Diseases Related to Hardening of the Arteries
The arteries are blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood into parts of the body, enabling various organs to function properly. The heart’s main aorta pumps blood from the heart and then supplies blood to various arteries branching from the aorta. When one of these arteries becomes blocked with plaque and hardens, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Hardening of the Arteries and Your Body Since the arteries supply blood to different sections of the body, allowing the body’s internal system to function within its normal capacity; any blockage in these arteries may lead to serious health conditions – some of which may be fatal. The medical condition caused by the hardening of the arteries depends on which artery is narrowed or blocked. When the artery blocked is your carotid artery, this condition is known as carotid stenosis. Since the carotid artery supplies blood to the brain, blockage of this artery may cause a person to suffer from a stroke or a transient ischemic attack. On the other hand, when the blockage occurs in the heart’s arteries, this medical condition is known as coronary artery disease. This disease may lead to a heart attack. Blockage in renal arteries may cause kidney diseases while blockage in arteries supplying blood to your limbs may lead to peripheral arterial disease. Reducing the Risk of Arterial Blockages There are no symptoms that can identify atherosclerosis since the condition is almost always only diagnosed when symptoms of a heart attack, stroke or other related diseases manifest themselves in individuals. However, prevention is always better than cure and there are ways to reduce the risk of developing hardened or blocked arteries. Do no wait until you feel the symptoms before taking up measures to maintain the health of your arteries. Blockage in the arteries is often the result of fat, cholesterol and calcium deposits that form into plaques over time. Foremost in your preventive measure should therefore be reducing your intake of fatty and high-cholesterol foods. Lack of physical activity, smoking, consuming more than two servings of alcoholic beverages per day and obesity are common risk factors for developing blocked or narrowed arteries. A lifestyle change may therefore be in order if an individual belongs to any or all of the above categories.
However, if you have a family history of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke and other related health conditions; you are also at risk even if you live a healthy lifestyle. If this is the case, it is important to have regular check-ups to determine if you already have blocked arteries so necessary preventive measures can be undertaken and administered by your trusted physician.