What to Know About Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease that occurs when plaque develops in the arteries. The arteries are stiff and narrow, which can prevent high blood pressure leading to stroke, heart attack or stroke. Atherosclerosis can develop in childhood, and it gets worse over time. Lifestyle changes, medications and surgical procedures can help prevent complications.

What is atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is a disease that occurs when a lump develops on the walls of the arteries. A coronary artery is a blood vessel that carries blood and oxygen from the heart to all parts of the body. Dishes are a nutrient that contains fats, cholesterol, calcium and other nutrients. As the tablets build up, the nerves become stiffer and narrower.

How can the nerves affect my body?

Atherosclerosis can develop in childhood, and it gets worse over time. Nervous system obstruction can lead to many problems. Narrow or blocked arteries cannot carry enough blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the whole body. Obstacles can eventually lead to tissue death or infection of the hands, feet or other body parts.

Fragments can loosen and stick to the body, damaging it. Also, bleeding may start in the narrow veins. It can eventually loosen and pass through the nerves.

Atherosclerosis can lead to serious health problems and medical emergencies, including:

  • Coronary artery disease.
  • Heart attack.
  • Peripheral artery disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Blood clots.
  • Carotid artery disease.
  • Chronic kidney disease.

Who’s at risk for atherosclerosis?

  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Male gender.
  • Obesity.
  • Older age (in men, age 45 and in women, age 55).
  • Smoking.
  • Unhealthy diet high in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol.
  • Family history of premature cardiovascular disease.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • High cholesterol.

Diagnosing Atherosclerosis

Doctors have diagnostic equipment and equipment available to diagnose the presence of atherosclerosis – these include angiogram (arteriogram), cholesterol test, X-ray heart, CT (tomography test), duplex test, Echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (ECG or is EKG), exercise pressure test (heart pressure test), intravascular ultrasound, MRI (magnetic resonance magnet), PET (tomography emit positron) and drug stress test.

Blood test; Blood tests can check certain levels of fat, cholesterol, sugar, and protein in your blood and show different levels of factors that can lead to atherosclerosis.

EKG (electrocardiogram); EKG is a simple test that detects and records the electrical activity of the heart and shows how fast the heart beats and that it has a constant pulse. It also shows the power times and light signals as they pass through each heart. Some electrical systems detected by EKG may indicate that CAD is possible. EKG can also show signs of a past or present heart attack.

X-ray of the box; X-ray images of parts of the heart, including the heart, lungs, and blood vessels may also show signs of depression.

Ankle / brachial; This test measures blood pressure in your hand and blood pressure in your ankles to check how your blood pressure is going. This test can help diagnose PAD.

Echocardiography; This test uses waves to create a moving picture of your heart and provides information about the size and shape of your heart as well as how your heart valve works. The test can detect abnormal blood flow to the heart, abnormal heart function, as well as previous injuries to the heart due to poor blood flow.

Tomography examination; Computed tomography, or CT, scans can produce images of the heart, brain, or other organs. Tests often show stiffness and reduced muscle mass.

Stress test; During stress testing, the exercise is used to stimulate the heart and beat faster during a heart test – if a person is unable to exercise, medication is given to rapid heart rate. When the heart beats faster and is more active, it needs more blood and oxygen and the arteries of the clogged heart cannot meet the needs of the oxygenated heart – stress tests may show CAD symptoms, such as:

Angiography; Angiography is a test that uses color and special X-rays to show inside the arteries and block the arteries and can reveal the size of the hard arteries. A thin, flexible catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the arm, waist (upper thigh), or neck. A color that can be seen on an X-ray is then inserted into a vein and by looking at an X-ray, the doctor can see how blood is flowing through the vein.

What causes atherosclerosis?

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, yellow substance that is commonly found in the body and found in certain foods you eat. If your cholesterol level is too high, it can clog your arteries. It is a strong fiber that blocks or restricts blood flow in your heart and other organs.


It is important to eat well. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that you follow a complete diet that emphasizes:

  • Blood fruits and vegetables
  • Too much corn
  • The milk
  • Feels on the back, without leather
  • Fruits
  • No tropical food oils, such as olive or sunflower oil

Some other food tips:

Eliminate sugary foods and sweeteners, sweets, and added sugar. AHA recommends 100 teaspoons or 100 calories per day for most women, as well as no more than 150 teaspoons or 150 calories per day for most men.

