Plaque buildup and subsequent hardening of the arteries restricts blood flow in the arteries, preventing your organs and tissues from getting the oxygenated blood they need to function.
Cholesterol is a waxy, yellow substance that’s found naturally in your body and also in certain foods you eat. This substance can increase in your blood and clog your arteries. It becomes a hard plaque that restricts or blocks blood circulation to your heart and other organs.
Eating foods high in fat may also lead to plaque buildup.
As you age, your heart and blood vessels work harder to pump and receive blood. Your arteries may weaken and become less elastic, making them more susceptible to plaque buildup.
Many factors place you at risk for atherosclerosis. Some risks can be prevented, while others cannot.
If atherosclerosis runs in your family, you may be at risk for hardening of the arteries. This condition as well as other heart-related problems may be inherited.
Regular exercise is good for your heart. It keeps your heart muscle strong and encourages oxygen and blood flow throughout your body. Living a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk for a host of medical conditions, including heart disease.
Eating foods high in fat and cholesterol raises your risk for atherosclerosis.
High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels by making them weak in some areas. Cholesterol and other substances in your blood may reduce the flexibility of your arteries over time.
Smoking tobacco products can damage your blood vessels and heart.
People with diabetes have a much higher incidence of coronary artery disease.
If left to get worse, atherosclerosis can potentially lead to a number of serious conditions known as cardiovascular disease (CVD). There won't usually be any symptoms until CVD develops.
Exactly why and how arteries become clogged is unclear.
It can happen to anyone, althoughthe following things can increase your risk:
You can't do anything about some of these factors, but by tackling things such as an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise, you can help reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and CVD.
You can also read more specific advice about preventing CVD.
Plaque buildup and subsequent hardening of the arteries restricts blood flow in the arteries, preventing your organs and tissues from getting the oxygenated blood they need to function. Many factors place you at risk for atherosclerosis. Some risks can be prevented, while others cannot.
Most symptoms of atherosclerosis donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t show until a blockage occurs. Common symptoms include chest pain; pain in your leg, arm; shortness of breath, etc. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s also important to know the symptoms of heart attack and stroke that can be caused by atherosclerosis which require immediate medical attention.
Since atherosclerosis involves a long-winded process during which the walls of the arteries change, it required constant care throughout oneÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s life, in terms of regulating lifestyle. One must make sure that they are consuming a balanced diet, participating in regular physical activity, etc.
A heart specialist called a cardiologist may listen to your heart to see if you have any abnormal sounds. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll be listening for a whooshing noise, which indicates that an artery is blocked. Your doctor will order more tests if they think you may have atherosclerosis.
With treatment, you may see improvement in your health, but this may take time. The success of your treatment will depend on the severity of your condition, how promptly it was treated, and whether other organs were affected.
Atherosclerosis is a process which occurs on the arterial walls of the body. The risks for developing atherosclerosis increase with age. Harmful fats become deposited in plaque form on the internal walls of the arteries, these plaques are called atheroma.