“I was in great health, I was fit, and all my blood work was perfect, but I had this calcium build up going on inside of me.”
I have touched on the subject of calcification in the cardiovascular system in several previous videos as I have had a first-hand experience of it, thanks to a serious blind spot that I had which is also shared by much of the medical fraternity, even many of the best doctors.
That blind spot could easily have cost me my life. You see…calcification is usually silent particularly if it is in your arteries when it can give no warning.
In my case, I was lucky as my calcification was primarily in my aortic valve which is the main valve in the heart. This can cause symptoms…more about that soon.
The build-up of calcium would have been going on for decades but because it is rarely talked about I was oblivious to the fact that I was a ticking time bomb.
Why is calcification rarely talked about?
I suspect this is because that there is no drug intervention to stop the progression of the calcification or regress it…thus there is no financial incentive for the pharmaceutical companies to promote this dangerous condition amongst the medical industry.
Also, it is almost impossible to diagnose calcification unless you have a CAC, which stands for coronary artery calcification.
That is the ONLY way to know if you have a build-up of calcium in your arteries because usually the first symptom of calcification in your arteries is also the last…DEATH. I talked specifically about the CAC scan in an earlier video. If you didn’t see it, it is probably worth going back and watching it.
Now, in my case the calcification build-up was on my aortic valve and fortunately it did manifest itself as breathlessness when I was exercising.
At first I thought that it was just that I hadn’t been doing enough exercise so I tried doing more but it didn’t improve, so I did something that I hadn’t done for many years…I went and visited a Doctor who listened to my heart and said she thought that I had aortic stenosis.
That was followed by an echogram which confirmed that the opening of my aortic valve was less than 0.9sq cm instead of being 4.5 – 6sq cms.
I told the cardiologist that I would fix it myself using natural means…but, she made it clear that she felt it could only be fixed by urgent open-heart surgery.
I now have reason to believe that if I had been aware of the situation a few years earlier that I could have avoided the surgery. Bottom line, I had to concede to it so I went from full health, whilst I was sailing my boat from New Zealand to Asia at age 70, to lying on a hospital bed in ICU at age 71.
What are the underlying causes of calcification?
Well there are two main causes. In the case of the heart valve it is in most cases an age-related thing. The calcium which is circulating in the blood gradually over time, little by little sticks to the valve ultimately closing it up.
The calcium in the arteries, which is commonly referred to as hardening of the arteries, is usually a build-up on the top of plaque which is sticking to the inside walls of the arteries. This continues to build up until it gets to the stage where the passageway in the arteries are restricted and it only takes a little bit of debris or some plaque to break off…and presto you have a heart attack or worse you die.
This is why it is called the silent killer. Generally there is no warning that a heart attack or stroke is about to happen.
What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of excess calcification?
Well, the first thing to remember is that getting an OK from your Doctor that you are in good shape means nothing.
I was in great health, I was fit, and all my blood work was perfect, but I had this calcium build up going on inside of me.
I did have some calcium build up in one artery but not serious, but enough to warrant a single bypass whilst the valve was being replaced. The chances are if I had continued as is and didn’t get the symptoms that I had from the valve I would eventually have had a heart attack.
So, what should you do to avoid what I experienced?
Well, the first thing is to have a CAC scan to determine your risk. It is not expensive so don’t wait for your insurance company to pay for it. Insist to your Doctor that you have one.
I have had some comments from customers that their Doctors are reluctant to order the tests, sometimes giving an excuse about excess radiation exposure. That is nonsense as the level of radiation is no more than a mammogram. It is certainly not as bad as dropping dead if you don’t know if you are at risk or not.
What do you do if you are at risk and get a high score?
Well, firstly there are two ‘DO NOT’s’ One is don’t panic, because calcification can be contained. The key is to either reverse the level of calcification or, stop it or slow the progression of it and that is possible.
The second one is if your Doctor suggests that you go on a statin drug, ask him or her how that is going to help decalcify your arteries? They may not be aware that a statin drug can INCREASE levels of calcification. Do some further research about statins before agreeing to take them. Both my Doctor, and my Cardiologist insisted that I go on a statin, but I refused, telling them that I didn’t believe that they had all the facts as they simply have not had time to research all the independent studies on this class of drug.
They know my position on this and they have given up on trying to push them on me…and I so remain completely free of any medication and feel great.
What you should do if you have a CAC scan and find that you have some calcification in your system?
I will be answering that question in the next episode of Beyond Health Tips in another couple of days.
See you soon.