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Intima Media Thickness (IMT) and EndoTherm Testing

Do you have any of these risk factors?

    • 45 years old
    • Family history of heart attack or stroke
    • Overweight
    • Smoking
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • Little or no exercise

You may have cardiovascular disease and not even know it! Early detection is critical for preventing a potentially lethal cardiac event.

The typical assessment tool for detecting cardiovascular disease is a standard lipid panel (Total Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and Triglycerides), but that won't catch all those folks who end up with a heart attack despite their "normal" cholesterol.

Angiography and Stress Tests Don't Accurately Predict Risk

Traditional testing such as angiography and stress tests only measure blockages in the arteries and will miss non-obstructing vulnerable plaques which are the cause of the majority of heart attacks and strokes.

Intima-media thickness (IMT) scanning uses ultrasound technology and is a simple procedure that is noninvasive, painless, and free of radiation. It can predict risk of heart attack or stroke better than an angiogram. IMT is measured by taking pictures of your carotid artery using an ultrasound probe on your neck.

The IMT measures the thickness of the two inner layers of the carotid arteries located in the neck where blood-flow-blocking plaque first develops. Abnormal, premature thickening of the arterial walls of the carotid arteries is an early indicator of vascular disease throughout the body. The thicker the arterial wall, the greater the risk for heart attack or stroke.

Assessing endothelial dysfunction with an EndoTherm machine is also very helpful in that it will pick up the earliest stages of cardiovascular disease. It also is simple, noninvasive, and involves no radiation. Sensors are placed on your fingers which measure the dilation of the blood vessels in your fingers while a blood pressure cuff on your arm inflates and deflates.

By using the results of these tests in combination with a medical history, physical exam and blood work physicians are able to more accurately assess risk without the risks of traditional testing methods.

These two tests are also excellent tools to use for documenting improvements in cardiovascular health and plaque burden in someone following the unique treatment protocols provided at Dr. Fuhrman's Medical Associates. Here are examples of patients who were able to reverse atherosclerosis through this nutritional approach:

Case One

A sixty year old male with LDL 126, HDL 39 and triglycerides 80 took a thallium stress test, which suggested a blockage in his arteries. Other tests revealed that his LAD artery had "multifocal" disease (plaque build-up) and that the plaque was "low density" and "obstructive." In other words, he had a blockage of soft plaque, the type most vulnerable to rupturing and at the highest risk for a heart attack. His doctor said he was at serious risk of a heart attack and prescribed Vytorin, a statin drug. He was told to get his LDL below 70 and that he could not obtain that number via nutritional methods.

He never used the prescription for Vytorin and instead began to follow a nutritional medicine protocol prescribed by Dr. Fuhrman's office.

Here is a review of the key indicators of his progress:

Initial 1 year later
LDL 126 63
HDL 39 47
Lp(a): 144 nmol/L 72 nmol/L
Triglycerides 80 50
Resting Heart rate 72 55
Blood pressure 130/90 96/60
Weight 155 135
Waistline 35 inches 30.5 inches

One year after beginning his nutritional program, he had a follow up CT angiogram (CT). The results confirmed on a physiological, visual level, the validity and effectiveness of the program. The plaque in his LAD artery had been reduced to "non-obstructive" from "obstructive" and the plaque was no longer soft and high-risk.

Case Two

This patient realized dramatic disease reversal with a nutritional approach as documented with IMT tests. A middle aged male determined to improve his cardiovascular health went on a strict version of a low-fat diet for over 3 years yet his carotid artery disease as measured by ultrasound, continued to worsen. After failing to achieve meaningful results with other nutrition protocals, this man followed Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian™ program and finally found the results he was after.

Here are his IMT results history:

Date Left Right Comments
5/17/04 .892 .719 Baseline
6/20/05 .877 .693 (1) After a year on a low-fat diet, the results were same or very slight improvement.

Started a very strict low-fat diet for 2 years, to improve it.
6/18/07 .916 .761 (2) After 2 years on very strict low-fat diet, significantly worse!

Started Dr. Fuhrman's program, . . .
3/27/09 .76 .64 (3) After 20 months of Fuhrman program, great results!! Thinner artery walls.

Barely any sign of atherosclerosis.

Case 3

A 44 year old male, weight 240 height 5' 9" with high cholesterol. His carotid artery 60-80 percent blocked as measured by carotid ultrasound. The first year after following Dr. Fuhrman's high nutrient protocol, he lost 80 pounds. His repeat carotid ultrasound in one year showed no visible plaque.

Dr. Benson at Dr. Fuhrman's Medical Associates has been gathering data from his patient's recoveries to be used in current and future studies and is looking for others that are interested in using a nutritional approach to reversing disease for future research.

For more information about the IMT and EndoTherm and to schedule your visit at Dr. Fuhrman's Medical Associates, call 908-237-0200.
* The only office in New Jersey offering IMT and EndoTherm screening.

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