Avoid foods that are high in salt. Find less than 2,300 sodium mg (mg) per day. Naturally, you want to take more than 1,500 mg daily.

Avoid unhealthy fats, such as fatty foods. Replace them with saturated fat, which is better for you. If you want to lower your blood cholesterol, reduce saturated fat by 5 to 6 percent of all calories. For a person eating 2,000 calories per day, that is about 13 grams full of fat.

Aging. As you grow older, your heart and blood vessels begin to tighten and absorb blood. Your nerves may be weak and unstable, making it easier for them to contract.

What are the symptoms of atherosclerosis?

  • fatigue
  • confusion, which occurs if the blockage affects circulation to your brain
  • muscle weakness in your legs
  • chest pain or angina
  • pain in your leg, arm, and anywhere else that has a blocked artery
  • shortness of breath

The symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • chest pain or discomfort
  • pain in the shoulders, back, neck, arms, and jaw
  • abdominal pain
  • shortness of breath
  • perspiration
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • a sense of impending doom

The symptoms of stroke include:

  • vision problems
  • loss of balance
  • sudden, severe headache
  • weakness or numbness in the face or limbs
  • difficult to speak
  • trouble understanding speech

How is atherosclerosis treated?

Living a healthy lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of atherosclerosis.

  • Eat wholesome food. Healthy foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meat, and “healthy” fats. The Mediterranean diet is an example of a heart healthy diet.
  • The Exercise. If you are overweight or obese, it can help you lose weight. It can help you maintain a healthy weight. Exercise helps increase your HDL cholesterol and lower your LDL cholesterol. Try to work 3 to 4 times a week for 40 minutes of strenuous exercise. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise plan.
  • Quitting smoking . Smoking can damage your blood vessels, reduce bleeding in them, and lower your HDL cholesterol. Cigarette smoke can affect your blood vessels and cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about developing a plan that will help you quit smoking.
  • Manage stress. Try to reduce your stress. You can do this by deep breathing and relaxation. Examples include meditation and gentle exercise (such as walking or yoga). Also your conversation with a friend, family member, or health care professional can be helpful.

Medications can be used to treat atherosclerosis:

Antiplatelet drug. These drugs bind to platelets in the blood and reduce the risk of arthritis. Aspirin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine, and dipyridamole are examples of antiplatelet drugs.

Anticoagulants. They are also called blood thinners, these drugs work differently with antiplatelet drugs to reduce blood clotting power. Warfarin and heparin are examples of anticoagulants.

Cholesterol lowering drug. These are medicines to reduce blood lipids (lipids), especially low cholesterol (LDL). Statins are a drug that lowers cholesterol. They include simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin among others. Bile acid sequestrants – colesevelam, cholestyramine and colestipol – and nicotinic acid are other drugs that can be used to lower cholesterol levels. Your doctor may also prescribe fibrates to help improve your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Surgeries and Procedures for Atherosclerosis

Angioplasty; This is a procedure to open a coronary artery or vein and can improve blood flow, reduce heart pain, and possibly prevent heart attack. Sometimes a small mesh tube is inserted into a stent called a stent to open it after the procedure.

CABG; It is a type of surgery, where nerves or nerves from other parts of the body are used to pass through narrow arteries. CABG can improve the blood flow to your heart, reduce heart pain, and possibly prevent heart attack.

Grafting; By this operation, a healthy blood vessel is passed through a barrier or blockage in one leg, directing blood around the healthy arteries, allowing blood to flow. front to back.

Carotid artery surgery; It removes plaque from the carotid artery of the neck, opens the arteries and improves blood flow to the brain. Carotid artery surgery can help prevent stroke.

A doctor is a cardiologist with atherosclerosis (a doctor who specializes in treating people with heart problems) if they have coronary artery disease (CAD) – or a cardiologist (a doctor who specializes in treating patients) ) If they have a peripheral artery disease (PAD) – or a neurologist (a doctor who specializes in treating people with neurological disorders) if they have a stroke due to carotid artery disease.