I’ve recently had some interesting medical test results. The first was my yearly echocardiogram. I saw my cardiologist today and he confirmed that all is well, except that some leaking around the edges of my replacement aortic valve, classified as “mild to moderate”. I first found about that a year ago, and my doctor confirmed there is nothing to be worried about because I am asymptomatic and there is no noticeable diastolic murmur. He confirmed this at the time by discussing it with my heart surgeon. Concerning symptoms would be fluid retention or getting out of breath, or declining exercise capacity, I have none of these. If the leaking does progress enough in the future, it might be necessary to get surgery to redo the valve replacement.
My cardiologist also went over my blood work. Back in August my cholesterol was great, total 146, ldl (“bad”) 79, and hdl (“good”) 38. He was happy with all of these, although the “good” could be a little higher. But my triglycerides were 203, and should be under 150. I said that’s happened to me in the past, and I could clean it up with diet by eating less junky carbs like cookies, which I tried for a few months. My repeat test last week came out total 174, ldl (“bad”) 107, and hdl (“good”) 47, but I got 102 for my triglycerides. So, good job on the cookies, but cholesterol a little worse, although the “good” is better. He’s still not worried, we’ll repeat in six months. I think I can get the cholesterol better by emphasizing more whole food plant based eating, and keep the triglycerides down by avoiding junk. If not we may want to bump up my statin a bit.
My final recent result was a brain mri. This was a follow-up on my recent head injury by my GP. It came out normal as far as the injury, very good news. But it showed some abnormalities: “Mild cerebral atrophy and findings of chronic small vessel ischemic disease.” My cardiologist thought these were normal age related. I’ll see what my GP thinks when I see her monday. I suspect she may want a follow-up with a neurologist. As you can see in a link this can lead to problems like stroke or dementia if it progresses. Prevention measures include maintaining good body weight and blood pressure and exercising, which I’m already doing, and lowering cholesterol. So this is another reason to work on doing a better job on that.