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ABOUT TRACK YOUR PLAQUE A "Drug Free" Health Information Source
Virtually every other health website is funded by advertising from drug companies. Track Your Plaque (TYP) and the Collaborative Cures Foundation (CCF) is 100% funded by its Members through membership fees and purchases of TYP and CCF approved products on the CCF Marketplace. This unique funding method ensures that TYP and CCF information is 100% objective. TYP and CCF Members literally "own the website." The New Science of Preventing Heart Attack
The TYP Program harnesses the power of new medical technologies and discoveries along with the overwhelming power of collaboration with pioneering experts and motivated heart disease fighters throughout the world. The program is simple:
Why I started Track Your Plaque: Cardiologist Dr. William Davis
- Learn about cutting edge tests and treatments.
- Collect test data to identify the unique root causes of your heart disease
- In consultation with your doctor, use TYP tools to develop a tailored strategy to prevent and even reverse YOUR heart disease.
- Track your test and treatment results to determine what works for you.
- In collaboration with TYP experts and Members, share and learn to constantly update and improve your program.
Track Your Plaque is a concept that began taking shape in my mind over a decade ago. My mother had just died suddenly of a heart attack. Not only did I lose my mother to this disease, but it shattered my beliefs that state-of-the-art medicine─angioplasty, stents, cholesterol drugs, etc.─were sufficient solutions to this dangerous disease.
This was a scenario that I had seen played out many times: Exercise, eat “right,” see your doctor, reduce blood pressure, take a statin drug and aspirin. But it backfired too often: Pass a stress test on Monday, then have a heart attack on Tuesday ─ no warning, no symptoms. There had to be a better way. Too many people would die if we simply accept conventional off-handed dismissals like “Sometimes these things just happen.”
About that same time, two new technologies were introduced that promised to better reveal who was likely to have a heart attack, not today or tomorrow, but years down the road ─ enough time to take action to prevent and perhaps even reverse it.
CT scan technology had finally advanced to the point at which even the rapidly moving heart could be imaged, yielding a “heart scan.” Heart scans could detect minute amounts of calcium in atherosclerotic plaque that forms in the heart’s arteries. Calcium could be detected and quantified, even at the earliest beginnings of heart disease, its progress tracked.
New blood tests also emerged that could more confidently uncover the causes behind coronary atherosclerotic plaque and heart attack. Advanced lipoprotein testing allowed direct assessment of the blood particles that cause heart disease.
These two technological developments provided the genesis of the Track Your Plaque program. Since its early beginnings, insight and experience have expanded considerably and the Track Your Plaque program of today is quite different from its initial humble beginnings. Today, we’ve gone far beyond heart scans and lipoprotein testing (though they still remain part of the program) and incorporated new strategies that have increased success in stopping and reversing coronary plaque in greater and greater numbers of people.
As far as the program has come in the past 8 years, it will likely continue to evolve, gaining better and better results. One interesting side-benefit: As we’ve gotten smarter about how to gain control over coronary plaque, we are able to achieve results with less reliance on medication. Perhaps there will be a day when we can obtain full control without medication in anybody. That hasn’t happened yet, but more and more people are enjoying control over coronary plaque ─ and thereby risk for heart attack ─ with little or no medications.
It has also become evident to me that Track Your Plaque can, in many cases, provide results that are superior to those obtained through conventional healthcare. Our self-empowered, community-driven solutions can be followed with a more judicious and effective use of your physicians and traditional medicine, thanks to the assistance of the Track Your Plaque staff and Members.
We have formed the Collaborative Cures Foundation to help fund this effort. No longer are our Members just members of Track Your Plaque, but members of an organization with a more ambitious vision: To find personal cures for coronary disease, deliver the strategies to people like you via our community, and then to expand this model to other areas of health.
I invite you to join us! Why I Joined Track Your Plaque: Health Consumer Advocate Chris Kliesmet (aka "HeartHawk")
About the same time as Dr. Davis' mother died, another 65 year old mother died suddenly and without symptoms – mine! Not only that, but other relatives in my family were dying of heart attacks, suddenly, inexplicably, and without prior symptoms - the earliest at age 54.
