Diabetes is Track Your Plaque's Kryptonite!

If there's one thing I truly fear from a heart scan score reduction/coronary plaque regression standpoint, it's diabetes.

I saw a graphic illustration of this today. Roy came into the office after his 2nd heart scan. His first scan 14 months ago showed a score of 162. Roy started out weighing well over 300 lbs and with newly-diagnosed adult diabetes.

Roy put extraordinary effort into his program. He lost nearly 70 lbs by walking; cutting processed carbohydrates, greasy foods, and slashing overall calories. His lipoproteins, disastrous in the beginning, were falling into line, though HDL was still lagging in the low 40s, as Roy remains around 60 lbs overweight, even after the initial 70 lb loss.

Unfortunately, despite the huge loss in weight, Roy remains diabetic. On a drug called Actos, which enhances sensitivity to insulin, along with vitamin D to also enhance insulin response, his blood sugars remained in the overtly diabetic range.

Roy's repeat heart scan showed a score of 482--a tripling of his original score.

Obviously, major changes in Roy's program are going to be required to keep this rate of growth from continuing. But I tell Roy's story to illustrate the frightening power of diabetes to trigger coronary plaque growth.

Like Kryptonite to Superman (remember George Reeves crumbling and falling to his knees when the bad guys got a hold of some?), diabetes is the one thing I fear greatly when it comes to reducing your heart scan score. As you see with Roy's case, diabetes can be responsible for explosive plaque growth, more than anything else I know.

The best protection from diabetes is to never get it in the first place. (See my earlier Blog, "Diabetes is a choice you make".)