The Nation's Health + [Track Your Plaque]

Track Your Plaque: The most frequently asked question of all

The most frequently asked question on the Track Your Plaque website:

"Can you recommend a doctor in my area who can help me follow the Track Your Plaque program?"

This is a problem. Unfortunately, I wish I could tell everyone that we have hundreds or thousands of physicians nationwide who have been thoroughly educated and adhere to the principles I believe are crucial in heart disease:

1) Identify and quantify the amount of coronary atherosclerotic plaque present. In 2007, the best technique remains CT heart scans.

2) Identify all hidden causes of plaque. This includes Lp(a), post-prandial disorders, small LDL, and vitamin D deficiency.

3) Correct all patterns.

But we don't.

You'd think that this simple formula, as straightforward and rational as it sounds, would be easily followed by many if not most physicians. But Track Your Plaque followers know that it simply is not true. My colleagues, the cardiologists, are hell-bent on implanting the next new device, providing a lot more excitement to them as well as considerably more revenue.

The primary care physician is already swamped in a sea of new information, going from osteoporosis drugs, to arthritis, to gynecologic issues, to skin rashes and flu. Heart disease prevention? Oh yeah, that too. They can only dabble in heart disease prevention a la prescription for Lipitor. That's quick and easy.

Nonetheless, I believe we should work towards identifying the occasional physician who is indeed willing to help people follow a program like Track Your Plaque. As we grow, we will need to identify some mechanism of professional education and we will maintain a record of these practitioners. But right now, we're simply already stretched to the limit just doing what we are doing.

If you come across a physician who practices in this fashion and you've had a positive relationship, we'd like to hear about it.