What is coronary atherosclerosis? Why it occurs? Which are the factors contributing? What can you do to prevent its happening?
Get all your answers here.
In order to understand what coronary atherosclerosis is, first get to know that atherosclerosis disease (which causes the arteries to lose their elasticity and become hard), is a condition which affects the arteries only; it doesn’t affect the veins except when they are replaced by a surgery to act as a substitute for some arteries.
You should also realize that atherosclerosis involves the formation of an athermatous plaque (atheroma) in your blood vessels, which causes narrowing of B.V lumen; thus restricting blood flow in this area.
In advanced stages of atherosclerosis, the inner layer of the unstable atheroma will break, injuring the endothelial lining of the arterial wall. Hemorrhage into atheroma will occur causing stenosis (death of surrounding tissues) and thrombosis (release of multiple clots in blood stream). Certainly, this will lead to serious conditions and may even cause death.
Your journey with atherosclerosis must have begun in your early adulthood, when the early signs of atherosclerosis (fatty streaks) were formed in your main arteries. Unfortunately, in this stage atherosclerosis is asymptomatic and can’t be detected. Mainly, atherosclerosis becomes dangerous when it involves your coronary blood circulation.
(CAD) is a chronic disease occurs when atherosclerosis involves one of the coronary arteries (arteries which come from the aorta to supply the heart with blood) as well as other arteries supplying the heart muscle.
When the coronary arteries are narrowed, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats) or angina (chest pain) might develop.
Furthermore, when one of the coronary arteries is completely clogged; a heart attack (also known as myocardial infarction) or a heart failure will occur. CAD can also cause aortic aneurysm (which involves abnormal widening and weakening of a part of aorta).
Nowadays, more than 10 million people in USA are suffering from symptoms of atherosclerosis.
This is a specimen of an atherosclerotic plaque affecting common carotid artery before it bifurcates to internal and external carotid arteries.
There are many risk factors which increase your susceptibility of having atherosclerosis of coronaries. They include:
A proper treatment must involve:
1- Revascularization process, which includes surgical interference, applying balloon angioplasty, or a coronary stent to enhance the blood flow to your heart.
2- Prescription of a therapeutic medication
3- Changing your lifestyle habits
4- Inserting some medical devices such as a pacemaker or a defibrillator to regulate your cardiac arrhythmia.
The prevention of future damages is very important. This can be achieved if you:
1- Never at all smoke again.
2- Keep your cholesterol blood levels under control.
3- Treat your hypertension and check your blood pressure once weekly if possible.
4- Take good control of your diabetes.
5- You must successfully accomplish some serious and permanent changes in your lifestyle as well as your dietary habits. American Heart Association recommendations will help you to do so.
6- Add some regular physical activity to your daily life.
7- Pay a great attention to your weight.
8- Take your medications in time.
Good luck! Stay firm. Keep healthy.
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