Arteriosclerosis is a disease marked by the thickening and narrowing of the arteries due to a poor diet. Arteriosclerosis affects any artery in the body, including the ones in the heart, brain, kidneys, as well as the arms and legs.
Arteriosclerosis can happen for a variety of reasons, including plaque buildup inside the arteries (called atherosclerosis), causing the narrowing of the passageways and can lead to serious problems like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Additionally, when the arteries become thick and narrow, they cannot deliver enough oxygenated blood to organs and this can lead to other serious health problems.
There are many conditions that can occur due to the narrowing of the arteries. Here are some examples:
- Ischemic Heart Disease Ischemic heart disease is also known as coronary artery disease, and it develops when the arteries cannot deliver enough oxygenated blood to the heart because of the plaque buildup in the coronary arteries.
- Carotid Artery Disease This condition develops when plaque buildup begins to affect the blood flow in the arteries on each side of the neck, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. If the blockage in these arteries becomes too great, it can lead to a stroke.
- Peripheral Artery Disease When plaque buildup develops in the arteries that supply blood to the legs, arms and pelvic areas, the major symptom is numbness and pain in the extremities. It can mimic tingling, and due to the reduced blood flow, dangerous infections can develop, including possible tissue necrosis.
- Chronic Kidney Disease Kidneys filter harmful substances out of our blood supply. If the renal arteries develop plaque buildup, it can lead to a loss of kidney function. This means that waste and extra water will not be removed from the body.
Treatments for Arteriosclerosis
The way you treat arteriosclerosis depends on the severity of the condition. Here are some of the treatments your doctor may recommend.
- Lifestyle Changes: Being overweight or obese increases the chances of arteriosclerosis and makes the condition worse. Doctors recommend maintaining a healthy weight to reduce the risk of a plethora of health problems such as arteriosclerosis. Additionally, maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is crucial in preventing and treating arteriosclerosis. You should eat high-fiber foods and limit your intake of sodium and high-fat foods.
- Medications: There are antiplatelet medications that help prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure if you have arteriosclerosis to reduce your risk of developing other heart problems.
- Surgery: In some cases, the arteriosclerosis condition may have progressed too far for medications and lifestyle changes to treat the problem. In such cases, surgical procedures like an angioplasty or a coronary artery bypass grafting procedure may be required to clear the arteries.
Artery health is crucial to living a healthy and long life. If you live on the West Coast of Florida near Tampa or Largo and want to get your arteries checked to ensure you are healthy, contact Premier Vein and Vascular. Our experts have a wealth of experience treating a variety of cardiovascular health issues. Call 1-(888)-VEINCARE (834-6227) to make an appointment today or request an appointment online.