Arteriosclerosis is a hardening of the arteries, its occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of the body (arteries) become thick and stiff sometimes restricting blood flow to organs and tissues. Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic, but over time, the walls of arteries can harden.
SYMPTOMS OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS
Atherosclerosis develops gradually. Mild atherosclerosis usually doesn't have any symptoms.
Symptoms of moderate to severe atherosclerosis depend on which arteries are affected. For example:
- If there is atherosclerosis in the heart arteries, symptoms such as chest pain or pressure (angina) occures.
- If there is atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to brain, signs and symptoms are; sudden numbness or weakness in arms or legs, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, temporary loss of vision in one eye, or drooping muscles in your face. These signal a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which, if left untreated, may progress to a stroke.
- If there is atherosclerosis in the arteries in arms and legs, symptoms of peripheral artery disease, such as leg pain when walking (claudication) occur.
- If there is atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to the kidneys, develop high blood pressure or kidney failure.
CAUSES OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS
Atherosclerosis is a slow, progressive disease that may begin as early as childhood. Although the exact cause is unknown, atherosclerosis may start with damage or injury to the inner layer of an artery. The damage may be caused by:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- High triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood
- Smoking and other sources of tobacco
- Insulin resistance, obesity or diabetes
- Inflammation from diseases, such as arthritis, lupus or infections, or inflammation of unknown cause
RISK FACTORS OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS
Hardening of the arteries occurs over time. Besides aging, factors that increase the risk of atherosclerosis include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking and other tobacco use
- A family history of early heart disease
- Lack of exercise
- An unhealthy diet
COMPLICATIONS OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS
The complications of atherosclerosis depend on which arteries are blocked. For example:
- Coronary artery disease. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries close to heart, may develop coronary artery disease, which can cause chest pain (angina), a heart attack or heart failure.
- Carotid artery disease. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries close to brain, may develop carotid artery disease, which can cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
- Peripheral artery disease. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries in arms or legs, may develop circulation problems in arms and legs called peripheral artery disease. This can make you less sensitive to heat and cold, increasing your risk of burns or frostbite. In rare cases, poor circulation in arms or legs can cause tissue death (gangrene).
Aneurysms. Atherosclerosis can also cause aneurysms, a serious complication that can occur anywhere in body. An aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of artery.
Most people with aneurysms have no symptoms. Pain and throbbing in the area of an aneurysm may occur and is a medical emergency.
If an aneurysm bursts, may face life-threatening internal bleeding. Although this is usually a sudden, catastrophic event, a slow leak is possible. If a blood clot within an aneurysm dislodges, it may block an artery at some distant point.
- Chronic kidney disease. Atherosclerosis can cause the arteries leading to kidneys to narrow, preventing oxygenated blood from reaching them. Over time, this can affect kidney function, keeping waste from exiting body.
PREVENTION OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS
The same healthy lifestyle changes recommended to treat atherosclerosis also help prevent it. These include:
- Quitting smoking
- Eating healthy foods
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR ATHEROSCLEROSIS
Baryta Mur – hypertension and vascular degeneration; arteriosclerosis where high systolic pressure with a comparatively low diastolic tension is attended by cerebral and cardiac symptoms; large blood vessel and aorta is involved; in duration and narrowing of cardiac orifice with pain immediately after eating
Arnica Montana – excellent remedy for cerebral arteriosclerosis; great tendency for hemorrhage; acts well in plethoric, feebly in debilitated people, relaxed bold vessel with black and blue spots; sore, lame and bruised feeling; thrombosis; limbs and body aches as if beaten
Aurum met – well known Homeopathic medicine for Arteriosclerosis; pulse rapid, feeble, irregular; hypertension; valvular lesions of arterio sclerotic nature; marked palpitation; sensation as if heart stopped beating for two or three seconds; immediately followed by sinking sensation in epigastrium; hypertrophy of the heart.
Ergotin – acts well in the beginning of arteriosclerosis when only the cardiac irritation and the hard heart sound are present. Stiffening and degeneration of arterial walls, spasmodic contraction of the vessels with hardening
Spigelia – remarkable remedy for the inflammation of the heart affecting both inner and outer lining of the heart, deficiency of the mitral valve in people who are alcoholic, pain in the heart, dizziness, noises in head, excessive nervousness, chocking sensation in throat; patient is unable to sleep properly; sparks before the eyes is a guiding symptom of this.e.t.c