Atherosclerosis-Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fats in and on your artery walls (plaques), which can restrict blood flow. These plaques can also burst, causing a blood clot. Although atherosclerosis is often considered a heart problem, it can affect arteries anywhere in your body. Atherosclerosis is a preventable and treatable condition.
Atherosclerosis comes from the Greek words athero – meaning gruel or paste and
sclerosis meaning hardness – and is a hardening of the arteries – it is the most common cause of heart disease.
Arteriosclerosis is a general term for the thickening and hardening of arteries Some hardening of arteries normally occurs when people grow older.
What Causes Atherosclerosis?
Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart throughout the body. They’re lined by a thin layer of cells called the endothelium. The endothelium works to keep the inside of arteries toned and smooth, which keeps blood flowing.
“Atherosclerosis starts when high blood pressure, smoking, or high cholesterol damage the endothelium,” says Richard Stein, MD, national spokesperson for the American Heart Association. “At that point, cholesterol plaque formation begins.”
1.Cholesterol invasion. Bad cholesterol, or LDL, crosses damaged endothelium. The cholesterol enters the wall of the artery.
2.Plaque formation. Your white blood cells stream in to digest the LDL cholesterol. Over years, the accumulating mess of cholesterol and cells becomes a plaque in the wall of the artery.
3.”It’s a jumble of lipids, or cholesterol, cells, and debris, and it creates a bump on the artery wall,” explains Stein. As the process of atherosclerosis continues, “the bump gets bigger.” A big enough bump can create a blockage.
4. Atherosclerosis tends to happen throughout the body. “So if you have plaque in your heart, you’re at a higher risk for stroke, and vice versa,” says Stein.
Atherosclerosis usually causes no symptoms until middle or older age. Once narrowings become severe, they choke off blood flow and can cause pain. Blockages can also suddenly rupture, causing blood to clot inside an artery at the site of the rupture.
Homeopathy for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular health
Proffesional homeopaths would recommend appropriate treatments to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis based on their knowledge and experience. Homeopathic prescriptions for atherosclerosis would include remedies to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person’s constitutional type. In homeopathic terms, a person’s constitution is his or her physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath would assess all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for each individual.
Homeopathy Is recommended in arteriosclerosis to improve the overall health and reduce the complications.
Homeopathic treatment corrects the metabolic disorders and is based on a complete assessment of the patient. In addition healthy lifestyle like eating right, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, staying away from smoking and alcohol and controlling hypertension—can reduce the risk of complications of arteriosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis and Plaque Attacks
Plaques from atherosclerosis can behave in different ways.
– They can stay within the artery wall. There, the plaque grows to a certain size and stops. “Because they don’t block blood flow, these plaques may never cause any symptoms,” says Stein.
– They can grow in a slow, controlled way into the path of blood flow. Eventually, they cause significant blockages. Pain on exertion (in the chest or legs) is the usual symptom.
– The worst-case scenario: plaques can suddenly rupture, allowing blood to clot inside an artery. In the brain, this causes a stroke; in the heart, a heart attack.
while the exact cause of atherosclerosis remains unknown, certain traits, conditions, or habits may raise a person’s chance of developing it.
These conditions are known as risk factors and a person’s chances of developing atherosclerosis increase with the number of risk factors they have – most risk factors can be controlled and atherosclerosis can be prevented or delayed – these include high Cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood, low level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the blood, Hypertension (high blood pressure), tobacco smoke, Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, inactive lifestyle, age – a family history of heart disease is also a risk factor and the one which cannot be controlled.
Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels – this includes high LDL cholesterol (sometimes called bad cholesterol) and low HDL cholesterol (sometimes called good cholesterol).
High blood pressure – blood pressure is considered high if it stays at or above 140/90 mmHg over a period of time.
Smoking – this can damage and tighten blood vessels, raise cholesterol levels, and raise blood pressure – smoking also doesn’t allow enough oxygen to reach the body’s tissues.
Insulin resistance – Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it’s used and insulin resistance occurs when the body cannot use its own insulin properly.
Diabetes – this is a disease in which the body’s blood sugar level is high because the body doesn’t make enough insulin or does not use its insulin properly.
Overweight or obesity – overweight is having extra body weight from muscle, bone, fat, and/or water – obesity is having a high amount of extra body fat.
Lack of physical activity – lack of activity can worsen other risk factors for atherosclerosis.
Age – as the body ages the risk for atherosclerosis increases and genetic or lifestyle factors cause plaque to gradually build in the arteries – by middle-age or older, enough plaque has built up to cause signs or symptoms, in men, the risk increases after age 45, while in women, the risk increases after age 55.
Family history of early heart disease – the risk for atherosclerosis increases if a father or a brother was diagnosed with heart disease before 55 years of age, or if a mother or a sister was diagnosed with heart disease before 65 years of age but though age and a family history of early heart disease are risk factors, it does not mean that you will develop atherosclerosis if you have one or both. Making lifestyle changes and/or taking medicines to treat other risk factors can often lessen the genetic influences and prevent atherosclerosis from developing, even in older adults.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
Atherosclerosis is a major risk factor for many different conditions involving the flow of blood. Collectively, these conditions are known as cardiovascular disease (CVD). Examples of CVD include:
Peripheral arterial disease: where the blood supply to your legs is blocked, causing muscle pain
coronary heart disease: where the main arteries that supply your heart (the coronary arteries) become clogged up with plaques
Plaque also can form in the heart’s smallest arteries. This disease is called coronary microvascular disease (MVD). In coronary MVD, plaque doesn’t cause blockages in the arteries as it does in CHD.
stroke: a very serious condition where the blood supply to your brain is interrupted.Carotid Artery Disease
Carotid artery disease occurs if plaque builds up in the arteries on each side of your neck (the carotid arteries). These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your brain. If blood flow to your brain is reduced or blocked, you may have a stroke.
heart attack: a very serious condition where the blood supply to your heart is blocked
Chronic kidney disease can occur if plaque builds up in the renal arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your kidneys.
Over time, chronic kidney disease causes a slow loss of kidney function. The main function of the kidneys is to remove waste and extra water from the body.