In atherosclerosis the cholesterol gets deposited in the inside wall of the arteries hence making it calcified and hard. As the deposition or the plaque grows, it narrows the lumen of the artery resulting in reduction of oxygen and blood supply to the affected organs like eyes, kidney, legs, gut or the brain.
When the plaque grows enough to block the artery it causes heart attack, stroke, angina, heart failure or abnormal cardiac rhythms.
Atherosclerosis may begin in childhood. It is a progressive disease. It is more likely to occur in children with family history and between the age of 40 and 50 it tends to become more severe.
Atherosclerotic lesions develop as a result of release of various cytokines, proliferation of smooth muscle cells, inflammatory stimuli, synthesis of connective tissue matrix and accumulation of macrophages and lipid.
The plaque formed in atherosclerosis is composed of three components.
First component consists of smooth muscle sells and macrophages. Second component is connective tissue matrix and extra-cellular lipid. Third component is intra-cellular lipid.
Mortality of Atherosclerosis
Adequate treatment has decreased the rate of mortality.
Advanced lesions begin to develop in 25 years of age, clinical signs begin after 50s. Men are at high risk.
Exact cause is not known. Various risk factors that contribute in the formation of atherosclerosis are:
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol levels
• Lack of physical activity
• Cigarette smoking
• Junk food and fatty food.
• Disease progresses with progressing age.
Patient gives no signs or symptoms in early stages of the disease. As the disease advances and depending on the location of arteries affected following signs and symptoms appear:
• Chest pain that occurs with exertion and goes away at rest with shortness of breath, sweating and anxiety occurs if the arteries that supply the heart are affected.
• The person shows signs and symptoms such as numbness, weakness, loss of speech, difficulty swallowing, blindness, or paralysis of any body part if the arteries that supply brain are affected.
• Pain in the legs occurs if the arteries that supply legs are affected.
• Kidney failure or high blood pressure occurs when arteries of kidneys are affected.
• Stethoscope is used to listen to the arteries in chest. They will not be audible when blocked.
• Lipid profile test.
• Blood glucose test.
• Medicines: cholesterol medications, diuretics, anti-platelet medications.
• Bypass surgery.
• Surgery to remove fatty deposits from the arteries.
The patient needs to reduce:
• High glucose level
• High blood pressure
• High blood cholesterol
• Emotional stress
• Exercise should be done regularly.
• Consume healthy diet that is low in saturated fat.
• Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
• Quit smoking.
• Lots of fruits and vegetables.
• Add high amount of fiber in diet.
• Eat fish.
• Garlic helps in lowering cholesterol.
Treatment of underlying cause such as high cholesterol and maintaining healthy life style helps in preventing the progress of the disease.
Plaque formation that may result in bulge in artery called aneurism. Bleeding from aneurysm can prove fatal.
• Soft pulse.
• Cramps in peripheral arteries.
• Cardiac muscle pain and eye spasm are relieved by this medicine.
• Severe palpitations when lying on the left side.
• There is associated vertigo, dyspnea,flatulence and pain that shoots down the left arm.
• Sensation of constriction as by an iron band.
• Weak, intermittent and abnormally slow pulse.
• Least movement results in violent palpitation.
• Great weakness, sensation of sinking of strength, faintness, coldness of skin.
• Arteriosclerosis, myocardial generation and senile heart.
• Profound prostration.
• Rapid, irritable pulse.
• This remedy acts as a heart tonic.
• Dilated heart, first sound weak.
• Irregular, feeble, intermittent pulse.
• Low blood pressure, giddiness and air hunger.
• Extreme dyspnoea on least exertion.
• Cutaneous chilliness with blueness of fingers and toes.
• Sensation of pulsation throughout the body.
• Surging of blood to head and heart.
• Laborious action of heart.
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