Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Fabulous, Fascinating, Fortuitious Forum: The 2008 Top Ten

As I sit back and think about all the things that have happened on the Track Your Plaque Forum in the last year I am truly amazed. So much so I have come up with a Top Ten list (in no particular order) of all the things we have done together on the Forum this year. Here are several interesting or important (IMHO) posts that started or were further developed by Members over the past year (they can be accessed by clicking the links).

Dr. Davis was right: Framingham Researchers say Lack Of Vitamin D May Increase Heart Disease Risk
We were saving many lives through the early recognition, adoption, and use of Vitamin D. The rest of the world is just now catching up to where we all were over one year ago. Happy New Year and please pass another bottle of sunshine!

Hypothyroidism as a driver of artherosclerosis?
Soon after Vitamin D we embarked on a discussion of the role of thyroid disease a powerful co-factor in heart disease. Once again we were well-ahead of the curve (and still are) on thyroid issues and heart disease and are pushing the envelope ever further. Until now, who knew thyroid was an issue for so many of us?

Lp(a) studies for discussion
Lipoprotein(a) is the scourge of many TYP Members. Everything from new drugs under study to treatments such as niacin, nuts, and NAC has been covered in the TYP Forums.

New here-- question #1 regarding Fish Oil
Everyone knows (or should) about the numerous therapeutic effects of fish oil. From question #1 to #1000 the TYP Forum has covered everything from allergies and accelerated dosing to its use with Xenical and Zetia. If it’s about Omega-3s and fish oil you are likely to find an in depth discussion here.

Question regarding Blood Glucose Readings and Dr. Davis's new report on BP
These posts are remarkable in that they attracted a fair amount of attention for subjects that I thought would have been so thoroughly hashed over that they were dead. However, it proves that the simplest concepts are deeply intertwined with heart disease prevention and often misunderstood.

Wheat is evil
This one was a killer – almost literally. If you had to pick something that was so endemic to American lifestyle and yet so eminently dangerous it would have to be eating wheat. This was one of the first posts that started the brushfire that has erupted into an inferno and continues in many similar posts today. Put that piece of bread down or TYP’s resident pharmacology guru Dr. BG (Member Nickname “ggglll”) may have to keep you after school and write “I will not eat wheat” 100 times!

SPLENDA: good or bad?
Once again, something so simple and common sparked an extremely erudite discussion. What was most remarkable about these posts is how it adroitly displayed the vast amount of knowledge (even about subjects as arcane as artificial sweeteners) of TYP Members and their willingness to share. It is this very feature of the TYP Forum that makes it the best of any in its category.

Boswellia and 5-Lipoxygenase Pathway Inflammation
Wow, 144 posts and 1043 views (and counting) on the subject. We added the “Emerging Medicine” Forum for this exact reason and we were treated to a treatise by “wccaguy” on a subject that is just now beginning to be seriously studied by researchers. Want to stay on the “bleeding edge” of heart disease prevention and reversal? Read the TYP Forum!

Very stubborn plaque!
This post exemplified how a first-time poster dipped their toe into the TYP Forum “Fountain” and was showered with help from Members. Equally important is the number of Members who, although they didn’t post, viewed the posts to glean information to aid their personal efforts. That is what the TYP Forum is all about!

OK, so I lied. I DO have a Number 1 item!
But it is not any specific post. What is happening on the TYP Forum is something special and it is not just the thousands of posts. Quantity is one thing but it is the quality of the posts that is so impressive and it is a sentiment I have heard Dr. Davis express frequently. It is truly outstanding and a distinct pleasure to meet so many people intent on beating heart disease and willing to help others do the same. Thanks again on behalf of our small (but committed) team at TYP. It was a heck of a year with another great one planned for 2009.

Keep Tracking and Talking . . . and have a HAPPY (and healthy) NEW YEAR!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Now What?! It Pays to be Paranoid? A Panic over Panic.

The European Heart Journal recently reported that heart disease is more common in patients with panic attacks than in the general population. Moreover, they found the risk in person under 50 years of age. But curiously this same group was found to be less likely to die from heart disease. Researcher Dr. Kate Walters opined, "The symptoms of panic attacks can closely mimic those of a heart attack or acute (heart) disease, and it seems that there may be a complex relationship between them."

The study compared 58,000 patients aged 16 and older who had been diagnosed with panic disorder against a random sample of 347,000 persons without panic disorder. Panic disorder was associated with a 38% increase risk of heart attack in the under 50 group. Even more startling was the finding the risk for women under 40 was more than three times the risk for the general population

Now here is the REAL kicker. As I mentioned earlier, while the risk for heart disaease was higher, researchers determined that death from heart disease was actually LOWER in patients with panic disorder. When asked what could account for this seemingly paradoxical finding researchers suggested, "people with panic present earlier or more frequently to their doctor and therefore have their (heart disease) identified and treated."

So let me get this straight. Because panic attacks can mimic heart attacks, those with panic disorder tend to present for clinical testing more often thus catch their heart disease at an earlier stage and therefore live longer! So, where heart disease is concerned, it pays to be paranoid?!

Seriously, as a person who is prone to paranoia (just because your not paranoid, it doesn't mean "they" are not still after you) I sympathize with those who have full blown panic attacks. But if this means living longer I say better safe than sorry. For those with a lower state of anxiety, I simply suggest.

1. Get a heart scan - know your score
2. Get on the Track Your Plaque program - the remarkable clinical results achieved by Dr. Davis have been independently corroborated by cardiologists like Dr. Bill Blanchet. The best part is the program keeps getting better.
3. Rest easy in the knowledge you are enploying the latest, cutting edge medical science available and have put yourself in population that appears to significantly reduce its heart attack risk at any calcium score!

'Nuff Said,


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