Go get a Coronary Calcium Scan #CAC

///Go get a Coronary Calcium Scan #CAC

Go get a Coronary Calcium Scan #CAC

Last month, my wife and I went to KetoFest in Connecticut. On Saturday, we watched “The Widowmaker” – it’s a documentary about the Coronary Artery Calcium Scan and its effectiveness at directly predicting the likelihood of coronary heart disease because it’s measuring the actual disease as it’s happening – direct observation. If you happen to have a Netflix subscription, you can watch the full documentary here. On the way out of the theater, I was walking behind Ivor Cummins – who helped with the movie and has been helping David Bobbett (the guy who paid for it to be made). Ivor and a bunch of other big names in the keto world proceeded to have a rousing discussion that really should have been recorded for posterity. One big discussion point was that the movie leaves out the “extraordinary” measures taken by David – he went on a ketogenic diet. Apparently, the film makers decided to leave that part out =).

There is some criticism of the movie – how things were presented and the need for clearly defined “good” and “bad” guys. The movie makes two important points: coronary stents don’t prevent heart attacks and coronary scans can identify advanced coronary artery disease before heart attacks happen. Regardless of the presentation, and how the film makers decided to edit things (like leaving out Keto!), finding out your calcium score is important.

Anyhow, I determined to get a CAC – and so I did. Turns out you can get them where I live for around $70. Unless you live in Texas, insurance won’t pay for it to be done – which is odd since it’s required for all astronauts and US Presidents – I suppose they’d rather pay thousands for heart surgery instead of less than $100. Anyway, out-of-pocket was simple and easy. Took longer to fill out the papers than getting the actual scan. Now I have the results of my blood tests AND I have a Coronary Artery Calcium Scan as well. Turns out that living mostly on fat (and mostly SATURATED fat, specifically), I’m doing just dandy – thanks for asking =)

The patient has a total Calcium Score of 0.

This places the patient into the 0th percentile in comparison to a group of patients asymptomatic for coronary artery disease with the same age and gender. This means that 0% of males aged 40-44 have calcium scores lower than the patient.

Coronary artery calcification is a specific marker for coronary atherosclerosis. The amount of calcification correlates with the severity of coronary atherosclerosis. A score of 0 implies a low likelihood of coronary obstruction, but cannot totally exclude the presence of atherosclerosis. A high score indicates a significant plaque burden and relative risk for future cardiovascular events. It should be understood that calcification is not site specific for stenosis but rather indicates the extent of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries overall.

There was no identifiable plaque detected. Patient is advised to adhere to general guidelines on diet and exercise.

I’ll ignore the “general guidelines on diet” part, thank you very much =) If you’re curious and would like to see the full content of my CAC report, you can check that out here.

By | 2017-08-09T07:46:08+00:00 August 9th, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

About the Author:

Chris Bair is a computer geek and SalesForce.com system administrator for his “day job”. He became involved in the powdered foods (aka “soylent”) movement in January 2014, originally with a conventional recipe and later switching to a high fat, low carb “ketogenic” variant on October 2014. In January 2015 he created the recipe for Keto Chow and released it without restriction for anyone to use, at the same time he began mixing the recipe up for people that wanted a finished product and has seen steady growth in the business every month since. Chris has lived in Utah for most of his life, except for a few years living in Chile where he learned Castillian. Chris and his wife have two sets of twins with a couple singltons thrown in for good measure.

4 Comments

  1. Tim August 9, 2017 at 7:47 am - Reply

    I laughed out loud a little bit at the “patient is advised to adhere to general guidelines on diet” bit. Then it occurred to me that you’re the coronary equivalent of a person who pays their entire credit card bill every month. Kind of a deadbeat patient to them. They’ve got no future revenue stream coming in from you. Unless… you start following general guidelines on diet… then you’ll be the cash cow you’re supposed to be in their eyes.

    • Chris August 9, 2017 at 7:48 am - Reply

      Funny, I DO pay my credit card bill every month =)

  2. Dermot August 12, 2017 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Arterial stiffness parameters are conjectured to be increased by some forms of keto in the long term. Given your great results, perhaps Ketochow is one of the best types of ketogenic diet due to it’s nutrient balance to prevent stiffness in the long term, especially if combined with heavy cream as the fat source?

    Example of keto increasing stiffness over 6 months:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325592/

    Interestingly stiffness seems OK under 6 months in this keto study by comparison..

    http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0883073815576793

    • Chris August 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Interesting read, the first one still assumes the diet-heart hypothesis is valid (cholesterol and fat are bad!). It also notes:

      Selenium deficiency in ketogenic diet patients may cause prolonged QT intervals and lead to cardiomyopathy (9). Vitamin D deficiency and acidosis can affect bone mineral density and eventually lead to fractures (10)

      Fortunately neither are a problem on a well formulated ketogenic diet (whether using Keto Chow or not, though Keto Chow makes that easier =)

      As for the second one, it’s paywalled beyond the abstract so I can’t see what they actually studied =(

      That said, I’ll take stiffness in artery walls over full on atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, high triglycerides, and the other ailments associated with a Standard American Diet (SAD).

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