This is my first post here, hoping to get some support and guidance. I was recently diagnosed with blockage in two arteries, 50% in one and a little less in the other one (48-49%).
This was last month. I am still getting used to dealing with it psychologically, but at first I was very scared and worried, even a little depressed. I am a 40 years old man. This started back in February after the passing of my father. I have issues with anxiety where I focus and obsess on minor and not so minor issues in life and make myself sick with worry. I do have pretty good stress management techniques (positive thinking, exercise, meditation, etc) and most of the time I am able to deal with the anxiety well.
However, when several stressful events happen at once, I get overwhelmed. In such cases, I sometimes experience chest pressure, mostly in the upper area. The first time this happened was in late 2007, early
2008. I was working two jobs at the time and had not had a day off in 19 days. I was super stressed out.
I went home one day and in addition to the stress and anxiety, I was feeling slight pressure in my upper chest. Knowing chest pressure is not to be messed with, I went to the ER. They did a variety of blood tests and an EKG and after everything came back normal, they determined it was due to stress. They gave me an anti-anxiety medication and the chest pressure went away immediately.
The second time it happened was in 2009. Again I was under a lot of personal and professional stress and started experiencing chest pressure. I went to the ER again, they did the same tests again and, again, they came back normal. I don't think they gave me any medication this time, but just the knowledge that the tests were normal was enough for me to calm down and the chest pressure went away.
The same thing happened again two weeks later, the stress, the chest pressure, went to the ER, all tests were normal again, which calmed me down and the chest pressure went away. This time they told me to follow-up with my PCP, which I did. He did some blood tests and referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist did an Echocardiagram and a stress test and both came back normal. So did the blood tests my PCP did.
I should mention that I've been trying to eat healthy for years. I avoid fried foods, sweets and candies, and try to moderate my red meat intake. I also take multivitamins and fish oil. I don't smoke and I exercise 3-4 times a week and I am not overweight.
In 2012 I had some stress in my personal and professional life again and had a little bit of chest pressure.
This time I only went to my PCP. He just did an EKG, which was fine, and said it was due to my anxiety. After that I didn't have any chest pressure for two years, until last year. Pretty much the same thing happened as all other times, lots of stress followed by chest pressure. I went to the ER again, they did blood and urine tests, an EKG, and a chest X-ray. All came back normal and they told me to follow-up with my PCP. This time he gave me Xanax for anxiety.
After that I didn't have any problems with chest pressure until early this year when a ton of stress accumulated. This time I went to my PCP and asked him to have some tests done and he referred me to a cardiologist. They did an Echocardiagram and a stress test. The first came back fine, but the second one was abnormal. The cardiologist then told me I had three options, to ignore it (as it may have been a false positive), to do some more complicated test which involves going through groin, or do a coronary CATScan. He recommended the CATScan, but said his gut feeling was that it was all due to my anxiety. So I decided to go with his recommendation.
He referred me to a heart hospital where I had two tests done, a Calcium Score and the coronary CATScan. The result from the Calcium Score was 0, but the second test showed I had blockage in two arteries, which really scared me. I had an appointment with the AP for my cardiologist and she said that's not too bad, but we have to keep an eye on it. She said they'd put me on statins, but first had to measure my cholesterol. The blood test showed my Triglycerides are 87, total cholesterol is 174, LDL is 111, HDL is 46, and Non-HDL is 128. So they put me on Atorvstatin Calcium 10MG once a day and baby Aspirin. I also went to my PCP after that and asked him to measure the content of vitamins and minerals in my body and he did a basic metabolic panel, which measured things like Calcium, Glucose, Sodium, Chloride, Patassium, all of which came back normal.
First of all, thanks for reading this far. I am still worried and anxious and I want to do everything I can to help myself, in addition to taking medication. As you can imagine, I've been reading a lot about
this on the Internet, which has led me to articles and books by the likes of Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn and Dr. Ornish.
So here are the questions I have: how is it possible to have a Calcium Score of 0 and still have arterial blockage? Has anybody else here followed the Esselstyn or the Ornish diet and gotten good results from it? How in the heck do you avoid oils, especially when going to a restaurant to eat? And also, any general advice or guidance would be helpful.
Post Edited (newguy) : 7/13/2015 12:57:27 PM (GMT-6)