How do you check for atherosclerosis?

My mom passed away 1/21/13 of a massive Heart attack.My mom just turned 65 1/17/13 She had type 1 for 41 years when she was pregnant with me. She had constant pain in her feet had cataract surgery two years ago and was on top of her health wit eye Dr PCM foot DR had blood work all the time and a stress test once a year It always came out negitive.She had the flu two weeks prior had prescribed codeine cough meds I don’t know if this had anything to do with her blood sugar. I had been raised to read signs of an insulin reaction and how to give shots; no one ever told me that Diabetics are at a higher risk of a heart attack!!I’m so mad and sad.. I want answers the Dr gives me I see this all the time with Diabetics. WHY? I found this
Screenings and Diagnosis
Just because people have risk factors, however, doesn’t mean they have cardiovascular disease. Some doctors may employ a stress test to check for coronary heart disease in people with symptoms. The patient runs on a treadmill or rides a bike while the doctor checks for heart abnormalities or symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain. The idea behind the stress test is that physical exertion strains the heart and can bring any hidden issues to the surface. But it’s not perfect. To tell if a person actually has coronary heart disease in the absence of a heart attack, the key is finding the atherosclerosis. But how do you check for atherosclerosis? “That’s the million-dollar question,” says Kosiborod, citing a tremendous ongoing effort among scientists to develop and validate such tests.
Farkouh says “there may be emerging techniques that look for atherosclerosis.” For example, a test called the coronary calcium scan checks the arteries for calcium, which is a significant component of plaques. People with a high calcium score are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, but it still isn’t clear whether aggressively treating risk factors such as cholesterol in people with high calcium scores alone (without other risk factors such as diabetes) can prevent deaths from cardiovascular disease. “We just don’t know yet what it means,” says Farkouh.

So sorry to hear about your Mom, My heart goes out to you. I am praying for you to be comforted and to eventually find peace. It will take time. I know how very hard it is and how hurt you are to have experienced her passing so unexpectedly. Prayers sent for you to be covered with and comnforted by HIS presence.

Have you ever heard of a test called c-reactive protein? It tests for inflammation in the body,which is known as a precursor to heart disease. This includes presence of plaque in the arteries. I get it, as ordered by my internist every 3 years or so. After almost 45 years of Type one,and at age 58, so far, I have no inflammation at all. I actually have optimal levels as of the last one done in 2010; I am to get another c-ractive protein test this spring.

God bless,

Great quote, Ambra. and welcfome to Tudiabetes.

Heartbreaking to lose your mother. I'm sorry. Understand your anger. I'd feel the same & also want answers.

Sadly, it's more T2's who are at risk for heart disease. Agree with Brunetta about CRP testing. My mother recently had off the charts CRP values. Found out when she went to the ER because she lost partial vision in one eye, which came on suddenly. Vision loss was caused by high inflammation. She had to have mega IV steroid doses.

I'm sorry for you loss. I lost my mother 21 years ago to a heart attack. She did not have diabetes as far as I know and was younger than your mom. At the time, there was little that could be done to precisely diagnose arteriosclerosis. My mother had passed stress tests. Heart attacks can be caused by a variety of things, one of which is arteriosclerosis. Today, you get calcium scores and even do the CT scans as advocated by Dr. William Smith at TrackYourPlaque (the same guy that wrote "Wheat Belly"), but in the end as diabetics were are at higher risk. And it isn't just cholesterol as the "experts" will tell you. High blood sugars harden arteries and they cause glycation and inflammation. And observational studies have noted that pre-diabetics that have an A1c of 6% have twice the rate of CVD problems found in non-diabetics (independent of cholesterol, BP and other key factors). Heart problems is the real serious complication that scares me. So I try maintain good blood sugar control.

Today, more than twenty years after my mothers passing I still question myself on whether I could have helped her diagnose and evade that fatal heart attack. But I have had to accept that I'll never know what brought it on and I was unfortunately helpless to intervene. I still miss my mom and I'm sure you will always miss your mom as well.

I'm sorry for your loss, we never know when our time is up, but it's by His grace that we have yet another day like today.

My wife and I have both had cardiac categorization, it's expensive and risky but we both found out we had some issues that did not show up with standard testing like a stress test, even the nuclear tests where inconclusive. My wife has 40% blockage Left anterior descending (LAD) and I have some narrowing arteries that would be a disaster if I had plaque build up which I do not have yet. Many insurance company's will not cover tests without some Pryor issues and sometimes it can be too late by the time we get around to these tests.

I had a major organ transplant and have had every test known to man ran on me, I have 25+ doctors that take care of me on a ongoing basses and they cannot tell me if I'm going to make it for a day, a week, or 20 more years...I just praise the Lord everyday for my health and Salvation, what he has already promised me in the days to come and the blessings I have already received are just more prof that he is my Savior.

The Lord be with you always....

I read about another new technique for diagnosis that might be available soon.
A sensitive microphone is taped to your body and then you lie down for a couple of minutes while a recording of the heart beat is made. Diagnosis can then be made by a computer algorithm analyzing the sound.