My doctor of 25 years, a person I trusted, assured me my LDL cholesterol was extremely low and that I shouldn’t worry. But my mother had been told the same thing dying only two weeks after passing a complete physical. I wasn't buying it!
I have always been fascinated by technology and numbers. That's why I became an engineer, MBA, and Six Sigma practitioner. So I finally decided to put technology and numbers to work for me and had a heart scan - and there it was: early traces of calcium. I had heart disease - more than 90% of men my age!
I quickly looked up the leading cardiologist in town and scheduled a nuclear stress test, the traditional gold standard for screening heart disease and passed with flying colors. The cardiologist assured me I was fine. Under pressure by me to “do something,” a statin was prescribed. This is when I started asking embarrassing questions, “You say I am fine but the heart scan clearly shows the beginnings of heart disease. My LDL cholesterol is already low so how can a statin be the solution?” These are good questions I encourage everyone to ask!
I went back to the heart scan center to ask if they knew any cardiologist that understood how to interpret heart scans and treat early heart disease. They did – Dr. William R. Davis who had read my heart scan. I became a patient and had advanced lipoprotein testing to discover the REAL causes of my heart disease. Indeed, my LDL cholesterol was low but so was my HDL (good) cholesterol. More importantly, I had another serious lipid abnormality – high lipoprotein(a) – a factor now known to cause early heart disease. The first line treatment for low HDL and lipoprotein(a) was not a statin – it was far simpler. In this case it was a nutritional supplement – niacin. After two years on niacin, my plaque growth slowed to zero!
Three years later, I was at Dr. Davis’ office for a routine visit when the office computers went down while retrieving my records. Rather than come back later I suggested I could probably fix the problem quickly. I did and in the process struck up a conversation with Dr. Davis about the book he was working on and building a website to help communicate and apply his principles. That day was the “birth” of this website.
Since then I have devoted most of my free time to working as a health consumer advocate, blogging for Track Your Plaque and other health websites under the pseudonym "HeartHawk" and promoting the concept of Informed, Self-directed Healthcare (ISH) - a concept that lets each health consumer get the information and tools they need to take control of their health rather than blindly rely on on traditional medicine, insurance companies, and government (e.g. the “FDA” and “USDA food pyramid”). The Collaborative Cures Foundation (CCF): The Future
The early business model for Track Your Plaque was simple. Track Your Plaque would solicit Members through heart scan centers. Either the scan centers or their patients would pay a small fee to participate in the program. The fees would go toward maintaining the website, creating new content, and developing the program.
That business model got turned on its ear the day the Track Your Plaque Forum was opened for Members to begin talking to each other. Over the next five years Track Your Plaque attracted hundreds of Members from around the world looking for a place that offered information without the taint and bias of drug company and other commercial financing. They paid the dues and they “owned” it.
The Members began to furiously work together to bring new knowledge and technologies from numerous sources, provide direct experience with treatments, and offer powerful advice and direction to new Members who, in turn, expanded the knowledge base even further. Based on Member input the focus was shifted to providing new tools to support and expand the ability to network and collaborate.
Then another curious thing happened. Certainly, many were being helped by attacking the primary culprits in heart disease – lipids and lipoproteins. Track Your Plaque was also among the first to discover and promote the value and use of powerful nutritional supplements like fish oil and Vitamin D. It also became clear that there are many health conditions like hypothyroidism and diabetes that directly affect heart health. These co-factors were delved into, discussed, studied, and many new treatment options were added. But these medical conditions are both widespread and deadly even without heart disease and deserve focused consideration. Perhaps this new concept of “collaborative cures” could also be applied with similar success as the Track Your Plaque Program has had with heart disease. This was the impetus for starting the Collaborative Cures Foundation (CCF).
The CCF is now the “umbrella” organization that funds and develops collaborative/networked programs to create personalized “cures” for a variety of medical conditions. The Track Your Plaque Program is the prototype for a series of additional programs covering other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypothyroidism. The goal is for the individual programs to be free with Foundation funding provided by subscription fees from those wishing to harness the remarkable power of collaborative participation and from the sales of supportive products in the Foundation Marketplace.
We have learned a lot in the last five years at Track Your Plaque and together with our Members we have helped many people. We look forward to the expanding our collective reach through the Collaborative Cures Foundation to help many, many more!