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Old 12-30-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
fuzzybabybunny
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Default Detecting and reversing clogged arteries?

I just read this news article on NPR:

One in 12 in military has clogged heart arteries

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8BR0I220121228

Holy shit. These were young, active, non-overweight men, and 1 in 12 exhibited clogged arteries after autopsies were performed. And they had no symptoms of clogged arteries.

I'm 27. My metabolism is slowing down and I'm starting to see a belly. I don't smoke but I love my meats and I travel a lot so I'm usually eating from restaurants, and as you know, it's difficult to get affordable fruits, vegetables, fish, and non-oily foods in restaurants. Right now I'm in China and they LOVE to absolutely drench their food in oil. Fuck our modern diet.

Are there any tests for clogged arteries besides just high blood pressure and cholesterol levels? Like, is there a way to physically determine which arteries are clogged, where the clogs are, how much they are clogged, etc.

Lastly, there's much debate on whether clogged arteries are reversible or not. Some say no, that you can only slow down the rate of clogging. Others say that you can.

Input?
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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I hate to say this, but if you're 20-30 years old, you will 100% have signs of atherosclerosis - that's part of living. There have actually been autopsies that show young children and teenagers with reduced vessel diameter. There is not a test to find and assess all clogged arteries within the body. There are specific ultrasounds that can be used to speak to trends of atherosclerosis. For example, a carotid doppler (doppler being an ultrasound) can tell you how much limitation you have, if your vertebral arteries are flowing well, etc. But that's only at one artery.

You're very much worrying excessively about this. Getting atherosclerosis is part of life and is normal. You may be able to reverse it slightly, but not altogether. Get your diet and activity together and be consistent. That's really the best thing you can do. If you have hypertension, dyslipidemia (bad cholesterol levels), poor insulin sensitivity, etc then you need to have those addressed one way or another. That can be through exercise and diet or through medication if bad enough or unresponsive to conservative treatment.

Also, to address that article itself - think of the population they're measuring. They typically smoke a ton, they are excessively active (resulting in very high levels of inflammatory markers, which is linked to arterial damage), and they eat like crap. They are not the role models of health, even though they make look healthy.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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There are definitely tests they can do, however at your age the tests will not be approved by insurance so expect to pay out of pocket. As for what you can do, it's the usuals of diet most importantly, exercise, and managing stress.

I highly recommend watching this documentary called Forks over Knives, it's on Netflix if you subscribe. It's a documentary on the causes of the rise of CAD, covers how to go about treating it, and covers whether it's reversible. From that description, it may sound like a boring lecture designed for health professional but it's not. It's well put together documentary meant for the average person. Based on your post, you will definitely be interested in it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
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they are pretty common tests

http://www.medicinenet.com/coronary_...ad/article.htm
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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It is reversible via diet. Plenty of information can be found in The China Study
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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High dose statins have been shown to reverse severe atherosclerotic changes in some studies
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by iluvdeal View Post
There are definitely tests they can do, however at your age the tests will not be approved by insurance so expect to pay out of pocket. As for what you can do, it's the usuals of diet most importantly, exercise, and managing stress.

I highly recommend watching this documentary called Forks over Knives, it's on Netflix if you subscribe. It's a documentary on the causes of the rise of CAD, covers how to go about treating it, and covers whether it's reversible. From that description, it may sound like a boring lecture designed for health professional but it's not. It's well put together documentary meant for the average person. Based on your post, you will definitely be interested in it.
I second the recommendation.
Watch enough of the food documentaries on Netflix and you might be convinced to go vegan. There's a lot of compelling evidence suggesting that meat and dairy is responsible for a good deal (though genetics plays a big role as well) in the high incidence of hypertension and heart disease in America. It becomes especially apparent looking at demographics and dietary changes on a large scale, like those of developing countries where diets are becoming more and more western and far unhealthier.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
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I second the recommendation.
Watch enough of the food documentaries on Netflix and you might be convinced to go vegan. There's a lot of compelling evidence suggesting that meat and dairy is responsible for a good deal (though genetics plays a big role as well) in the high incidence of hypertension and heart disease in America. It becomes especially apparent looking at demographics and dietary changes on a large scale, like those of developing countries where diets are becoming more and more western and far unhealthier.
In the scientific literature, eating red meat from non-grass fed sources is detrimental. Dairy does have some research that says it's good, some says it's bad. However, lean sources of chicken (especially free range), fish, seafood, etc are not bad for you. Research in this area tends to focus on one thing, but forget a lot of important other lifestyle aspects. Overall, if you eat a lot of red meat, but exercise, you're way less of a risk than if you didn't exercise. Almost all research is done on sedentary individuals which, if you're active, skews how the results apply to you (in degree of severity at least).

