My name is Bob and I am a the luckiest man alive because not only do I get to coach baseball everyday for a living, but I also get to be a full time dad. Being a father and watching my kids grow up is really what got me to go in and speak to my doctor in the first place.
I am 51 and I’m very concerned about my family’s cardiac history. My dad first suffered a heart attack when he was 47 years old, and later succumbed to massive cardiac arrest nine years later. On my mom’s side, I can’t tell you how many of my relatives have suffered with heart disease.
Before I got my blood test back I thought I was in pretty healthy for a guy my age. I’m an avid bicyclist and I spend my days hitting grounders and pop ups to my team, so it’s not like I just sit around all day. Yet, when my doctor got the blood work back hewas concerned. I had high cholesterol and my triglycerides were a lot higher then my doc felt comfortable with. He said a guy like me shouldn’t have a cholesterol over 200 and mine was 260, and that my triglycerides, which are supposed to be around 160, were actually 290.
Due to my cardiac risk factors and my inability to lower my cholesterol, my doctor recommended a cholesterol-lowering statin medication. I had seen the commercials for statins on TV, but didn’t really know what they did. He walked me through how they lower cholesterol and can reduce the fat-filled plaque that affects the health of the arteries.
I was very was reluctant to use the drugs. Not only would I have to take them for the rest of my life, which really worried me, but they were also pretty expensive. A thousand dollars a year is a lot of money for a guy like me with a family.
I made it clear to him that at 51 years old, if I were going to make a commitment likethis for the rest of my life, that I was going to need some more proof that it was absolutely necessary to take statin medication.
It was at that point that my doctor told me about the EndoPAT® test. He said, “I see where you are coming from and I suggest that we hold off the final decision on the statin regimen until we review the test results.”
Taking the EndoPAT® Test
I thought we were going to schedule something for a week or two later, but to my surprise we walked into the examination room and I lay down on the table. The beauty of the EndoPAT® test is that I didn’t need any special preparation. I didn’t even need to change my clothes, because clothing doesn’t interfere with this new technology.
The doctor attached special finger probes to the index finger of each of my hands, and put a blood pressure cuff on my left arm. Then I lay there quietly for five minutes as the EndoPAT® began charting my pulse. When my five minutes were up, the doctor increased the pressure on my arm cuff. He told me, “This will significantly reduce the blood flow in the brachial artery of your arm, and the EndoPAT® will be charting changes in Peripheral Arterial Tone of your endothelium on the screen.”
Once he deflated the arm cuff, the blood rushed back into my arm and fingers. The monitors on my index fingers captured the PAT signal, sent the results to the EndoPAT® hard drive, and the computer began to compute my EndoScore. My EndoScore was automatically generated by comparing the difference in PAT signals detected in me before, during, and after using the arm cuff and then comparing it with measurements obtained from my other arm, which served as the control.
We printed out my EndoPAT® results and went over them together. My EndoScore of 1.70, which was low, was an indicator of underlying atherosclerosis. Fortunately, it was highly treatable at this stage with a statin.
Seeing was believing for me and as I sat there looking at my printout, my EndoScore was all the proof I needed. I told my doctor that not only was I going to go on the statins,but things were going to change. Diet and exercise were now going to become my top priority, because I wasn’t going to let what happened to my dad happen to me.
I Reversed My Endothelial Damage
I kept my promise to myself. I began taking my daily statin medication to lower my cholesterol and eliminated the fat-laden and salty foods in my diet. Within six months my cholesterol was under 200 and my triglycerides went to 180. I lost seven pounds, but more significantly, my percentage of body fat fell from a decent 24% to a much healthier 18%. My follow-up EndoPAT® test yielded an EndoScore of 1.94, a significant boost to the health of my blood vessels.
Looking back on it now, I can tell you that it was that initial low score I received from my EndoPAT® test was the turning point I needed to get healthy. EndoPAT® changed my life forever and gave me years that I know I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t taken the test.