What is Arteriosclerosis: Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment

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Atherosclerosis is the development of plaque on and within the arterial walls; this plaque is composed of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other components of the blood.

The arteries in your body transport oxygenated blood out from the heart to the rest of your body. Plaque development causes the narrowing and stiffening of arteries, which can reduce blood flow to vital organs and tissues, leading to discomfort and even tissue damage.

Although they’re sometimes used interchangeably, “arteriosclerosis” (also known as “hardening of the arteries”) and “atherosclerosis” (also known as “plaque building in the arteries”) is actually two distinct forms of the same disease.

Arteries of every location in the body are fair game for atherosclerosis. CHD is caused by damage to the coronary arteries that provide blood to the heart (CAD).

It’s beginning and development

Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease that causes gradual vascular alterations over the course of a person’s life; these changes can begin in childhood and accelerate with age.

Atherosclerosis has an unknown origin.

Researchers have hypothesized that endothelial degradation is the initial event in the development of arterial plaque. There are four possible sources of such destruction:

  • Blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels that are too high
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Habitual use of tobacco products
  • Diabetes

The development of atherosclerosis in the aorta (the body’s major artery), coronary arteries, and limb arteries is greatly facilitated by cigarette smoking. Plaque formation is accelerated and fatty deposits are more prone to form when one smokes.

Symptoms

The onset of symptoms from atherosclerosis is typically only when blood flow has been severely restricted or blocked.

Depending on which arteries are blocked, different symptoms may develop.

  • Coronary arteries. Chest pain (angina), difficulty breathing, and an irregular pulse can all be caused by atherosclerosis in the arteries that provide blood to the heart. A heart attack can be brought on by a clot in the bloodstream that obstructs blood flow to the heart muscle. Angina can present in a number of forms, including chest pain or discomfort that worsens with activity and subsides with rest, pain that radiates to the jaw or left arm, or unusual indigestion- or reflux-like symptoms. Any of these symptoms call for immediate medical attention.
  • Carotid arteries. Paralysis of the limbs or face, stroke, disorientation, dizziness, weakness, visual issues, breathing problems, headache, and loss of consciousness can all result from atherosclerosis in the arteries that provide blood to the brain. (You may have heard of this problem being referred to as carotid artery disease.)
  • Peripheral arteries. Pain, numbness, and tingling may be caused by atherosclerosis in the arteries that provide blood to the arms, legs, and pelvis. A disease of the arteries in the extremities.
  • Arterioles of the kidneys. High blood pressure, weakness, nausea, confusion, and swelling in the feet and legs are all symptoms of atherosclerosis in the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys.

Atherosclerosis Diagnosis

Atherosclerosis can be diagnosed using a combination of patient and family history, a physical examination, and laboratory investigations. A cardiac murmur is an abnormal whooshing sound heard by a doctor while listening to a patient’s arteries. A doctor will place a stethoscope the afflicted artery will pick up this noise, allowing your Vascular Surgeon to diagnose the problem.

The presence of plaque in the arteries causes this noise, which is indicative of reduced blood flow. There is a chance that your doctor will feel pulses in your legs and feet to see whether any of them are weak or nonexistent. In some cases, a blocked artery will manifest itself as a weak or nonexistent pulse. The possible next steps after that are as follows:

  • In-Person and Laboratory Diagnostics
  • Examination of the blood
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)
  • X-rays
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI)
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO) (ECHO)
  • Tomography by Computer (CT scan)
  • The Stress Exam
  • Angiogram
  • Imagistic Resonance Imaging (MRI) (MRI)
  • Chronicity of Atherosclerosis

According to the best doctors a atherosclerosis develops at different rates in different people.

Atherosclerosis can progress rapidly in people’s thirties in some cases. There are however cases where it doesn’t become noticeable until a person is far into their 60s or beyond.

Once atherosclerosis has set in, it tends to worsen over time. In order to prevent this, you should modify the underlying causes.

By medicine, exercise, weight loss, a heart-healthy diet, and other lifestyle changes, atherosclerosis can be slowed or even reversed.

Treatments for coronary artery disease

But, you may be provided medications to reduce your risk of cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes while we wait for a treatment that can reverse atherosclerosis.

Possible medical reasons for taking medication include:

  • reducing cholesterol levels (statins)
  • the lowering of blood pressure
  • prevent blood clots and improve health.
  • Reduce your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
  • In order to restore normal blood flow via the damaged arteries, surgical intervention may be required.

What other health problems might atherosclerosis cause?

Insufficient blood supply due to arterial plaque accumulation. If the heart’s blood flow suddenly drops, a heart attack could result. Heart failure can develop if the heart’s muscle is injured and can’t pump blood effectively. Stopping the flow of blood to the brain can cause a stroke. If blood flow is cut off from the limbs, the person may experience excruciating discomfort and perhaps tissue death.

Conclusion

Atherosclerosis is a widespread condition that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and other critical complications. If you have atherosclerosis, however, you can take steps and get therapy to reduce or even stop the condition from getting worse. Consult with the best Vascular Surgeon in Lahore before making any major modifications to your routine. They will aid you in locating effective treatments for your ailment so that you can manage its side effects.

FAQs

1. What are the implications of atherosclerosis on a regular schedule?

Consequences such as heart attack, stroke, vascular dementia, erectile dysfunction, and amputation can result from even partial blockages. The vascular disease atherosclerosis can be fatal and severely impair quality of life.

2. What is the leading cause of atherosclerosis?

Plaque buildup in the arterial wall leads to the condition known as atherosclerosis, which manifests itself as a hardening or thickening of the arteries. Some of the things that can put you at risk include having unhealthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, inactivity, and a diet heavy in saturated fats.

3. Who is at risk for developing atherosclerosis?

The danger heightens for men beyond the age of 45. As a woman reaches the age of 55, she is in increased danger. Having endometriosis, PCOS, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia during pregnancy, or simply being a woman, increases the risk.

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