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All About Arteriosclerosis

By at May 26, 2011 | 11:22 pm | Print

All About Arteriosclerosis

All About Arteriosclerosis
byRachell Eom

1.What is Arteriosclerosis?

When most people hear the term, ‘arteriosclerosis’, they think it is a some form of disease related to the arteries.  It is simply a condition where our arteries build up by the accumulation of fatty substance which causes the state where artery is being hardened. The term Arteriosclerosis is coined into a term which is made out of arterio-; which means artery and –scler; which means hardening and –osis; which means condition.
To sum it up, basically the term arteriosclerosis means it is a condition where the artery is hardened.

To be specific, the accurate definition of arteriosclerosis is  the buildup of fats in and on your artery walls (plaques), which can restrict blood flow. These plaques can also burst, causing a blood clot. Although atherosclerosis is often considered a heart problem, it can affect arteries anywhere in your body. Atherosclerosis is a preventable and treatable condition. According to the mayoclinic, Arteriosclerosis is a condition that can be prevented. So unlike Cancers or any chronic condition that patients might have Arteriosclerosis is a treatable/preventable condition. Then what is clogging up your arteries?? Plaque.

 

1. What is a plaque made out of?
Fatty substances such as: cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin.

2. How does it occur?
The real and precise answer to that is unknown. But there are some theories about how arteriosclerosis is originated.

A. Levels of cholesterol is high

B. High blood pressure

C. Cigarette smoke or being exposed to the tobacco smoke (toxic substances inside the cigarette)

D. Physical inactivity

E. Obesity

F. Diabetes

These are the factors that contribute to causing arteriosclerosis by damaging the inner layer of the blood vessels. Basically Either one of those factors causes the inner lining of the blood vessels to cause damage. And over time, the substances that are supposed to flow and pass through your blood vessels slowly start to accumulate, developing a plaque.

3. Symptoms?
Arteriosclerosis can bring these symptoms to the body:

 

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) – caused by build up of the plaque, which decrease the diameter of the blood vessel, which decreases blood flow inside the blood vessels.
  • Heart attack- because the heart will not receive sufficient amount of blood, which they need in order to pump throughout the whole body.
  • Headache, impaired vision
  • Chest pain
  • Numbness/weakness in arms and legs
  • Drooping muscle on your face
  • Slurred speech/difficulty speaking
  • Pain when walking
  • Weak/absent pulse some part of your body where arteriosclerosis is developing

 

4. HOW TO PREVENT IT?

  • -Quit smoking: prevent damaging to the lining of the blood vessels.
  • -Exercise regularly
  • -Start eating HEALTHY. (Balanced meal) Healthy eating habits are important. For example, one’s eating style will lasts forever, which means one will eat how they used to eat as an infant for the rest of their lives. Infants are consuming what their parents are feeding them, therefore, the habit of eating unbalanced and unhealthy food will continue to last as they grow up, and haunt them down with such an unfortunate health conditions. Such as arteriosclerosis. Try eating a lot of fruits, whole grains and vegetables.
  • -Maintain a healthy weight
  • -Control your cholesterol level
  • -Manage your blood pressure
  • -no binge drinking / excessive consumption of alcohol: will increase the blood pressure.
  • -If you are over 50, take 80mg of aspirin daily.
  • -manage stress

 

 

 

5. Why you need to be on watch for arteriosclerosis?

According to the health professionals, mild arteriosclerosis does not show external symptoms. Only severe cases are easily detected. If not careful, one can quickly develop severe arteriosclerosis; this could lead to severely narrow or blocked arteries.

  • -So what do you need to do?
  • Go to the annual check ups.
  • Scroll up and look to #4 and reference to prevention.

 

6) Why is it dangerous?

Arteriosclerosis can lead to other disease/symptoms.

Arteriosclerosis can lead to secondary disease.

a. Coronary artery disease

causes angina; chest pain, or heart attack (coronary heart disease is the most common cardiovascular disease)

b. Carotid artery disease

Since carotid artery is supplying blood to the brain, brain will not get sufficient amount of blood, which causes ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke

c. Peripheral arterial disease

This disease can affect several regions of the body, for example, arms, legs, and pelvis.

Generally, symptoms of peripheral arterial disease can lead to numbness and pain in specific areas of the body.

d. Vascular dementia

e.Cerebral embolism

 

7.) How to treat the arteriosclerosis? medication? Recovery? Like I mentioned earlier in #1, arteriosclerosis is treatable. It can be either through change in the patient’s lifestyle or also it can be treated through surgeries and medication.

 

  • stay away from sugary and salty junk food)
  • Cholesterol medication ( decrease the level of cholesterol)
  • Anti platelet medication (prevent the clumping of blood, work like aspirin)
  • Beta blocker medication( prevent the formation of clogs)
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors(lower blood pressure)
  • Calcium channel blocker (lower blood pressure)
  • Diuretics
  • Angioplasty (inserts the long inflatable tube inside your artery and slowly inflate the blood vessels, which increase the diameter of your blood vessels. Usually after the procedure synthetic “tube” is left inside the body in order to maintain the normal blood flow)
  • -bypass surgery (“install” another artery from either from your body or synthetic one, so blood can flow through there.

 

8. Long term effects

Long term effects for the arteriosclerosis depend on the area of affection.

Here are some examples.

  • neurological impairment
  • motor impairments
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • transitory ischemic attack
  • kidney function
  • partial/complete paralysis of the arm/legs

 

9. Ages/ any relevance towards the disease?

– Make sure and beware that even small children can develop arteriosclerosis. It all depends on how they eat their lifestyle, and their environment.

 

10. There are many types of arteriosclerosis.

There are a lot of types of arteriosclerosis, because it is a condition where arteries are hardened. So doctors’ diagnosis depends on where the arteriosclerosis is developing and on the location.

  • cerebral arteriosclerosis
  • atherosclerosis (most common type of arteriosclerosis)

 

 

Reference

1. http://www.medmovie.com/mmdatabase/MediaPlayer.aspx?ClientID=67&TopicID=573

American Heart Association. Atherosclerosis.

2. http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/LifeAfterStroke/HealthyLivingAfterStroke/UnderstandingRiskyConditions/Atherosclerosis-and-Stroke_UCM_310426_Article.jspAmerican stroke association.arteriosclerosis.11 Aug 2010

3. http://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?v%3Aproject=medlineplus&query=arteriosclerosis&x=0&y=0

Medlineplus.arteriosclerosis.

4. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_arteriosclerosis/cerebral_arteriosclerosis.htm

NINDS.cerebral arteriosclerosis. 18 Jul 2008

5. http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/LifeAfterStroke/HealthyLivingAfterStroke/UnderstandingRiskyConditions/Atherosclerosis-and-Stroke_UCM_310426_Article.jsp

American heart association. Atherosclerosis and Stroke. Wed, 11 Aug 2010

6.http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/WhyCholesterolMatters/Atherosclerosis_UCM_305564_Article.jsp

ACLS Recertification Classes AHA American Heart Association. Atherosclerosis. Thu, 20 Jan 2011

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