Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Seeing is not believing

I met a friend in college named Rick (well, of course, not real name but close enough). He was the son of a wealthy soda-pop executive and looked like a blond godversion of Richard Gere (same swagger pre-Buddhism days.)

Since childhood, Rick had an optic nerve disorder that left his vision narrowed to a field within only 2-4 inches of his eyes. His wicked sense of humor was intense and empathy even more exquisite. He could tell our mood by just a few cues like voice or posture. His articulation of life was indescribable.
Rick wasn't born with amazing senses of smell, taste, touch or hearing (or drinking with his frat mates). These were honed skills (like imbibing). It seemed with a disruption of the one single visual sense, the other routes of his perception of the world were super-trained. Super-heightened. SUPER-freightening. Way above and way beyond normal.

When someone engages in a TYP-styled life and adjunct therapy, similarly, multiple pathways for plaque-regression are super-charged, super-optimized. Plaque growth immediately halted. Plaque damage overridden... eventually eradicated. Anginal pains go away. We all have the ability to be whole and complete. Our bodies hold the key to these resources and the capacity to heal. Don't believe?

Read about the TYP successes. Many people share achievements on the forum with (mild) pride--it's not necessarily an easy task. Incredible outcomes happen all the time. Although small dense atherogenic LDL numbers are reduced in nearly all cases, the most reliable index for plaque eradication is demonstrated when EBT scan measurement (scored at baseline then infrequent intervals) reductions occur to 10%, 20% or even record-breaking 50-60% levels. Seeing how healthy one lives or wonderful lab measurements are not necessarily adequate. Looking hot, hip and healthy aren't enough for heart and vascular disease prevention. As even my mechanic could tell you, relying on sight offers no guarantees, (and this is why he charges me a lot for running diagnostic tests). Even the most energetic marathoner can have silent indicators of heart disease and isn't aware. Just like lumps and bumps (polyps), asymptomatic plaque is hidden -- undetectable to the naked eye.

Scans are not done often (routinely, in similar fashion to cancer preventive screening tools, i.e. mammograms or sigmoids). Yet these are the only tools and metrics that conveniently, safely and quickly assess the presence of plaque (also, inexpensively, with minimal radiation, and without dyes that harm kidneys).

What does scanning offer? Not much but a number (and a pretty picture). That number (positive calcium score) is irrefutable and pathognomic for plaque. It's like a financial debt or a crazy lover -- don't want one, to be undone, right?

Europeans are perhaps more advanced than the U. S. for using heart scan screenings to reduce unnecessary death, disability and damage from heart disease.

Non-invasive screening for coronary artery disease: calcium scoring

Cardiac computed tomography: indications, applications, limitations, and training requirements

Determinants of Progression of Coronary Artery Calcification in Type 2 Diabetes: Role of Glycemic Control and Inflammatory Vascualr Calcification Markers

Ok... let's give the U.S. some credit now! In addition to Dr. Davis, here is another luminary endorsement of scans for screening:
Noninvasive Screening for Coronary Atherosclerosis and Silent Ischemia in Asymptomatic Type 2 Diabetic Patients, Dr. George A. Beller, MD, MACC, Cardiovascular Division, Virginia.

And like Dr. Davis, a physician (in primary care, no less--say YAHHH for the primary care in the deep trenches) who experienced virtually no cardiovascular events in his primary care practice in Colorado (no CAD surgeries, no cabgs, no stents, no PTCAs, no MIs, no deaths):
Dr. William Blanchet, MD

If there is premature vascular disease in the family tree (stroke, heart disease or surgeries, ED, kidney disease, ocular strokes, aneurysms, etc), then do not be fooled. Risks are present even with the so-called healthiest living. Even if you are not blind like Rick, in regards to the vigor of the heart, know that seeing is not believing.

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