How I Reversed My Coronary Calcium Score by 59% in 16 monthsArticles . Blog
I’ve been wanting to make this video now for several weeks. I just wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about doing it, but I wanted to chronicle my experiences and working with Dr. Brewer & PrevMed as a patient over the last couple of years. And to illustrate what kind of changes and Improvements can be made during a period of time of following Dr. Brewers guidelines. Before that, my name is Jon Lorscheider. I would say I’m a patient of Dr Brewer’s. But I’m also a frequent follower and contributor to his YouTube channel. I moderate comments for him and developed the PrevMed Forum. I have a bad family history. I’ll talk a little bit about that. My mother’s side of the family all suffered from ecarotid artery disease & eventually all of them had strokes. My father’s side of the family all had coronary artery disease. They all suffered Cardiac events over the years. So I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ve got genes from both parents I know I have a bad family history. And I also have a lot of my own risk factors. I have extremely high Lipoprotein a I’m in the 95th percentile of those measured I have Carotid artery disease and coronary artery disease. I have a number of health issues that Dr Brewer discovered – that I never knew I had nor did my local family doctor discover them. What I’ve done over the years since 2009 – I worked with a doctor in Illinois at the time who discovered I had a lot of these risk factors. He was a pretty progressive sort of doctor – the best I found to date. He did Carotid IMT. He discovered I was developing plaque at a pretty good rate at my carotid arteries. I went on my own and had Coronary Calcium Ccores done to show I’ve got that plaque building up in my coronary arteries. I just didn’t know what was causing it. And therefore I wasn’t sure how to treat it I did all the traditional things that mainstream doctors do of course. I took statin drugs I did niacin. I did the fish oil. The diets that were recommended were less than adequate. They probably caused more of my problems than helped, but we’ll talk a bit about that( later). And then all the things I did over 2009 up to a couple years ago showed that my coronary calcium score kept rising every year so… What was I not doing? And what was I doing wrong? I couldn’t seem to find out. Along about 2016 I stumbled onto Dr. Brewer’s YouTube channel. I can’t remember how that occurred. But at that time he had like 30 40 videos out there that were all excellent. They were early versions He was just getting his channel going. Today, there’s nearly 400 videos out there in the videos. Just keep getting better and more detailed and more helpful So I’m listening to this doctor Brewer and I’m thinking hmm. He’s got a different approach here. I need to try this Because what I’m doing certainly isn’t working. And to continue in that road without seeing any benefit didn’t seem worth doing. So I remember in one of the videos, Dr. Brewer talked about a book called BEAT THE HEART ATTACK GENE. And it was written by doctors Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen. And it’s a book that you can find out on Amazon. It’s very inexpensive – somewhere around $15 if I recall correctly You can get it on Amazon. You can buy it on Dr Brewer,s website at PrevMedHeartrisk.com It’s a book that goes through finding root causes of coronary artery disease. To sum it up in a short group of words here BEAT THE HEART ATTACK GENE points to inflammation being the cause of cardiovascular disease, stroke and – now as we find out through other channels that it’s a major contributor to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Doctors Bale & Doneen have been preaching their methods now for I think somewhere around 20 years. Dr Brewer is one of the doctors who practices that method of prevention. He looks at inflammation as being the major contributor. But what contributes to inflammation? The number one cause is impaired glucose tolerance. In other words insulin resistance or diabetes. So back in 2016, when I got a little bit fed up with lack of progress in my effort to control my plaque growth, I Called, Dr. Brewers office and made an appointment. Long story short – I get a bunch of labs in advance. I got a Carotid IMT test done and I find here that I have impaired glucose tolerance. This is done using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), that you can get – you can ask your doctor for it. They can order it. If they block at it, you can get it without a doctor’s order at any quest or a LabCorp draw facility. There’s videos and Dr Brewer,s channel that I’ve done on how to go about doing that. What I find here is that my normal fasting blood glucose of 81 is ideal. That’s where everybody’s ought to be – in the 80s or below. My one hour is borderline high but my two hours actually higher than my one hour. In an Ideal a situation, your two hour would be lower than your one hour. So, I’ve got some issues here. I’m just not real sure yet, but I’m definitely insulin resistant (IR) and borderline diabetic. To confirm that, I have what is called a craft insulin survey And it’s basically done very much like an oral glucose-tolerance test. But there’s five draws rather than three draws. You check it fasting. nd your insulin levels at fasting should be below ten. I’m below two. So my insulin levels are very low. That’s a good thing. My glucose levels are very low. I’m in the 80s again when I wake up in the morning. You can’t get much better than that. Then you drink a solution of glucose very much like you did with an oral glucose tolerance test. Now my insulin levels are starting to go skyward. My glucose levels and insulin levels are going up as the time ticks away two hours I’m out here. I’m at near 81 My glute on my insulin levels and they should be below 50 And here my glucose levels are at 291 According to the American Diabetes Association, I should be down around 140.
