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Atherosclerosis Definition

Atherosclerosis is the deposition of fatty materials on the endothelium (a thin layer or cells lining the arteries). This build-up of materials or plaque is usually caused by smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Atherosclerosis Symptoms

Atherosclerosis shows no symptoms at a younger age, but only in the middle and older age groups.

The common symptoms of Atherosclerosis include:

  • Chest pain or angina
  • Pain in parts of the body where an artery might be blocked
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion due to blocked circulation
  • Weakening of leg muscles

Atherosclerosis Risk Factors

The plaque that is formed as a result of Atherosclerosis, is responsible for a number of cardiovascular conditions, mainly:

Atherosclerosis Diagnosis

A physical exam is recommended for those with the aforementioned symptoms. If your doctor finds signs of narrowed, hardened or enlarged arteries in addition to:

  • Weakened pulse or absent pulse below the narrowed artery
  • Whooshing sounds heard through a stethoscope in your arteries
  • Decreased blood pressure

In all these cases, the doctor may recommend blood tests, Doppler ultrasound, ankle-brachial index, electrocardiogram, stress tests, cardiac catheterization and angiogram; and other imaging tests.

Atherosclerosis Treatment

Once diagnosed with Atherosclerosis, it is unlikely that the blockage created by the build-up of plaque might go away. However, doctors recommend certain ways in which this condition can be managed through certain lifestyle adjustments and adequate medication.

A Better Lifestyle:

A healthy and more active lifestyle is recommended by doctors. This includes kicking unhealthy habits such as smoking and taking to a healthy diet and including some amount of exercise in your daily life.

Right Medication:

Ensure that you take your high blood pressure and anti cholesterol pills which can help curb the growth of Atherosclerosis further and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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