Many people have undergone a heart scan that provided a coronary calcium score. However, what many don’t know is that aspirin, beta-blockers and other combinations of medication might not stop the rise in score each year.
(Wondering what to expect during your first scan? This free guide will walk you through the process step by step.)
Countless patients are led to believe there’s nothing you can do to stop the rise in your heart scan score. However, there are various non-medication and non-procedural ways to accomplish this. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss some strategies to help reduce your heart scan score and the risk of a coronary event.
What is a Heart Scan Score?
A coronary calcium score is captured by our state-of-the-art GT Revolution Scanner. It quantifies and measures how much calcium is present in your arteries. As a rule of thumb, calcium occupies approximately 20% of atherosclerotic plaque volume.
From there, we’re often asked, “What percentage of blockage do I have?” Though the heart scan doesn’t immediately provide that information, an Agaston score is used to estimate the extent of the disease:
- 0: No plaque or evidence of coronary artery disease
- 1-10: Minimal coronary artery disease
- 11-100: Mild; minimal coronary narrowing
- 101-400: Moderate; significant narrowing
- 400+: Severe; high likelihood of obstruction
Once you have an accurate view of the narrowing and potential blockage of the artery, here are some strategies we recommend to reduce your heart scan score moving forward as you participate in future screenings.
1. Cut Grains and Sugars
In one of our blogs this past month, we discussed the differences between HDL and LDL Cholesterol. The first step we advise is cutting back on grains like wheat, barley, rye, oats and field corns. High LDL cholesterol levels can block your blood vessels, increasing your risk of a heart attack. However, it’s the formation of small LDL particles that concerns physicians.
Small LDL particles last longer in the bloodstream and are more adherent to arterial tissue. Because the only two causes of this formation are grains and sugars, if you make a change in diet, it should help reduce your heart scan score. You can quantify how many small LDL particles are in your body using a lipoprotein analysis.
2. Include Vitamin D
The next strategy we recommend is adding vitamin D to your diet. Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory agent and its effects can help reduce your score. Vitamin D also normalizes calcium metabolism (which is being measured by the heart scan). A 25-hydroxy level of 60-70 ng/mL is typically recommended.
3. Add Iodine
Even marginal degrees of hypothyroidism can make your score rise. If this is the case, we recommend implementing 400-500 mcg of iodine per day into your diet. There’s a bit of debate surrounding the clinical scoring of thyroidology. However, the ideal thyroid function typically includes a normal or ideal free T3 thyroid hormone.
4. Implement Magnesium
Magnesium is great to include in your diet for many reasons. One of which corrects blood sugar and high blood pressure. You have the option of taking magnesium malate, bicarbonate salts or make your own magnesium water for high absorbency.
Regular Screenings is the Best Way to Monitor and Treat the Early Stages Coronary Disease
In addition to these four dietary strategies, you can help reduce your heart scan score by participating in regular screenings and consulting with your doctor. To learn more about our heart scans and how they can play a helpful role in your health plan, we invite you to reach out to us today at (918) 879-6161.
Nervous For Your First Health Screening?
It’s normal to feel anxious before your first heart scan. But, don’t worry. Our team is here to put your mind at ease. In this free ebook, we walk you through all the steps and details you need to know before your appointment.
Access your free copy by clicking below!