So I meet all the qualifications of diabetes here. This is saying the same thing. It’s just out on a curve. It’s tracking it Here I am at 2:00 hour My glucose levels 291 close to 300, and I should be down at 140 here where my cursor is. So I’ve learned I got diabetes. What does diabetes do to your arteries? It tears them up. It causes inflammation. It causes damage to the inside of your arteries and it sets you up for plaque formation and atherosclerosis. So I think I’m on to something here, thanks to Dr. Brewer and his insistence on doing the glucose levels with an oral glucose tolerance test and the craft insulin survey. Then I have what’s called a Carotid IMT, a CIMT. It basically looks at your carotid artery in your neck. Your carotid artery comes from your heart. It comes through the common carotid artery up here It branches out into the internal and external carotid arteries going to your brain This area right here is called the bifurcation area. That’s the area where the common carotid artery divides Into the external in the internal carotid artery and this is typically an area where plaque will build up Why they look at this is that plaque in your carotid arteries are have a high degree of correlation with plaque In your coronary arteries. There’s a 90 to 95 percent correlation. This is a simple non-invasive test with no radiation. It shows you the various types of plaque It shows you the hard and calcified plaque that everybody seems to be concerned with. But it also shows the soft and inflamed plaque the type more liable to give you trouble So here back in 2017 my plaque burdens out at 5.9. I Went back in September this year. t jumped by 20% I’m up at 7.3. So I’m thinking something’s not right here because I’m doing all the things that Dr Brewer is recommending but yet I see a 20% increase on my carotid IMT score So I’m puzzled. Dr. Brewer is puzzled. Doctor Brewer gets the owner of CardioRisk labs in Utah on the phone. We have a three-way conversation And he’s going, “You know, I don’t think I really see any increase here between last year at 5.9 and 7.3” . I’m going, “How do you not see the increase?” He’s going, ” Because I’ve upgraded my equipment to more sensitive ultrasound equipment and I am able to pick up a higher degree of plaque in the carotid arteries.” I’m a skeptic. I go back and I look at the IMT skin photographs. Sure enough, he’s right last year’s the sensitivity was much much lower than this year. You pick up a whole lot more on the same area. There is a degree of variation between the sonographer who did it last year and this one (which was actually done by Todd Eldredge – who runs the company CardioRisk.) I had this test done laying on a couch in the lobby of the Grand Marriott in downtown Chicago. I didn’t really care. I was just glad to be able to get the test. It’s done well. So I’m thinking, ” All right, let’s confirm that.” I’m gonna go about the way I’ve been doing it for years. I’m gonna go have another Coronary Calcium score. The coronary calcium score looks at the calcium in your coronary arteries. It doesn’t tell you if you have a blockage. It does not tell you how much plaque you have. It basically looks at hard calcification that is embedded in the plaque of your arteries. (It’s ) a rough approximation. If you look at the plaque and an artery, 20 to 30 percent of the composition of that plaque will be calcium. Some people look at calcium as being the enemy I’m one who doesn’t. I look at calcium as being the brick and with a mortar that holds together the plaque – keeping it stable. That’s backed up by science that I put in a video that you can find out on The Stabilization of Soft Plaque on Dr. Brewer’s channel. I’ve had a few of these before. I’m not embarrassed to admit it. This is called serial scanning. I’ve had them done most every year except for 2016. Coronary Calcium Score – This is every year. This is the score that you get when you go and have this done. You go to a hospital. You have it done using an electron beam tomography. I had a very low amount back here in 2010 And I’m following my doctor in Illinois. I’m doing all the right things I think. I’m seeing progress from year to year – until 2013 when it starts going up, so I’m reflecting back and what did change in 2013? That was the year my doctor who said you don’t need the statins you’ve been taking here anymore. I quit taking the statin drug at that time in 2013 and my score starts to rise. Now that may not be the only cause of that increase. As you saw, I have diabetes. That is a major contributor. My body weight was going up a good bit. You know, I have a high lipoprotein a so there’s a lot of confounders out there that make this score a little questionable. But yet it’s going up. That is plaque. That is calcified plaque in my coronary arteries. So I have another one in 2015. It seems to level off. I said I’m done with coronary calcium scores, so I didn’t have one in 2016. 