You may say this, but meat and dairy has been around since the start of America. The individuals who mention the processing of goods, excessive sugars/starches, and reduced overall activity have much better arguments via America's timeline than that for veganism.

And you can still be in terrible health as a vegan. My girlfriend and I have a friend who is vegan - her main staple food? French fries. You can eat meat and have a healthy diet as long as you strive to eat clean. The same goes for veganism.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:34 PM   #9
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post

Lastly, there's much debate on whether clogged arteries are reversible or not.
Some say no, that you can only slow down the rate of clogging. Others say that you can.

Input?
I had this conversation with my brother, a vascular (and general) surgeon. He told me to do a Google search on "collateral circulation." If an artery is clogged it's possible for damage to be prevented if enough blood is supplied by secondary blood vessels.

https://www.google.com/search?q=collateral+circulation&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:51 PM   #11
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cardio.

Strength training won't help with atherosclerosis. But cardio does.

Go running.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:57 PM   #12
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It is reversible via diet. Plenty of information can be found in The China Study
Tried looking for this in google and couldnt find article you were referring to. Please provide link.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:46 PM   #13
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Link for the morbidly curious who want to irradiate themselves to figure out what their coronary arteries look like (this CT modality not yet statistically concluded to confer greater benefit to mortality than current standard interview based risk stratifiers).

Fatty streaks inevitably leading to atherosclerotic lesions were still under investigation back in my schoolboy days and it's interesting to see how far theyve come in pathophysiology during such a short period of time, but it looks like they're still working out the kinks.
Whats interestingly controversial is the idea of medicating at risk teens with cholesterol meds!? Do they no longer do the obesity camps?
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SociallyChallenged View Post
In the scientific literature, eating red meat from non-grass fed sources is detrimental.
What in particular does non-grass fed beef contain that grass fed beef doesn't that makes the non-grass fed beef harmful? Do you have any sources you can refer us to?
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:32 PM   #15
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Tried looking for this in google and couldnt find article you were referring to. Please provide link.
http://www.amazon.com/The-China-Stud...he+China+Study
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #16
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Thanks a bunch, tagged in library for future pick up.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #17
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What in particular does non-grass fed beef contain that grass fed beef doesn't that makes the non-grass fed beef harmful? Do you have any sources you can refer us to?
Well, I make the differentiation between grass fed and typical grain fed because the research doesn't clarify - almost no people in the studies eat grass fed, due to price and availability. Many people suspect that grass-fed cows are healthier because they are better built to process grass and maintain healthier weights, etc. While I'm not sure either way, I make the distinction because I respect the viewpoint that it's possible that grass-fed beef is less detrimental to health.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Thanks a bunch, tagged in library for future pick up.

FYI, The China Study and its author Dr. Campbell figure prominently in the documentary I mentioned earlier in this thread, Forks over Knives.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:30 AM   #19
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Drink alcohol clears up the arteries and helps with stress
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:40 AM   #20
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The article doesn't really elaborate as to how much atherosclerosis, or the extent of the narrowing that was found on average. As SC already said, getting atherosclerosis is a part of living, and the damage starts around childhood. It's not abnormal for people of service age to show signs of coronary vessel disease. Counter-intuitive and slightly scary, maybe, but not really abnormal.

As for what you can do about it: become a vegetarian, cut out the sugar, do lots of cardio, and brush your teeth.
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