Arteriosclerosis is a term used in reference to arteries' stiffening. Generally, this term is used in reference to hardening or elasticity loss in large or medium arteries. There are people who suffer from this medical condition without knowing until when it escalate. Basically, there are different types of arteriosclerosis. One type of arteriosclerosis is obliterans. This is found on large and medium arteries in lower extremity. Its characteristics include calcification and intima. Medial calcific is another type of arteriosclerosis found in elderly persons. Basically, different types of this medical condition have different causes. They also have have different symptoms that can be used in identifying different types of arteriosclerosis.
Causes of Arteriosclerosis
Although there are many causes of this medical condition, natural healing process of the arteries is the major cause. In most cases, arteriosclerosis results from the process of arteries trying to heal themselves naturally after damage. This results to a scar on the damaged part of the artery. It can result to;
- Narrow arteries
- Scar rapture after clot start forming on artery's surface. This can even result to acute blockage of the artery
- Breaking of the wall of the artery
- Weakened wall of the artery
In many western countries, this medical condition is among the leading causes of death and disability. Lifestyles of western countries make arteriosclerosis almost inevitable. This is because many people relies on carbohydrate diets that have been refined highly. They also have poor status of micro nutrient. Increased environmental pollution in these countries is also another cause of this condition. There are also situations where this condition results from lack of exercise and sunshine. Even having continued nights without adequate sleep can cause arteriosclerosis.
Basically, arteriosclerosis can start at early childhood and progress slowly over the years. In most cases, establishing the exact cause of this condition has been challenging. Nevertheless, damage on the internal layer of the artery has been identified as the major cause. This damage may result from the following;
- Increased blood pressure
- High levels of cholesterol. This may result from excessive consumption of cholesterol in the diet
- Nicotine from smoking or other sources
After damage has been developed on the inner lining of the artery, platelets which are blood cells clump up on the injured part. This is usually in a natural attempt to heal the damaged part. The result of this is inflammation which eventually results to deposits of fat that mainly comprises of cholesterol. In addition, products made of cellular wastes also accumulate on the damaged part hardening it further this causes narrowing of the artery. Tissues and organs that rely on the damaged artery for supply of important oxygen and nutrients end up not receiving enough supplies. These tissues and organs also do not get proper elimination of carbon dioxide and other waste products. Thus, they do not function properly.
Eventually, fatty acid deposits may have some of their pieces rapture and perhaps, enter into the blood stream. Organs may be damaged due to blood clotting that might occur in the arteries. This may result to other illnesses such as heart attack. Clots of blood may also travel to other body parts blocking the flow of blood to other organs.
Symptoms of Arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis starts slowly with a gradual development pace. As such, there are no exact symptoms of mild arteriosclerosis. In many people, this medical condition does not show any symptom until when the artery has been narrowed completely. Thus, symptoms start appearing when damaged arteries are unable to supply blood to tissues and organs. There are also cases when there is a complete blockage of blood flow to major organs such as the heart. This has in most cases resulted to stroke or heart attack.
Generally, symptoms of arteriosclerosis are identified depending on the attacked artery. They may be severe or moderate depending on the arteries that have been affected. For instance, symptoms of arteriosclerosis can be identified as follows;
- Chest pain: This is common on patients who have damage on their heart arteries. These symptoms are like those of patients with a heart attack.
- Patients with damage on the arteries that supply blood to the brain may experience sudden weakness or numbness on the legs or arms. They may also experience difficulties in speaking or even produce slurred speeches. Face muscles may also be drooping most of the time. These symptoms are similar to stroke and if they are not treated they may end up causing stroke.
- Individuals with arteriosclerosis on legs or arms depict symptoms similar to those depicted by patients with peripheral artery illness. These include leg pain as they walk.
- Erectile dysfunction is another symptom of arteriosclerosis in men. Artery blockage can occur in any artery in the body. However, in most cases it occurs on legs. Many patients have blockage occurring on the calf or pelvis. Once the blockage has become severe, muscle exertion causes disruption in blood supply on the affected area. The result of this is pain in the affected region. In some cases, the pain may be relieved by resting. In such cases, resuming of physical activities increases this pain. If left untreated, this pain will keep worsening and it might eventually result to amputation of the affected limb.
