Coronary Calcium Scans are so new that not all insurance providers cover their cost. They assess the degree of calcification of the coronary arteries using CT scans. Because the radiation from CT scans is many times higher than an X-ray and accumulates in the body, I recommend that their use be limited.
Coronary artery calcification indicates the presence of calcified atheromatous disease and can represent an area of stenosis in arteries. However, such calcium deposits can also be found on a standard chest X-ray. If bypass surgery is advised, due to symptoms, chest X-ray, indications of past MI, the patient undergoes a coronary angiograpy – so is a coronary artery scan really necessary? Or is it just another expensive add-on test that doesn’t give any new information?
Here’s what Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan says about the CCS:
● A coronary calcium scan checks for calcium buildup which can mean that you have a higher chance of having a heart attack than someone with a low score.
● The results may prompt you to make some lifestyle changes, such as exercising, eating better, losing weight, and quitting smoking.
● You might also decide to take medicine such as cholesterol or blood pressure medicine.
● People who are at medium risk for heart disease will get the most benefit from this test. Knowing your risk for a heart attack is a key part of your decision to get a scan.
● A calcium scan is not helpful to patients who have a low or high risk of heart disease.
● Not all health plans will pay for this test. The cost can range from about $100 to $400.
Back in 2016, when I first wrote about this test, it had not “caught on” as a screening tool because there are no drugs to “dissolve” the calcium in coronary arteries and there still isn’t. In fact, it just seems to be another tool used to scare patients into starting statin drugs earlier because doctors think they have no other choices.
We’ve known about plaque in the arteries since autopsies of young men in the Korean war showed a high incidence. This information added to the fear of elevated cholesterol as a cause of heart disease but didn’t address the role that calcium bound up in the plaque played.
Here’s information about that study. During the Korean War, U.S. pathologists did autopsy studies on 300 soldiers killed in combat finding that 77.3% had coronary atherosclerosis. So many seemingly healthy men in their late teens and 20s having significant buildup of plaque in the arteries shattered the perception of heart disease as purely an affliction of older people, revealing that the disease had a silent and relatively early onset.
Back to the CCS. One important fact about coronary calcium buildup is that excess calcium means a relative lack of magnesium. Add to that the information that magnesium deficiency is a major cause of atrial fibrillation. Allopathic medicine is tiptoeing around the elephant in the room (which is a mountain of calcium) and identifying calcium as a problem but never acknowledging the associated magnesium deficiency or the need to treat AFib with therapeutic levels of magnesium.
I repeat, allopathic medicine keeps finding more clues about magnesium deficiency in AFib and other forms of heart disease but will only look for drug solutions. A 2015 study “Coronary Calcium Promotes AF in ‘Dose-Response’ Fashion: MESA” on Medscape, found that “Progression of coronary artery calcification (CAC) appears to raise atrial fibrillation in a ‘dose-dependent” fashion’.” That means, the more calcium, the more AFib.
They found that “Patients with any CAC progression had a 55% increased risk of developing AFib after adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, baseline CAC, any CAC progression, smoking, body-mass index, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, antihypertensive medications, lipid-lowering therapies, aspirin, and left ventricular hypertrophy.”
When they factored out all those other possible causes, including cholesterol, they found that the increased risk of AFib is related to the buildup of calcium, This truly confirms the role of calcium in causing AFib and, in my world, the treatment of AFib should be saturation doses of magnesium. I’ve often said that magnesium dissolves calcium and directs it to the bones where it is needed. If you don’t have enough magnesium to do that, calcium will precipitate into soft tissues including blood vessels. Maybe this study will also convince doctors that cholesterol is not the bad guy in coronary artery disease – calcium is.
The article went into the question: “What should clinicians do when a patient has an elevated CAC score?” The researchers even warn about screening for Coronary Artery Calcification because “…we have no effective therapies to alter disease progression.” But that doesn’t stop them from using ineffective therapies for their favorite risk factors of heart disease. Even a person without elevated cholesterol is given a statin “just in case” or someone without high blood pressure is given medication “just in case.” Patiens are told that their “risk factors” are being treated.
And there I am jumping up and down on the sidelines holding up a sign that says “Please Use ReMag For the Therapeutic Treatment of CAC.” A person with CAC needs therapeutic doses of magnesium to dissolve calcium in the arteries. Many patients have found that most magnesiums in high doses will cause the laxative effect before reaching the therapeutic effect. This effect has led to many doctors hesitating to recommend magnesium. However, ReMag is so well absorbed at the cellular level that it does not cause a laxative effect.
The following is a very interesting testimonial about ReMag decreasing calcium in arteries:
My wife had open heart surgery 2½ years ago due mostly to hypertension and obstruction of the coronary arteries. After being on ReMag and ReMyte for several months her blood pressure had dropped from 180/95 to 110/60. This is fantastic because the doctors kept telling her she was in the high-risk category for a stroke. Her last echocardiogram showed a healthy and strong heart with an ejection fraction of 60%, which means her coronary arteries are no longer blocked. And her last ultrasound of her carotid artery showed a 30% to 40% lessening of calcified occlusions. This is all amazingly good news.”
Here is a report from a customer:
Most of my life I have had an anomalous heart beat, the doctors called it a quick beat. It was discovered in the Army, and continued throughout my life. When prevalent I could always feel the misfires. Every doctor that I ever visited would pick up on it immediately and it prompted more electrocardiograms than you can imagine. Now, last night as I lay in bed I could feel my heartbeat, and it seemed that the extra beats were missing, I took note and checked again this morning. Sure enough the beat was as rhythmic, steady, and normal. I don’t know about you, but that is something of a miracle – this after only three days on the ReMag. I can’t wait to go back to the doctor again.”
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future™
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