Paul were you lifting a kettle bell at the time?!
I’ve never heard it put that way Paul, but it makes me feel better. Since I’m putting it out there, and I know it sounds irrational, but I have a lot of trauma with watching my family have heart attacks. I can’t even look at a diagram of a heart in a doctor’s office. Since childhood all I’ve heard is that high cholesterol caused it. I know now that probably isn’t the case and it was diabetes since every one of them were diabetic. I’m glad to know that IF I got a CAC and IF it was not 0, that as long as it isn’t rising I’m probably ok. My “keto doctor” knows my CAC phobia and he said at 42 I probably don’t have anything significant even though I was obese at one time. I’m at least recognizing my trauma and working on it. I stopped taking a statin against my doc’s advice, so that is a decent start.
Has anybody heard of this? https://crossfitanchoredathletics.com/inbody-body-composition-scan/
I could easily go the same route, Kyarn. I had avoided the scale for years, would put off doctors appointments because they insist on weighing me! Good lord! The horror!
I started Keto with a daily weigh-in. It fit my addictive personality. But I couldn’t rein in my anguish when the number went up. I know better now. But I still have scale phobia. As you point out, we all find our way. The one that works for us. Which is another reason this forum is so great for beginners… no judgement, just suggestions and support. Love it.
The InBody Scanner 270 is just another impedence scale. I think inpedence (aka ‘body composition’) scales can be useful, but they can only tell you averaged, overall impedence between the contacts. I think a tape measure and a set of calipers will give you more useful information.
Kyarn, I stopped my statin too, against my doctor’s advice. I feared knowing my CAC, since my husband had a very high score and yet is naturally thin, works out, blah blah. So, I was terrified of knowing my own score. I eventually gave in and got a very low score! But I know that if the results had been bad, I would have been devastated. I know that tests only reveal what is, but I have it in my head that the truth can hurt. Like the opposite of the placebo effect. Tell me I am sick and that will make it so. Silly, I know. But I am a Pollyanna at heart, a believer in positive thinking, etc. I am Tigger, to my husband’s Eeyore. La-la-la…
Given that a significant majority of patients who come to the emergency room with their first heart attack have either normal or low cholesterol, it is highly unlikely that cholesterol causes heart attacks. There is also quite a bit of epidemiological evidence to suggest that higher cholesterol levels may actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Further evidence is found among people who have a condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia, in which cholesterol is high for genetic reasons. Fully half of such people live perfectly normal lives and die in old age of causes other than cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, the people with FH who do develop cardiovascular problems all happen to have genetic conditions (variants in fibrinogen and clotting factor VIII) that cause their blood to clot more readily. This was shown back in the 1960’s and still the anti-cholesterol movement managed to win the day.
What is the treatment plan for you husband with his high CAC? I was told by a Keto coach that it doesn’t matter how high your score is as long as it doesn’t progress.
I’ve been seeing more GroupOn deals for DEXA scans in my neck of the woods lately, usually going for about half the regular price.
That’s what we were told too. My husbands score was 325. (Mine was 32.) 325 is not terrible, not great, and not surprising given his WOE before keto. Our doc said to keto on and as long as it does not progress, he’s good. He also has good cholesterol and takes a statin w/o ill effects. He has not had his cholesterol checked since going to keto. If it’s like mine, the total went into the 300s and the ldl was still too high and the HDL was still too low. BUT… my ratio of triglycerides to HDL improved, which are what matters most. And blood sugars was excellent.
Interesting fact: It was actually my EX husband who got into all this. His first CAC scan was 1050. Yikes. He did not change his eating (no keto yet) but added a small dose of D3/K2, and the next year it was 1350! So he went hard core keto PLUS started taking LARGE doses of D3/K2, and Magnesium. One year later, it went down by 50. He is thrilled.
I have a history of obesity and yo yo weight and expected I would be in dire straights. So, after just 5 months of keto and following suit with supplements, I was thrilled with the CAC.
