What is atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is a chronic, progressive disease in which the arteries (the blood vessels that carry oxygen through blood flow from the heart to other parts of the body) become narrow , because fatty deposits, called atherosclerotic plaques, accumulate on their inner walls.

Over time, these deposits become hardened by fibrous tissue and become calcified.

When plaque builds up over time, it narrows the lumen of the artery (the empty space inside the blood vessel through which blood flows).

In this way, the oxygen that the artery provides to the organ it supplies through the blood flow decreases.

What are the symptoms?

In most cases of atherosclerosis, those affected do not show symptoms until the lumen of the damaged artery becomes too narrow or completely blocked.

Symptoms of atherosclerosis are highly variable and can vary from the absence of any symptoms – in the early stage of the disease to a heart attack or stroke with complete blockage of the lumen of the artery.< /em>

In rare cases, sudden cardiac death can be the first symptom of coronary heart disease, which is a type of atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries.

If the coronary arteries are affected by atherosclerosis, the sufferer of this disease may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating and anxiety.

Specific chest pain (angina) or insufficient blood flow to the heart occurs during exertion and disappears during rest.

Classic angina or chest pain is a very severe stabbing pain in the chest that may less often occur at rest. But if this happens it means a pre-infarction condition.

If the carotid arteries or vertebral arteries that supply oxygen to the brain are damaged by atherosclerosis, the affected person may experience numbness, weakness, loss of speech, difficulty swallowing, sudden blindness, or paralysis of part of the body.


If the arteries in the legs are damaged, this condition is referred to as peripheral vascular disease, the affected person may feel severe pain in the legs.

Pain occurs when a person walks and disappears when he stops walking. When the disease is severe, pain can also appear at rest or at night.

If the skin is injured and a wound forms, it can become infected and never heal, necessitating amputation.

If the renal arteries are affected, the symptoms that the affected person has are high blood pressure or, in more severe cases, kidney failure is also possible.

Treatment of atherosclerosis

If a person is diagnosed with atherosclerosis, the treating doctor will recommend that he make some changes in his lifestyle such as:

  • Food that is low in saturated fat and less cholesterol should be consumed.
  • Limit salt intake with the food in established hypertension.
  • Increasing the consumption of food that contains more fiber such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Eating fish at least twice a week.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Weight loss if overweight.
  • Regular physical activity under the supervision of a medical specialist.
  • If the atherosclerosis sufferer has elevated blood sugar levels, regular testing of blood sugar levels is necessary sugar and glycated hemoglobin.

How to protect yourself from atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is a serious disease that affects the arterial system and can have serious consequences for our health.

Fortunately, there are many ways we can protect ourselves from this disease and keep our cardiovascular system healthy and functioning optimally.

One of the most important steps in preventing atherosclerosis is monitoring and controlling risk factors.

As you mentioned, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels are essential for the health of our cardiovascular system.

Maintaining these indicators within normal limits through a healthy lifestyle and, if necessary, medical assistance, can have a significant positive effect on the prevention of atherosclerosis.

Also, we should pay special attention to our diet. Proper nutrition plays a key role in the fight against atherosclerosis.

Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily routine, as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

Limit your consumption of saturated fat and trans fat, which can raise levels of bad cholesterol. Instead, opt for unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, avocados and olive oil.

Regular physical activity is another important aspect of a healthy lifestyle that can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Aerobic exercise such as walking, running, swimming, and cycling improves cardiovascular function, helps maintain a healthy weight, and regulates cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Emotional stress is also an important factor that must be controlled to prevent the development of atherosclerosis.

Chronic stress can lead to inflammation in the body and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing can help reduce stress and improve mental and physical health.

We must not forget about the importance of regular medical examinations. Early detection of possible problems with the cardiovascular system can enable timely treatment and prevention of more serious complications.

In conclusion, preventing atherosclerosis requires a complex approach to our lives.

The combination of a healthy diet, regular physical activity, stress management, and regular medical checkups can create a healthy foundation for long-term cardiovascular well-being and overall health.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button