2017 I have no idea what I did this. I moved to Wisconsin. When I did, I decided I’m gonna have a coronary calcium score done So I go down to a hospital not too many miles away from where I live. I have one done. It basically doubled From the previous scan in a short period of two years and that’s not uncommon if you don’t address your root causes Your plaque will continue to lay down. So I’m more confused now I go back to my local doctor I take him the coronary calcium scores. I take him all my labs. I normally do all my own labs. And I said how ok I was very nice to him and I just said look the slope of this graph is going up here At a pretty sharp angle. I want to be able flatten this out As we get older plaque forms in coronary arteries. It’s a common thing But – it’s uncommon when you start seeing rates of growth like this so at that point that doctor just said, “Look, I don’t know what to do with this kind of information. I really don’t know about coronary calcium scores.” He didn’t believe I was diabetic. He looked at the Kraft Insulin Survey and oral glucose tolerance test as being a “rigged test that was designed to fail”. So I kind of knew I had the wrong doctor at that point. This happens to be from two years ago when I had a calcium score down locally here in Wisconsin. As we scroll down, it was done in April 12th. I had a CT heart scan without contrast. And it said my coronary calcium score was 123 and that’s not too bad for a baby boomer at 65. I wasn’t complaining too much. I had just wanted to see that curve start to flatten out a bit. So two years later , in fact just earlier this month, I went to a hospital that I’ve had a number of these done before. Sure enough, they used the same scanner. They used the same methodology that they’ve been using for years. I’ve got a coronary calcium and Agatston score of down around 51. So I’m feeling pretty good about this thing. I think I’ve kind of turned the corner on what’s causing my plaque formation And if you put it into perspective here – If you have a coronary calcium score that’s zero you have less than a 5% chance of having heart disease. I’m up here over a hundred. I’ve got a moderate amount of plaque present and a fairly good chance of having coronary artery disease and a blockage developing. I backed it down here I’m down in the low 50s, so I’m going the right direction I’m going backwards and that’s been my goal for 10 years. I just couldn’t figure out how to get there. Lab work – if you go see Dr. Brewer, you’re gonna get a lot of lab work. This is a small snapshot of my inflammation markers. My CRP, which is normally point four point five is ideal. Back about six months ago I was at 1.9. But I had a back injury at the time and any type of injury or infection, or auto immune dysfunction will set your CRP right up. I had a back issue that was causing me a lot of trouble boosted it up. I’m back down to 0.4 0.5 Now where I was this is remarkable. This is the “Plac 2” test (LP-PLA 2). It’s an inflammation marker showing the plaque formation. It’s an enzyme. It’s showing that you’re producing plaque in your artery wall. I had been up well over 200 like 220 Years passed I’m down at 92. I’m in an optimal range now showing the strategies I’ve been following are working to reduce inflammation and therefore reducing my plaque burden. Myelo peroxidase (MPO) is an enzyme. Basically It’s almost like an immune function. It looks at the plaque in the artery and It says it shouldn’t be there and it tries to dissolve it. It’s an oxidation material. It’s acts like a bleach almost. It tries to dissolve any existing plaque. Unfortunately, when that happens, it makes it less stable. It puts you at a higher risk. So we want to keep that number below and I’m well down in an optimal range I look for a couple other things along here my A1c. I worked hard at getting it below five. It’s been now about the last year and a half – It’s been at four point seven. I haven’t been able to get any better, but it’s not gotten any worse. If you’re below five, you’re in pretty good shape. Again, there’s a lot of labs that are run at PrevMed that are useful that points you to root causes and inflammation. Being the number one cause – the number one cause of the inflammation insulin resistance and diabetes So I don’t take as many meds as I used to I still take some. I take very low dose Crestor – rosuvastatin five milligrams a day. I read about people taking 