Atherosclerosis Causes, Signs and Symptoms, and Treatment

  posted by: Rio Dianne



Atherosclerosis Causes, signs and symptoms, TreatmentEach year, many people die from different types of diseases as a result of poor lifestyle choices. The way we lead our lives and the practices that we continue to do have played a big role in having an ill relationship with our health. Having said this, let us take a look at one form of lifestyle disease which is becoming one of the top reasons of morbidity and mortality in almost all countries. Thus read more about Atherosclerosis causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment.

Atherosclerosis vs. Arteriosclerosis

Most of the time, both the terms have been used interchangeably as if they have the same meaning. But apparently, arteriosclerosis is the term given to refer to the hardening of the arteries. Generally, this can affect any of the arteries in the body, and once it affects the coronary artery, it poses a great risk for heart disease.

On the other hand, atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis which refers to the plaque build up from cholesterol and fat which then thicken the walls of the arteries.  On a general thought, a person may have arteriosclerosis and may not suffer from atherosclerosis. But a person with atherosclerosis sure has arteriosclerosis.

Causes and Risk Factors of Atherosclerosis

As mentioned above, plaque build up is the primary cause of the condition thus blocking the walls of the arteries. Some of the other causes include increased cholesterol levels in the blood, unhealthy lifestyle such as high fat diet, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity.

As for the risk factors, included are the following:

  • Genetic predisposition to the disease
  • Hypertension
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes mellitus

Signs and Symptoms of Atherosclerosis

Usually, the disease starts to have no symptoms at all. However, once the blood flows to the artery has become blocked, symptoms such as the following may manifest:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular pulse rate

Complications to the brain, kidneys, and legs may arise when there is blockage of the arteries in the said areas.

How to Treat Atherosclerosis

Primarily, the cure for the disease is by following some prevention tips by making lifestyle changes like:

  • Avoiding sedentary lifestyle. Do so by exercising atleast 30-60 minutes daily.
  • Losing weight can also make a difference in preventing the problem.
  • Modify diet by cutting back on fatty foods. Opt for healthy and balanced food instead such as fruits and vegetables. Fish rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can be included in your meal.
  • Smoking cessation and limiting alcohol intake count a lot as well.
  • Regulating your blood pressure is another important task on how to prevent the problem.

Medication treatments which can reverse the effect of the disease are also prescribed by your doctor. Such includes:

  • ACE inhibitors – to slow down progression of the problem
  • Calcium Channel Blockers – which lowers blood pressure
  • Cholesterol Meds – lowers the bad cholesterol responsible for its occurrence
  • Diuretics  – to decrease hypertension

At times, when the situation has become severe, more intensive interventions may be required such as bypass surgery and angioplasty. Therefore, it is important that you talk to your doctor to arrange proper treatment plan for your condition.


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