Are doctors testing for the right cholesterol that causes heart attacks?
You have 2 older brothers', one who's had 2 heart attacks and one who's had a pacemaker inserted. Granted they are quite a bit older than you are but it would make you want to get checked out right? Well that's what I did.
I went to one a well reputed Cardiologist in New Zealand and asked for a full battery of tests to be conducted as I was getting flutters, jumps and most concerningly - whirs. I had ECGs, a monitor applied, scans, blodd tests you name it!
For my follow-up consult, my Cardiologist assured me that my cholesterol, although slightly high was actually fine given that my HDL (good cholesterol) was so good that I had nothing to worry about.
The next issue was the jumps and I was diagnosed with Tachycardia which again she said was a minor irritation.
On my way out I asked her what my LipoProtein(a) count was. She looked a little surprised asking me how I knew about LP(a). I had done research for my brother so I was quite up to speed with it.
She said they don't test for it unless it ran in the family. Well given that my father had died from a cardiac arrest, my brother had 2 heart attacks, a cousin who had a triple by-pass, another a stroke I impressed upon her that I was of thought it did and politely requested if she would run the test. She kindly agreed.
Some time had passed I got a letter in the post that said:-
"Victoria has had her LipoProteina(a) value returned at 900mg/L, which is significantly elevated, I would suggest that ...Victoria be treated with a statin which would be the recommended treatment for LipoProtein(a)."
I had no joy reaching her and turned to my GP for answers sometime later as my research online was indicating that 900mg/L was concernly high. I wanted to confirm.
My GP - a lovely lady - simply let me know that 350mg/L was considered the heart attack level.
I was a bit taken aback! I asked her why don't they test for LP(a) for everyone is concerned about their heart health.
"It's like [names another condition] we don't test for that either".
Her explanation was that they don't want to scare patients if they don't have an answer.
Whilst I respected her answer I for one was very pleased to know, my belief being that whilst one system may not know, there will may well be a number of other's with answers out there.
Secondly, you can't fix something if you don't even know about it right? I am so glad I asked for that test!
It also go me thinking if it was just the doctors in New Zealand who are not testing all the types of cholesterol that can cause heart attacks and subsequently found LP(a) is not part of any standardized heart screening worldwide!
This may well be the reason so many people have heart attacks when they have been told their cholesterol counts are fine or in the normal range.
I asked what the solution was and she said:-
'There is no large clinical trial that has ever been done that says statin's control LP(a) but it's our best shot.'
So not being one for accepting no for an answer I went on a quest to find out how to control LP(a), ideally naturally, but I was open to it all and also to find what answers other people who have had it have found.
This site is what I have collated to date. Have I got all the answers? Certainly not - but I have found quite a few that have made a difference to controlling it which is a huge start in itself.
My mission here is to raise LipoProtein(a) awareness in New Zealand and what affects cholesterol (like Mercury, Lead & Cadmium) and have started a Petition to the New Zealand Government asking them to:-
Include LP(a) in all heart health screenings in NZ
To have testing and treatments funded by the Government
And to have it where it is compulsory that doctors disclose their findings to patients should the patient wish to know the results.
Please do not under any circumstances rush off and get your LP(a)s tested unless you are open to applying natural methods for control! You have to think outside the square for this one.
I also want to be clear that all I am doing is sharing my story, findings and research with you. I am not a doctor/cardiologist, I am a Health Kinesiologist but this site is not one that is to replace the advise of your professional doctor or practitioner.
Fundamentally. I am a mother who is very lucky to have asked for this test - if not I am quite convinced there would be a good chance that I may not have been around for my 2 kids! I honestly believe I a m a walking talking miracle!
If I can save or extend the life of just person by sharing this information with you - then this journey was worth it!