Atherosclerosis (colloquially called arteriosclerosis) is a slowly progressive disease of the arteries (arteries). Arteries are blood vessels that carry the oxygenated blood in the lungs from the heart to the organs. In arteriosclerosis, these blood vessels become increasingly narrow and stiffer.
In Today’s Article, We Will Discuss “What Is The Best Treatment For Atherosclerosis”
Table Of Contents
- How Does Arteriosclerosis Develop?
- Which Risk Factors Are There
- What Sequelae Are Known?
- Disorders Of Potency
- How Can You Treat Arteriosclerosis?
- Expansion By Catheter
- Vascular Surgery
- How To Prevent Arteriosclerosis?
- Do Not Smoke
The process is based on pathological changes in the vessel walls. There, among other things, blood fats, lime, and connective tissue are deposited.
The colloquially known as arteriosclerosis vascular alteration can in principle develop in all arterial blood vessels and thus lead to serious consequences in various organs. The type of discomfort depends on which arteries are affected. Note that always clean your arteries from plaque. If you ever want to know how to remove plaque from arteries fast you may consider some home remedies here or other alternatives to do so.
The most common and dreaded episodes include heart attack and stroke. If the coronary arteries are constricted, they can cause a feeling of tightness in the chest or left-sided chest pain (angina pectoris) up to a heart attack.
If the carotid artery is affected by arteriosclerosis, it can trigger a stroke. Narrowed pelvic and leg arteries can cause peripheral arterial disease (PAOD), which manifests itself as severe pain and cramping of the muscles after a short walking distance.
The patient has to stop frequently (Claudication intermittent). In order not to attract attention, the victims stay in front of a shop window. Therefore, the disease is also called intermittent claudication. In the last stage of the disease, the person has pain in peace.
A constant cold feeling and poorly healing wounds of the toes and lower legs (lower leg ulcer) are usually signs of already advanced disease. If the skin is white, cold and unfeeling, this indicates that it has come to complete closure.
If no countermeasures are taken, the tissue, which is no longer supplied with blood, turns black and dies. It can lead to amputation of a limb (from a toe to the whole leg) becoming necessary.
The consequences of arteriosclerosis may include erectile dysfunction such as erectile impotence.
Atherosclerosis and its sequelae are the leading cause of death in Western industrialized nations, even before cancer. The development of arteriosclerosis depends on some factors, many of which are due to lifestyle habits and thus preventable.
1 How Does Arteriosclerosis Develop?
The emergence of atherosclerosis is a complex, sometimes creeping, the process that takes several years to complete. Individual or the interaction of several damaging factors lead over time to a pathological change in the arterial inner walls (endothelium).
Early arteriosclerotic changes are already found in adolescents. However, clinical symptoms usually develop only in middle and late life.
The onset of arteriosclerosis, scientists suspect, begins with damage to the cells of the inner wall of the vessel. Due to metabolism, this endothelial cell layer increasingly generates oxygen radicals, which cause the cells of the inner vessel wall to perish.
The vessel wall is now no longer smooth, but rough, so that different blood cells such as platelets and white blood cells can easily adhere. The white blood cells (leukocytes) absorb fatty compounds and transform into so-called foam cells.
Already deposited platelets bring more platelets. Fats, especially the so-called LDL cholesterol, are stored in the inner wall of the arteries.
The stored substances are altered by various processes, which in turn cause inflammation. As a result, white blood cells migrate. These and other processes maintain the inflammatory process and the further accumulation of cells. So-called atheromas or arteriosclerotic plaques develop.
The inner skin of the arteries becomes thicker and thicker due to the deposits. Also, lime deposits increasingly stiffen the arterial wall, and the blood vessel loses its elasticity. The blood can no longer flow unhindered due to the reduced cross-section of the arteries.
This has the consequence that the organs (for example heart, kidney, and brain) are perfused less well and are supplied insufficiently with essential nutrients and oxygen, which in turn can restrict their function.
If it comes to the complete closure of a vessel (thrombosis) threaten life-threatening functional failures if parts of the organ suddenly no longer are supplied with blood.
Also, an arteriosclerotic plaque may detach from the vessel wall and carry away via the bloodstream another vessel (e.g., a cerebral artery). One then speaks of an embolism, which causes a stroke in the case of a cerebral artery, a heart attack in the case of a coronary artery.
Another dreaded consequence of atherosclerosis is the slow outgrowth of a vessel (an aneurysm). An aneurysm carries the risk of sudden heavy bleeding.
2 Which Risk Factors Are There?
Numerous risk factors favor the development of arteriosclerosis. Some of these are preventable as they are partly due to unhealthy lifestyle habits. Other factors, however, can not be influenced.
Common, Modifiable Risk Factors Of Arteriosclerosis Are:
⇒ Fat metabolism disorders such as elevated levels of (bad) LDL cholesterol or low levels of (good) HDL cholesterol.
