This article explains arteriosclerosis treatment, symptoms and causes. The arteries play a very important role in carrying blood from the heart for supply to other body parts, therefore when these vessels become narrowed it can restrict normal blood flow and result in a life-threatening condition known as arteriosclerosis. Let us learn more about this condition, causes and ways to effectively prevent and treat it.
This condition is also known as arteriosclerotic vascular disease and it involves the buildup of plaques in the wall lining of the arteries making to become narrowed and hardened, thereby disrupting the normal flow of blood.
Normally, the artery is lined by a thin layer of cells known as the endothelium that promotes a smooth flow of blood. When there is an increase in the amount of harmful cholesterol in the bloodstream, it can cling to an epithelium layer that may have been damaged by rising blood pressure. This will lead to a gradual build-up of cholesterol, calcium, microphages and other substances in the blood, which then results in arteriosclerosis.
Sometimes, a blood clot may form to further make the artery narrower and restricts blood flow. Arteriosclerosis can be a very serious condition and is the leading cause of paralysis and sudden deaths through strokes and heart attacks.
There is an extensive network of arteries that is spread across every part of the body. Symptoms of arteriosclerosis will largely depend on which of the arteries is affected. Common examples are:
• Carotid arteries: Supplies blood to the brain; symptoms include facial numbness, paralysis, weakness and headaches.
• Coronary (pulmonary) arteries: Supplies blood to the heart; symptoms include chest pains, vomiting, fatigue and extreme anxiety.
• Renal artery: Supplies blood to the kidneys; symptoms include swollen hands and legs, loss of appetite, and restlessness.
The most common causes of arteriosclerosis include:
• High cholesterol levels: This is mainly connected to poor diets that are high in sugar and fats, which contributes to the buildup of cholesterol levels in the body which is then carried in the bloodstream and increases the risk of arteriosclerosis.
• Unhealthy lifestyle: Not exercising regularly, eating junk foods, smoking and consumption of alcohol all increases the risk of developing arteriosclerosis.
• High blood pressure: It is important to always do regular medical checks and ensure that your blood pressure is normal. Having high blood pressure can damage the epithelium and result in arteriosclerosis.
It is important to seek prompt arteriosclerosis treatment once any worrying signs and symptoms are noticed. Treatment will often include the following:
• Medication: Common medications that are prescribed for arteriosclerosis treatment include statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and antiplatelets, which help to lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and prevent the buildup up plagues and clots, respectively.
• Surgery: If arteries become damaged or blocked, surgery will be needed, these procedures mostly include angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), where angioplasty helps in expanding the arteries to improve blood flow and CABG involves using another artery to bypass a blocked artery.
• Herbal medicine: Natural artherosclerosis treatment is also available for improving blood circulation by lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
• Lifestyle changes: Exercising can help cut down blood cholesterol levels and ensure good coronary health. Quitting smoking and alcohol intake can also help reduce the risks of arteriosclerosis.
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