- Turning of the affected limb into pale color is another symptom at the advanced stage. It might also become cold and discolored. Eventually, there is formation of sores on the affected part's skin. Amputation of the limb is necessitated by setting in of other infections.
- In most cases, when one part of the body is affected, others too are affected. For instance, if a limb is affected chances of heart attack and stroke or even blockage of the kidney artery are increased. Similarly, when coronary arteries have been affected chest pain will be experience which increases chances of getting a heart attack. When brain arteries have been affected, this can result to stroke. Therefore, it is important to seek medication the earliest possible from the first diagnosis of arteriosclerosis symptom.
Arteriosclerosis Home Remedies
There is a wide range of remedies for arteriosclerosis. They include the following. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Exercise- Typical remedies include light exercise in cases where there are no major symptoms. This is an effective remedy where the condition has not worsened. It facilitates proper flowing of blood through the arteries clearing the inflammation and cholesterol deposits that might worsen the condition if left untreated.
- Proper diet– Eating properly is another remedy to arteriosclerosis. This is because this condition is worsened by accumulation of cholesterol on the healing part on the inner side of the artery. With proper dietary, this cholesterol is avoided leading to a faster and even better healing process. In addition, in situations where the accumulation and clogging process had already started it can be slowed down through proper dieting.
- Onion and Garlic– Dieticians argue that onions and Garlic are very effective in treating arteriosclerosis. They help in cleansing the arteries and hence allow a smooth flow of blood.
- Spinach– Spinach juice is also effective in helping arteriosclerosis patients unblock the blocked arteries. However, it is important to ensure that you do not take too much acid because it can also be harmful to your health.
- Carrot Juice– A cup of carrot juice a day will go a long way in helping you fight your Arteriosclerosis condition.
- Yeast– Some dieticians claim that yeast can lower the level of cholesterol in your body. It is believed that yeast helps in raising essential HDL which is vital for arteriosclerosis.
- Pineapple- Pineapples are known to contain enzymes that can help cure arteriosclerosis. Such enzymes include the Bromelain that comes from the stalk of pineapple plant. This enzyme is effective in reducing blood platelet stickiness and clotting. This enzyme also prevents the inflammatory reaction to artery damage or irritation.
- Arjuna- This herb helps in normalizing the rhythm of the heart and improving blood flow. In fact, many medical doctors use Arjuna to boost the functioning of the heart. It opens the coronary arteries to allow for proper blood flow. It is also effective in reducing cholesterol and bacterial infections. Furthermore, it prevents the congestive heart complications and reduces the effects of angina.
- Cayenne- This herb contains enzyme known as Capsicum frutescens which is highly effective in stimulating blood flow. It can also help in lowering of cholesterol levels. This makes it the best remedy for arteriosclerosis. Cayenne reduces the risk of clots and strengthens all blood vessels especially in the appendages. It also improves marginal flow and warms body parts such as the hands.
Diet for Arteriosclerosis
Proper diet is very important in preventing and event treating arteriosclerosis. This is due to the following reasons;
- When your body is healthy, even your heart is able to pump blood properly to all other parts of the body. This reduces or even eliminates risk factors that can cause this medical condition.
- Proper diet prevents formation of cholesterol that might accumulate on the interior lining of the arteries. Healthy diet reduces chances of development of bad and even total cholesterol.
- Proper dietary also lower levels of blood sugars and pressure.
- It also increases the ability of the body to fight infections and other factors that might cause damage on the lining of the arteries. Thus, possible causes of this medical condition are reduced through proper diet.
Therefore, individuals diagnosed with arteriosclerosis should be keen on anything they eat or drink.
Prevention of Arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis can be prevented by adopting nutritional strategies. These strategies include;
- Eating more fish: This offers the body more proteins and other nutrients. Omega three fatty acids are also very important in reducing the risk of stroke and heart diseases.
- Increasing vegetable, whole grain, beans and fruits consumption: This plays an important role in fighting heart diseases.
- Making proper choices of fat calories. This strategy should be executed with the major aim being to reduce the fat grams consumed.
- Exercise: Exercising makes arteries strong. It also strengthens your heart. This gives the body a better flow of blood while at the same time reducing blood pressure. Exercise also reduces level of sugars in the blood.
Arteriosclerosis is health condition that can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. This entails being keen on what one eat, drink and also engaging in physical exercise.
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