Arteriosclerosis occurs when the arteries become narrow due to hardening. This will reduce the blood supply through the arteries.
Arteriosclerosis can cause the improper functioning of the vital organs due to lack of proper supply of blood. Lack of blood supply can result in the death of the tissues which in turn can cause bacterial infection called the gangrene.
Arteriosclerosis can lead to the following cardiovascular diseases:
- Peripheral arterial disease where the blood supply to legs is blocked.
- heart attacks
- heart diseases
- deep vein thrombosis
Some of the major contributors of arteriosclerosis are:
- high fate diet intake
- misuse of alcohol
People over the age of 40 have higher chances of developing this condition as the arteries tend to get harder naturally.
The prevention of arteriosclerosis can be done by:
- Regular exercising
- Regulating the intake of alcohol
- Reducing or avoiding cigarettes
- having a healthy diet
The blocking of the arteries in the limbs is called the peripheral arterial disease, which is mainly characterised by cramping and sever pain of the legs while walking.
Other common symptoms are;
- the toenails getting thicker
- loss of hair from the limbs
- Change of skin colour of the legs.
- weakness of the leg
- numbness in the legs
Arteriosclerosis can lead to heart attacks. The symptoms for heart attacks are:
- breath shortness
- mild chest pain or at times severe central chest pain
- sweaty, clammy grey complexion
- general unwell feeling
- fear that one is going to die
If the carotid artery is blocked, it can result in a stroke, the symptoms of which are:
- numbness down one side leading to a complete paralytic situation
- problems in communication
- coordination and balancing problem
- difficulty in swallowing
- weakness of the face resulting in drooling of saliva
- being unconscious
An arterial blockage of the carotid artery can result in an associated situation called as transient ischaemic attack or a mild stroke. The symptoms for this are same as that for stoke, but they may last just for a few minutes or hours, before their disappearance.
Some of the most common causes of arteriosclerosis related conditions are:
- Foods containing very high saturated fat content like cakes, biscuits etc
- Very high level of cholesterol intake
- Lack of exercise
- excessive smoking
- excessive alcohol intake
- high level of diabetes
- Anti-platelets drugs are used to help reduce the forming of blood clots.
- Medications for hypertension will be administered to lower the level.
- Statins will be prescribed in case there is high cholesterol level.
- Endarterectomy is done to remove the deposits of fatty acids in arteries.
- Angioplasty is also done for treating the arterial blockage.
- Bypass surgery may be performed for treating arterial blockage near the heart.