You may have been told that you have a problem with your heart called mitral annular calcification, or MAC. Or maybe, you saw this description on an echocardiogram report.
But don’t panic, we can help. Read on to learn more.
Mitral Annular Calcification (MAC) refers to the deposition of calcium in the annulus of the mitral valve. This annulus is a ring-like structure that helps maintain the proper shape and function of the mitral valve, which regulates blood flow between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart. While MAC is primarily seen in older adults, it can also be associated with specific medical conditions and risk factors.
MAC is often detected incidentally during echocardiographic examinations performed for other reasons. The prevalence of MAC has increased with the aging population and improved diagnostic techniques.
Mainstream does not have a cause for MAC, but like everything else, the causeS are violations of the NHD method: Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well.
While MAC can be asymptomatic, its presence is clinically significant as it is associated with various cardiovascular risks. It can lead to mitral valve dysfunction, either in the form of mitral regurgitation (leakage) or, less commonly, mitral stenosis (narrowing). Both conditions can lead to heart failure if left untreated.
Moreover, MAC is associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, according to a 2019 study. This may be due to the structural changes in the left atrium caused by the calcified mitral annulus. But whatever causes MAC also causes Afib.
Another concern with MAC is its association with systemic embolism. Calcified fragments from the degenerated annulus can dislodge and travel through the bloodstream, potentially causing blockages in distant organs, including the brain, leading to stroke. Fortunately, this is not very common.
Risk factors for developing MAC include age, female gender, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and certain metabolic disorders like diabetes. Additionally, a history of rheumatic heart disease can predispose individuals to MAC.
Diagnosis and Management
The diagnosis of MAC is primarily made using echocardiography, which can visualize the calcium deposits on the mitral annulus. CT and MRI are rarely needed and usually not recommended for this condition.
Management of MAC focuses on treating associated conditions and monitoring for potential complications. For instance, blood pressure control is crucial in patients with hypertension to reduce further stress on the mitral valve. Similarly, managing atrial fibrillation and preventing stroke with anticoagulation therapy is important in patients with MAC.
In severe cases, especially when MAC leads to significant mitral valve dysfunction, surgical intervention may be considered. This could include mitral valve repair or replacement. However, surgery in patients with MAC can be challenging due to the altered anatomical structure of the valve and surrounding tissues.
Natural Strategies to Reverse MAC
- Eat more seafood
- Get more sunshine
- Eat more foods rich in vitamin K2
- Avoid toxins
- Try Arterosil (see more on our shop page).
If you have been told you have mitral annular calcification, don’t panic. We can help.
The answer is not statin drugs or unnecessary tests.
The answer is to work together with us at NHD to make sure you are on track for the 100 Year Heart.
Book your free discovery call here to see how we can help you.