⇒ Diabetes mellitus (diabetes), especially in the case of long-term poorly adjusted blood glucose levels.
⇒ High blood pressure (hypertension)
Metabolic Syndrome: a condition that combines obesity, impaired carbohydrate metabolism, elevated blood lipid levels, and high blood pressure.
⇒ lack of exercise
⇒ Obesity (obesity)
Non-Influenceable risk factors include:
⇒ Genetic predisposition
⇒ Male gender
⇒ Age (women over 55 years, men over 45 years)
Also, infections and rare risk factors, some of which can not be influenced, seem to play a role:
⇒ Increased blood levels of homocysteine, a body protein
⇒ The increased blood level of lipoprotein A
⇒ The increased blood level of fibrinogen, a coagulation factor
⇒ Increased antiphospholipid antibodies (a risk factor associated with rheumatic diseases)
3 What Sequelae Are Known?
⇒ Arteriosclerosis is the cause of more or less obvious functional limitations in various organ systems, due to the reduction of organ perfusion.
⇒ Coronary heart disease (CHD) with angina pectoris, heart attack, sudden cardiac death
High blood pressure (hypertension).
⇒ Peripheral arterial circulatory disorders (PAOD), especially circulatory disorders of the legs.
⇒ Cerebral circulatory disorders (cerebrovascular insufficiency), stroke (apoplexy) or transient ischemic attacks (TIA, short-term circulatory diseases in the brain).
⇒ Circulatory disorders in the gastrointestinal tract, intestinal infarction.
⇒ Kidney weakness and failure (due to renal artery constriction and occlusion).
4 Disorders Of Potency
Depending on the degree of arteriosclerosis, its localization, and possibly existing conditions mentioned above, arteriosclerosis can be associated with no symptoms, including severe and life-threatening symptoms (stroke, heart attack, bleeding).
5 How To Treat Arteriosclerosis?
The treatment of arteriosclerosis has two objectives: First, it tries to reduce or prevent the symptoms caused by them, on the other hand, it wants to prevent the calcification of the vessels continues to progress.
Decisive in this regard is the consistent treatment of risk factors, in particular, the cessation of smoking, changes in lifestyle and dietary habits, the treatment of lipid metabolism disorders such as the lowering of elevated cholesterol levels.
This can not only prevent the progression of atherosclerosis but also improve the development of the disease in the long term.
The drug therapy consists on the one hand of a permanent, often lifelong blood thinning with so-called platelet function inhibitors (for example, acetylsalicylic acid / ASA or, more rarely, clopidogrel).
On the other hand, the individual diseased organs (for example, the heart in coronary heart disease, the brain or the leg arteries) are treated with appropriate drugs.
7 Expansion By Catheter
In advanced arteriosclerosis with threatening vascular occlusions, one tries to expand the blood vessels using different catheter procedures. A catheter is a thin tube that the doctor inserts into the narrowed blood vessel.
For example, he can dilate a constriction on the coronary vessels with a balloon, add a vessel bridge (stent) or remove atheromas or plaques.
During the procedure, complications such as bleeding from vascular injury can occur. After an expansion treatment, there is also the risk of a renewed narrowing. In principle, however, it is possible to expand the vessel once more.
8 Vascular Surgery
Patients suffering from severe arteriosclerosis with dangerous complications need to think about surgical treatment. A bypass operation can potentially prevent fatal consequences such as a heart attack or occlusion of the leg arteries.
In most cases, veins taken from the leg are inserted as a diversion into the course of the vessel so that the bottleneck is bridged.
Bypass surgery is a significant procedure performed by clinics with a vascular surgery department. As a rule, hospitalization is followed by treatment at a rehab clinic.
9 How To Prevent Arteriosclerosis?
Arteriosclerosis is a serious disease, but one crucial point distinguishes it from some other, similar bad suffering: You can prevent it. And even existing arteriosclerosis can be stopped by appropriate measures. These include:
Moderate exercise is, in any case, beneficial to health. This begins with not using the elevator, but slightly climbing stairs every day, and goes on to regular walks and biking, as well as a visit to a gym.
On the one hand, such measures help to reduce body weight and, on the other hand, can also reduce high blood pressure.
Diabetes mellitus, i.e., increased blood sugar levels but also increased blood lipids (triglycerides) and cholesterol levels can cause and exacerbate arteriosclerosis. Mainly people who are at an increased risk for arteriosclerosis and its sequelae, should therefore consciously feed.
High-fat meals should be avoided, as well as a high-cholesterol diet (butter, eggs, animal products, especially offal). Healthier is a fiber and vitamin-rich food with plenty of fruits and vegetables (Mediterranean diet).
12 Do Not Smoke
Smoking restricts the fluidity of the blood and promotes the formation of deposits in the vessels.
So, if you need to reduce your risk of growing arteriosclerosis and its consequences, you better avoid cigarettes.