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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18541
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Had back pain had X-rays the report showed mild

Customer Question

Had back pain had X-rays the report showed mild atherosclerosis of the abdominal aorta. The doc didn't tell me I saw it in the report. B/p controlled on lisinopril and hga1c controlled at 5.7 with glypizide take fish oil and niacin daily. Overweight but currently losing at and increased walking I am 60 female
JA: The Doctor will need to help you with this. Is there anything else the Doctor should be aware of?
Customer: No
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

Are you having any symptoms other than the back pain?

For example, are you having any leg pain, particularly leg pain with exertion?

Have you had your cholesterol or lipid profile checked?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The back pain is sciatica, and no lab tests
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

If there is mild atherosclerosis seen on a x-ray and there are no symptoms that could be due to arterial disease, such as leg pain with exertion, then there is no direct treatment of the atherosclerosis.

Instead, treatment is oriented towards risk factors for the atherosclerosis, for whichever risk factors are present in that individual. So, it is appropriate to control elevated blood pressure and diabetes, as you are doing. It also would be appropriate to check to see of your cholesterol is elevated, and consider treatment if it is significantly elevated.

It also would be appropriate to be following healthy lifestyle habits, including quitting smoking if you smoke, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and losing weight if overweight.

If you develop leg pain in the future, then it would be appropriate to consider further evaluation of the aorta and the arterial supply to the legs, but it does not need to be done at this point, based on mild changes seen on a plain x-ray.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am also taking an aspirin a day. The pain is typical sciatica right hip down right leg with tingling. History of car accident 14 years ago with L2L2 herniation. Saw spinal neurologist and MRI today. Don't have results yet. It was concerning for me when I read the report but feel much better now with the advice you gave me. I do not smoke but I am altering my diet and exercise.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

The aspirin is fine as a preventive intervention for heart disease or stroke in someone with high blood pressure and diabetes, but not necessary for mild atherosclerosis of the aorta. It certainly will not be an issue for any severity of atherosclerosis, and may help if more severe disease develops in the future.