Among the leading causes for death caused by disease in United States, disease caused by atherosclerosis occupies top position. Studies have found that atherosclerosis cause death among every third woman. The term Atherosclerosis is assigned to the first stage of CHD (Coronary Heart Disease).
In simple words, this complicated term is defined as narrowing of arteries losing their flexibility. This hardening is result of depositing of plaque inside the arteries. Arteries thus become inflamed and collect more tissues and thus further blockage of blood pathway results.
Arthrosclerosis can occur with any artery in your body and with the blockage can cause poor or no supply of nutrients and oxygen to the affected part. If the artery towards blood heart is hardened, chest pain or angina may be experienced and when arthrosclerosis occur at legs Claudication may be experienced.
The worsen condition of this disorder or hardening can clog the artery completely hence supply of blood is stopped. This condition is experienced when affected artery receives a blood clot. This condition is life taking especially when this clogging of artery happens at areas like brain and heart.
The composition of plaque generally is:
- fatty tissues
- caps of fibers
This composition gives rise to sticky walls of arteries, which then gather platelets forming thrombus, a scientific name given to blood clots.
Factors, which add up to the risk of developing Atherosclerosis, are identified by researches and are:
- higher levels of cholesterol
- higher triglyceride levels
- smoke of cigarette
- lower level of required cholesterol
- higher levels of sugar
- advancing age
The factors, which may add up to the elevating risk of Atherosclerosis in to coronary heart disease, are:
- being over-weight
- abnormal metabolism
- inactive fashion of living
- hormonal levels after menopause
- increased homocysteine levels
- higher levels of CRP
- deficiency of Vitamin D
Symptoms for atherosclerosis may vary but some common symptoms are:
Angina: when oxygen supply is cut short due to blocked arteries to heart, pain is experienced.
Cardiac Arrhythmias: this is the sudden up lift of heartbeat and sometimes slowing down of heartbeat for some moments. This is accompanied with dizziness, pain in chest and short cycles of breath.
Silent Ischemia: During a number of instances, atherosclerosis shows no symptoms at all. Nor a person does experience chest pain neither she experience any problem regarding heart’s health.
Intermittent Claudication: Aged persons experience this problem and symptoms are aching and cramping in legs during walk. This pain is experienced because of short supply of oxygen to legs and feet. The worsen conditions may lead to amputation and gangrene.
Transient Ischemic Stroke and Attack: During this symptom, weakness is experienced at a side of body, this may occur in any part may be arm, face or leg. Inability to talk and experiencing painful selection of words, an instantaneous loss of vision at an eye is named as TIA.