because of other symptoms that gave you concern or was it a preventive measure like getting a colonoscopy at 50?
If you follow a prevention model, the guideline is age 40 for men and age 50 for women (heart disease affects more women than men, but it affects them about 10 years later). If you've got additional risk factors, you would get scanned earlier.

If you follow the allopathic (conventional) model, you wait for symptoms. That was my case - chest pain during exercise. I wish I would have done it sooner, but can't worry about that now.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:58 PM   #60
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Do you exercise? What do you eat?
Not too much exercise. I certainly haven't seen the inside of gym since I was forced to in college, but do ride a bike, more to get out in nature than exercise. I eat a minimum of refined foods, but I'd say most people would say my diet is "unhealthy" because it includes meat and dairy. But I eat fermented foods (and beverages) that I make myself (bugz is good).

Besides 'bad' cholesterol accompanied by (apparently) no/low inflammation, I'm blessed with low blood pressure, just like my dad. I've been asked if I was an endurance runner (bwahhh, haha ha!). I think BP, cholesterol, CHD inflammation, etc are driven from a combination of genes and where your microbiota ended-up settling. I wish that 23andMe would join with uBiome, ask health questions, and see what they find out.
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