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Is it something I may have cured or can get rid of, or is it the best thing I can do to keep it from getting worse? AT. If you have the courage to make major lifestyle changes, you can, in fact, reverse coronary artery disease. This disease is the build-up of cholesterol-laden plaque inside the arteries that nourish the heart, a process known as atherosclerosis. .
Their coronary arteries showed little or no atherosclerosis. However, as the economies of war-torn countries recovered and diets improved, atherosclerosis returned. These findings are considered proof that extreme dietary changes can cause atherosclerosis to go away. The development of statins offered the possibility of reversing coronary artery disease more easily.
However, studies on intensive cholesterol reduction with statins have yielded conflicting results: atherosclerosis may decrease in one area, but continue to increase in another. However, while statins don't always reduce plaque, they do reduce rates of heart attack and stroke. They do this by decreasing the amount of liquid fat inside the plaque, stabilizing the layer that covers it and calming inflammation. Drying plates with harder, more fibrous lids are less likely to break and cause heart attacks.
If you want to try to clean your arteries, check out the program recommended by Dr. These include your reverse diet (a mostly vegetarian diet that provides no more than 10% of calories from fat and less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol a day), daily exercise, stress management and group support. In a small trial that began with 48 volunteers, cholesterol-clogged plaque decreased slightly in the group after these changes, compared to an increase in plaque in the control group. If you decide to try one of these approaches, I would recommend doing so in addition to taking a statin and a low dose of aspirin (with your doctor's approval, of course).
While your efforts can stop plaque formation and even reduce it, plaque will likely never go away. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last revision or update of all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Managing Cholesterol provides up-to-date information to help you or a loved one keep your cholesterol under control. The report details healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and offers specific ways to keep cholesterol under control. Covers cholesterol testing and cholesterol genetics. The report also focuses on treatments based on the most recent scientific evidence, including the advantages and disadvantages of statins and other drugs, and provides information on other substances that are advertised to lower cholesterol.
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Plus, get a FREE copy of the best diets for cognitive fitness. If you're at risk of coronary calcification, your doctor may prescribe medications to lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL) known as bad cholesterol (p. e.g., statins) or to increase high-density lipoproteins (HDL) known as good cholesterol (e.g. (e.g., niacin).
Newer drugs, such as PCSK 9 inhibitors (p. e.g., Repatha, Praluent), are given by injection and can help lower cholesterol in the most difficult cases. Other medications may be prescribed to lower blood pressure (p). e.g.
beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics), control blood sugar (e.g. anti-diabetic medicines), prevent blood clots (e.g., blood clots). aspirin) or dissolve a blood clot that has already formed (e.g. (e.g., warfarin, Eliquis, Xarelto, Pradaxa).
When your doctor tells you that you have calcified arteries, it's usually after you've had a coronary calcification scan. This is a type of X-ray that can show the amount of calcium that has built up in the heart's blood vessels. So knowing this helps doctors decide what treatment is best for you. A historic study led by Nissen 15 years ago, called the ASTEROID trial, found that patients who took a very strong statin daily for 2 years could reverse plaque build-up and artery thickening.
Coronary calcification occurs when calcium builds up in plaque found in the walls of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. So what can you do if you're told you have calcified arteries? First, take any medications your doctor has prescribed. Coronary calcification isn't reversible, but you can prevent it from getting worse by making lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight. You've probably heard of the term “hardening of the arteries,” which is the same as calcification.
There is very good evidence that high-intensity statins, also called high-dose statins, can reverse CAD, says Dr. Steven Nissen, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. The presence of coronary calcification may be an early sign of coronary artery disease, which can cause a heart attack. The goal of treating coronary calcification is to slow (and possibly reverse) its progression and prevent serious consequences, such as a heart attack or stroke.
It can absolutely prevent CAD from getting worse and, with a little effort, it could even reverse some of the damage, says Dr. Gregg Fonarow. If you still can't tolerate high doses of statins, you may be able to reverse CAD by taking a lower intensity statin along with a different type of cholesterol medication called a PCSK9 inhibitor. Other aspects of a healthy lifestyle won't necessarily reverse coronary artery disease, but they can prevent it from getting worse.
If you need an evaluation for coronary calcification or want to discuss treatment options, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-753) today. .