Cardiologist referrals

Last year my husband had some cardiac testing and it was determined he has 50% buildup in his LAD and his cholesterol was slightly elevated. He saw two cardiologists who both said he should take statin meds to reduce cholesterol based on his age (early 50s) and family history.  He decided to see a nutritionist to see what he could do to avoid meds. For five months now, he’s been eating a very clean vegan diet, has increased his cardio to almost daily biking, walking, swimming or elliptical machine.  He also takes a bunch of supplements per the nutritionist’s prescription. He just had his cholesterol retested and is very upset that, while he brought his cholesterol down, his LDLs are still high (120).  

Can anyone recommend an excellent cardiologist who is also knowledgeable about and open to ways of treating such issues without medication? Thank you!

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RE: Cardiologist referrals ()

I don't have the answer to your question, but I have sympathy and compassion and a similar experience to share. My family history has awful cardiovascular disease and so I was tested early for high cholesterol. At 21 I found out that my cholesterol was terrible and so I became a vegetarian and worked hard. One year later, I had my cholesterol tested again and it was exactly the same. Not even one point different. That was devastating to me, and so I did some research (which was hard to do back then in the time before ubiquitous internet). I found out that only a smaller percentage of people are able to control their serum cholesterol with diet. :( But, a couple of things: since I was of childbearing age, statins were a bit of a no-no. So, I tried Niacin instead. You have to ramp up very slowly because it causes flushing which is not pleasant. But, I ended up on a high enough dose that it did wonders to my cholesterol! Hooray! And, when I was done having my kids, I did go on a statin. My family history was too terrible, I was getting sick of the niacin, and the more they look into statins, the better they look in terms of non-cholesterol benefits too! So, I am happily off niacin now and have been on a statin for over a decade with great labs and peace of mind. :) Good luck in your journey! 

RE: Cardiologist referrals ()

Respectfully, as a physician, statins have a demonstrated track record in reducing both cardiac events, cardiac mortality, and even all cause mortality in multiple randomized trials. It would be standard of care to recommend statins in this setting, particularly given your husband's confirmed coronary artery disease and high cholesterol. If I were in that predicament, I would absolutely take the statin.