20 and 40 milligrams a day. And all you do is seem to write about their side effects I’ve been taking five milligrams per day for a long long time have no side effects whatsoever. You probably ought to talk to your doctor about reducing your doses if you have side effects Niacin – I take the extended-release form of a nurse and I take 2,000 milligrams per day And I’ve been fortunate to get my lipoprotein (a) down by close to 75%. It wworks extremely well Eliquis is a novel oral anticoagulant I take because I have a fib. It prevents coagulation and clots in the heart I’m diabetic as you saw. I take metformin. I take a very moderate dose – 500 milligrams of the extended-release twice a day. It’s not a high dose and it’s not a low dose It works quite well, but it doesn’t work alone. You have to do the rest of the story We’ll talk about what that is. Medicines will only get you 25%. Levothyroxine, that’s basically a thyroid medication t4 Boosts my thyroid function a little bit. It’s been low. Llisinopril lisinopril is basically a blood pressure lowering ACE inhibitor. I’ve been able to drop my dose significantly as my risk factors – my BMI improved. And flecainide, It is a medication taken for afib. I use it only when I have an episode and Puts me back in sinus rhythm in 60 to 90 minutes. Some people say that’s a lot of meds I look at it as being minimal dose of a moderate amount of meds. They really do help. This is what people always want to know. What supplements do you take I can tell you? None of these- absolutely, none of these had measurable benefit for me. I used to follow the Linus Pauling protocol. That’s taking (I think I could get up to) fifty five hundred (5500) milligrams per day of vitamin C. After that You reach an area for me at least called bowel intolerance. So it’s something that works a little better for some people perhaps – but it did not work at all for me. Interesting about the Pauling protocol. Dr. Pauling died five years prior to the Linus Pauling Foundation (which still is in existence today) – they discovered the sodium dependent vitamin C transporter proteins which are responsible for taking the vitamin C: getting it into your arteries; getting it where it needs to go. That transporter protein system becomes fully saturated at 250 milligrams per day any amount of vitamin C you take beyond that is excreted in your urine. I’m taking a lot vitamin C, & probably 95% of it went down the toilet I’ve tried Kyolic. Interesting studies out there – a little suspicious when you really go through the data and see the confounders in their Co Q 10 I still use ubiquinone. Its the Iused to take ubiquinol until I found out – not only was it more expensive – but it converted instantly to ubiquinone once you ingest it. So there is no benefit to ubiquinol and there’s many studies out there that show that. Fish oil I still take some today. I’m a little on the fence there studies that show benefit and there’s studies. That showed no benefit Aspirin I used to take I don’t take it any longer. I take the Eliquis as I mentioned prior because of Afib, I used to take a lot of vitamin E mixed tocopherols & tocotrienols. They were supposed to stabilize plaque & reduce plaque. None of it happened. I was taking high doses of very good brands. Actually if you look at the studies today there’s more harm from high dose of vitamin E than there is benefit by far Soluble fiber & polycosenol – two things that were purported to reduce cholesterol absorption Cholesterol is not the issue. It basically is inflammation Plant sterols – the same thing – they may block cholesterol absorption. It may do that but it doesn’t show benefit. Niacin I still take it probably take more than I used to. I take 2,000 milligrams per day You get used to it my HDL is up or 8. It used to be in the 30s my Lipoprotein a which it works extremely well for for me. If you look at reports it says it reduces lipoprotein a. Niacin reduces lipoprotein a by 20 to 30% – 75 percent so good benefit. And of course I couldn’t pass up trying vitamin k2. I took MK 4. Sorry about that. I put in k2 instead I met MK 4 – the type you get from foods and MK 7, which is a synthetic form that Is reported to reduce calcium in tissues, It’s never been shown to work in reducing in supplement form the calcium in the arteries. It’s kind of a leap of faith. I read up on it. I thought it may not hurt. But it certainly didn’t help me. Then as I read on further there are studies showing that maybe we shouldn’t be tinkering with our plaque and trying to pull calcium out – because if it did work, you could potentially (and I use that word potentially) destabilize plaque that’s already calcified or stable.
