One indicator of your risk of developing heart disease is a coronary calcium score.Immediate changes in your lifestyle and medical treatment can be seen with a score of over 300.While coronary calcium scores can’t be lowered, a moderate or high score is a sign that you should take steps to reduce your risk of heart disease.Work with your doctor to start preventative measures, such as medication, diet, exercise, and other heart healthy practices.
Step 1: You can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by taking a daily aspirin.
If you have a high coronary calcium score, an over-the-counter aspirin may help keep your heart healthy.If your doctor recommends it, you should only start a daily aspirin regimen.People with high blood pressure, a family history of heart disease, or diabetes can benefit from taking aspirin.If you have heart failure, do not use aspirin.People under 21 shouldn’t take aspirin.
Step 2: If you have a coronary calcium score over 300, take a statin.
It is possible for your doctor to prescribe a statin to reduce your risk of a heart attack.These pills are usually taken once or twice a day.You should take this medication according to your doctor.The side effects of statins include muscle damage, confusion, memory loss, and high blood sugar.
Step 3: High blood pressure can be treated with calcium channel blockers.
More calcium can enter your heart and blood vessels.You can lower your risk of heart disease by doing this.Follow your doctor’s instructions.Constipation, headaches, heart palpitations, dizziness, and nausea are some of the side effects of calcium channel blockers.The current levels of calcium in your heart will not be reduced by this medication.
Step 4: Diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be managed with diet and medication.
Your risk of heart disease is increased by these conditions.If you have been diagnosed with either condition, you should work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan.If you want to manage your diabetes, you’ll need to inject it.You may be prescribed medication by your doctor to control your blood sugar levels.Diabetes may be related to metabolic syndrome.It is usually treated with diet and exercise.It is possible to be given medication to control cholesterol or blood pressure.It’s not possible to have a high coronary calcium score if you have diabetes.Your risk of having a heart attack may be higher if you have a high coronary calcium score.
Step 5: Don’t smoke.
Smoking increases the risk of a heart attack.Talk to your doctor if you want to quit smoking.They can help you stop by giving you medication, nicotine patches, or other treatments.
Step 6: On 5 days out of the week, do at least 30 minutes of exercise.
Moderate to vigorous physical activity can help you lose weight, strengthen your heart, and reduce your risk of high cholesterol.30-60 minutes of exercise each day is what you should aim for.Hire a personal trainer if you are just starting out with exercise.Swimming, walking, and biking are some of the more moderate activities you can start with.You can take dance classes.It is possible to fit in activity throughout the day.Take a break, take the stairs, or do chores.Running and high-intensity interval training are examples of vigorous exercise.
Step 7: It’s a good idea to eat a diet low in saturated fat.
Your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and other indicators of heart health can be affected by your diet.Saturated and trans fats can be found in fried foods, red meat, full-fat dairy products, and palm oils.It’s a good idea to buy foods that are low in sodium as well.If you want the best results, cook at home.Fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can be used.These are all low in saturated fat and high in fiber.Salt can be added to your meals.Many packaged and processed foods have high levels of sodium.Don’t eat canned soup, bottled sauces, chips, and processed meats.
Step 8: Limit the amount of alcohol that can be consumed.
You don’t have to stop drinking, but you should keep an eye on how much you drink.Women should only have 1 drink a day, while men should aim for no more than 2 drinks.
Step 9: It is possible to reduce stress.
Stress can cause a heart attack.To see if you can cut back on your stressors, make a list of them.Try relaxing in your daily routine if that is not possible.If you want to work from home one day a week, you might stop taking on so many responsibilities at work.You can use meditation to manage stress.Work your way up to 15 minutes by meditating for 5 minutes.Take a break during lunch or coffee breaks.Take a deep breath if you are feeling stressed.To release tension, count to 5 breaths.Other ways to relax include massage, yoga, and tai chi.
Step 10: You have to sleep for 7 hours a night.
Rest helps you manage stress and maintain your health.You should aim to get at least 7 hours a night.If you can’t sleep, you should visit your doctor.There are many things you can do to help you sleep better at night.It’s a good idea to keep your bedroom dark.It’s a good idea to reduce how much you drink during the day.Go to bed and wake up at the same time.
Step 11: Get a referral from your doctor.
You need to have your doctor prescribe the test.They can arrange a hospital or radiology center for you.Scans can cost hundreds of dollars.Make sure that the facility you use is covered by your insurance.This procedure may not be covered in some cases.
Step 12: Do not drink or smoke for 4 hours before the test.
The results of your heart scans can be affected by these factors.Immediately after your appointment, you can resume these activities.
Step 13: Check your calcium levels with a heart Scan.
There is only one way to check your coronary calcium score.Your heart will be scanned by the radiologist.Put on a medical gown and remove your shirt.The doctor will put something on your chest.Lie down on the table.The table will move slowly.The image of your heart will be created by exposing you to a small amount of radiation.There is a calcium build-up on your heart.
Step 14: Discuss the results with your doctor
The score shows the likelihood that you will have a heart attack in the next few years.Your doctor can change or adjust your medication based on the results of your scans.You may not need further treatment if you have a low score.A score of 0-100 indicates that a heart attack or stroke is unlikely in the next few years.You don’t need to take any precautions.You have a high risk of developing heart disease if your score is between 100-300.You may be put on a special diet by your doctor.There is an extremely high risk of heart disease with scores over 300.Most of the time, your doctor will recommend further treatment or prescribe medication.
Step 15: If you have a moderate to high score, do not take further testing.
Your doctor may do additional tests if your score is over 100.They can check your cholesterol and blood sugar levels with a blood test.They can also do a stress test.The cause of your risk will be determined by these tests.If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend a low-cholesterol diet and medication.There are many types of stress tests.If you want to check your heart’s health, you can have an echocardiogram, walk on a treadmill, or take substances like dobutamine or adenosine.
Step 16: If you have a high score, make a treatment plan with your doctor.
You can prevent further calcium build-up if you start preventative treatment.Your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan based on your health, lifestyle, and family history.Your doctor will assess your weight, current medications, family history, diet, activity levels, stress, and smoking habits.They can tell you to change to a heart healthy diet, lose weight, or take medication.Your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist if they haven’t already.If you need to lose weight, your doctor may refer you to a registered dietitian.
Step 17: If your doctor recommends it, get retested within 3-6 years.
Doctors don’t do coronary calcium heart scans often because you are exposed to a small amount of radiation.You won’t need to be retested for another 3-6 years if you need this frequently.In extreme cases, the doctor may recommend retesting within a year.