What is Cholesterol?Cholesterol is a fatty steroid that is a part of the outermost layer of every cellular being. It is present in the blood of all animals and is also found in fungi and plants. It is not necessary that cholesterol is always bad. It plays an essential and positive part in the functioning of the body as well. Read more about cholesterol
What is Atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis is a gradually advancing, critical and chronic ailment in which the arterial blood vessel gets layered with deposits of cholesterol, calcium, macrophages and other fat cells. This deposit is termed as plaque. It is an ongoing process that results in the deposit increasing over time, and thickening the plaque inside the arteries. As a consequence, the arteries become narrow and the blood flow gets limited; thus, hampering the normal functioning of the organs.
In addition to this, there are other problems that can occur due to the deposit of thick plaque inside the blood vessels. Some of these are enlisted below:
- Arterial thrombosis – This is a problem that is caused when the plaque gets ruptured inside the artery. It leads to the clotting of blood, which in turn results in the blockage of the artery.
- Aneurysm – If the plaque deposit within the artery thickens a lot, it can lead to the damage and weakening of the arterial wall that causes the wall to balloon out. This inflation is known as an aneurysm.
- Internal bleeding – Internal bleeding in most cases is fatal. Severe bleeding is observed in individuals who have ruptured an aneurysm due to high plaque deposit.
How are Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis related?
Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis are very closely related. The levels of both good and bad cholesterol should be kept in harmony in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The level of high density lipoprotein should be high and the percentage of low density lipoprotein ought to be low in the blood as bad cholesterol (LDL) is one of the primary causes of Atherosclerosis.
What are the other causes of Atherosclerosis?
There are several other causes that contribute towards the chronic disease of Atherosclerosis. These are:
- Genetic fault – Many ailments run in one’s genes. Thus, if your immediate family or other close relatives suffer from Atherosclerosis, then there are chances of the same happening to you. Therefore, you should ensure that you keep a good check on your health.
- Smoking and Drinking – Regular smoking and drinking can prove to be a big contributing factor towards the onset and aggravation of Atherosclerosis. Thus, you should not make these a habit!
- Stress – Getting worried or tensed about situations affects your blood sugar levels, which in turn plays havoc with your internal systems. Stress is a major cause of such grave ailments.
- Being obese – The lifestyle that is prevalent these days is a serious cause for Atherosclerosis. People do not take care of what they eat or how they maintain their health. One in every ten people is found to be obese.
What are the symptoms of Atherosclerosis?
Although Atherosclerosis is a grave disease, the symptoms for this is not very clear. Atherosclerosis cannot be identified easily. It affects the major arteries in the body like the coronary, renal and cerebral arteries. It also affects the blood vessels of the legs and the arms.
A test conducted in the United States shows that Atherosclerosis is observed in approximately 17% out of 250 apparently fit teenagers; thus proving that the ailment begins early in one’s body. It also shows that amongst all cases detected with this disease, the first identifiable symptom in 65% of the male patients and 48% of the female patients was a fatal cardiac arrest or heart attack.
How to avoid Atherosclerosis?
The best way to avoid Atherosclerosis is by leading a disciplined and healthy life. Once there is an onset of a blockage, then it is impossible to get rid of it completely. All you can then do is damage control. Thus, avoid the following factors to ensure an ailment free life:
- Cigarettes, alcohol and drugs
- High cholesterol causing foods like heavy cream, veal, dark-meat, cocoa butter etc.
- High BP (blood pressure)
- Being overweight
- Skipping your workout
- Not eating a balanced diet with vegetables and fruits
What is the treatment for Atherosclerosis?
Several doctors advise starting with non-invasive techniques to slow down or control the growth of the plaque once the Atherosclerosis disease is detected. If an individual takes proper medication and makes the necessary changes in his or her lifestyle, then there are chances of amazing recovery from this disease. There have been several cases where the plaque deposits inside the patient’s blood vessel have stopped growing. However, this happens only when one is ready to make major changes in one’s lifestyle. In spite of these, the blockages once formed cannot be removed.
In case you want the treatment of Atherosclerosis to result in the blockages being removed, then you have to go for the invasive techniques. These are surgical procedures like Bypass surgery, stenting and angiography that are done by qualified surgeons. Nonetheless, this should always be the last resort.