And that would not be smart. So this is my summary. This is what I did.
This is the bottom line of my two-year adventure working with Dr. Brewer and PrevMed. I now manage my fasting blood glucose. I keep it in the low 80s when I wake up in the morning. My postprandial blood glucose – I keep it below 120. I prefer to keep it below 100 and I keep my a1c below 5. I got it at 4.7 When you eat that way, which is basically a low-carb diet – a strict low carb diet, you get into an area sometimes called ketosis. I measure that with a blood ketone meter. Most of all, I had to look past the American Diabetes Association guidelines. Those are gonna get you in trouble more often than not. Some people say they’re not strict enough I just say they look to only had a1c or fasting blood glucose. They need to go back to what used to be the gold standard. That’s an oral glucose tolerance test? It’s simple. It’s inexpensive. When I started doing that blood sugar control, I got my BMI down quickly from 28.3 down to 22 Inflammation markers – he micro albumin creatinine ratio, which basically shows what damage has been done to your arteries. Some people call it leakage in your arteries that damage sets you up for inflammation. Mine has improved quite a bit over the last couple years. The PLC 2 test that I showed you that that is improved. Lipoprotein a is improved HSCRP s always been low. So that’s a good thing. Myeloperoxidase is very low. Lipoprotein a Some people look at that as a causative factor I’m more inclined to think now that it’s actually a result that all the damage we’re doing to ourselves in the lipoprotein a. May be there as an agent to help patch the holes and our arteries. That’s just my opinion though. I’m not professing that that’s fact I adopted a very high fat, moderate protein and low carb diet. Not just any kind of fats. I eat a lot of avocados. I do eat cheese. I eat a lot of nuts, fish and other forms of good seafood. I do eat meat. I’m not a vegan. I’m not a vegetarian. But I’ve reduced the amount of red meat in my diet significantly. Instead of the 12 to 16-ounce New York Strip, I’ll have a six ounce filet now and then. I eat a little chicken. I eat some turkey. I do intermittent daily fasting and I know I’m in a good fasting range because when I check my ketones I’m between usually one and three. That’s a nice area to be in. One of the most beneficial things that worked for me was high-intensity interval training – Vigorous exercise 30 to 60 second bursts -maybe 10-15 times. Do that like three times a week. It highly sensitizes your insulin receptors to getting more glucose a part of your system. When I did all these things my blood pressure dropped. I may not even need blood pressure meds anymore. I’m consistently below 120 over 80 even without the meds. But I think I’m going to take it a little bit longer. I’ve cut the dose in half and that’s working good for me. I do use some meds, but these are low doses of targeted medications for inflammation. The niacin for lipoprotein (a). I take a little metformin, a little blood pressure, but you know what? It’s not a cholesterol issue and I don’t take them for that reason. The Crestor that I take is one of the better anti-inflammatories you can get. It does reduce cholesterol>But again cholesterol is not the issue for most people. So that’s my story. I hope it was helpful to you. If you have questions, by all means,post them below – or any comments – Love it or hate it. It doesn’t matter. People get very passionate about when they talk about supplements and medications. I didn’t mean to offend anybody and I hope you found this useful Again, thank you
Written by Brian Rohrer
- How to reset Samsung CLX CLP 310/320/360 Drum Unit
- HP LaserJet Pro M402dw Wireless Laser Printer with Double-Sided Printing
- How to Share & Connect 3G / 4G Mobile Hotspot To WiFi Router Tutorial
- German Passport vs American Passport
- The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: David Allen at TEDxClaremontColleges
- Avery Removable Window and Wall Signage for Inkjet Printers, 8-1/2 x 11, 10/Pack
- Canon Color imageCLASS MF634Cdw (1475C005) All-in-One, Wireless, Duplex Laser Printer
- Same Day Copier and Laser Printer Repair Service Eden Prairie MN
- Boy Were They Wrong
- Retail 2020 | 5 Technologies that will change the way you shop