I WILL work up the nerve to get a CAC one day. We all have our struggles and they don’t make sense to others sometimes. It’s hard for me to understand how a person is afraid of the dentist or needles. At the moment I’ve decided that if the way I eat is doing me any harm then there’s nothing else I can do. I don’t purposely add excessive fat my meals, although it’s probably fine to do so. I stopped eating sugar entirely aside from what is naturally found in low carb veg. I rarely eat processed foods. What else can a person do? Will my WOE cause heart disease? According to my doc the cholesterol will put me at higher risk. If I do what he says and eat whole grains, lots of fruit and veg and only eat 2 eggs per day, I’m 100% guaranteed to get diabetes. I’m certain diabetes caused all the heart attacks and strokes in my family is ALL of them were diabetic. No medical degree needed to see a pattern here.
Bear in mind that a well-formulated ketogenic diet can help to reverse arterial calcification, albeit slowly. If your score is stable, there is very little risk, despite any damage already done.
Remember also that calcification of arterial plaque is part of the body’s healing response. Ravnskov and Diamond have posited that arterial damage occurs all the time, the only problem being when the rate of damage exceeds the body’s rate of repair (such as when we are on a high-carb diet). Eating a well-formulated ketogenic diet will help minimise further damage, thus allowing the body to heal itself. If that diet also provides sufficient vitamins D and K, that will help move the arterial calcium back into the bones.
Kyarn, Yes, it’s a head game… isn’t it?
Our doc decided to learn about insulin resistance in regards to heart problems, etc. He is on board, I believe. At least he knows our journey and supports it. According to my ex, due to my low CAC, good blood sugar, insulin resistance, and lack of heart issues… I only need to concentrate on maintaining healthy weight and exercise and keto w/supplements. But both men have a family history of heart attacks and high blood pressure. So they consider this lifestyle to be a life saving prevention.
I do not intend to check my CAC again, and I won’t push my husband to recheck either. I think that as long as you are doing everything you possibly can, there is no reason to look at the numbers. Ask yourself what else you could possibly do, if the results were bad… and it sounds like you are already doing them (as are we), so… I think KCKO really is the best attitude.
How do you FEEL? After you are firmly established in keto WOE, i think that’s the most important test. How you feel… physically, emotionally, energy, etc. At 66, I have never felt better. I have zero cravings, and I’m wearing skinny jeans! I thought I would have to be reincarnated to accomplish that. LOL
I sure love everything you said. My primary doc, who I don’t think is against my keto lifestyle, I just think he doesn’t see a lot of good results with other patients, even he says, “How do you feel?” When I tell him I’ve never felt better, he always says, “There’s no way I can argue with that.” Until you have experienced a blood sugar spike and drop you don’t know what an inconvenience it is. Every time I ate, I planned on not functioning for the next couple hours while my body recovered. My life revolved around it. I just figured diabetes was my curse and I had to live with it. I had no idea I could reverse it.
I haven’t had ONE single episode since Keto.
An easy substitute, though not as reliable an indicator, is a lipid panel. If his ratio of triglycerides to HDL gets below 2.0 (or 0.9, depending on where in the world you are), then his LDL will be of the healthy Pattern A, and his CAC will most likely remain stable or decline. And given a good trig/HDL ratio combined with a healthy HbA1C and low inflammatory markers, he can be pretty sure he has nothing to worry about.
Paul, everything you said is exactly what a specialist told me when I was concerned about my cholesterol. He said the fact that my TRIG:HDL was 0.9, my NMR said I was pattern A, my A1C was great, and I even had low white blood cell count, all of this pointed to great health and to keep doing what I’m doing.
Hey, a doctor who knows what he’s doing! He’s a keeper, for sure!
Wow… that’s called the proof is in the pudding! (Made with cream cheese, cocoa powder, heaven whipping cream and stevia, of course.)
Agreed. We are watching those ratios as the real markers. Can you tell me what HbA1c is?
HbA1C is a measure of the amount of glycated haemoglobin in our red blood cells (erythrocytes). It indicates the amount of damage caused by circulating glucose in the bloodstream. The body has evolved to operate with a certain level of glycated haemoglobin (around 5.0 or so), but more than that indicates a problem of excessive serum glucose (usually from excessive intake of carbohydrate).
Because erythrocytes live for about 90 days, the HbA1C is useful as a sort of three-month rolling average of glucose levels. It’s not 100% perfect, but a good marker. (If your erythrocytes live longer than or less than 90 days on average, it can throw off the reading, and so can our level of hydration at the time the blood is drawn.) HbA1C of 5.5 or higher is one of the indicators of insulin resistance, if not outright Type II diabetes.